Application of Makeup in Order to Make a Feminine Face More Masculine
When it comes to "passing" as one sex or the other, it is generally easier for 'women' to pass as 'men'. This is because the cues that signal the brain to the male sex are generally bigger, more protruding, and things that to feminise must be hidden - not enhanced.
This does not mean that it is "easier" to accomplish with makeup, people trying to do either generally fall victim to the same problem - not being able to see and understand the face on a very basic level - understanding what our instincts instruct.
This "tutorial" will focus mainly on the face, touching generally on use of clothing and binding for a "total" appearance. I will try to cover things important for part-time and full-times as well.
PLEASE KEEP IN MIND - where referring to the differences in appearance, this is obviously not going to be truth for all men. Just like the concept of beauty, the difference between male and female has no exact formula that will work for everyone's face.
1. The Hair : Current tastes of culture clearly show that men's hair is short - or at least shorter than typical women's hair. This is helpful, but not essential to "passing". Many times, the cut of the hair is very important - women's short hair is usually more "feminine" and men's longer hair is usually less stylised and layered than women's - that is a huge topic of its own that I will not cover in full - if you would like "masculine" hair, it is best to do what you will be doing later for the face - looking at pictures of men and observing.
1, A. To apply a wig. It is possible to hide long hair under a wig. The most recommended method is to put the hair in very tight pin-curls. What is most effective will very depending on how long and thick your hair is and the style. If the hairline of the wig is farther back than your own, you may wish to use a "bald cap" under the wig (which is easier to get your hands on than a custom-fitted forehead piece).
Men's hair as an ideal tends to be darker than women's hair. If you're buying a wig, you may choose a shade darker than your natural colour (but be wise to pick one that still looks natural with your complexion).NOTE : Obviously, you do not need to follow all ideals to a T, and doing so is not that important - you must simply effectively tip the balance in what the average person sees when they look at you. Despite having unnaturally light hair, people will usually immediately recognise Andy Warhol and Rocky Horror as men (sorry, I fail and will continue to fail at relevant cultural references). You have to decide what "look" you want to effect. A "borderline" or "pretty-boy" look is hardest - and much of your "passing" outside of pictures will rely on your dress and the way you move (not to mention your voice).
Also, it might be best to get a "perfect" wig or custom wig rather than cut it yourself if you don't have experience cutting hair. A wig that is cheap enough for you to risk cutting it without skill is cheap enough it will look fake and ruin the overall effect you're going for. Using your natural hair is best, but I understand not everyone wants to have it styled to appear masculine all the time.
If you have feminine short hair, you might consider styling it with gel - spiking is not the best choice, it does not add much masculinity as it is a recent hair trend worn by both sexes. Slicking back the hair is more masculine, though a little volume should be left.
2, A Facial Hair : Sideburns. They are masculine (who would have thought ?!). These are best applied with hair-pieces than drawn on - drawn one might work effectively for one angle in one picture but will not pass in real life unless you are far away on a big stage (and even then they're not very realistic at all). You can apply them with spirit gum.
LATER ON, making your own fake hair pieces will be covered.
B. Eyebrows. Letting your eyebrows grow out to their full potential will add masculinity to the face. Obviously, not everyone wants to do this - not even all men do this because it looks messy and unkempt and can be unattractive on many faces.
To get a sense for male eyebrow shapes, study pictures. Look for men with eye-shapes similar to your own who have attractive eyebrows if that's what you want.
Eyebrow colour for men should generally be darker than the hair colour (Sean Connery but not quite). This is actually something that happens to women as they age - when it comes down to it, there is actually a lot in common with making a female face more masculine and in naturally ageing it.
If you are going to draw-in parts of your eyebrows, draw them in in small strokes that mimic hair. Use varying pressure - lightly to simulate the fine hairs under the main eyebrow that men don't usually clean up fully.
Another note about eyebrows is that men's are generally lower-down on the face than women's - even to the point of being below the brow ridge (and sometimes fully obliterating sight of the orbit of the eye - but you cannot recreate this very well without a prosthetic unless your face already does this).
Also, they are closer together than what is attractive on a woman.
Generally, men's eyes are more droopy and less "open" and doe-eyed than women's.
