While makeup isn't everything, it holds transformative powers. That's why it's such an important tool for anyone going through a gender transition, as makeup can help you create the face you want to show the world.
Nobody gets this concept quite like Trishna Daswaney, founder of Kohl Kreatives makeup tools and subsequently, Kohl Kares, the charity empowering transgender people across the UK by teaching them makeup skills they can use to feel great about themselves. We've already spoken to a young trans teen who has firsthand experience with the charity—you can read more here—but considering that the team behind the transgender makeup workshops evidently shares such valuable information, we wanted to pass it along.
"Our mission at Kohl Kreatives is to help both men and women re-create features cosmetically," reads the Kohl Kares mission statement. "Our aim is to bring the basics back to beauty for men and women so they can feel good about themselves on a daily basis." And on that note, we asked Daswaney for the questions she gets asked most, so keep scrolling for her expert transgender makeup tips.
How do I contour my face to make it look more masculine, feminine or neutral?
"The first step is to make sure you map your face out—we use a technique called 'pixelating.' This is when you stipple on your contour and highlight products to create your desired face shape before blending." explains Daswaney. "It gives you a chance to make sure every detail is carved out specifically to you, as no face is the same. It helps you see if your desired face shape is working for you before you commit to the final blend."
How do I create an easy eye?
"Make sure you have a dark, medium and light shade of eye shadow," recommends Daswaney—these eye shadow palettes will get you set up. "Use the dark as definition, light as a highlight and medium to blend everything together. I always say make sure your medium colour has a little bit of warmth to it, as it ties everything together better and makes the whole look softer." These eye shadow hacks will help too.
How do I create a perfect winged liner?
Daswaney makes it sound pretty easy: "Use a powder eye shadow over the entire eye to start. Then extend your eyeliner past your lash line." Don't worry about being super precise though, as she recommends you "wipe the excess with a makeup wipe in a sharp upwards swiped motion and there you have it—a crisp line."
How do I do brows if I've never touched a brow product before?
"Brows are super personal," explains Daswaney. "Some like them thick and full, others dainty and sharp. But our number one tip is it should still look like hair and it should be easy to do. Our Kohl Kreatives Small Rectangle Brush (£11) is perfect for this, as it keeps your strokes looking as hair-like as possible."
How do I fake/cover facial hair?
"I love to use a fibre mascara, as it clings to everything, particularly peach fuzz hairs on your cheeks and looks extremely effective," explains Daswaney. L'Oreal Paris' False Lash Superstar x Fiber Mascara (£8) will work well for this.
If you're looking to cover up stubble, "cream [base] products work the best," explains Daswaney. "Start by applying bottom to top in upwards brushstrokes before applying a second layer top to bottom. Finally, apply a loose or pressed face powder and roll it on with a big brush."
Looking for more makeup tips? You can ask us and our community over in our dedicated Facebook group The British Beauty Line—we'd love to hear from you.