Just the Tips

Get the Glow: Eye Makeup Basics

Beautiful Eye

Eyes tend to be the most fun for women to dress-up in terms of makeup. As we all know, it’s the window to the soouuul <insert whimsical soothsayer voice here>. Eyes are the focal point for conversation between people (and animals, but they don’t seem to be picky about which shade you use). Another great reason to accentuate your eyes? It helps feminize your face. Perfect, she says.

Skin tone, face and eye shape, and age all affect the way you apply your makeup. For everyday use and easy application, it’s best to go with neutral shades. Neutrals include beige to gold to taupe to brown to almost black. They can be shimmery or matte and resemble our varying shades of skin tones.

Did you just run your hand over the selection of colours and reach for bright blue, green, or best yet – bright pink? Please, no. Not here, not now.

I understand some trans women like to go with pink because it’s the ultimate signifier of femininity. However, pink eye shadow is not flattering – on anyone (not unless you’re going for a specialized costume or party look). Bright pink can make you look old, tired, and puffy. So hands off, girls!

Dark blue, dark brown, and very black are also shades to stay away from – especially if you’re not well-versed in the application of cosmetic adornments. Save this for the pros. Why? It can be too harsh for the eyes. If you’re over forty, black mascara, eye shadow, and eyeliner altogether can make eyes look heavy and small, and sometimes garish (remember that stage-look I’ve hammered on about.)

If you happen to buy an eye shadow with a sponge applicator, do us all a favour and throw the applicator out. While sponges are great for applying foundation, they’re not ideal for the eyes. Brushes are best for fem eye dressings. I recommend spending more than two dollars on a quality brush. A good deal is Kirkland’s Signature 10 Piece Cosmetic Brush Set. You can buy brushes individually at grocery or dollar stores, but I guarantee, they are most certainly going to disappoint. There’s even higher end brushes from companies such as MAC Cosmetics if you are able to afford it. Remember your needs, skills, and budget when shopping around.

After your shadow, comes eyeliner. Liners comes in pencil, liquid, coal, cream (pot or pencil) forms and in every shade imaginable. Pencil eyeliner is the most common, but is best used for finishing or softening – not as your main tool. Blue, green, brown, and black are the most commonly used colours.

And lastly, mascara – the finishing detail that opens up the gateway to the souuuul. There are many, many, MANY different mascaras to choose from (and the gimmicks out there go well beyond what they can actually do), but it’s definitely a must to make your eyes pop. And you’ll have to choose between brushes (curled, long, short, fat), formulas (thick, thin, waterproof), colours (purple, light to dark black, and white), and of course, price. The good new is some of the cheapest mascaras out there can be the best; I’ve always stuck by Great Lash by Maybelline (very affordable). I also suggest using an eyelash curler – the difference is big!

As I’ve mentioned previously, don’t be shy to ask a cosmetics clerk what colour palette best suits your skin tone when purchasing a multi-coloured shadow compact, eyeliner, or mascara. Whether you want a bright-eyed daytime look or a sexy, seductive evening appeal, these are your essential tools.

Keep it simple while mastering the colours and applications that work best for you. You’ll be amazed how different you can look with just a few brush strokes.

Check out this video: Makeup for Transgender Women

Get the Glow: Trans Skin Care Tips
Get the Glow: Trans Makeup Basics

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