Jump to content
  • Welcome to the TransPulse Forums!

    We offer a safe, inclusive community for transgender and gender non-conforming folks, as well as their loved ones, to find support and information.  Join today!

Beginner Makeup Advice?


Recommended Posts

I am just beginning to use makeup and haven’t purchased much yet. I really feel stuck at what to choose for color of foundation and concealer. I have white, fair skin, not too pale, with a blend of yellows and pinks. Looking at foundation and concealer colors always makes my mind spin with confusion. Am I Porcelain Beige, Fair Neutral, Fair Sand, Light Sand, Light Beige, do I have Peach Undertones, Pink Undertones, Yellow Undertones, and on and on?... Any advice on how to choose one? It seems like a number of choices sort of look like my skin. I’m thinking of just guessing at something close and seeing how that works. Also I’m seeking advice of what bare basics might be good to start with. I’m thinking primer, foundation, concealer, blush, eyeliner, lipstick and/or lip liner and lip gloss, a few brushes, a sponge, and makeup remover to begin with. ? 

Link to comment
  • Admin

In these Covid days it's hard to recommend what I would usually recommend; a visit to a Sephora or similar store for a consult with the cosmetics staff.  I doubt any store is doing that right now.  So your next best choice, assuming you don't have a willing family member to show you, is Youtube videos.  There are a great many good choices, many aimed at trans women.


Sephora and other brands have "starter kits" that include the basics, including color pallets for eye shadow and blush.  I suggest a black and brown eyeliner for starters; I like liquid but it can be hard to use for beginners.  The pencil type is easier to apply, I think. I have scant eyebrows so I've always used an eyebrow pencil, but if you have decent natural eyebrows you won't need one.


My last suggestion concerns brushes; buy the best you can afford.  They will last so much longer and give better results than inexpensive brands.  Good luck!


Carolyn Marie

Link to comment

My wife had me match the foundation with the back of my wrist (where you can see your radial artery). I started out with cheap stuff.....Maybeline and L’Oréal........ because there’s slot of trial and error. I’d reccomend some good brushes for eyeshadow, brows, and a spooly to straighten out the mascara. I’m still a novice at this (mascara running at work) but one thing usually not mentioned is good skin care products and eye makeup remover. I clean and moisturize every morning and evening and don’t leave the house without sunscreen (Colorado ?).

Link to comment
  • Forum Moderator

@Carolyn Marie brings up an excellent point. Sephora stores often have "Makeup for Trans-Women" classes. Failing that, I'd find a friend who can give you makeup advice. I got some from the daughter of my therapist. Though is was basically, "Your skin is gorgeous. Maybe a little peach blush, then stop."


Then you see youtubers like Samantha Lux. Who I'm pretty sure is a witch.


The other bit of advice I got was browse youtube makeup channels. Find a look you like, then try the tutorial. You're going to make mistakes. That's OK. Mistakes are how we learn.


Personally I'm still convinced that my foundation color is "White-out."



Link to comment

I've never really understood makeup.  My ex didn't use it so I was never around it much.

A couple years ago one of my daughters gave me some stuff at Christmas.  I was just coming out at the time.  I didn't have a clue what to do with it.  Then my youngest girl was staying with me for a bit and I let her put some on me.  I really didn't like the results.  Admittedly, the lighting was atrocious.

I know it's a girl thing, but I'm still sitting on the fence.  And then sometimes it just doesn't look right to me on an older woman.  

IDK, maybe I should give it another chance.

Link to comment

The you tube tutorials are fun.


@Jackie C.we are in a white out here right now! 


I’ll have to look into Sephora. We’ve been hitting Ulta and Target now has mini-Ultas. 



Link to comment
19 hours ago, Erica Gabriel said:

My wife had me match the foundation with the back of my wrist

The best place to match foundation is across the jawline on to the neck since this is where the foundation is worn.  The foundation needs to blend seamlessly between the face and neck.  Most people are not the same depth of tone on the inner wrist and the face.  Matching the foundation to the arm will most likely not give the best match.

Link to comment



I did a blog last year about makeup application and it covers all of the basics.  It might be some help to you.  You'll find my blogs (there are 8 parts) on the blogs link at the top of the page, and they start on page 7.

