Makeup, Makeovers & Mary Kay Ash

| Apr 25, 2016
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I love makeup. I love the transformative action of a few swipes of this, a dab or two of that, a little brush here and a little brush there and then set it all with a huge fluffy brush dipped generously into a cup of powder. Bliss! I also have to admit, now that I’m well into my sixties, I need it more and more. It became very apparent when the special lady in my life began to blanch in the mornings when I walked out for my morning cup of coffee. As my dear aunt, Naoma used to say, “It takes a lot of paint to make the old barn look good.”

A little goes a long way

Go easy with it. I fear the pasty look of the heavy hand, so I struggle to be easy on the color. No sense looking like I just escaped from the casket. Even on Saturday mornings when I’m roaming the aisles of Home Depot or the farmers’ market, I have a bit of color on my lips and a touch of base and a dusting of powder to banish the shine, just because I’m worth it. I remember growing up and watching with envy my beautiful mother pull a compact from her purse, dab her already-perfect nose twice and then apply a little touch up of the lipstick. She was a stunner!


Early on, I had a makeover. I learned a lot, had my first real look at the person I was to become and it gave my self-worth a major shot in the arm. At the time it seemed a large sum, but now a days, it was damn reasonable. The best part was being with someone who wanted to help, who shared lots of tips and anecdotes (without ever mentioning another client’s name) and lots and lots of encouragement. My best advice is to find someone by word-of-mouth. If a friend, acquaintance or a ListServ has a recommendation, that’s a great place to start in finding someone who will make it a wonderful experience.’

Cosmetic Counters

Another option is the cosmetic counter at your favorite big box store. On the weekends, there seems to be a constant supply of customers waiting to sit in the chair where the makeup person will supply you with a nice face, help you find the right shade of foundation all the while encouraging you to buy a big pink bag of cosmetics. If you’re comfortable sitting in the main aisle of Macy’s while some young (and skinny) girl makes you up, be my guest. Be ready for the sales pitch.

mary_kayWho loves ya? Mary Kay does

Ah, the friendly, neighborhood makeup lady. Who among us remembers the “Ding, dong, Avon calling” commercials? My favorite is the Mary Kay representative and her pink Cadillac. If you’re just beginning your journey, find an agreeable independent cosmetic dealer, ask her if she works with Trans* people and have your own private makeover. This is a great opportunity for a one-on-one consultation. Another option, and my personal favorite, get a small group of friends, load up on wine, yummy snacks and munchies and have a makeup and makeover party. Before long everyone is in a ‘very good’ mood, the makeup maven is having fun too, and she walks away with a pretty good order. It’s a win-win for everyone.

Never forget what Fernando always says . . .


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Category: Makeup, Transgender How To


About the Author ()

I am Cate, a mature transgender woman. I am a writer, blogger, parent, grandparent, sailor, activist and happy. I am a widow, and live with my yorkiepoo, Belle. I love music, reading, cooking, outdoors, DIY, theater, antiquing and flea markets, home brewing, and seeing what is around the bend in the road or over the horizon. I own the website. It is an outreach, support and resource for mature trans* people and especially for those who, like me, came out after fifty.

Comments (2)

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  1. CateOMalley CateOMalley says:

    Hello Carla,

    I grew up watching my mom interact and teach my sisters the art of dressing and makeup. Being observant helped, but, oh how I envied them. Now, like you, a dab of this and a dash of that, make sure the outfit is presentable and out we go. Thank you for reading and sending such a nice reply. I love hearing from friends, old and new.



  2. carlaroberts carlaroberts says:

    I love this article. It brings to mind so many memories and experiences, I think we’ve all shared, on our journey to being who we are today. What used to require hours of trial and error, to look presentable, are may have faded into a distant memory. Makeup now goes on in a quick splash of color here and there, while more thought is put into things like choosing a top or if I want to take time to change purses. Conversations with other women, (DFAB) reveal an advantage (or maybe not) that they may have had the assistance and support of Mom, or an older sister, whether it came in the in the form of a gentle critique, or “You are not leaving this house looking like that”
    I learned through secretive forays in to someone else’s makeup, but eventually having the freedom to try all the different things I wanted either in private or with th help of someone
    supportive. Although my face goes on much more quickly these days, I still feel happy to glance in the mirror and see what good “Just a little paint on the barn can do”

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