Between some of my friends’ lovely and low-key looks, some of the reading I’ve been doing lately (How to Look Expensive, Free Gift with Purchase), and some of the movies and tv I’ve been watching (classics; stuff that has lovely subtle makeup – so not Drag Race as an inspiration *so much these days* even though I adore it; TransAmerican Love Story – looooooove Calpernia Addams and Andrea James so hard!*) – anyway, I’m kind of feeling drawn more to subtler looks. For me, anyway. Subtle *for me*. Just as something to play around with. Especially now that I’ve gone and dyed my hair (surprise! this post is a couple days behind – totally not surprising), I’m enjoying the dichotomy of “crazy-colored hair” and “polished-looking makeup.” For now, anyway. I’ll get back to “in-your-face color” soon, trust. Oh – and I also re-re-organized my makeup stash (the way I’d last reorganized it was a joke, I couldn’t find shit), so I came across my neutrals and was like, “WHY don’t I wear these more?” Also I realized HOW FUCKING MUCH MAKEUP I HAVE, so, um, yeah, REALLY going to try to dial back the makeup-buying-and-hoarding, and shop my stash quite a bit. It’s ridiculous. And then on top of that the “cheap” companies (Wet n Wild, e.l.f., etc) have to go and UP THEIR PRODUCT GAME!?! Not even TRYING to help a bitch out. Just giving her more shit to eye up longingly, and try not to binge on. But whatever.
*Calpernia Addams and Andrea James, honestly, YEARS before I got on this makeup kick, were the ones who set me on the good skincare path. I adored TransAmerican Love Story, and they always looked gorgeous on it. Then I found my way to Transsexual Road Map. Now, before you start interrupting me here: yes, I’m a non-TS woman, but 1-I was a total tomboy growing up, and even now sometimes I don’t feel like I’m actually feminine, and am at times completely befuddled by “how to be a woman,” and 2-I learned SO. MUCH. MORE. from TS Road Map about how to understand and take care of my skin and hair, than I *ever* have at a dermatologist’s – granted I only went to one, when I was fourteen, and boy, he needed to go back to school – or a makeup counter. TS Road Map taught me about AHAs and retinols, and why they’re kind of important. And why it’s important to be *gentle* with your skin, and how to do that (like, really, how to wash your face in a non-harsh way; total noob, right here). AND introduced me to Paula Begoun’s Don’t Go to the Makeup Counter Without Me, which is phenomenal. So, yeah, if you’re like me, and femininity doesn’t come naturally, and you don’t know what kind of skin you have no matter how long you stare at it in the mirror nor how many self-tests you do in magazines, maybe go check out TS Road Map. Those ladies *know* what they’re talking about. Especially when it seemed like the women I knew weren’t admitting their femininity/flawless makeup/gorgeous hair wasn’t anything but natural, TS Road Map *dished*. And I am so grateful. Even now, when the majority of my lady friends are happy and willing to share skincare/beauty/makeup/hair secrets, I’m still paying attention to TSRM. I haven’t mentioned it before, because I feel kind of…rude and intrusive and grossly-privileged, as a non-TS woman. But you know what? Credit where it is fucking due: TS Road Map is AH-MAZING, and sincere thanks for teaching me so much about my skin, my hair, and femininity/gender performance in general. I was clueless. My skin is flawless today – I’m not trying to brag on it, but I do get tons of compliments on it, and from time to time am really lax about taking proper care of it – BUT! The reason it behaves so well, and stays so clear even when I sleep in my makeup (which doesn’t happen often), is that the rest of the time I’m following the skincare steps that I figured out thanks to TSRM. I wouldn’t exactly call it a regimen – that sounds too formal, and I don’t use *exactly* the same products every day. But I do follow the skincare steps they recommend, and I’ve found products within each “step” that work for me, and I switch around between those. So, that’s why my skin behaves itself so well. Even when I’m not drinking anywhere near enough water. (Shameful of me! Drink your water, Jacobs.) So, give them a look, they’re great at explaining things in an accessible way. (I don’t know, but as much as I love girly mags like Vogue and Allure and shit, their skincare articles…I just couldn’t translate it onto my face with any good results. Like, I’d read it and be like, “….but wait, what now?” and then get zits a-plenty, or *really* aggravated skin. TS Road Map, on the other hand, I was like, “OH AWESOME I FINALLY GET IT!” Just saying: they know whereof they speak.)
-Too Faced Shadow Insurance
-e.l.f. Glitter Eyeshadow in Cowgirl
-Milani Eye Tech Liquid Eye Liner in Black
-Maybelline Full and Soft Mascara in Very Black
-Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Primer
-Etude House Moistfull Collagen BB Cream
-MAC Prep+Prime Lip
-Clinique Different Lipstick in Rose Aglow
Also? Not to be a bitch, but…kind of to be a bit of a bitch? I always felt like beauty mags were written by women who were flawless and naturally gorgeous, and so therefore I couldn’t really believe them too much when they were writing an article about what would help *my* skin, you know? Aside from the once yearly “throw a bitch a bone” KP article, there was nothing to help me. I do not have “naturally” amazing skin. I do not just roll out of bed, do jack and shit, and look flawless. I have KP, and dyshydrosis, and seborrhoeic dermatitis like CRAZY on my scalp, and *maybe* a touch of rosacea on my cheeks – they get red as hell and dry sometimes, but I haven’t been back to a dermatologist. (Yet.) I HAVE TO WORK AT IT, IS WHAT I’M SAYING, and I *really* benefited by learning from other women who had to work at it, too, who didn’t just roll out of bed and be all, “Oh, I wake up looking like this,” but who would *dish* and *spill* and admit they weren’t “naturally flawless” and tell me the tips to get my skin under control, too. In fact, one of my all-time BEST beauty investments, in my opinion, was the DermaDoctor Skinstruction Manual? Pretty sure I first heard about it on TS Road Map, and was like, “Shit, if TS Road Map recommends it, it’s gold.” AND IT IS. You should read that book, too. And now that it’s out of print, it’s pretty cheap on Amazon and ebay. AND it’s even available for Kindle now – but cheaper in print. I don’t really have Holy Grail products, but I would ABSOLUTELY say TS Road Map, the Skinstruction Manual, and Don’t Go to the Cosmetics Counter without Me, are my Holy Grails. And mostly TSRM, since I learned about the books from the site, so…it’s the Holiest of Holies, I reckon.