Link to comment

@Genny, I've been learning a lot from my girlfriends who I've come out to. They're just thrilled to teach me how to do my face and we've done girls-night Zoom meetups and talked makeup. I'm starting very simple, just foundation, eyeliner, and mascara. I'd do lips too, but mine crack like crazy this time of year so I'm super careful to keep them healthy. I look forward to being able to go into a salon and getting my face done there after COVID-19's behind us. I also found it difficult to match my complexion and online shopping has meant spending more than I needed to in order to find the right foundation for my skin tone. One thing though, makeup is all about experimenting and being home so much because of the pandemic has given me a lot of time to make mistakes in a safe space.




Link to comment
  • 2 months later...

I got creative and called the store and asked them of advice, together we came up with a solution. As it happened to be sunny outdoors, I took a selfie in the sun and sent to their mail. That way they could see clearly in daylight and know and they sent me some examples of what to get. (Though I don't know still what my face color is called so I might start an own thread and ask here with that picture). If you did the same and then sent the picture to them they might help.

Link to comment
  • 2 weeks later...

I tend not to use foundation nor concealer. I’m not a big user of make up, I use good quality moisturiser followed by an Elizabeth Arden bronzer. Blackest black baby roll mascara by L’Oréal and a pale pink lippy and that’s me x works for me.

my daughters always try to get me to wear to more make up but I don’t like how it feels on my skin x 

Good luck with your journey x


Di x 

Link to comment
  • 8 months later...

when i started wearing makeup i knew that i would make many many mistakes, so i never bought expensive makeup,

i started getting cheap makeup from bargain stores, they are called £1 shops here in the uk, i just practised alot, plus watching youtube videos helped alot, but your going to make many mistakes, so i just thought dont waste a fortune on expensive makeup while im learning, once you can do your makeup well with cheaper makeup, then start buying the more expensive stuff, one thing i wil say is the more expensive the makeup, generally the better it is, so if you can do your make up well with the cheaper stuff, your be fine with the more expensive brands

Link to comment

I'm still on the fence on this.  What does work on an older gal?  TBH I'm not much to start with and I'm not sure it would be an improvement.

Link to comment
  • Forum Moderator

@Jandi when I do wear make up (its been a long time due to using masks) I use a light application of Neutrogena Healthy Skin liquid make-up.  Then I add a light touch of blush to my cheeks in either a bronze or light pink (depending upon what I'm wearing).  This is not expensive and it takes all of ten minutes to apply.  I get it at Walmart although Neutrogena products are available in many stores.  

Link to comment

@Carly Hughes I did a lot of experimenting with inexpensive makeup early on and like you made some pretty funny mistakes.  Now I am confident with my routine so I use mostly just liquid foundation, a little concealer, black mascara, and sometimes eyeliner, I use it really to even out my facial complexion a bit and draw some attention to one of my favorite features, my blue eyes. I love lipstick too but I an afraid to wonder how much of it I have wasted smeared onto face masks! I swear by the Aveda brand and I love that they are naturally derived, and the shades work well for my skin tone. The one thing is that the brush with their mascara is really tricky to use well, it is small and perfectly straight so I poked myself with it often early on. I feel like the most important lesson I learned is that less is often more when it comes to makeup.


@Jandi Have you tried anything yet with makeup? It is perfectly understandable to be unsure, I know I was at first. Maybe try what I did at the beginning with just one thing. I started with using liquid foundation like what @Janidescribes. It is easy to apply and can have a pretty dramatic effect, and I favored it because it seemed to help make my 5 o'clock shadow less noticeable. The toughest part is finding a good match to your complexion which is best done in person if you are comfortable. Stores like Ulta and Sephora or even Macy's can be friendly places to do this if you have one near you. I hope this helps! ❤️




Link to comment

My best move was actually going to Ulta and asking a nice sales girl half my age for advice on what at the time was a necessity- foundation- and getting the right color (before I started hair removal), and a starter set of brushes, sponges, lipstick, eyeliner.

I mean to make it a habit now just to browse and be a familiar face.

The biggest thing is learning your eye makeup and what works for your particular eye shape. I tend to use as less as I can, so light foundation, eyeliner and some shadow below my brow, lipstick and done. 

