(April 14, 2006)
Last week Mistress Reese asked me what color outfit I planned to wear for Easter. I told her I have a yellow bridesmaid’s dress, so she quickly gave me this assignment – go to the Clinique counter and get suggestions on color for eyeshadow, blush and lipstick. You must tell the saleslady this is for you, and that you’ll be wearing a yellow dress – oh, you can say a yellow outfit if you’d rather.
Yes, it’s much less embarrassing to ask for eyeshadow, blush and lipstick colors for a yellow outfit, instead of having to say “dress.”
Okay, yesterday I wandered all over the place and tried to build up enough courage to do this assignment. I did speak to a Clinique lady at Herald Square and she suggested lots of colors but after I got home I realized I didn’t say it was for me.
Okay I wasn’t even planning on doing this today but I had to go out to buy hairstyle magazines for another assignment, so on the way back home I stopped off at the Clinique counter at a nearby mall.
I was carrying a big wet umbrella and a bag filled with hairdressing magazines and 32 little velcro hair rollers.
It was fairly crowded in that store. Nothing as bad as the mobs at Century 21 and Macy’s Herald Square yesterday, but there were plenty of people milling around.
A stunningly beautiful young saleslady, probably Carribean, greeted me. I took off my baseball cap. “I’m a … a crossdresser, and I wanted to get your suggestions for some colors for me, for eyeshadow, blush and lipstick.” She looked at me for a while. I’m not sure if she knew that I was serious.
“Okay, for you?” she asked.
“Yes, I’m going to be wearing a yellow outfit for Easter and I need to know what colors to wear with yellow.”
“Are you going to wear a lot of makeup? Or a more natural look?”
“Well, natural. It’s not for the stage.”
She took me right over to a big display tray covered with little containers of different eyeshadows. “There’s buttercup, or golden yellow, or spring wedding. Spring wedding is a duo. See how my eyeshadow is actually two different colors? See, there’s eyeliner there, and above it is one color and then above there’s another color?”
“Yes, I see. It’s supposed to make your eyes bigger, that’s what they say.”
She smiled at me and nodded. “What else, foundation?”
“Blush and lipstick.”
“Probably a brown. Let’s look at foundation first. Do you like liquid foundation or powder?”
“What kind of skin do you have?”
“Mostly oily I think.”
“No, your forehead is dry and flaky. You need to moisturize.”
“But my nose is oily, I guess I have combination skin.”
She went over to the little bottles of foundation, selected one, and put a little bit on the end of a Qtip. Before I knew it, she was stroking foundation on my right cheek. “Well, actually your skin looks more red than I thought,” she pondered. She wiped off the foundation before I looked in the mirror. Then she tried another color on my forehead, and then a third! “Hmmm, no your skin seems to get really red for some reason.”
I suppose she is used to customers who don’t blush like a firetruck when they’re having make up put on them in public. I wasn’t sure how to explain I was blushing.
“The makeup isn’t going to look right. Your forehead is too flaky. Would you like to take a seat?”
“Um, no thanks, I’ll just stand.” I wasn’t ready to have all the customers seeing me sitting in the makeover chair!
“You’re kinda tall, you know,” she said and turned to wash her hands.
I thought about this, then I realized “Would you like to take a seat” was one of those questions that wasn’t really about what I would like.
So I sat down in the makeover chair and my knockout saleslady came back to apply a bit of liquid soap to my forehead with a cosmetic round, followed by clarifier and then moisturizer. She was cleansing, exfoliating and moisturizing me!
That clarifier is powerful stuff, you can feel it going in and dissolving gunk.
Then she was putting something on my lips. It looked like gloss but she said it was lip balm. It was strawberry colored and thick.
“Do my lips look dry? I’ve been using lip balm.”
“Yes, they look a little dry. Do you use lipstick?”
“Well yes, either lipstick or gloss. I play around with different things.”
She left to wash her hands again.
“Okay,” I asked, “but what about colors, for blush and lipstick?”
“You want a natural look, right? This one’s called rich tawny.”
