Beautiful Lips

Ten things you can do to feel more feminine

by mattie on July 27, 2010

Over the last few years I’ve been exploring ways to express my feminine side, even though I have had to spend most of my time in ‘boy mode’. I’ve discovered there are a number of things that a transgender person can do to feel more feminine, without disrupting work or their social life (assuming one is in a situation where they must continue to present in ‘boy mode’). Here are the things I’ve learned along the way:

  • Develop a skin care routine: I had no idea how much of an improvement my skin would see when I started washing my face twice a day (once in the shower, and once before I go to bed). Then by following up with some facial lotion (my favorite is Goodstuff Organics Facial Moisturizer). Even by doing these two things I have greatly reduced any acne or facial blemishes. To take things to the next level, I will occasionally use a Retinol cream, which helps smooth out pores.
  • Wear Makeup: This might seem like a no-no, and certainly when I first started considering it I thought for sure people would notice. Most of my experience putting on makeup was very limited, and most of the time it was just at home where the goal was to cover my facial hair and appear as feminine as possible. Certainly if I was to wear makeup like this, people would notice, but what I discovered is that by applying a light layer of makeup that was matched to my skin tone that very few people noticed. The makeup just helped even out my skin tone and made me look healthier. I didn’t wear mascara or other makeup, just a very light layer of powder or foundation. The key is to start out extremely light, and then gradually get to a level that is comfortable for you. Add a little lip balm and you’ll have a much nicer, and slightly softer face.
  • Grow out your hair: With a little patience, and a skilled hair stylist, you can have a longer hairstyle that is neither too feminine nor too masculine. Longer hair can help frame your face, and when in ‘girl mode’ you can make it look more feminine. Assuming your work allows longer hair, it can be a great way to change your look and allow for a more versatile range of expression. I highly recommend it!
  • Get a hat: Covering your face from sun damage is one of the best things you can do to keep your face looking healthy and younger. Even if you don’t wear makeup at work, when you do decide to put on makeup it will take to your skin much better if your skin is healthy. Sun damages the skin, and your face and ears are some of the most sensitive areas for sun damage. When I’m going to be out in the sun for a while, I wear a hat, and keep my skin healthy. I wear one like this or this.
  • Take care of your nails: I have started letting my nails grow just a little longer and have started trying to keep them in good shape. When I’m just staying around the house, or spending the day in ‘girl mode’ at home I will paint my nails – and I love it. But when I’m out and about I’ll usually take the nail polish off and just have nice looking natural nails. Longer nails are only a problem if they aren’t cared for, if dirt gets under the nail and isn’t cleaned, or if the nails aren’t shaped nicely. You can let them grow just a little longer than you normally would, and can make them a lot nicer for when you are in ‘girl mode’. Some transgender individuals will wear clear nail polish even when they are out at work. I’ve worn a neutral color out and about before and not gotten strange looks.
  • Shave/Epilate: For me this is one of the most important things that helps me feel better. Just keeping my body hair to a more manageable level. For a long time I just shaved my legs, but eventually I made the switch to a Braun epilator. The first couple times you use an epilator it really hurts, so I just did a little each day for a week or 10 days or so. The thing is, once you get finished removing all the hairs the first time, the pain drops off a lot for future sessions. The huge advantage to epilating is that the hair doesn’t grow back for at least a week. I now epilate my legs, chest, and under arms. No matter how you choose to remove body hair, I’ve found that it really improves how I feel. Unless you have an excessive amount of body hair, you may want to consider doing this regularly.
  • Shape your eyebrows: I’ve done this for the last couple years. When you do it for the first few times you have to be very careful, read some online tutorials about how to do this and then be very conservative in which hairs you remove. Take your time because once plucked your brows take a while to grow back and you can look like a real freak. But if you do it correctly, it can really help clean up and soften your look a little. The goal is to find a shape that works for your face, and that doesn’t look overly drastic. I’ve never had anyone comment about my eyebrows, but I can tell my face looks and feels better.
  • Discover lotion: Putting lotion on your legs, arms, neck, chest, and other dry areas can really help you feel better. I usually will apply lotion a few times a week right before I go to bed. When I wake up this leaves my skin feeling soft and beautiful. If you are shaving or epilating applying lotion a few times a week will really improve your skin quality.
  • See a doctor about taking finasteride or dutasteride: I started taking Avodart (dutasteride) and it lowered my libido slightly, helped reduce some body hair, and halted hair loss on my scalp. There are side affects to these drugs (such as sterility in some), but for me it did make a difference (only after taking it for more than 6 months.) If the risks are acceptable to you and/or your partner, this is one way to slow down the affects of testosterone on your body as you age. I prefer Avodart (dutasteride), but I can only afford it by getting my doctor to send my prescription to Canada and get it filled there. Explore your options if this interests you. Do not take herbs for feminization!
  • Accept and embrace who you are: One of the single biggest things you can do is to stop running away from who you are; stop trying to hide your true self behind a wall of fake gender expression. For years I harbored negative feelings towards gay and transgender people – all because I couldn’t accept who I was. I’m not saying that one needs to immediately go from closeted to openly transgender (I am not fully out yet), but I’ve experienced a huge boost in my quality of life since accepting who I am, and accepting others for who they are. No longer am I going to pretend to go along with hate speech against gays and transgender individuals – hiding behind discrimination not only hurts others, but hurts me too. I don’t get into shouting matches with people, but when I hear something that is hurtful I’ll let people know, “hey, I don’t feel that way.” The earth is made stronger through diversity – it’s important to embrace this, it will drastically improve your quality of life.

