Category Archives: Random Trans-Topic

“Snake Women,” Transwomen and Hate Crimes In Myth

As someone who’s always been fascinated by mythology and the archetypes that evolved from those timeless stories, I find it enthralling to see how many cultures have developed similar symbology regarding the same things. Though the symbology may have differed, based on the specific phobias and hang-ups of each distinct society, the same figures emerge time and time again. One such figure is the Snake Woman. Before I delve into this any further, allow me to divulge my original source of inspiration for this topic.

I had taken an Anthropology class called, “Magic, Myth and Religion,” when I first started college and my professor had mentioned something that really struck me. He told us that numerous cultures have “snake women” or “serpent-goddesses” in their folklore, which must be challenged and defeated by some virile, sweat-soaked (not at all homoerotic, *coughcough* yeah, right) champion typical of male-dominated societies at the time. He then went on to equate their serpentine parts with penises, which seems to make sense considering a woman with a penis (whether it be a figurative or literal one) might potentially pose a significant risk to the patriarchal status quo. Whenever a male-born person relinquishes the privilege bestowed upon them by a patriarchal socio-cultural system, they are shunned. They are denigrated for essentially denigrating themselves. And as this pans out across ancient cultures, the fear of the feminine bubbles up into self-righteous indignation and “The Outcast” becomes immortalized forever as “The Monster,” in myth and legend. In the case of female monsters, many are given male qualities, the most prevalent of which are aggression and outspoken natures, at least compared with the ideal of womanhood as concocted by the male.

We are then left with beings like Medusa, who fornicates in the temple of Wisdom and as punishment for asserting her sexual power is cursed, her crowning glory taken from her and replaced with a mane of unruly serpents and a petrifying gaze. Or the child-eating Queen Lamia, who is turned into a half-serpent and who according to Aristophanes, sprouts a phallus “for monstrosity’s sake.” Throughout the world we see Nagas, Shirabyoshi, primordial sea goddesses, and even the biblical Lilith becoming conflated with gender-variance and almost always they are then demonized in some way. The snake has always been a phallic symbol, and by extension a symbol of power. What better way to illustrate the adoption by a woman of a powerful role than to physically morph that woman into a half-woman, half-man? In this way, folk tales and myths were able to be understood by masses which were by and large, uneducated.

It’s funny how a lot of the cautionary tales against the Snake Woman in myth mirror the “trans panic defense” that’s so often used to murder young transwomen today without consequence. Demonizing us in the same way that these seemingly primitive-minded people used to; responding with “justified hatred” against any threats to their patriarchal societies and, by extension, their collective sense of manhood. If it’s a monster, it’s okay to kill it. And monsters are deceptive, in the same way transwomen who deceive men into thinking they’re natal females are. That’s the erroneous line of thinking anyway. However, isn’t a delusion that the human being in front of you is a demon just so it makes it okay in your mind to hurt them a form of self-deception too? That’s the problem…far too many people never question the myth and as a result, our roles have become perpetually engrained in black and white, to the extent that in modern-day China, Thai transfolk or Katoey are referred to as “renyao,” a term which, when analyzed, can mean both “enchanting” and “monstrous.” The sad reality is that in today’s world, too many victims of hate crimes are still held to be exactly that. Until we replace the myth with a new one – an empowering one, filled with heroes and heroines who confront transphobic ignorance wherever it sprouts we will remain, to many people, “enchanting monsters.”

“When The World Ends,” A Reflection On Hormonal Mood-Swings

It’s not often I use the blog to address my personal life, but as the year is nearly at an end, I’d like to take some time to reflect on just what this year has brought me. Lately, I have been very stressed out. No, not even stressed out…I would say “slightly derailed,” better describes how I’ve been feeling. For me, 2012 has been a year of sudden change and sustained effort, two things I typically despise. Between the 20-page research papers and hazards of my daily hour-long commute both ways, I’ve been thrust by providence or fate into the proverbial spotlight. Doing speeches, and panels and attending board meetings and functions and lots and lots of parties. I’ve met many people, some of whom I simply adore, and others I decidedly don’t. Handling these waves of new personalities is a challenge in and of itself as I’ve found it’s integral to alter your approach depending on who you’re dealing with and I think that’s something a lot of us fail to take into account. This world is full of people and people are like little machines you’re constantly having to punch codes in…the wrong codes lead to breakdowns, the right ones lead to updates. Not sure if that allegory even makes sense (it’s early!), but it is a demanding process that never seems to end.