Out came the big blush brush and she began sweeping it over a color. I was on my feet in a flash. “No please, I don’t want you to put that on me.”
“All right I’ll just put it on your hand. No, you can’t really see it there. It’s brown but it has a really nice glow to it.”
“And brown for lips too?”
“Well, what color would you wear with yellow?” she asked.
“I don’t know. I have no idea, that’s why I came here.”
“Brown for lips, or just natural.”
She left to put the brush away and wash her hands.
“Okay I want to buy the foundation. What color is that?”
I thought about buying the clarifier too, but the foundation was $20 so that pretty much exhausted my cash supply. Her name tag said she was Keisha and I thanked her by name and told her mine. “I hope you had fun,” she said. “Yes, I did,” I told her.
I guess I was still nervous because I left without taking my change and Keisha had to run across the store to give it to me. Nothing odd about that guy being chased by the beautiful lady in the Clinique labcoat to give him his change back. It happens all the time.
(April 16, 2006)
Okay, this one was NOT an assignment — it’s just something I’ve wanted to do for a very long time. I got a makeover!
What do you wear to a makeover? Well, I wore my pink Minnie Mouse teeshirt that says Good Girl on it, and dockers and sneakers. And panties, of course. The button down shirt stayed home.
My friend came along and took photos. I’ll share them if they come out good.
Originally I thought I’d just wash all the makeup off, but we decided to have lunch first. We went to a mexican restaurant and the staff was friendly enough. Although why the waiter kept referring to a female and a long haired guy in full makeup as “Guys,” is beyond me.
After lunch we went to a food specialty store called Uncle Giuseppes. I got change from the guy at the counter and he didn’t seem terribly shocked by me either. And a bunch of Girl Scouts were selling cookies, so I bought a box of Peanut Butter Dosidos and a box of Thin Mints from them (and yes, I did think of Mistress Cassandra and her favorite cookie being Thin Mints). The Girl Scouts smiled and were very happy. The scoutleader was there and she wasn’t freaking out over this man in make up either.
My friend Emily took a photo of me in the parking lot, in my Minnie Mouse shirt.
Then we went to the drugstore to buy an Easter basket and then to Emily’s new place. Emily’s boyfriend Bob was there. He was just finishing up work and wanted to shower and join us for more shopping. I decided to keep the makeup on for a while. Emily and I watched the end of Cinderella while Bob got ready. Then we all got back in the car and went to Ulta. I put on my hairband because having my hair loose was getting wild.
So I went shopping for makeup while wearing makeup. Cool. I got some face powder, violet eyeshadow, concealer, red lip gloss, pink nail polish and shampoo. It seemed like some of the customers at Ulta were interested in the sight of me. The girl at the counter was friendly and professional.
Then we went to a nearby Macys to find the Clinique counter. A really beautiful salelady greeted me there. I asked which clarifying lotion I should buy, and after determining my skin type she recommended the right lotion and moisturizer for me. I was there less than a minute. Clinique stuff is really expensive.
I got a glance at myself in the mirror behind the counter. Even though I had done some touching up with face powder and lip gloss, that six o’clock shadow was right there, and it was only about 4:00. It was a sad feeling.
Then we walked a bit through the mall. Most people barely noticed me. I guess they see guys with long hair and makeup and Minnie Mouse teeshirts all the time. The little girls seemed to take notice, that here was a grownup who was doing something interesting. We went into a video game store and I bought a video game. The male clerk at the counter was very friendly to me.
I guess there were one or two shocked older women, but other than that nobody reacted much. I was hoping for a smile or two from the girls in the mall, but if there were any, I missed them.
Then we went to Blockbuster, and then back to Emi’s for dinner. Bob cooked some nice hamburgers and hot dogs. Then it was time to wash my pretty face off. I had it on for about five hours.
(April 28, 2006)
About a month ago I mentioned to Ms. Reese that I was thinking of not dyeing my own hair to get the gray out, but instead going to a salon. She had an even better idea for me — haircolor, a girly haircut, blow out and a manicure. She gave me many weeks to ponder my fate, and when I brought it up for discussion she added in that I would have to get highlights, and a french pedicure as well.