C. Eyelashes. Don't curl them. If they curl a LOT naturally, you may wish to "uncurl" them the other way. You may also get a blonde mascara to use on them - and/or let powder catch on them. They should be less visible than the typical female. If yours are exceptionally long and you're doing this long-term or very committed, you may cut them, but be very careful, obviously. Plucking may also be effective (not all of them, just thinning them strategically) - and in combination, but the thought makes me cringe (though this was done historically by men and women in some periods of history).
D. Moustaches. You may want a moustache. It is not a necessity, and a bad one will make you look dumb (unless you're trying to look silly). Style is up to you. Making your own might produce the best results.
VERY IMPORTANT NOTE : If you choose NOT to have a moustache, it will generally NOT work if you darken your existing facial hair. In fact, it will more readily give you away as 'female' - paradoxical, I know. In fact, it is BEST to actually SHAVE - the "peach fuzz" hairs are characteristically female, believe it or not. Also, hair does NOT grow in thicker or darker, that's a myth - your hair falls out and replaces itself all the time. What can happen is if you shave, hairs will have a blunt tip when growing back, but they will lose this, and fall out and grow again. Your best bet if you don't want blunt hairs growing back tis to wax (wax the entire moustache and beard area).
E. Beards. Again, a choice. As stated above, darkening your own hairs is actually counter-productive. You can create fake-stubble in many ways, and this will be covered later. I do not recommend a goatee, as it often highlights how un-masculine a very feminine chin is. A beard, on the other hand, can be shaped and actually fill in the jaw to a different shape - for some people, this may be the only thing short of a custom latex prosthetic or surgery that makes everything "work" ("heart shaped" faces and round faces suffer from this most of all it seems).
CUSTOM HAIR PIECES : You can make your own facial hair to your specifications pretty easily. You will need wig lace, the hair, and the tools. It's actually the same as making those yarn-run things from the craft store (what, you didn't at least try to make one and get bored halfway through when you were a kid ?). For an in-depth explanation Richard Corson's "Stage Makeup" is THE source (and for all make-up things).
3. The Face. General note : Men of any race are darker skinned, slightly, than the women. This is a fact. You may wish to choose a colour slightly darker than your natural skin tone.
A. Forehead. To make the forehead more masculine is to make it more noticeable. If you have a very short forehead, consider a wig and a bald cap (long-term people might trim and wax the area).
Bangs or a fringe is more feminine as it reduces forehead prominence. Some bangs can be gotten away with - some just really can't and will only get you to "curiously androgynous" - think about the very thick and full geometric bangs sometimes seen - that's what I mean, or very light "Audrey Hepburn" bangs - these are hard to rectify for a masculine look.
For the application of makeup, you need to be familiar with the bone-structure of the face.
Places to highlight : Brow ridges, a bit above the brows, the "bulging brain" area of the forehead - you know, where the lobe-shapes stick out a little, on the sides of the temples.
Places to shadow : The ditch between the "bulging brain" and the temples/brow ridges.
B. Eyes. As stated before, masculine eyes tend to be less "doe-like". If you have large, open eyes, you may shade a little on the sides of the orbit. You don't want this to look like eye-shadow, but you want the eyes to "droop" more.
You may also shade more under the eyebrow, and bring the eyes closer together if your are far apart. I've noticed that doing Dr. xFrank-N-Furter's make-up will do a lot to masculinise a femine face because it draws the eyes together which has a bigger impact overall than the small eyebrows and outlined bigger-looking eyes.
You may choose to enhance the "tiredness circles" under your eyes if they're not very noticeable - as well as crow's feet and the little lines under the eyes. NOT by a lot with the intention to make them look excessively wrinkly though - just a subtle amount.
C. Nose. The nose is a hard area to "make masculine". Since the nose is so visible and so unique from person to person, it's hard to say without seeing the nose in question. Cute button noses are the hardest to transform. One can build up a nose with theatrical waxes if desired. Bringing out the bridge of the nose is more masculine. A wider nose MIGHT appear more masculine (I thin my nose, and it still works). You might do well by applying highlight to the tip of the nose - to make it look longer / droopier.
You may wish to VERY SLIGHTLY enhance the nasolabial (nose to mouth) folds.