In the midst of all that melee, it has been integral to do one thing: take care of myself. For my own personal self-care routine (and I’m assuming, for many of my readers as well), balanced hormones are fundamental and the only way to maintain them balanced is by taking them every day at a regular time and scheduling periodic blood tests with your physician. I haven’t been and finally it showed yesterday before a holiday party I attended. I was in my car, crying and had, in a manner of minutes fallen completely out of love with life and the people in my life. Almost systematically, I became disillusioned and livid all at once and when pressed for the reason, I had none to give. I felt a loss of control and an utter dearth of joy. It just spilled out of me and it was a mood-swing. One of the side-effects of estrogen therapy many of us fail to take into account because we don’t think it’s as “serious” as stroke or thrombosis. But I assure you, it is. I know because I was one of those people who scoffed at the “mood-swing thing” as being something I could easily handle. And I realize I must admit my fault in all this, too. In the frenetic chaos that my life has been this past year, there have been many times when I’ve gone to sleep after pulling an all-nighter at some ungodly hour and forgotten to take (or just been too lazy to take) my hormones. Thus, I’ve experienced spikes and lows and kept pushing them aside, brushing them off until the holidays rolled around and my seasonal sadness became the catalyst for a mood swing that left my nerves jangling when they should have been jingling.

The world can wait. It’s important that you and I know this. It won’t fall apart if we take the time to take care of ourselves, but we will. If we allow ourselves to grant importance to our problems, even when others we confide in may not consider them very important at all, we also grant ourselves importance. We don’t put on the “I can do it all” facade and power through it. We each have differing levels of resistance to outside stressors, and it’s important to be respectful of that. My pain may not be the same as yours, but it is just as significant. And as a tg woman who’s been undergoing long-term HRT, I sometimes forget the element that was missing from my life during last night’s mood-swing: balance. So, I had a rare moment of practicality and made an alarm on my phone at 10 AM sharp that reminds me to take my hormones every. Single. Day. No matter what. Equally helpful is my return to this blog and being able to take solace in my writing process again. Never ignore your outlets! For me, that outlet is writing…but lately it’s been something I haven’t had the energy or time for…or at least that’s the excuse I give myself. And that’s another thing: Be mindful of your own excuses and analyze ways to break them apart, because most of them just injure you in the long-run. So, sisters, my advice for the new year…cut through the garbage you give yourself ABOUT YOURSELF…cut through the garbage other people fling at you and just focus on you. Sounds so simple, but often, it’s exactly those simple things we fail to remember.

TMJD In Transgender Women

So…recently I was diagnosed with TMJD or temporomandibular joint disorder (erroneously, yet widely, known as TMJ) which is basically a mandibular joint issue akin to arthritis, where there is a misalignment of the muscles. Boxers get it after too many knockouts to the jaw and so do anxiety-ridden tooth-grinders. Guess which one I was. Imagine being in excruciating ear pain for a week or so, not being able to talk really due to the pain but still being asked questions every five minutes, having to sustain yourself on a mostly liquid diet because eating solids feels like you’re swallowing daggers and knowing that there’s no cure but “waiting it out” until the next flare-up. As you might expect, it’s rather awful.

