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How to Make a Marlénè Manners

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(Note: I already posted these in the "Post Current Pictures of You" thread, but I wanted to put them in my blog as well so the series doesn't get lost in the shuffle; and while I'm at it, I can expand the text).

I did a show tonight (Royal Grand Ducal Council's Annual Winter Extravaganza, at the Bench & Bar in Oakland), and had the brilliant idea of photographing my progress as I got into face. The series came out fairly well, so I thought I'd share it with you!

Step One: start with a clean, well-moisturized, close-shaved face. I recommend MAC shaving cream for the best shave... that stuff can't be beat. I also used Preparation H on my face earlier in the day, it tightens everything up nicely.

Step Two: I like to lay down a good matte foundation, a blank canvas as it were; I used Max Factor Pan-Stik (Fair/Pale) and l'Oreal mineral loose powder (Translucent), though since Max Factor has stopped making the Fair color, I think I might have to go back to Dermablend (which costs a LOT more but comes in a zillion colors).

Step Three: I tried something new with my eyeshadow, going for a smokey look that I hoped would distract from my wrinkles; I don't know what brands I was using, but they're loose powders and very good quality; I put the darkest brown in the crease of my lids, with a lighter rosy brown on the lids and under the eye, and a shimmering taupe under the brow.

Step Four: I like a blackest black liquid pen eyeliner for the upper line, I'm using Almay because I'm wearing contacts but ordinarily I don't care about the brand; the lower line and the eyebrow is brown/black pencil (the cheap kind...eye and lip pencils are not worth spending money on); I used Maybelline (I think) for the mascara, it's one of those two-coat types that really thicken the lash. I always put a little dot of liquid eyeliner on the apple of my right cheek, a little trademark I've been doing for years... the first time was to camouflage a zit, but it really balances my face so I adopted it permanently.

Step Five: contouring is one of the most important steps in feminizing a face; I use a brownish-rose blusher for this, outlining my face, outlining the bridge of the nose, diminishing my jawbone and browbone, and adding a false shadow under the lip. The lipliner is a pencil, also the cheapest brand from the drugstore, I swear the expensive pencils fall apart immediately, I've never got more than one use out of them.

Step Six: the frame of the hair makes such a difference to the face, I like to put my wig on before I finish my makeup to see if I need to make any alterations or additions before I finish up.

Step Seven: a fresh coat of pressed powder and a coat of lipstick finish the face; the clothes (black ballet tights, black boots, strapless longline bra, beaded corset, brown silk suit with fox collar and cuffs) and jewelry are my favorite part of drag, what I got involved in it for in the first place. I can't quite explain the oddly dissipated expression I'm wearing in this picture, it makes me look drunk. I got a lot of compliments on that pendant, it's actually a snowflake Christmas ornament that I got at Pottery Barn!

The finished product. I felt so pretty in this outfit, and it was really quite comfortable. The boots got on my nerves after a while, as did the underwires in the bra, but it was very slimming without being terribly constrictive.