You may with to enhance the nostrils horizontally so they look more flared - colouring carefully just a little outside of them and possibly inside the nasal cavity itself.
Unfortunately, here, is one of the biggest "difficulties". Some men have full lips, but it's hardly a masculine trait - collagen in the lips increases for women during puberty because of estrogen levels.
You cannot really "deflate" the lips other than through surgery. Try extending your foundation into the lips. With full lips, you can usually notice a slightly lighter coloured edge around the main part - you should make this nude coloured, and extend a little more. A less defined and wider "vee" shape at the upper lip is best, too.
Some feminine natural lip colour is too pink. You may wish to get a very light lipstick (but not too light) to go over the lips. Do not pick one that's shiny. A very dull rose or salmon colour should work.
Do not put anything shiny on the lips, this makes them look bigger. Try putting just chapstick on - sometimes it will be able to mix under a lip colour or foundation, other times, the makeup will not hold if it's on.
E. Chin. Cleft chins are more masculine. If you have a very full chin, you can't really create this out of nothing. You can accentuate the start of one, or an existing one if you choose - doing this especially at the bottom of the chin.
I generally just highlight a little on the chin, and widely.
F. Cheekbones and Jawline. Shadow these, generally. Shadow under the cheek bone the darkest and extend down the sides of the face (this may not look right on some very thin faces and faces with a lot of round fat on the sides). For the jawline, highlight at the back of the jaw in a reverse "L" shape to highlight the squareness and highlight along the jawline, getting softer near the chin (strongest in the back, taper, stronger at the chin).
You will want to shade UNDER the jawline. to define it more.
G. Neck. Shade around the trachea and under where the Adam's apple would be. Highlight the Adam's apple area - you should be able to find this because it sticks out slightly on most women too. If you have more fat in the area - don't bother with this step, it will just look odd because it will be completely defying what your neck is doing naturally.
And that's about it for the face. If you have short hair, you may wish to shade the ears a bit if they stick out.
4. Extras. You will want to trim your nails. Trim them comfortably as short as you can. Don't polish at all unless part of your overall look. Men tend to let their cuticles out of control - so they're 1mm down the nail.
5. The Chest. Though the chest may actually stand to be wider, the breasts are decidedly not masculine and another rare case where something must be subtracted, not added to appear more masculine.
If you have small breasts, a sport's bra may suffice - but, really, in practice this is only good for A cups or B cups with a large band size (I would guess 38+). Shape matters, too.
To bind the breasts, you have to follow some important steps. You must bind using an elastic material - or you will REALLY restrict breathing and you will after an hour or so start to feel pain and oddly melancholy.
You MUST have a layer of smooth, comfortable, most likely spandex/lycra/elastane fabric between your breasts and what is binding them. Otherwise, you may cause bleeding and even scarring and danger of loss of circulation if worn for long periods of time.
I would use a stretchy "camisole" top as the base for a binder. It is not the most manly foundational garment - but it's not meant to be seen and you can wear almost anything over it unobtrusively.
You must then bind it.Like this
. This method can be worn an entire day with minimal discomfort.
Material used : One continuous strip of 3" wide elastic from JoAnn's. I'm not sure exactly how much I used , but you should buy at least 2.5x your chest measure to be safe. If your chest is bigger - you might need more, though a WIDER elastic would be more ideal - but you would have to find this on-line.
You can sew this to the camisole or safety pin it to it in a hurry.
You can use Ace Bandages, but I don't recommend them for anything but an extremely last-minute need.
6. Clothes. Obviously, masculine clothes will make you look more masculine. Baggy clothes often work well. With more tailored clothing, you have to make sure it fills out your shoulders, is smooth over the chest, and that it doesn't show off your waist or hips.
You can wear a bigger shoe-size, but not by much, and if you do, you'll need to stuff the toes - try small pieces of soft fabric, not tissue. Men's shoes start at size 6, which is equivalent to a US women's size 8, I think. I think a Men's 10 is the most popular size, but I'm not sure - that's a women's 12. You can't overdo it unless you're built for it - you'll just look like you're wearing clown shoes. I would not go more than two sizes to big, personally and I have never actually bothered to do so on purpose (my feet are a size 6 in men's, size 8 women's - a smaller foot might disagree).