Currently, I’m doing well, but every now and then I’ll have a flare-up, usually when I’m stressed. I’ve read that TMJD is more common amongst menopausal women on hormone-replacement therapy, and by extension I’m assuming, transgendered women who are not only hormone-laden, but also perpetually stressed out…so in my case, it makes a lot of sense that I developed this. However, I’m also keenly aware that the initial trigger for my jaw issues started one Thanksgiving weekend long ago, when in my engorged holiday mind-set, I decided to raid the fridge for leftovers and sunk my teeth into some stale chunks of french bread, unhinging my jaw like a cobra and hearing a tell-tale ‘pop,’ which I assumed was perfectly normal. Only, after that, every time I would try to stretch my mouth open, the left side of my jaw would click. I thought it was nothing but then this happened years later. At first, I thought it was an ear or sinus infection because I was prone to those and because it felt like one, but upon consulting an Ear, Nose, Throat Specialist, I was told that wasn’t the case.

So, what is all this preamble leading to? I want you girls out there to keep healthy, of course! ^_^ So, if you’re dealing with this terrible ailment too, here’s a list of tips to keep those flare-ups few and far between!

1) DON’T STRESS THE SMALL STUFF…WHICH, BASICALLY, IT ALL IS! Seriously, I know I’m stealing this phrase from somewhere, but that’s because it’s good and also, very true. Go meditate yourself! Nothing’s worth ruining your health over, so as difficult as it is, try to just let whatever stressful thoughts you have drift on by. Don’t force yourself not to acknowledge them, because forcing anything is a stressful process in and of itself. Just let them pass through you. Unless, of course it’s a thought like, “Oh I have to pick my son up from daycare,” or “I have a deadline…if I don’t do it, I’ll get fired,” those you should probably deal with. But everything else? Nah…

2) USE A MOUTH-GUARD AT NIGHT! They’re like 15 bucks at Target, so price shouldn’t be an issue. Honestly, I started doing this whenever I have a flare-up and the next day I feel waaaaay better. You may look funny, but at least it’s in the bedroom where crowds won’t see you.

3) AVOID COOL AIR DURING A FLARE-UP!! Air-conditioned rooms, blasts of fan-swirled air on the face…they’re all bad during a flare-up because they make the muscles contract in a way that makes your jaw ache so much worse.

4) HEAT, THEN COLD, THEN HEAT!! Hot compress to the jaw (not too hot, but here’s a tip…heat up some salt in a frying pan then bundle it in a towel, it stays hot longer), then a cold compress, then another hot compress all while slowly opening the mouth to condition the muscles to be okay with that sort of thing.

5) NO CLENCHING, NO GRINDING!! Rest your tongue on the roof of your mouth, leaving a space between the top and bottom rows of teeth…like singers do!

6) JAW MASSAGE!! A quick fix, but when that flare-up hits, you need all the help you can muster. A quick massage in circular motions of the jaw and ear area is a big help, calming spasms and generating heat to relax away tension.

And lastly…

7) PUT DOWN THAT STEAK!! Or corn, or apple, or carrot, or practically any other hard food that forces you to open your jaw wide in order to eat it…at least until after your flare-up’s over.

There you have it, my dears…TMJD is a rotten break, but like everything else in life, not insurmountable! ^_^

Why Date A Transsexual?

Why, indeed? First, let me preface this entry with a bit of minutiae concerning my motivation for writing this…I was just lolly-gagging about doing nothing when I decided, as I sometimes do, to check my WordPress dashboard. As I scanned the search terms my beloved audience used to find me over this past year or so, I saw that one of those search terms was ‘why date a transsexual?’ Now, I’d done a post when I first started this blog about why gay men don’t date transsexuals, mostly to educate those certain individuals out there who can’t seem to distinguish ‘m-to-f transgender’ from ‘flamboyantly effeminate gay man’ and explain why things are as they are. It must have been that entry which hooked in the querent who’d made that particular search. Either way, seeing that search term ignited something in my brain and I thought, “Hey! Why would you want to date a transsexual?” Especially with all the negative stigmas that exist towards us as a group. Upon careful reflection, though, I’ve found that there are actually a lot of good reasons why you should date a transsexual (or at least be open to the idea). This can certainly apply to many other people out there who are not transgendered or even female, and it might just be a list of sweeping generalities, but it’s my blog…so I don’t care. Without further ado…

1) Depth Of Perception: Trans-people tend to be gifted with amazing perceptive abilities that extend even beyond themselves and onto others. They tend to be able to see through all the muck and see the true, underlying substance of a person. This comes from the experience of having to establish our own identities firmly in spite of what society tells us is otherwise the case. Perceptive people usually make more attentive significant others as they can pick up on subtle cues that other prospective partners may miss.