Link to comment
  • 2 weeks later...

Beginners guide to Nails:


Step 1:  Read the instructions on the bottle.  Seriously, read the ******* instructions.  I didn't until my fourth attempt.


Step 2:  Cover the entire carpet with painting sheets.  Unless of course the want varnish all over the floor


Step 3: Wear a tabard/apron or something or you'll ruin a perfectly good blouse.  I only bought it 3 days ago, I loved it.  Even Vanish won't get it out.


Step 4:  Ask someone else to do your nails for you.  


Link to comment

Best thing I did was to get my hairdresser who is a makeup artist to do my makeup for the first time I was going out to band gig at a local hotel. I took mental notes on everything she did to make me presentable.

Noone recognised me so she must have done a good job, so at first I copied what she had done. It took over an hour my first time (more like 2 and half).


Practice, practice, practice. Watch Youtube videos for your skin and age type. There are even some transgender ones that can help with the dreaded beard shadow (red tint under makeup helps hide mine until I finish electrolysis).

I can now do an okay makeup for general going out and better one for GOING out.

Yesterday I got a lash tint and lift, no need for daily mascara (supposed to last 4 to 6 weeks if I look after them).


Nails, sigh. My work meant I can only have on at weekends and even then working around the property means they get trashed so quickly. Patience and good lighting are my tips if you want to get it okay looking.There are some good 60 second drying types that are okay. They still take 5 to 10 minutes to harder properly so beware.


On that note I'll finish up.




Link to comment
  • 2 weeks later...

Makeup is a religion for me because I find it is amazingly transformative.  However, it is still extremely important to be realistic.  Quite frankly, even the best makeup job isn't going to turn Dwayne the Rock Johnson into Arianna Grande.  That said, makeup can produce amazing results.


A couple of beginner tips:

  1. no facial hair - makeup won't look good over even a hint of stubble
  2. be certain to prepare the face properly - cleansed, toned, moisturized and primed
  3. eliminate beard shadow as best you can
  4. use foundation to create a flawless canvas (an even skin tone that matches your real complexion)- then focus on contouring, blushes and eye color
  5. practice, practice, practice and then practice some more
Link to comment

I still have a lot to learn and I’ve made some mistakes, but practice does help. Makeup can be intimidating. Just looking at the selection in the local grocery store can be overwhelming. Eyes are a great place to start since eye shadow and mascara are easy to get the hang of. Eyeliner is another story……,oi vey! I tend to keep things simple though I spend at least 30 minutes every morning in my face and hair.

Link to comment

This is definitely a personal topic for me.  Being “new” at this I’m pretty much a clueless wonder when it comes to makeup.  I attribute it to that whole growing up thing pretending to be a guy but from choosing what works to how to hide/cover this awful facial hair to then applying it so it looks decent (and I don’t end up looking like a clown) is over whelming to say the least. I’ve been told videos and practice..practice..and more practice is the key and it’s a skill I can learn.  

Link to comment

I would personally start with lipstick since I consider it beginner level. Picking out the best color that matches with your face. Sometimes it's a color that blends in, sometimes it's a color that stands out.

Link to comment
  • 4 months later...

Is it me or does makeup for gingers have its own set of rules?   I am so lost and overwhelmed with the whole makeup thing. 

Link to comment
  • Forum Moderator
16 hours ago, Ticket For Epic said:

Is it me or does makeup for gingers have its own set of rules?   I am so lost and overwhelmed with the whole makeup thing. 


Whelp, I'm "can use white-out as concealer" pale, so I think I feel what you're saying. On my skin, a little bit goes a long way. I usually just do some eyeliner, MAYBE some eye-shadow, lipstick and then call it quits.


As a ginger, if you're freckled... you've got two choices: Either do what I do, or run concealer over everything to cover them up. Personally, I adore freckles but you have to do what feels right for you.



