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Old Dog - New Tricks

Sally Stone

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I am always looking for opportunities to improve my use of makeup, so I am continuously on the lookout for new techniques or a technique I haven’t tried yet.  Over the years, I have learned that many of the makeup hacks that work well for cis women, aren’t quite so effective for me.  I have also been disappointed by many of the techniques offered for trans women.  Ultimately, finding techniques that work for me individually, is hard work and involves lots of trial and error.  In fact, most of the time, a technique that works well for me is one cobbled together from a combination of hacks from both cis and trans women.


Lately, I have decided I am not happy with my long-standing method for camouflaging beard shadow.  The common solution to this problem is to use a correction type concealer that neutralizes the blue undertones created by whiskers under the skin.  For a long time, I have used an orange concealer to neutralize my beard shadow and the standing technique is to use the correcting concealer underneath foundation.


While the orange concealer does neutralize the blue under my skin there is a tradeoff, that is, now I have to apply an excessive amount of foundation to cover up the unnatural orange undertone created by the correction concealer.  This results in foundation that is way too heavy and isn’t very natural looking.  If I go light on the foundation, then the orange undertone isn’t covered properly – what is a girl to do?


Well, you go back to experimenting, which is exactly what I did.  Instead of continuing to use the trans hack, I thought about the cis method of using concealer.  Instead of using concealer underneath foundation, the cis method, which is also the prevailing method, recommends applying concealer over top of foundation.


Obviously, you can’t apply a correction concealer over top or you’ll end up with areas of the face exactly the same color as the concealer.  Since I would use orange to correct the blue, I’d end up looking like an Oompa Loompa.  To use concealer on top of foundation on an area of the face you don't want to alter the color of, it is important to select a concealer that matches the shade of your foundation.  And, if you aren’t going to neutralize the blue undertones of beard shadow, it is imperative you find a highly pigmented concealer that adequately covers beard shadow but also blends well.


So, I went on a search for a high-powered concealer that matched the shade of my foundation.  That was hard, really hard, but I did find one.  I use L’Oreal Infallible Total Cover, shade 308 as a foundation.  It’s called “Sun Beige” which when trying to compare shades isn’t very helpful.  Even L’Oreal’s concealers don’t use shade descriptions that make it easy to match their own foundation, so I resorted to a personal search to find a concealer, any brand, that matched the L’Oreal foundation.


Honestly, it was stroke of good luck that I found a concealer from the makeup brand “Benefit.”  It is called “Industrial Strength” concealer and their shade #3, medium, turned out to be a near perfect match for my preferred brand of foundation.


Now, I could do the rest of my face with foundation and then cover my beard shadow with concealer and and since the two products were nearly an identical shade, all I needed to do was to blend them extremely well.  This was the breakthrough I needed.  No longer did need to put a lot foundation over the orange corrector and since this new concealer was super-pigmented, I could use it sparingly, which resulted in intense, extremely effective coverage without piling on a lot of makeup. 


Using a high-quality foundation brush, I feathered the concealer into the foundation creating a uniform all-over shade that completely covered my beard shadow but at the same time didn’t result a heavy, cakey face.  After blending foundation and concealer, I did my normal contouring and then set my makeup.


Clearly, this new beard cover technique turned out to be a very effective combination of techniques that I would never have stumbled upon without resorting to a lot of research and a lot more personal experimentation.  It only goes to show that makeup techniques are supremely personal.  While you can learn a lot from what you read or what you watch on the internet, experimenting with individual or combination techniques really is the only way to find what works best for each of us.  It goes without saying, that you must always be willing to try something new. 


Who says an old dog can’t learn new tricks!

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I agree that concealer is hard to conceal. I don’t have to use it much now. I was using a Nyx concealer pallet that had multiple shades but I rarely go fancy on my makeup.

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