Friday, I attended the True Colors Conference and presented “Makeup Basics for Trans Females.” The site of the conference is the UConn campus in Storrs, Connecticut — one of my life’s happy places — and it is always wonderful to return to my alma mater. My presentation was at 1:15, so I did not have to get up early and rush to Storrs. Instead, I even had time for breakfast, dressed and left home at 9:30 arriving on campus an hour later. I wore a dress rather than pants as I originally intended and I don't think it made much of a difference during the five-minute walk between the parking garage and the Student Union. What I really needed was a hat. The wind was so blustery that I thought my wig was going to go airborne, but I made it indoors in one piece. (Fashion Note: I wore my black laser cut dress from Avon, nude pumps from Payless, fake white fur jacket from Fashion Bug, nude thigh high hosiery from Berskshire, big beige bag from Avon, jewelry from Napier and Avon and a variety of unmentionables.) Indoors, I checked in and received my presenter’s package. The first round of presentations were underway, so there were not many students moving through the building. I took advantage of the low level of activity to camp out in one of the Student Union lounges to go over the presenter’s package and review my presentation. I found a window seat with a nice view of the quadrangle between the Student Union and the Benton Art Museum. It is one of the few open spaces remaining from my days as a student on campus in the early 1970's. Most of the other open spaces have been taken over by classrooms, dorms and sports facilities (when I was going to UConn, we launched model rockets and played touch football in the space now occupied by the garage where I parked my car). That’s progress! After doing some paperwork and going over my presentation, I thought I was in an excellent spot for a photo, but I did not see anyone I knew to designate as the photographer. A woman seating nearby was reading texts or e-mails with her iPhone, so I figured she would be a good candidate to take some photos with my iPhone. So I asked and she was very happy to shoot me. Just as she began, one of my long time trans girlfriends, Angie, came into the lounge, called me “Beautiful” like she always does and that put a big smile on my face that is evident in the photos I posted from the conference. (It is amazing the difference between a posed smile and a natural smile.) As the time for my presentation approached, I found my assigned room and settled in. Thirty-two people showed up. They were all school-aged (middle school through college) and I thought that some of them were already gorgeous and did not need any help from me; they could probably teach me something. It turned out that one of the “gorgeous” girls works part-time at Sephora. I asked her a question about lip gloss that she was happy to answer, so "they" did teach me something! The presentation went well. There were questions, answers and a lot of give and take, but I don’t know. I wonder how valuable it is to teach teens and twenty-somethings makeup basics and tricks that a 66-year-old transwoman uses? Some of what I do is applicable, but I will have to make some adjustments to my presentation for any future young audiences. After my presentation, I attended my friend Diana’s presentation on post World War II trans history. One goal of her talk was to counter the popular notion that there was no trans advocacy until recently. Her presentation showed that there was a lot of trans advocacy throughout the post-war era including Stonewall, where trans peeps have been written out of some histories of that uprising. Diana and I planned to dine after her presentation, so we left UConn and rendezvoused a half hour later at a restaurant in Manchester, where we have dined after the previous two True Color Conferences. The big difference this year was that the conference was on St. Patrick’s Day, so the restaurant was busier than after past conferences. Our waitress was the same as in previous years and she was as affable as before, but this time, instead of referring to us as “ladies,” she called us “girls.” That was different in a good way and made me smile. After dinner, we went our separate ways and I arrived home at 7 PM, a little tired, but very happy after a productive day out.
I was up at 5:30 AM and the first thing I did was power up the TV to watch the weather and traffic reports. I tuned to channel 8, WTNH out of New Haven and the talking heads (Keith Kountz and Laura Hutchinson) were at it. Suddenly I am wide awake as I notice that Laura is wearing the same Calvin Klein dress that I own –– the white cable knit sweater dress I am wearing in the photo at the top of the blog. That is second time in the past month that I noticed a woman wearing the same dress I own. The other was Kate Goselin, who was wearing a Calvin Klein color block dress that I own. I have to say that Laura and Kate have excellent fashion sense!
