I've just discovered I can copy things I've written in MacWrite into a news
document...so you might be interested in the info I've written for a
workshop for our local gender community.
MALE TO FEMALE makeup
There is a wide variety of makeup materials available. If your skin is
beautiful and you don't have to hide a beard, women's cosmetic makeup may
be all you need. You will have better luck matching your skin colour in a
department store, because foundation makeup in a drug store tends to be so
heavily packaged you can't tell what colour you're buying. Regular
cosmetics tend to be light and sheer. If you want an opaque makeup to even
out your skin tone,and don't perspire heavily, I suggest Kryolan Aquacolor
makeup. It is a water based pancake type makeup which comes in a great many
beautiful colours. Aquacolor has a matte finish when it dries, but after a
few minutes the warmth of the body creates a beautiful soft, natural glow.
All of the Kryolan makeup is heavily pigmented, so it will cover beards and
dark shadows under the eyes without the use of other cover up products.
I've discovered that many beard cover sticks give you an unnatural orangy
If you have to cover a beard, minimize roughly textured skin or if you
perspire heavily; I strongly recommend Kryolan Cream Stick plus Dermacolour
powder. The cream stick is an oil base makeup and comes in a great many
colours, so you should be able to accurately match your skin tone. It is
opaque enough to cover heavy beard shadow without using a beard cover
stick. The Dermacolour powder is pigmented so you need to buy an
appropriate shade. It sets the Cream stick so that it lasts through heavy
perspiration. Several layers of Cream stick and Dermacolour powder will
effectively smooth out acne scarred skin. If you don't need the water proof
qualities of Dermacolour powder, regular translucent powder will work very
well to set the cream stick.
To minimize large pores, particularly on the nose, a second coat of
foundation and a dusting of powder works very well.
No matter what type of foundation you choose, it should match your skin
tone as closely as possible. Test the colour on your cheek and your neck.
You want the makeup to blend down onto your neck without a visible line.
Hopefully you will only need a hint of foundation on your chest when you're
wearing a low cut dress.
If you are using a water base pancake makeup, it will probably go on easier
with a small natural sponge rather than a synthetic one. A natural sponge
is only slightly more money and will give a smoother result. Be sure to
apply the colour with as little water as possible, just use a damp sponge.
If you get streaks, let the foundation dry before you try to smooth it out.
You will probably find the streaks will disappear as the makeup dries.
Pancake makeup doesn't need to be powdered.
If you are using a cream stick makeup, apply it with a piece of synthetic
sponge. I use a piece of fake foam rubber (flexible urethane foam), the
kind you find in the upholstery section of your fabric store. It's easier
to thrown them away than to try to wash them. After applying the
foundation lightly and evenly all over your face, you may want to add a bit
more to cover your five o'clock shadow. If you are covering a heavily
textured skin surface (like acne) you may want to blend cheek contour
colour into the cream base before powdering. (Powder contour may emphasize
the texture.) Now you're ready to powder to set the cream stick. Apply a
little extra powder to the moustache area and forehead, because the
perspiration is heavier here. Allow the powder to sit on the foundation
for a few minutes before brushing off the excess. This is especially true
with Dermacolour powder. The instructions suggest waiting ten minutes,
before removing excess to achieve the maximum waterproof quality. I find
about three minutes is sufficient. A big, soft blush brush is ideal for
dusting off excess powder.
I don't recommend a lot of heavy corrective makeup to change the shape of
your face. If you're being photographed for a formal portrait, then go
ahead and sculpt your face; but for everyday, too much corrective work can
look artificial. There are a lot of books available to help you decide if
you are oval, square or heart shaped. I think it's more important to
create a feminine version of whatever shape you happen to be. Some men have
a definitely square jawbone. Trying to minimize it with makeup is risky.
You may inadvertently emphasize your five o'clock shadow. A soft hairstyle
is probably a safer way to underplay the jawbone.
A strong or prominent nose is another trouble spot. In general, don't use
corrective makeup on your nose. You may over emphasize it without meaning
to. Instead, focus attention on your eyes or mouth.
Some subtle work can be done to give yourself beautiful cheek bones, if
it's a little bit noticeable it's O K, because it's often obvious on women
too. To sculpt cheekbones, I use Mehron Starblend pancake makeup, dry, as
a powder. A dry, clean blush brush will pick up the colour and allow you to
contour the cheek as easily as brushing on dry rouge. Be careful to never
get the cake of Mehron wet or it won't pick up as powder. For Caucasian
skin, number 2B brushed on the top of the cheekbone as a highlight, and
number 11B brushed on as a lowlight, works beautifully. If your skin is a
darker tone adjust the colours accordingly. I like 7C for slightly darker
or tanned skin. The highlight colour goes on the top of the cheek bone,
and should blend up toward the hairline. (If you have a wide face, don't go
quite to the hairline). The lowlight or shadow colour goes from the ear
toward the center of the face, and should blend out into the foundation
The Mehron powder also works well to emphasize your cleavage. Dust a bit
of highlight on the top of the breast and brush a soft curved RYS shape in
the cleavage. Keep it subtle.