Ms. Ally heard about my assignment in the course of a three way phone call with myself and Ms. Reese. She seemed to have no doubt that I could go through with this “day of beauty” on my own. She assured me that there would be a lot of support for me.
The next time I talked to Ms. Reese, she assured me that the highlights could wait, but when I became too nervous to call the salon on my own, she called them herself and booked my appointment and told them just what highlights she wanted me to get. The salon I picked didn’t do manicures or pedicures, so it was up to me to find a way to get that done.
Yesterday I laid out some careful and reasonable arguments why I felt highlights were not a good idea for me. Ms. Reese listened to me carefully and then got out her princess paddle and gave me a virtual spanking. Then she assured me that she would be with me in spirit while I got my girl’s hairdo.
I told her I wasn’t sure what to wear for my trip to the salon, so Ms. Reese instructed me to wear my pink Good Girl teeshirt that I wore for my makeover. In a phone call last night she took me step by step in very great detail through exactly what was going to happen to me. This both reassured me, and got me very squirmy and restless.
Since I wasn’t sure if I’d be getting a manicure, I had shaved my hands, but hairy arms and hairless hands look very weird even if you’re not wearing a pink Good Girl teeshirt, so this morning I shaved the hair off my arms. I still have plenty of body hair, after all, there’s my eyelashes, and eyebrows, and the hair on my head.
I got to the salon and the first thing they wanted was my jacket. I sat next to a lady perfectly at ease, flipping through fashion magazines. I was nervous as a cat in my pink teeshirt and nude arms. Across from us was a table with a long pair of pink bunny ears on a mannequin head. They reminded me of the cat ears Ms. Reese made me wear last night.
The lady was having an interesting conversation with Jon, the assistant at the desk. They were discussing colored contact lenses. “I have one that’s red, and it’s black where the whites of the eyes are. But I can’t wear them to work, I would scare the customers,” said Jon.
The owner of the salon, Carol, entered and introduced herself to me. Then Jon read out to her the instructions Ms. Reese had left. “Full process color? You’re kidding,” said Carol. “No,” said Jon. Carol turned to me. “You’re going to be here for a while,” she said. I nodded.
Carol ushered me to a chair and when I sat she asked me, “What is your vision?” I almost said I’m nearsighted, but she followed up with, “What do you see your hairstyle to be?”
“I have a photo, it’s in my jacket,” I showed her the photo Ms. Reese selected for me. It was a beautiful blonde with long bangs. “That shade of blonde?” asked Carol. “No, not blonde,” I said quickly, “Just that style.” “And you consider that to be a conservative look?” asked Carol.
I gave her one of those long confused pauses that I’ve become so good at. “Would you like to look at some other styles together?” she asked. She brought me over to a couch and she got out this enormous book of hairstyles. She asked me what kind of job I had and how conservative I have to be. I told her I work at home but I had concerns with my family and sometimes had to present myself “as a regular person.” I told her I wanted the highlights to be subtle.
“Do you blow dry your hair?” she asked. “No,” I told her. “Okay, we have to think about a style where you don’t have to do a lot. Are you averse to layers?” she asked, showing me some layered hairstyles. “I grew up in the seventies,” she told me. “I never really grew up,” I replied.
She even showed me one photo that was a guy. “How much can I take off?” asked Carol. “As little as possible,” I told her. The photo she finally arrived on was a female.
“So no bangs?” I asked with disappointment. “I don’t think they would look good on you,” Carol answered. “You have a widow’s peak. You’d start getting the Donald Trump look if we part it too far on the side.” The girl in the photo she showed me was very pretty, so I agreed. Carol assured me I could style it to look like the photo Ms. Reese selected.