|Wearing Veronica Beard.|
|Ryan Downey, male womenswear model|
|Christopher Morley is contestant number 6 in a circa 1970 womanless beauty pageant.|
The world would have us believe that there are no simple and inexpensive natural beauty tips and source) And according to a UK survey, women will spend well over a year of their life applying that makeup. (source) Ouch. That, of course, says nothing of the toxic chemicals so commonly found (with almost zero regulation) in beauty products. Yep. Seems like the world is telling us that we need to spend lots of time, lots of money, and risk our health to be beautiful. Don’t believe it. For starters, let’s get real about the idea of beauty. To me it’s about unmasking the real person, not covering it up. And there are lots of simple ways to thank your body, feel more beautiful, and not have to pay an arm and a leg for it. Here are just 10. They are easy. They are all natural. And yet, still luxurious. Enjoy.tricks. What makes me say that? Well, did you know that the beauty industry is a nearly $300 BILLION dollar empire? And that the average woman spends about $15,00 on just makeup in her lifetime! (
10 Simple All Natural Beauty Tips
1. Banana and Egg Hair Treatment
Looking for a little more shine in your hair? Simply mix one egg and a mashed up banana. Apply it as a thick paste to your hair and leave it on for 10 – 30 minutes. Wash it our doing your usual hair washing ritual (if you usually use a store-bought conditioner you’ll probably only need to condition the ends). And voila!
2. Moisturizing Nail Treatment
Soak your nails in olive oil for five minutes. And then sit back and admire your pretty hands.
3. Simple Honey Face Mask
Raw honey is naturally anti-bacterial and a super quick way to get soft, beautiful skin. Once a week use a tablespoon or so of raw honey (not the processed stuff parading as honey) and gently warm it by rubbing your fingertips together. Spread on your face. Leave on for 5 – 10 minutes and then use warm water to gently rinse it off and pat dry. Then bask in the glow of your honey-awesomeness. This raw honey is awesome, by the way.
4. Apple Cider Vinegar Clarifying Shampoo
For those who are using commercial shampoos: To help eliminate any build up in your hair, mix ¼ cup organic apple cider vinegar (like this) with 1 cup water. Follow with your usual conditioner.
5. Elbow and Knee Exfoliate and Skin Brightener
Cut an orange in half and rub it on your elbows and knees. Helps soften those rough patches. And it smells good. (Rinse off the sticky mess when you are done.)
6. Gentle Body Scrub
Mix a 2 to 1 ratio of olive oil and sea salt to make a quick and effective body scrub. This helps get rid of dead skin cells creating softer, more glowing skin. And this natural beauty tip is much cheaper that expensive store bought body scrubs.
7. Easy Deep Conditioning Hair Treatment
Want super soft, hydrated hair? Use melted coconut oil as a deep conditioning hair and scalp treatment. Massage coconut oil into your scalp and then work it through your hair. Leave it on for a couple of hours and then wash it out using shampoo (no need to condition unless you have really long hair and then maybe just the ends.) Note: For you no ‘poo-ers keep in mind that coconut oil will saturate your hair with awesome goodness… that can be really hard to get out with just baking soda and *some* natural shampoos. You may want to try just a little coconut oil on a little section of hair and see if you can get it out before you do this. Otherwise you might have really greasy (but soft!) hair for a few washes. NOT that I’m speaking from personal experience of anything (*cough*).
8. Simple Toxic-Free Shaving Cream
Use coconut oil on your legs as a natural replacement for your shaving cream. Talk about a simple, natural beauty tip.
9. All Natural Black Head Removal
Place 4 or 5 drops of raw honey on an open lemon wedge. Then rub the lemon on your face for a minute, emphasizing any trouble areas. Leave the mixture on for 5 minutes and rinse with cold water. (Keep in mind that citrus can make your skin photosensitive so it’s best to do this before bed rather than before going outside).
10. Dry Brushing for Better Skin
Dry brushing is a simple detoxification process for your body. It stimulates a number of organs through a gently massage. It also helps the lymphatic system, eliminates dead skin coatings, strengthens the immune system, can eliminate cellulite, stimulates the hormones, and can help tighten skin through better circulation. Best of all, it’s cheap and easy. Learn more about dry brushing and how to do it here. Here’s a great skin brush to get you started!
Remember, the best beauty secrets are not quick fixes. They require good sleep, stress management, proper nutrition, and physical exercise. While all these little “gems” above can provide some oomph to your beauty routine, remember that real beauty is a result of taking care (or “thanking”) your body on a daily basis. And by being you. Because you are beautiful. Tell me, what are your “go to” beauty tips?