2) True Appreciation: From my own experiences, I can say as a transwoman I sometimes feel like complete shit about myself. I think that’s the same for a lot of trans-people out there, if not all. In the back of our minds, we can’t really shake that feeling that we’ll never measure up to “the genuine article.” But what is “the genuine article?” What is the measure of a true man or a true woman or a true human being? True…being true to yourself, maybe? In that sense, we are the truest form of human. The most genuine. Still, there lies that inferiority complex which society is mostly to blame for. That being said, when we find love, we tend to really appreciate it because we know it’s such a rarity to find considering our situations.

3) Enduring Affection: Trans-people know how to set goals for themselves. The biggest goal being attaining some form of gender congruency (whether it entails surgical intervention or not). We know how to value the new developments of our transition (whether it’s a name change or your first bra) and using that as an impetus, continue our struggle….always. That kind of philosophy extends to how we treasure our relationships. When something is not the way it should be, we take the necessary steps to remedy the situation. That is the very foundation of our lives. We don’t give up, we endure, no matter what. In today’s society of, “He said such and such, who needs that? I’M DUMPING HIM!!” this can be something of a rarity. That said though, we’re not doormats either, if something’s making us feel less valued as a human being, we won’t settle, if fixing things doesn’t work, we’ll cut our losses and move on.

4) Embracing Of Femininity: This is nothing new. Many men I’ve dated have told me that the reason they favored transsexual women over their cisgendered peers was because many trans-women tend to carry themselves in a more conventionally “feminine” manner. Nowadays, a lot of girls just dress up in sweat pants or pajamas and think they look cute. Really enjoying the privileges society has bestowed upon them as natal females, such as wearing make-up or having long, done-up hair has become a chore for many of them. And I’m not saying that I always look like America’s Next Top Model, because I don’t, but I do always make some effort to display the femininity I haven’t always been so free to express. This shouldn’t come as a surprise, but many men are attracted to femininity. Opposites attract and this is true here. With a trans-woman, you’ve got a partner who embraces and expresses her femininity in ways that many cisgendered women just don’t feel like doing. Not that that’s bad, per se, it’s just…different. ^_^

5) An Open Mind: As transgendered individuals, we have to have open minds. This is just something we need in order to understand the context of our unique situations. With an open mind, we’re more willing to hear what our partners have to say about a plethora of different subjects. We can freely see ourselves in their shoes because not so long ago, we were in their  shoes. As trans-women, we know the demands society places on men and I think, because of that, we’re a little more lenient.  We understand that there is duality in everything and truly two sides to every story which is helpful in developing an effective rapport and building communication.

6) Personal Test Of Character: It won’t be easy, champ! But, really, what in life is? Society is still at a point in its evolution where many people don’t think it “proper” to date a trans-person. Especially considering all the supposed “cons” (dating us is a reflection of your own masculinity and makes you gay, we can’t have kids, the current state of our bodies, etc, etc.). Still, if you have the courage to just cast it all to the wind and date who you want to date because of who they are and not what they are, you will be happier in the long run and also become more aware of your own amazing strength of character…because it’s not easy risking rejection to follow your heart…but we manage to somehow and so should you! ^_^

So if you’re one of those men out there teetering on the fence about a girl you like who just might happen to be trans, think less about the negatives and contemplate the positives. And most of all, just love who you love…don’t let society tangle you up in its bullshit…it’s never worth it…take it from me!

Vlog the second…on being creative and trans

Transtastic Updates!!