She asked me if I go out to a lot of places in the neighborhood and I replied that I was a lone wolf. She told me about this bar where the drinks are cheap and there is a big community feel, with live music and readings. “It’s like going to church,” she said. “I go to church,” I answered. “So do I – not as often as I should, but I go. We’re all lone wolves,” she said.
Carol introduced me to Chai, a very pretty black woman. “Give him a very very light wash,” said Carol. “First take him to the color room.”
“This is the color room,” said Carol, opening the door to the bathroom. “You can take off your shirt and wear one of these robes, so you don’t get color on your shirt. Or you can keep your shirt, if you’re more comfortable.” I went into the bathroom and took off my teeshirt and wrapped myself in a short black kimono robe.
I returned to Chai, then Carol said, “Never mind, I’ll cut him dry, come over here.”
“That was a very very light wash,” I said to Chai and she smiled.
Carol began snipping away at the ends of my hair. She talked more about the bar across the street where the drinks are cheap. The other lady who had been waiting was being worked on by another stylist.
Carol was discussing one of the other employees and to my surprise, announced, “I think this is going to be her last day. She does great tattoos but she doesn’t always have it together on the desk.”
Without my glasses on it was hard to focus on Carol while she was talking. Suddenly she said, “Don’t look at me and I won’t look at you.”
“Whatever you say is fine with me,” I answered. “Yes fine,” said Carol. Then she said loudly, “We have some very quiet customers here today. J— here doesn’t say anything and he agrees with whatever I say. We should have S&M night on Sundays, where the customers get whatever style we want to give them!”
“Now come on, I asked you a couple of questions,” I objected. “S&M night sounds great but I have plans every Sunday.”
“Well you can come here after you get out of church,” laughed Carol.
A guy waiting for a haircut said, “Isn’t being nailed to a cross kind of like S&M?”
Carol snipped a lot of hair off, then she brought over a tray that was brimming with sheets of aluminum foil. Ms. Reese had told me about this part. “You’ll have so much foil in your hair, darling, you’ll be able to pick up HBO,” she had said with a giggle.
Carol took a tiny strand of my hair and put it inside the foil. Then she took a paint brush and painted it with something that really smelled. Then she wrapped up the strand of hair in a little square of foil. She then repeated this step another sixty quadzillion times.
When she was done I looked a lot like a satellite with a face.
Carol looked into my eyes while selecting my haircolor. “Very nice,” she said, looking at my eyes. She brought over locks of hair, each a different color. “Yours is kind of an ashen brown. It should be brighter. Not a different color, the same as your natural color, just brighter.” She picked a very nice shade of brown that I think was my natural color in years gone by.
As Chai came over to apply my color, I asked if she would take a photo.
“A photo NOW?” asked Chai.
“The boy will do it. Come here, the boy!” Carol called to Jon. Jon took my camera and took a shot. I thanked him for his help. “I have a friend who will really appreciate this,” I said.
“Be sure his hair is thoroughly saturated,” said Carol to Chai. “He has a lot of gray back there! I want his hair to be all pretty in the back, see?”
Carol took the guy who was waiting for his haircut. He had a CD of his own music. They played it in the salon and the band sounded great. Then they put on a CD of David Bowie songs. Carol and the guy she was working on were both singing the songs loudly as she cut his hair. Chai carefully applied my new hair color with a paint brush.
“This is a lot different from dyeing your own hair,” I said to her. She agreed. We watched as Carol jumped up on a chair and started to sing one of the songs. “That’s good,” said Chai. “I guess it is,” I answered. “Well, if you feel that, you’d better let it out! You can’t keep that inside you!” she said.
“It’s like anything. I worked in medical billing for ten years. When I came here, I got a mohawk. If you want to try a different style, then you should take a chance. You always got to take a chance, otherwise you’ll never know what that could have been like.” I told her I had already lost twenty pounds this year. “Oh, well you’re on your way,” she said. I really liked Chai best of all.
The other stylist had just finished work on her customer and everyone was admiring her look. I fished my glasses off the tray to see. She looked great. “Wait till you see how pretty *you* look,” promised Chai.