Select a rouge that is a soft pinkish shade similar to your foundation
colour. You can safely dust it on your forehead, chin and cheeks for a
If you use a strong raspberry or red shade you may have trouble being
subtle. You can soften the effect of rouge by first dipping your brush in
translucent powder and then into the rouge. Rouge belongs on the apple of
the cheek,(where you turn pink after you've been jogging). Be careful to
keep rouge away from any part of your face you are trying to minimize. For
example, if you have a wide face; don't brush the rouge all the way out to
your hairline. Keep it more central, so you won't call attention to the
The shape of your eyebrow is probably the single most important element of
your face. Women's eyebrows are usually thinner and more arched than a
man's. However a masculine eyebrow can be very beautiful on a feminine
face. Look at Brooke Shields. Electrolysis or plucking will allow you to
make a major change in the shape of your brow, but clever use of paint can
do a lot. Most people need to lift the brow slightly to give it a prettier
arch. For the stage you can block out the brow with a variety of
materials. For street wear you must be more subtle. Lift the peak of the
brow with a few strokes of eyebrow pencil, and blur them slightly. You can
bleach out a few hairs by painting them with foundation. You can pencil
your brows lightly or use a small stiff brush and brown powder to get a
soft brow. If you use a pencil, it helps to brush the eyebrow with a tooth
brush to blur and soften the pencil. You don't want your eyebrow to look as
if it was drawn on with a marking crayon, so be gentle.
To determine the length of your eyebrow, draw an imaginary line from the
tip of your nose up to the outer corner of your eye and up to the brow.
That's where your brow should end. Remember, Eyebrows begin above the inner
corner of the eye, and taper off to nothing. They should not be heavy at
the outer end.
The eyes are the most fun to paint, but also possibly the most difficult to
First, avoid brightly coloured and frosted eyeshadows. I know they're fun,
but they can age your eye. Learn to contour your eye with neutrals like
taupe, charcoal, brown and off white.
The upper eyelash line should be defined with a brush and brown liner or
an eyebrow pencil, and lightly smudged with a Q tip. Even if you are older
and don't plan to wear much makeup, you should softly define the eye. To
NOT makeup the eye is aging. The lower eyelash line can be dotted with
brown and smudged, or defined more strongly with a blurred line.
To contour the eye, keep in mind the natural lights and shadows of the eye.
There is a highlight under the brow bone under the arch of the brow. The
crease above the eyelid is shadowed, and the lid picks up some light and
seems lighter. This means the lid can be foundation colour, the crease can
be darkened slightly, and a bit of highlight added on the brow bone. If
you M'ST use colour, use colour the same value as your foundation, on your
eyelid. This is the one spot you might get away with a frosted colour. 'se
a deeper colour in the crease,(definitely not frosted,) but use off white
on the brow bone. This combination will seem more natural. For major
glamour you can use smokier colour on your eyelid.
If your eye is aging, and the upper eye is sagging, you have to be careful
where you put colour; but you can very easily make the eye look gorgeous!
Be careful that your browbone highlight doesn't blend down so far that it
highlights the sagging fold of skin. Avoid shadowing toward the nose in
the deepest part of the eye. That will sink and age the eye even more.
The important thing to remember, is to shadow the sagging fold of flesh and
keep any frosted colours away from the eye. Frosted colour will spotlight
the problem. Your safest bet is a dark taupe or charcoal to minimize the
fold of flesh.
This will give you a normal, pretty eye. If you wish you can vary the look
in keeping with current makeup trends; for example, 50's style eyeliner.
If you're going to wear false eyelashes, be careful to keep them medium in
length. If your false lashes droop at the outer ends, you must glue them
ABOVE your natural lash line.
Keep your lipstick a soft red. Bright fire engine reds can point up
If you have a problem with lipstick blurring, try outlining the lip with a
lip liner pencil, then filling in with colour. Powdering the first coat of
lipstick then applying a second coat, will help it to last longer. Most men
have thin lips and need to make them appear fuller. Don't hesitate to
paint your lips slightly outside your upper and lower lip line. Women have
the same problem. But be careful to not overdo it. If your new mouth
seems a bit extreme, try increasing the size slowly, a bit at a time over a
period of a few weeks, so you can get used to it. 'sing a softer red will
help to keep your lips from looking too showgirl.
The type of red you use can be coordinated with your skin tone and your
clothing, (more peach or more raspberry); have fun playing with lipstick.
Its fun to mix your own colour by using several different lipsticks on top
of each other. Try putting a neutral light pink shade on top of a deeper
You may want to tape to get rid of your naso- labial fold, overhanging
eyelid or double chin. However it is not ideal for all day wear. Taping is
wonderful on some people.It depends on how elastic your skin is and whether
you can place the tape so it will get rid of the fold and not show under
the wig. It's important that the tape be hidden by the wig, because it's
very difficult to cover tape with makeup so it doesn't show. However,
sometimes just a wisp of hair from the wig will cover the tape so you don't
have to pull the wig to far onto your face.
The easiest way to tape, is to securely pin a stocking cap to cover your
hair. I like to be sure there are several pin curls at the front of your
hairline. This gives you something to anchor the wig to so it doesn't slip
back and allows you to tape onto your head without pulling hair. Johnson &
Johnson surgical tape works wonderfully. The more complicated way is to
use strips of silk gauze and spirit gum them to your skin, and anchor the
other end to the wig cap. Experiment to see which you prefer. They are
both susceptible to perspiration, so are better suited to occasional use
not all day wear.
Copyright (C) 1993 by WILLIAM STEWART JONES All rights reserved.
I'd be happy to answer individual questions.
Bill Jones, Theatre Arts Department, San Francisco State University
"Sometimes it's more important to be human, than to have good taste" Brecht
"Being a good craftsman will in no way prevent you from having Genius"