This is just a starting list of a few things I’ve been able to do to help myself feel more feminine while still living my life in boy mode most of the time. I’d love to hear your ideas about things you’ve discovered that can help you express yourself, and yet not disrupt your life (assuming it would be a disruption for you). Please share!

Image Credit: snowkei

{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

Stacy July 28, 2010 at 3:05 am

I can totally go with the epilation and lotion! The only issue I have is to find a way to stop the ingrowing hairs it can cause!

And the most important is the last I think. I have started to speak up when someone says something I don’t agree with, and it does make you feel better, where as not saying anything made me want to go and hide afterwards.

I think you have a great list here, not sure what there is to add :)

Stace

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Stef September 28, 2011 at 8:19 pm

Hi Stace,

I started epilation recently. I’ve read of a few different solutions, but the one that works well for me is… well… 240 grit sand paper rubbed lightly across the skin (not enough to burn, just enough to exfoliate). It’s a nice boy solution for my girl side! ;)

Gina K October 4, 2010 at 9:15 pm

Hi Mattie, just a quick note to let you know I’m enjoying the blog. As far as writing for crossdressers, I love the tone and look of the site. very nice!

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Joanne Edwards December 18, 2010 at 10:18 pm

Hi,

First, I’d just like to comment on this site. I am so glad that I found it. This is a gentle place for intelligent people to come for thought through opinions and help – thank you so much.

Like you I am heterosexual, not fully transitioned, but heading that way and I love your list of 10 things you can do to feel more feminine. I use 2 or 3 of them frequently and will try the rest ASAP.

I also think the list is good, because it concentrates on things that we can do for ourselves to please ourselves, not to comply to some stereotype.

If I may make a suggestion that others may find helpful please?

I have been using feminization self hypnosis recently (I use the Richard Mackenzie programme). Personally, this is most helpful in adjusting to whom I really am and overcoming the masculine mould that I’ve forced myself into for years. I frequently pick my granddaughter from school (you only get old on the outside) and I find myself being one of the school gate Mums, accepted in that forum and totally loving it. Hypnosis has I think helped me to get my head ready for that space.

I hope that’s a help to someone.

Joanne (in the UK)

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danielle April 29, 2011 at 6:24 am

I agree with the 10 feminisation points as I do the majority already. I already express a female personality naturally but I haven’t tried hypnosis or epiltion… how does that work?

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Sussie Pettit May 18, 2011 at 1:43 pm

Its hard to look and feal more feminine when you have kids and you dont wont to have them made fun of because of me.

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Stef September 28, 2011 at 8:20 pm

I love the article! Thanks for the tips!

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anaym October 26, 2011 at 11:16 pm

Hair removal is prime. I have found that I really like the smooth skin on my legs and underarms, and elsewhere. Shaving now, am thinking of more permanent solutions. Facial hair will have to be figured out later.
The nail technician that does my pedicure tells me I have nice feet, I think they look better than my wife’s!

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Becki December 7, 2011 at 9:37 am

Great tips. I already do the moisturizer and eyebrow routine, but will try the others. BTW, I love your site.
Becki

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maggie December 9, 2011 at 12:57 pm

Remarkable you hit the nail on the head I loved the thought and common sense it entailed. It is amazing how taking a few simply steps can change your outlook on life.

For me the hardest step was accepting how I felt and embracing my femininity. This made the biggest impact on my life and thankfully I had an excellent psychologist who specialized in gender therapy that helped me through the process. It was only once that I accepted it that I was able to began to discard the extra baggage that it brought to my life such as shame and guilt.

I also loved your comments on hair and nail. Personally I prefer waxing for hair removal but in the past I have also used razors and epilators. The important thing is no matter how I get there is how clean and feminine a hairless body makes me feel. As an added bonus the beautician who waxes me also shapes my brows. I also love to get professional manicures and pedicures and thought I wear clear polish on my fingers I always ask for color on my toes. The only comments I have ever had were from other ladies at the salon and they have all been supportive and positive. I did try acrylics at one time for a couple of weeks during winter break but they are impossible to hide and I found myself wearing a lot of gloves.

As for makeup I agree girls take it slow. I go to the mall and have my foundation matched to my skin and wear it lightly. I work in an office with mostly women and while I’m sure that a lot of them have probably noticed no one as of yet has made an issue of it. I do occasionally wear a bit of lip balm but nothing over the top. I don’t know why but wearing makeup just makes me feel a bit more open.