Chai applied something she called color remover to my neck and ears and around my face. It smelled like paint remover but I said, “My that smells pretty.” She sniffed the container as she walked away.
Carol finished up with the musician and came back to me. “Is he saturated?” she asked Chai. “Yes, good.” “You taught me well,” Chai answered softly.
“Okay, I’m off to have a cigarette,” Carol told me. “You still need to process.” I was left alone in the chair for a while, still looking like a satellite dish. I grabbed my glasses off the table and looked around. A girl with long dark hair was showing a book of tattoos to the stylists. I got out of the chair and wandered over to look at the tattoos. After all, how long can you sit in a chair looking at yourself in the mirror?
After a while, Carol had me move back to the chair by the sink. Once I was seated, she had Chai take out all the hairclips and foils and carefully wash my hair. She rinsed it over and over to get all that environmentally hazardous stuff off my head and down the drain where it belongs. Then she gently wrapped my hair in a towel. While this was going on I looked over to see the boy, Jon, was wearing the pink bunny ears.
“Your color looks really pretty, you’ll see when Carol blows it out,” said Chai. Suddenly I realized how far my kimono had unwrapped. I had a rather deep décolletage.
I returned to the seat where I started, but Carol wanted me in the chair next to it. “This is the fun chair,” she explained. So I sat there and she blew out my hair, then snipped some more. I didn’t have my glasses and I was trying like heck to make out my highlights. My hair seemed much shorter in the front.
Carol had to leave for a minute, so I swiveled my chair around and looked at a lady waiting on the couch. “You’re not cutting that, are you?” she asked me.
“I’m not cutting anything, I’m just sitting here,” I told her.
“Good,” she said.
“I just hope it doesn’t all fall out.”
“I think we should age backwards, like George Carlin said. I don’t know if you’re past forty yet, but once you get there, everything starts hurting.”
When Carol came back I said to her, “I think this haircut makes me look younger.”
She snipped some more and then out came the hairspray. “This is called Queen For A Day thickening spray,” said Carol as she sprayed me with it. “And now, because I can, here’s a spray to make it all nice and shiny.” She handed me a big mirror and made me wave my hair back and forth. “Go ahead, wave it around like the Pantene girl!” I tried to do this, laughing.
Then we were done. I got my glasses and looked at my hair. It was shorter with layered ends. I still can’t see the highlights but the main color is very pretty. I went back to the “color room” to change back into my Good Girl shirt.
“Don’t forget your camera here,” said Carol. “Do you want an after photo?” I agreed, and she told Jon to take my photo.
“Can I take one with the ears?” I asked Carol.
“The bunny ears. Can I have a photo with those on?”
“It might mess up your hair.”
“Okay, forget it.” I waited a while for Jon to come and take my photo but he never did.
Carol sold me a bottle of Queen For A Day hairspray so I can be queen any darn day I want to. “Do you plan to blow dry your hair from now on?” asked Carol.
“I don’t know.”
“Well, you can always come in and we can blow it out for you for a special occasion. Don’t forget about that bar I told you about. We’re all lone wolves there but people really support each other.”
“You have very pretty nails,” said the tattoo girl when she gave me the bill. Sort of an odd thing to say to someone who just spent three and a half hours getting his hair pretty, but I’ll take my compliments where I can get them. I thanked her and smiled. Jon, for some reason, was turned around with his back to me, as if he might have been laughing.
I gave a tip to Carol, and she tilted her cheek toward me and I kissed her. “This is mine!” she said loudly to Chai, showing the bill. When she went past, I gave the same amount to Chai as well. “Oh thank you. Do you like your cut?” she asked.
“Maybe we’ll see you at that bar.” I thanked her and turned to leave.
“Don’t forget your product,” said the tattoo girl, showing me the can of Queen For a Day. I thanked her, took the can and rushed home.
Her comment about my nails reminded me that I was supposed to do the pedicure today too, but there was no courage left in me.
I did a few after photos and I think I have a good 4 or 5 inches less hair than before. It looks a little thicker though. And the color is very nice.