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She’s Got Bette Davis Eyes

| Aug 29, 2011
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Wouldn’t you much prefer Joan Crawford eyes? Who wants Bette Davis’ eyes? I suppose I’m misinterpreting as usual, but when I think about Bette Davis eyes I think about her eyeliner and shadow. Which you must admit Joan had her beat if you like that kind of makeup. A lot of us seem to enjoy piling on the makeup, especially around the eyes!

Joan Crawford in Trog

Gentle readers, I must admit when it comes to eye makeup you really should take me with a grain of salt. I’ll give you a fair balanced assessment but my role models are Elvira, Divine and as previously mentioned, Ms Crawford. And not early years Joan, oh no my friends, end-of-her-career Joan where she’s being chased by a man in an ape costume.

It’s completely true that if you want to bring out your femininity and “pass” as a female in today’s world then less is more. You hear it all the time with everything ad nauseam. If you’ve taken a moment to get to know me, The Artist D, you’ll find I do not subscribe to that less is more business. However, if you want to pass as a normal person in their normal world then you’ll certainly wear what the normal people wear. If you want to be a sheep then you throw on some wool. Normal people wear limited amounts of colors and do not make bold statements painted across their face.

Goddess Minogue

Let’s get one thing straight, you are not advertising the fact that you are a genetic male in woman’s clothing just because you’ve got the equivalent of butterfly wings around your eyes! This is a ridiculous old wives tale of trans folklore. That being minimal makeup will make you more of a woman. No, absolutely not true. More makeup will make you the same woman that you are. More makeup just makes you more noticeable and at times the center of attention. I advise you to use less startling makeup if you wish to not draw attention to yourself, which may lead to drawing attention to the fact you may be a different gender. I’ve witnessed a lot and thus far it’s not the makeup that outs someone. If the makeup was a factor it was only the beacon to everything else you may be doing “wrong.”

Normal modern day society picks a few colors to put on women’s faces and those are the colors they use for the rest of their lives. Not a problem! It certainly doesn’t mix things up, but whatever floats your boat. I’m an artist. I actually paint pictures as one of my many means of expression. That being said it should be obvious why I can’t keep the colors on my face the same and “color within the lines.”

Oh Ms Davis, those eyes!

If you’re looking for that classic Bette Davis look that will fool everyone and have you glamorously flying under the radar then pick your palette. You need nothing more than two darker shades for the lids, a similarly matching eyeliner and some mascara. Be careful what you shade the brow bone with if you shade it at all. I recommend you do not shade it if you’re going for the classic look.  Start at the inner corner of the eye with the lighter of the two dark shades and work your way outward. Switching to the darker shade for the rest of the lid and outward as far as you wish to take it. There are tons of tips and tricks on how to shade and what to do. Look them all up, but I suggest you play until your face is content. Makeup is one thing that will only get better with practice. When I started wearing makeup I looked like Eddie Izzard. It only took me a short while to find out how to do it right. It was less what I was told and more pure experimentation. Go to the dollar bin and just buy all colors that appeal. You don’t have to get the “good makeup” until you settle on what you really want to look like.

On the other hand of what you’re painting your lids with you may find that lighter colors on the lids are very difficult. Perhaps one of the few factors where we’re all hiding behind our paint. Straying towards the pastel colors quickly equals tragedy for many. It takes a very special person to spotlight pastel colors since light colors wash out the face. Like anything we are shaping our faces with shading and if you take away that shading it sucks out all the mystery.

The Artist D with Joan Crawford Smirk & Highlighted Brow Bone

Now if you want to be bold then I suggest you play with that brow bone and those beautiful lashes! The brow bone is the space between the lid and the eyebrow. This could take you from woman to drag queen in 2.5 seconds. Be careful! Buyer beware! Red alert! Danger Will Robinson! The template for my face is dark lids, dark liner, white brow bone. This gives a subtle pop. If I were to color the brow bone with an actual color or even more darkness then I’m treading into a realm I may not want to go. On the other hand fake eyelashes are nothing but fabulous if you ask me. Some people find them tacky. Very tacky. It’s a matter of perception.

Speaking of good makeup everyone wants to know what brand to buy. You’ll hear plenty of praises sung about MAC. This is indeed a good brand of makeup which will give you a solid colorful quality paint job. But we all know that most of us can’t afford it! Yours truly uses whatever is around when it comes to eye shadow. Believe it or not but whatever sticks will be just fine. If you’ve got super blending skills and are using a multitude of shades then go with a quality brand. If you’re using one or two shades with a classic look then the quality is less important. For eyeliner I use Rimmel.

The Artist D in 2011

I am in love with Rimmel eyeliner ever since I bought it at Walmart when I was 14 years old (back when I was doing that Eddie Izzard shtick). It’s so soft! Some of those crummy eyeliner pencils (even the good ones) are hard and feel like I’m cutting away at my eyes. Rimmel gives a nice soft line and it’s just the right weight for me.

If you’re not afraid to be bold then go all out. Experiment constantly and find the bold look that suits you. It’s not going to hurt. It all washes off, after all. The amount of colors on your face and the boldness you present them is all a matter of preference. Again, the bolder you become the more spotlight you bring, but at some moments in time there is nothing wrong with a little attention. Remember genetic women wear bold crazy makeup too and so can you. If you like the Elvira look then find out how to do it in a way that works for you. If you like the Bette Davis look then do it. Don’t worry about what your friends say, it’s your face! The final word on your lids … putting a lid on your lids by The Artist D, a great bumper sticker.

PS: Don’t you dare shave off your eyebrows, but that’s another article …

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Category: Style, Transgender How To

The Artist D

About the Author ()

The Artist D is a true raconteur and provocateur! He has been performing online since the mid 1990s. A relic from the cam show age before MySpace was any space. Author of In Bed with Myself, an autobiographical tale of transgenderism and Internet celebrity. Executive Editor of Fourculture Magazine and host of The Artist D's Fabulous Show. Panelist and commentator on Fourthought, a weekly live stream.

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