And finally by all means moisturize and use lotions. I buy my moisturizer, hand cream and some of my makeup from my neighbor who is an Avon representative. I also moisturize twice a day and love how it makes me feel but I also love hand lotion. Just rubbing it on your hands and up and down your fingers one by one can be so sensuous.

Thank you for your article.

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Shawna January 19, 2012 at 11:30 pm

Hi Mattie, great blog and it helps me so much! I am 54 years old M-F and probably won’t transition because of the health risks associated in older folks transitioning. So I wanted to find things to make me feel feminine, and found your blog. Thanks! For everyone, think about laser hair removal. I am almost finished and it helps a lot; you see and feel smooth every day. IF YOU ARE YOUNG AND WONDERING IF YOU SHOULD TRANSITION, THE ANSWER IS YES! DO NOT LET SOCIETY DICTATE WHO YOU ARE! YOU ARE MY HEROES!

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Leah February 13, 2012 at 8:04 pm

I am still coming to terms with being more feminine,I started dressing more effeminately about 8 years ago but got ridiculed for my efforts so decided to suppress my feelings, but as you all know this only leads to depression and a low feeling of self worth.I am now in the process of making myself more feminine once again as the feelings have become too strong to ignore. I feel so much better inside now I have accepted myself.I realise I will never become a full woman as I look too masculine but just feeling more effeminate as improved my life immensely. I have started to remove my body hair I tried the epilators but they hurt too much I use depilatory creams on my legs,chest but have strong stubble on my face. I use lots of moisturiser daily which helps to soften the skin.I like to wear slightly effeminate clothing i.e women’s style jeans with women’s style combat boots,I also wear opaque nylons underneath the denim, I don’t wear anything that will invite derision, just the fact that I know i’m wearing womens clothing brings such joy and it just makes me feel more feminine inside.
I do dress fully as a woman once or twice a week in the privacy of my home, I find foundation creams help greatly to hide the dark stubble.
I have been taking evening primrose oil and flax seed oil capsules as well as substituting certain foods with soya food products for the last 2 months I have had a very small amount of breast growth,I am very passive in manner and my nipples are now sensitive.
p.s love the blog

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Franny April 1, 2012 at 9:58 am

Hi ^_^ I loved the blog I found it very helpful just wished pills didn’t make you go sterile over time :’( cuase I woukd still love to have children someday when I’m married. But the tips were amazing thanks again ^_^

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Jonathan April 8, 2012 at 3:17 pm

I will certainly go with the Braun Epilater as you have recommended it and also the lotion but feel I need advise on which lotions I should use. How would you sugest I go about facial feminasation

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michale May 4, 2012 at 2:58 pm

i’m already doing all of your tips (great minds think alike? fools never differ?) – can add one, i wear a light perfume at work, small dose, if anyon e eveer asks (no one ever had) you can always say its aftershave or cologne ….
enjoyed your article tremendously

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Kimberly June 15, 2012 at 3:41 pm

Thanks for the hints, I am doing some of them now and want to do more (i.e. foundation, etc.). Hate the body hair but spouse would not understand and it is difficult with the kids. I constantly have the conversation with myself as to my feelings and desire, but have to continue my “boy-mode” and yes it creates depression and unhappiness. I tend to lean towards feminine mannerisms, and have found a hairstylist that cuts my hair in a more feminine style and does my eyebrows (which have more of a feminine look) which I have changed slowly so no one has made any comments. I have changed my cologne to something that has a more feminine scent without being overtly so. I tend to spend my time alone window shopping for clothes that I don’t buy, because it would be unacceptable. I have pierced ears and love dangly earrings. They are awesome.

I know what some of you are stating about the ridicule when dressing more effeminate. I tend to chose more feminine colors (pinks, fuschias, lavendars, and purples, etc.) that I like anyways and wear them with no issues.

I have felt the way I am since I was about 10 and have dressed out given the occaision and when I found sympathetic girlfriends or friends in the beauty industry. I even went to beauty school because of wanting to be feminine, but not gay.

Thanks for a great site here and I hope to be back as it is the most comfortable site I have found. Thanks again.

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Charlene October 9, 2012 at 5:40 am

I’ve been living as a woman for a little over a year now legally. People have been amazingly supportive, it was tough at first but with time most people with rare exceptions come to accept you for who you are. and if they don’t, are they people who really matter anyway? you have to ask yourself that and be honest with yourself.
My biggest thing to deal with is hair, on my face and body. I would like to afford permanent removal but like all things transgender you pay for it out of your own pocket. I haven’t tried epilation so I may have to give that a try.

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urmila May 12, 2013 at 7:34 am

I do some of the things to keep intouch with my feminine side, which helps me to feel more feminine
HAIR: I have very little body hair and I regularly remove them with hair removing lotions. I shape the eyebrows, bur not so much as to obvious.
I use Lip balm while I am in my regular male dress and very light layer of powder and shave my face twice in a day.
I shape my nails, but i keep it short and put on clear nail polish.
I almost always wear panties and camisole under my regular dress and when i wear jackets, i will have sports bra instead of camis.
Most of the days i will have silver anklets and toe rings, under my socks

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