Well. I have been remiss in keeping up with this blog YET. AGAIN. Go ahead, turn away from the screen. I am without excuse as usual. But srsly, this time I do kind of have a good excuse…or several excuses as the case may be. I’ve been working non-stop (extended hours to cover vacations), getting ready for my exciting return to school in the fall and coming this close to rabbit-kicking my financial aid advisor in the face because YES…SHE REALLY IS THAT FRUSTRATINGLY STUPID, I hit some old lady with my Suzuki (her car, not her person…just for clarity’s sake), and re-connected with my two long-lost cousins all while searching frantically for a new job which will be more flexible and mesh better with my school schedule. Crazy right? I know!

So I haven’t really had much of a chance to write about myself (which is odd, since that’s usually one of my most favorite things to do…I’m just joking ((but I’m not)) ). Anyway, amidst all this commotion, I must tell you my computer, which is quite old, and which can be likened to a senile, old fat person is STROKING OUT something FIERCE!! I can’t STAND it. I have to save up for a new computer…preferably something with a built-in camera or microphone so that I can do vlogs or podcasts or something to mix things up a bit and connect on a somewhat more intimate level with my readers. But what with my hitting-an-old-lady-with-my-sedan-incident, I might have to wait awhile before making such a purchase…so BEAR WITH ME, PUBLIC!!! I must tell you…being involved in a traffic accident (my first, mind you) brought on so many emotions and recollections. I luckily live in a state where I was able to get the gender on my license changed without having had any surgical procedures, but I remember the time before…when I bore the name and picture of a female on that license and had that “M” right beside it like a scarlet letter. Having to be petrified of being pulled over or daring to buy a drink because I might get carded were constant strains on my nerves, ever-present and ever-frightening. I was able to face this incident with a calmness which had eluded me back then, and it was comforting to know I’d jumped over that hurdle, but it also made me angry at how that hurdle was placed before me by DOUCHEBAGS who have nothing to do with my situation and probably have a very limited understanding of said situation. Sometimes I wish we, as transgendered brothers and sisters could just rise up against the “normals” and crush them beneath the raging tide of our combined anger. But then I realize that would probably just make them hate us more and get many of us killed or hurt…plus violence never solves anything (but conflict, ha). Either way! To my brothers and sisters out there facing that license issue, know you aren’t alone…we’ve all been there before. If you’re able to change it, do it FAST. If you’re too scared to go to the DMV and explain your situation (like I was), just swallow hard, ask a friend to come with you and muster up enough MOXIE to do it and get it over with. It really is worth it, don’t procrastinate. I know it sucks that we have to do this at all and lord knows it makes you want to slap a bitch, but sadly, this is the way things are now. Better than they were, but still worse than they could be.

I also wanted to briefly mention in this entry (and I want to do more with this later, so beware), one of my new-found favorite trans-related films. Iron Ladies and its sequel Iron Ladies 2. Wow, what can I say? It was a lovely experience. They’re both older films, and full of enough politically incorrect terms to upset the extreme Western LGBT activists, I’m sure. But honestly, it’s a fluff film and for what it is, it’s wonderful. It basically tells the story of a Thai all-male volleyball team comprised of flamboyantly gay men, cross-dressers, and a transsexual cabaret star. If you get a chance, check it out…I’m glad I did.

Well, dears…I guess it’s time for me to let you all go. But never fear, I’ll be back sooner than you think with a new entry in the fascinating novella (after-school special/infomercial?) that is my life.

Trans-titty attacks and how to deal with them…

My what a title! Yes…it’s true. We all have what I like to refer to as “titty attacks” from time to time, which are basically just hissy fits with a catchier name. Being a trans-woman, though, these attacks tend to occur more frequently as our female hormones, which we have to take for life, mean we’re basically in a state of perpetual PMS. Sucks, but what’re you gonna do? As such, I wanted to write a little something about this topic, because it effects many different people. First and foremost, it effects us trans-women because we’re the ones dealing with the constant mood swings and fits of histrionics, and secondly, it effects the people close to us, because it can be grating having to deal with such emotional roller-coasters. So if you find yourself in one of the aforementioned pools of people, then pay attention because I’m going to give you some tips on how to deal.