Link to comment

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Who's Online   8 Members, 0 Anonymous, 71 Guests (See full list)

    • Ivy
    • JennieDraegon
    • Abigail Eleanor
    • Lydia_R
    • Lindasweden
    • KathyLauren
    • Kylie
    • rachel w
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Forum Statistics

    • Total Topics
    • Total Posts
  • Member Statistics

    • Total Members
    • Most Online

    Newest Member
  • Today's Birthdays

    1. FluffyDiscoLayce
      (31 years old)
    2. Gyryh
    3. Jubilee
      (19 years old)
    4. Rabbit
    5. SandraG
  • Posts

    • VickySGV
      Welcome @JennieDraegonthis is one place where we DO BELIEVE you and YES there are a whole bunch of combination of the "nominal" sex hormones, surprise, but it it not the Y chromosome by it self that sets off male genital development, it is a smaller entity known as the SRy gene that should get the credit or blame.  You have many siblings in the XXY family who are Trans and have had your history.  Welcome to a place we try to keep for you and others.  Intersex is very real, and Klinefelters is not discussed enough where it should be.  
    • JennieDraegon
      I know where I fit in the Multi-verse, but in the paganistic belief system, that is another question. I follow Norse, Visa-Goth, Egyptian. As well as both Fey courts, Draconic and Demonic realms. Let's say that I am a well rounded individual. I really don't wish to explain what I can't explain at this point in time. Think of this. I am a Triad. Male-Female-Both. Where the Female side is the strongest. Am both Creator and Destroyer.
    • JennieDraegon
      Hello A/all. I was diagnosed when I was 16yrs young with Klienfelter's Syndrome. Funny how 'we' found out. I had a physical in high school where the doctor noticed that I was under developed down below. (trying to keep it clean). was then referred to my family doctor who then referred me to a specialist. This was back in the mid 80's. Long story short I was put on testosterone therapy. It was a pain in the butt (no pun intended). I was also asked if I wanted to have my mammory glands removed. I remember telling the Doctor that I wanted to wait see what the future had to say. At the time I had no idea there where transgenders in the world. I didn't start having puberty until I was around 18 or 19. Many years later I met someone who opened my eyes to who I might truly be. I stopped taking testosterone and started estrogen. No blockers needed. My body doesn't produce enough "t". I started transitioning in 2016.  I was living a lie for too long, and it has made my life very complicated. So now I am a mostly female individual.    On a different note...For those who say there are only 2 sexes/genders, here is the true science. Explain XXY. Not a fad, nor chosen, but a reality.
    • Abigail Eleanor
      I had a similar experience with a voice coach; she tried real hard to get me to discern two voice components...namely buzz and vocal weight. Try as I might, I just couldn't hear the differences in the example tracks she played for me. Maybe it's my marginal hearing 👂   Anyway I'm interested in a way to practice,  is there a group doing this? !
    • Ivy
      Apparently the Proud Boys were instrumental in getting an event cancelled in Ohio yesterday.   https://www.dispatch.com/story/news/local/2022/12/03/royal-oak-school-drag-storytime-canceled-proud-boys-protest-columbus/69691753007/   Guess there's a trend here now.
    • Ivy
      I certainly am not implying that this was a Christianly motivated incident.  In fact I believe the majority of Christians would condemn it.   I also think that the people being questioned have "plausible deniability" even if they know about it.  I do think it is worth noting that there was a recent incident in this same part of the state, with armed men protesting a "Drag Brunch". Of course the perpetrators would have to actually be caught, and convicted which I'm not so optimistic about.  It seems to have been well coordinated, so it was apparently not a "lone wolf" thing.   I live in a fairly red county in NC myself.  (The dems sometimes don't even bother to field candidates)  I have been pretty open about my life.  To get my name changed recently, I had to post it all at the courthouse publicly. When I was in Wallyworld this morning a guy gave me the hairy eyeball.  I just brushed it off, but then when I got home I saw this stuff.  Now I'm beginning to wonder…
    • Marcie Jensen
