Saturday, February 23, 2008

About Sponsors & Advertisements

I do not have any lucrative deals with the products I have mentioned here. This was done in my normal state of unconsciousness.

So, I've made a conscious decision to keep this blog "advertisement free" and not be paid or sponsored by anyone. I have not seen a "Consumer Reports" type web page for crossdressers, not there probably isn't one out there.

Which is similar to my next point. I cannot possibly buy all of one type of product and do A/B comparisons. And there may be better and worse products out there for a particular item, however I can't know an unknown. But, as I buy makeup supplies, wigs, undergarments, and clothes etc., I'll write a complete review as I see it.

I encourage others to make suggestions of things I should try. However, I will only report on those things that I try personally.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

I'm Back! It's a kind of a Makeup Entry...

I promised myself I would write an entry at least every week. Well...with the holidays and some illness now behind me. I'm ready to get back to work!

Makeup is a wilderness, a labyrinth of conflicting advice. I've had to buy a number of books and watch some TV shows (TV as in Television) to get up to date. I've done the heavy theatrical makeup before, and the last time I was into makeup I was a lot younger. So, the goal now is to go lighter with a more age appropriate style, but also somewhat young and hip.

I've bought two books by Kevyn Aucoin

These books should be in every gender illusionist's library. "Making Faces", even has a couple of male to female makeups. His command of makeup from day to night, from everyday to theatrical was truly amazing. His philosophy of no rules, do what's right for you, practice and experiment is truly liberating. There are some television shows and makeup artists that say, "No eyeliner on the bottom lash, no matte eyeshadow", well, take that with a bucket of salt. It's better to try different things and take pictures of yourself and look at them objectively than to follow "the rules" blindly.

Also, if you can't buy it, chances are it's at your local library, "Don't Go to the Cosmetics Counter Without Me, 7th Edition (Paperback)", by Paula Begoun.

If you're worried about picking this book up at the library or bookstore, there are sections for men's grooming and products within it's pages.

My main contention with her book is that she rates all her own beauty products high. Which makes sense on one hand, that is, you would think she would use her own criteria for her own products, but on the other, it makes her reviews look biased. But all and all, this is a very good primer, if nothing else you can see just how many makeup companies exist and who owns who.

Television shows such as TLC's "What Not to Wear" and the Style Network's "How Do I Look?" have some good makeup tips. The "What not to Wear" hosts come off mean sometimes, but they are like a style intervention team. Carmidy the makeup artist emphases a 5 minute makeup routine and has some very good tips. Fiona on "How Do I Look", is kinder, but the makeup part is a minor part and they are promoting Laura Mercier cosmetics.

One thing I quickly discovered is no one cosmetic company has a lock on all beauty products. It's more like M.A.C. has some great foundations, brushes and eye-shadows, NARS for blush, Maybelline for mascara, etc.

As I've said, I'm a work in progress, my makeup skills are not where I'd like them to be. I'd like to get good at three basic looks:, daytime, glamorous night, and one fantasy.

One last find, the Website Message Board, "MakeupAlley". This is where everyday makeup users critique different makeup products, books, methods, etc. I didn't ask if TG folks were welcome, but I've joined them for only good intentions, if they don't want me there, ca m’est ├ęgal.

That's all for now, I hope to have more pictures soon to show my progress or lack there of.