Wednesday, April 07, 2010


Yes, i'm devoting an entire blog post to makeup.

I love makeup. I love being femme, wearing makeup and owning A LOT of it.
I bought a toolbox to fill with my makeup.
I love the trappings of 'femme' and the bois who love it - and by being queer and wearing makeup, you're being a radical feminist (contrary to what some gaystream lesbians may think).
Common theory is you wear makeup to accentuate the feminine, and therefore attract the masculine (men).
But what if you're queer and are wearing (femme) makeup, but are not doing it for the male gaze? You're turning your back on the gender binary and the mainstream, you're embracing your femme identity and all that it entails.
You're doing it as an expression of your own self.
Just my own thoughts on this.

Anyways. I had a Femme Guild meeting last night, enough said.


I have a love-hate relationship with Maxfactor Makeup.

Their Masterpiece Max is the best mascara i've used, but if I use it more than twice a week I have an allergic reaction to it.

I love the colour range in the Lipfinity lipsticks plus they don't have the annoying sparkles that Rimmel or Maybelline have, but find that they flake off (its pretty gross). Staying power it does not have in my experience.

By far the best fake eyelash glue i've ever used is from Make Up Store (there's one at Broadway). It dries black which makes it brilliant for using over eyeliner and fixing smudges. I've used it on heavy eyelashes and they stayed on all night, even through sweaty dancing (i.e. Mardi Gras - that was 12 hours solid of dancing). Awesome stuff.
I wear false lashes any chance I get, I really love the half lashes - so easy to apply, give them a go if you've never used falsies before.

Looking for a great vintage style lipstick - Revlon does a great matte one, and colour 006 (i think its Really Red) is pretty true to a retro fifties colour.
Use Benefit She Laq over the top (this stuff is the bomb!) and it will stay on for ages.

If you've ever wanted to do pin-up style eyeliner - this tutorial is fabulous:

I highly recommend Revlon's Colourstay Liquid liner - it really does stay on all day without smudging and its really easy to apply.

And, that about does it. I've trawled youtube for some great retro makeup clips - i'll share them eventually...


Kris said...

"But what if you're queer and are wearing (femme) makeup, but are not doing it for the male gaze?"

That kind of blows my mind a little, Bex. Every time I'm tempted to wear makeup, I get annoyed with myself for buying into the binary system and Rodd has to endure me ranting all day about the fucking male gaze. But you're right; femmes wear makeup and they're not doing it for men. Huh.

But see, it still comes back to the WAY we wear makeup. If we're still wearing the same sort of "face" that's performed for men, even if we're not doing it for them, aren't we still buying into the system? How do you reconcile wanting to be feminine when so much of what hetero society deems "feminine" is related to traditional ideas of women's weakness, subjugation and sexual availability?

It's like my black leather calf boots. (My FMB's, if you will.) I like them, but I rarely wear them. I like them because I feel like a sexy superhero in them. But when I wear them out, I feel unwanted attention. I feel guilty for wearing something that many men see as signifier of sexual availability (or even of prostitution, etc). I feel like other women are judging me for buying into that system. My boots that are supposed to make me feel strong end up making me feel week. They make me feel reduced to a stereotype. And that sucks.

This is all very interesting. Can you have visitors at your femme meetings? :)

Emily said...

Cool! I like the eyeliner explanation. Reckon I'd get all that shadow in my eyes, though - have to where lenses to be able to see well enough to put the stuff on, but then can't deal with the dust!

Bex said...

Hey Kris, love what you wrote!
I'll email ya! I'll put up a bit here though...

Something to think about: - if i'm same-sex attracted (but am femme), doesnt it show that the concept of masculinity and femininity transcend gender (male/female)?

Another thought - masculine women show that 'masculinity' is not just the province of men, i.e. that its not a gender or sex trait? Masculinity /= men?

But you're right about still having to deal with men responding to overt displays of femininity or of women feeling good in their own bodies (the FMB) - unfortunately thats the consequence of a patriarchal society (ha! I got to say patriarchal - 10 queer points!). If it makes you feel better, there are probably butches sneakily checking you out too.

And its a constant battle - I'm well aware that if I leave the house in a dress, makeup and heels that men will look (especially in Pbowl).

Everyday I make a decision to either deny who I am to blend in, or go out and be true to myself and deal with the consequences.

And thats where I feel it gets a bit radical-feminist - by denying my feminine self, i'm letting a male-centered society get the better of me. By embracing it, and preparing to battle (and 'out' myself constantly, cos, I must be straight dressed like that right?) i'm raising the visibility of femmes, and owning my femininity for myself.

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