Tip 1 – Calm it down girl!
OMFG, this jerky guy I met on the internet just totally blew me off, I’m almost out of hormones for the month, my brow-ridge is RIDICULOUS to work with and they’re discontinuing my favorite opaque foundation! We’ve all been there. Step 1, calm it down. It’s not that serious, despite what you may think, or what your hormones may make you think. Breathe full, deep, cleansing breaths. In through the nose, letting your stomach fill up with air, and then out through the mouth releasing the air and pulling your stomach in. Self-talk is one of my favorite ways to calm down and no one even has to know you’re doing it. Mentally talk to yourself about things that make you happy like a favorite book, Starbucks or even hardcore sex. This will counter the dark storm clouds hovering over you with a rainbow of positivity and distract you enough to allow yourself to calm down.

Tip 2 – Take it from where it’s coming from
So, imagine this, someone just blurted out something totally insensitive about you or worse you got READ and you just can’t take it. You’re having an attack! A titty attack! The first thing you need to do is calm the f*** down. People say nasty things all the time, it’s in their nature. But whatever anyone else thinks of you is within them, it’s their own issue…not yours, you have more important things to consider. Don’t waste your time. Being read can be devastating to any trans-person’s self-esteem. Here you have two distinct approaches to dealing with this. One, try to think of it as a learning experience. What can I do in the future to not be read? Two, don’t give a flying F*CK! So they know? Who cares. I’m proud of myself and what I’m doing and if he/she/they aren’t, then f*ck ’em.

Tip 3 – Always monitor your hormones!
Always, always, always have a doctor check your levels at least once a year, just to make sure everything’s alright. You don’t want to over-do it with these things. Frequent break-downs may be a sign that you’re taking too much and need to ease it on down. I took my starting dosage for three years, only to find that by the end of my third year, according to my estrogen levels, I was at twice the normal level for a biological female. No wonder I was completely insane! It was like having a soon-to-be-mom and a bratty tween on her first period battling it out inside of me over an eclair. Never ignore what your body tells you.

Tip 4 – Take a moment to think
Estrogen can make us impulsive. This can be a not-so-good thing. Make sure you always think before you say or do anything when you’re in titty attack mode. You can turn into a really malicious bitch when your emotions are in a tizzy and you don’t want to say or do something that you’ll regret after you’ve calmed down. I still struggle with this fairly regularly and need to remind myself what’s appropriate to be spoken about, when and with whom and what’s better left unsaid altogether.

Tip 5 – Remind your circle
It’s not an excuse, but remind your circle of friends/lovers/foreign exchange students that you are going through some very serious changes and that these changes effect your emotions tremendously. Most ts people have some sort of underlying emotional vulnerabilities (usually insecurity or lack of self-esteem) and these things are magnified ten-fold by hormones. But…we need them to achieve our goals and they need to understand this. Explaining it may make it easier for people around you to deal with your mood-swings and hysterics. Or it might not…in which case you employ…

Tip 6 – Cutting your losses
Some people just won’t understand, won’t be tolerant or just won’t want to stick around and deal with your drama. Honestly, that’s their right. But if they’re that quick to eject you from their lives, then they simply aren’t worth latching on to, so whack ’em like weeds! Identify who is just frustrated for the moment and who really has no patience for you whatsoever and get rid of the latter category. Patience is a virtue in most cases, but in our situation, it’s a necessity in both ourselves and in the people we hold dear.

