Monday, August 31, 2015


People often look at my pictures and ask me how I manage to create such feminine curves. Well, I must sadly admit that they are not my real curves and that my hips and waist are just an illusion. Ah well.

In the interest of simplifying it, I created a graphic a while back that I share.

Actually I had never heard the term "under armor" before and didn't realize it was a
clothing company. 

The truth is that hip padding really does help with looking feminine, though it does have its draw backs. Firstly, you're just wearing a lot of extra stuff, which isn't great it hot weather, especially with a wig as well. You end up with a lot of layers. Yes, I have been known to overheat. This summer, I tried to go out for a cocktail night with my girlfriends, but it was like 95 out, with 95% humidity and the speakeasy we went to for some fancy cocktails didn't have A/C and was super stuffy. Ugh. I ended up cutting out early because all I wanted to do was get home and take all my gear off, something you just don't have the option to do in public without looking a little weird.
One picture that whole night. Luckily I looked good. 
The other issue with all the padding is that it makes it a little tricky to pee. Not impossible. Just a little more difficult. Let's just say I'm happy that stalls have doors. One time as I was getting dressed after peeing in a tiny stall, I realized I accidentally dropped one of my hip pads in the toilet! It was soaked. There was nothing to do but fish it out (luckily I had flushed) and toss it in the trash. Luckily I was wearing a more A-line dress at the time so it wasn't too noticeable. 

Despite the difficulty, I like having the padding, even if it's a little bulky. Next to having my own curves (stupid nature not giving me what I want), they're the next best thing. 

How can you say no?

Also be sure and check out the podcast that I did on the topic of shapewear.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Monday Evening Happy Hour

A few weeks back, some girlfriends and I did a Friday night out (I'm happy to say that these girls' nights have become a regular occurrence). After a few drinks, my friend Kate started asking a few pointed questions about whether or not I planned to transition to full-time and live as a woman 100% of the time.

Now it's been a few years since I first came out to her rather abruptly. Actually I'd come out to all my friends by showing up at a cocktail party in a classic little black dress, 2" patent black heels, a long dark chestnut wig and flawless makeup.

I'm Classy

Of course, while I was now out and proud, I hadn't exactly specified what I had come out as. Was I going to transition to female, was I just a serious crossdressing or just into some Eliza Dushku cosplay? Actually, I hadn't said.

But in the couple of years since then, I've basically been going out any chance I got and had been setting up girls' nights with my friends. Since that first party I think a few of the more periphery friends haven't seen me in guy-mode and for even some of my regular friends have become much more used to seeing me in a dress. For my friend Kate, I think I once went about four months where she had only ever seen Faith.

So it made sense she wanted to ask. Plus she identifies as queer, so I think there's a little bit of an understanding there. Maybe a little bond over what it means to be out of the cis or hetero binary. Of course,  I didn't quite feel like having the big conversation with her in a large group of friends, so we made plans to meet up and talk about everything.

She picked a spot in DUMBO and I got dressed up and met her after work. We'd hung out fairly recently, so it took a bit to find a dress to wear that she hadn't just seen me in. Not that it mattered necessarily, but I don't want to be seen always wearing the same thing.

Luckily, I showed up a few minutes before her, because it was windy and I knew my hair needed a serious touch up. My current wig is one that I love, but it may be nearing the end of its useful life. This makes me kinda upset, because the one I got was the last one the store had and I can't find the company or the model anywhere. Well, I had just given it a wash and done some maintenance, so it still worked.

Quick bathroom selfie - yay, my hair is okay!

We talked over a few micro-brew IPAs, first just about our lives, jobs families and NYC, just to catch up. A few more drinks in me, and I was happy to talk more about my feelings. And so I laid it out. Mostly that I was just confused. Obviously, I have transgender feelings and have for my whole life, but that I'm still not sure if living as a woman is the right thing for me. It's such a huge change with so many expenses, imperfect results and risks. And I showed her some older photos from a decade ago, and how I worried that maybe I had missed by chance by not transitioning earlier when I was young and thin and prettier. Previously, Kate had told me that she thought I passed and that my voice was getting much better and that as a queer person she could do nothing but encourage me to transition and live as a woman.

Yeah, I'm always the one with more makeup. 
But Kate listened, and she told me to talk to my partner and be honest, and that also I could start some more basic things like laser hair removal for now and then work toward anything more permanent changes if I were comfortable with them. It was good to just be able to talk to a friend in person about everything.

She also said one thing that made a serious impression on me. She said that I seemed much happier as Faith, and much more natural. This really struck me as she's not the the first person to ever tell me that. I guess I am just noticeably happier and more comfortable as Faith. It makes sense. Being out as a girl, just walking down the street does feel totally natural to me. And it does make me happy.

This is "happy" right? 