      This is from the second article: "Last night, unknown individuals vandalized at least two substations in Moore County with criminal intent. Motive for this crime remains unknown.   From this, it appears that the local authorities have no idea as to who did this or why, despite interviewing a local conservative, and apparently an evangelical Christian, activist. Ms. Caraballo's conclusions are simply a matter of ill considered opinion not supported by fact. Presently, there is no evidence connecting "fascists" to this act (although I suspect othe4rwise). Nor is this an example of "terrorism." Rather, it is a criminal act of the basest sort.   Additionally, as a practicing Presbyterian (someday I may get it right) minister, I can state categorically that most denominations including the Episcopalians, Lutherans, Nazarenes, Methodists etc., do NOT condone this sort of hateful stuff. It's antithetical to everything Christ taught. It's too easy to condemn an entire faith for the actions of a few; this includes Muslims, Jews, Buddhists, Hindus and countless others. Perhaps it's time to let the investigation run its course before we start rushing to judgment.   And for the record--God, by whatever name or faith--doesn't provide gunmen to shoot power stations or anything else. Especially in Christianity. Let us remember that one of Jesus' titles is "Prince of Peace."
    • VickySGV
      Sooo-- a deity is now providing gun men to shoot out power installations on demand??  I would like to hear what happens when that is used as a defense in court.  Actually it has been used before to no benefit of the accused person.   NOTE, I am a practicing Episcopalian Church member.
    • Ivy
      https://www.thedailybeast.com/power-outage-in-moore-county-north-carolina-caused-by-vandalism   “I told them that God works in mysterious ways and is responsible for the outage. I used the opportunity to tell them about the immoral drag show and the blasphemies screamed by its supporters. I told them God is chastising Moore County, thanked them for coming and wished them a good night. Thankful for the LEOs service, as always.”   Two hours earlier, Rainey had posted the message: “The power is out in Moore County and I know why.” And around the same time, she posted a picture of the Sunrise Theater, which was putting on the sold-out drag show, with the caption “God will not be mocked.”     Some other reports don't mention the Drag Show. https://www.fayobserver.com/story/news/crime/2022/12/04/moore-county-power-outage-investigated-as-vandalism/69699328007/   Twitter thread on it.  
    • Trans22
      That's pretty much how I am running with HRT changes too.  I am loving myself & life for the first time since the onset of puberty, so acceptance and positivity (present and future) is really easy for me.
    • Sally Stone
      Raquel, as Jackie says, it depends on what specifically you are looking for.  However, a first meet doesn't necessarily mean the encounter has to be one-on-one.  If your aim is to look for acceptance, that can be achieved easily by interacting with other people in a public setting.  My favorite activity is shopping, followed closely by dining out and both of these afford me the opportunity to meet others without the pressure or potential danger of a one-on-one encounter with someone you have never met before.     Just last weekend I was shopping in a department store when a woman walked up to me to compliment me on the boots I was wearing.  She was a complete stranger, but her compliment opened the door to a much more intimate and extended conversation.  Interactions like this one have always helped to validate my feminine expression.     If you go this way, my best recommendation is to be proactive by reaching out to others instead of waiting for someone to approach you.  Based on my experience the social butterfly tends to garner the most interaction.    
    • Davie
      Ho, Ho, Ho! Holiday lights are back. Amy Winehouse Full Concert - Live At Glastonbury Festival 2008   
    • Carolyn Marie
      Yes, they are!  Thanks, PJ!   Carolyn Marie
    • VickySGV
      There was a Medical paper presented at the 2011 WPATH conference where the WPATH Standards Of Care V. 7 was ratified. (I was there) The paper by Walter Bockter MD relied on prior studies and his team's research regarding the age at which children discover their principal and gender identities both Cis and Trans.  A Cis child knows their identity by then as well.  A child will recognize their own face at two years old, and absolutely recognize faces of close  family members just a little after that.  The ages are younger than most people give them credit for.   At 74 years old I often have a helluva time making up my mind on what I want for breakfast and family arguments from raising 3 (now almost 50 year old) children puts the breakfast thing into another category.  😁
    • Charlize
      I feel for any who find medical treatment denied.  In many cases as post orchiectomy some hormone therapy is critical for life as hormones of either type are critical for the body to function.   Hugs,   Charlize
  • Upcoming Events

Contact TransPulse

TransPulse can be contacted in the following ways:

Email: Click Here.

To report an error on this page.


Your use of this site is subject to the following rules and policies, whether you have read them or not.

Terms of Use
Privacy Policy
DMCA Policy
Community Rules


Upstream hosting for TransPulse provided by QnEZ.


Special consideration for TransPulse is kindly provided by The Breast Form Store.
  • Create New...