So there you have it…as always, visualization is a magical thing…so if you’re really flipping out, just visualize it being over and MAKE IT HAPPEN!! But remember, you’re trying your best in this battle, and for the most part, you’re going it solo…so be proud of that and try not to be overwhelmed by it all. Just do your best 🙂

Top 5 “OMFG I Need These To Survive” Cosmetics Of A TS Woman

Ok…last entry (for those of you who didn’t read it, hmph) was about my self-imposed exile from beauty school…I know…heavy. So, to keep things breezy and delightful this entry is going to be light-hearted, useful to some of you (hopefully) and full of pictures! In case you either didn’t read the title or just didn’t get it (really?!) this entry is about the top 5 cosmetics that I simply can NOT live without. These are basically the things that I would use even if I were involved in a high-speed car chase and had to get going post-haste! I’d always find time to use these because they are THAT good. So, let’s get started.

*Number 1*
Max Factor Pan-Stik in Shade 101: Natural

This is my go-to foundation, concealer, primer, panacea, etc., etc. Not only is it a convenient size, it also has that opaque coverage that transwomen sorely need, especially when we’re still in the “shaving our faces” stage. This tiny stick provides coverage that is comparable to that of Dermablend, the foundation used to cover up burns and tattoos at half the price. It’s creamy, goes on smooth, and if and when you do decide to get your face hair lasered or electrolysis-ed off, you can dampen either your fingers or a make-up sponge and create a sheerer coverage. Just a few dots on the cheeks, chin, forehead, eyelids (as a primer before you put your eyeshadow on) and neck and you’re good to go. For even better results, finish with a setting powder or a mineral veil like the one offered by Bare Minerals. Max Factor was discontinued in the US for God-knows-whatever reason and I nearly had an aneurism right then and there…but luckily, the internet magically comes through yet again as the transwoman’s staunchest ally! So, buy some in your shade now, here!

*Number 2*
MAC Eye Pencil in Ebony

Seriously, eyeliner is like f*ckin crack to me. I recall trying to use number 2 pencils when I was little to achieve the same brightening and defining effect my mom’s eyeliner had on her eyes to disastrous results, obviously. Eyeliner is really amazing in that it can change the shape of your eye, making them smaller, bigger, feline, almond-shaped, whatever you want. I usually line the upper lash line before putting my liquid liner over that, the upper waterline and the lower lash line from the outer corner of the eye to just below where your pupil is. The inner waterline I line with a white or light-gold liner to create a wide-eyed effect. But for beginners, this a very easy-to-wield pencil which goes on smooth and creates beautiful definition. Order here.

*Number 3*
NYX Round Case Lipstick in Frosted Flakes

I love NYX because their colors are awesome, their prices are even awesomer and they’re just a pretty happening company. Anyway, this lip color is a new addition to my collection of NYX lipsticks, but has quickly become one of my favorites. It’s a neutral shade which means it goes with pretty much any color outfit and pretty much any skintone. Works for everyday looks, but can easily be turned into a nighttime shade with some heavier eye-makeup. Creamy texture with just enough shine to keep things fresh and interesting. Pucker up!

*Number 4*
MAC Liquid Eyeliner in Boot Black

For girls with steady hands and some experience applying make-up, liquid liner can be a godsend. It defines and pops and it’s just beauty in a tube, honestly. You can do so much with it, dramatic looks, slight re-shaping, everything…only unlike eyepencils or kohls, liquid liner will not smudge or dissolve over time (especially if you use a primer beforehand). Make sure to close your eye when applying and allow a few seconds to dry completely before opening your eyes again or blinking. Walk that line girl!

And finally…
*Number 5*
L’Oreal Voluminous Million Lashes

One of the most affordable and effective mascaras I’ve come across. It’s just wonderful, two coats on the upper lashes, two on the lower and you’ll look like a total glamasaurus rex. It’s seriously amazing with or without any liner to back it up, and it’ll make lovely fans out of your lashes. Nothing says feminine like long, lustrous lashes. If you’re in a serious rush, just this, some foundation and lipgloss would be all you really need.

Well…I guess that’s it for now. I hope you all enjoyed my fluffy little list and I encourage you all to try the products I mentioned…just remember with cosmetics a little goes a long way, especially if you’re trying to pass in public. Stay tuned for the next entry…where I discuss my sordid love life. Well, it’s not that sordid.