Friday, August 21, 2015

Getting Dressed Up for Some Face-time

At this point in my life, I have a few friends who only know me as Faith. They've met me, hung out, friended me on Facebook as Faith and have never known me any other way. This is great for me, because I love being able to interact with people without any male baggage being brought along. On the other hand, this can be a bit tricky, as I have to remember who only knows me as Faith and make sure I never accidentally hangout with them in guy mode. This a fun conundrum.

My friend Christin is one of these people. She now lives in DC, but we've been trying to come up with something to collaborate on, maybe a short film or a feature. Who knows. She knows a lot of people and is great with networking, fundraising and all that stuff that I'm terrible at. Mostly I've been writing (or trying to write as people keep coming up and visiting and taking away all my free time).

So Christin and I chat on Facebook or text. But sometimes we Face-time, and I literally have to schedule our Face-time sessions to make sure that I'm a girl for those. Yesterday was one such occasion.

Earlier in the week, I'd found a yellow eyelet LOFT dress on eBay. Yellow? Yes, yellow. It's a color I dislike and probably my least favorite. But, at one point purple was one of my least-favorite colors until I tried on a purple Ralph Lauren dress that was pure perfection. Actually, on a shopping trip to the Macy's flagship store in Manhattan, I'd tried on what I thought was a particularly silly yellow Calvin Klein dress. In fact, I only tried it because I thought it utter ridiculous.

Remember that style from a few years back? The dress is like one molded piece of plastic with the skirt bowed out like that permanently. I seem to recall that once Emma Stone looked okay in one. Needless to say the style didn't catch on. If Emma Stone can barely pull it off, what chance is there for the rest of us?

So I posted this one up on Flickr and people loved it! Everyone said the color looked great on me. How weird. And so the next time I went shopping I found another yellow GUESS dress to try on.

This one I could actually wear out. Sadly, it was too expensive for me to get. But, people loved this one even more than the first and I determined to find a yellow dress.

LOFT is a company I like, and I know my sizes there, so I went on eBay to search for a yellow LOFT dress or maybe something from Banana  Republic. And so I got one that fit perfectly.

And, the first chance I got was to wear it to FaceTime with my friend.

Unfortunately, FaceTime is not something I'm too used, especially considering that video phones are really something from the future like rayguns and jetpacks. But I managed okay. Honestly, I prefer to chat. Ah well. At least I think I looked pretty. Yes, it may seem a little silly to get dressed up just for a FaceTime chat, but then again, I'm always looking for a good excuse. 

While I did go out a little bit, my iPhone didn't give me much of an opportunity to take a full length shot of the yellow, but I'm hoping to get one soon. Maybe next week. <3 

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Awesome Street Find!

New Yorkers are like Jawas. It's true. No, not because of our glowing eyes (you really have to see it in person to get the whole effect. It's really quite eerie). It's because we're scavengers. For those unfamiliar with our fair city, all the trash just goes out on the sidewalk. And since there are private trash companies with different collection routes, you can find trash on the street almost every day. My first apartment was stocked almost entirely with other people's discarded furniture. When we pass a pile, we always look. It doesn't matter how much money you make or if your tiny apartment is already full, you're going to look. We all look for treasure amongst the trash. Call if freecycling if you will.

Now, because everyone's always looking, when people want to get rid of perfectly good stuff they just don't want, they tend to leave it out on their stoop. Books are a popular item, but so are kitchen gadgets, cups, frying pans, candle sticks, air filters and baskets. There are always lots of baskets. No one loves baskets. That and printers. Never buy a basket, an air filter or a printer. A few lucky times I've found clothes and once a Coach purse that I still use quite often.

Mostly, it's all junk though.

But, yesterday, I was walking and saw some stuff out. On a stoop was what I at first thought was software since it was a cardboard box the right size. Then, upon closer inspection I realized it was makeup! Free makeup! And free makeup brushes! I was just thinking about buying some new brushes! Perfect! It was a completely unopened Bare Escentuals - bareMinerals Beyond the Basics 7-piece kit (a $39.99 retail value)!

All still plastic wrapped - a rule I should really follow when finding Starbursts on the street. 

This was great, because I've been seriously working on my contouring. A year ago, I didn't even know what contouring was, but then I started reading Reddit's Makeup Addiction board and posted up some photos for critique.

2,500 upvotes and a spot on the front page.

Not only did that earn me quite a bit of karma, but I also learned about such things as proper use of lip liner, how to do my brows properly, primer, blending and yes, contouring.

It's easy - you just do this about a hundred times till you get it right.

So, I couldn't wait to get started with the Bare Escentuals - bareMinerals Beyond the Basics 7-piece kit (a $39.99 retail value)! In fact, I was excited, I broke a nail trying to get the little stickers that were blocking off the holes.

But, I finally did them open and tried them out. Actually, I was really, really pleased. Especially with the two lightest shades that really gave me a nice glow. So, yeah, I'm a fan and would definitely recommend them (especially if you find them for free!). 

What do you guys think?

Swirl Tap Buff Swirl