Make Me A Woman
Make Me A Woman is a professional service based at London Transgender Clinic, for anyone interested in learning how to apply makeup in a safe, private and friendly environment.
The sessions are aimed are trans women who wish to enhance the way they look through the use of products, want better knowledge of how to dress for their body shape, need help deciding which wigs to choose – or simply some support, when going out dressed as a woman for the first time.
The business was founded by two friends, Megan Brennan and Louise Jarvis.
Here they explain the detailed services they offer, and how Make Me A Woman was born out of the lack of tuition and guidance available, for trans women like Megan herself.
“I named myself Megan about three years ago, I’m 57 now.”
My journey has been similar to that of many other trans women, in that I was born male, got married and was lucky enough to have children, before I started transitioning.
I remember at the age of 11 finding some of my sister’s old clothes and trying them on and looking in the mirror, not really knowing what I was doing, but knowing it felt right.
I knew I wanted to be a woman in every single way but for years I fought against how I felt, and in my mind, I lived a dual life.
Fast-forward to a few years ago, I reached a point after I had gotten divorced where I could no longer continue living a lie.
One evening I made my first tentative steps out in London, dressed up as a woman, and I couldn’t believe I’d done it. I couldn’t believe I’d gone outside and felt fresh air dressed as a female.
I’ve had electrolysis and laser treatment at London Transgender Clinic, to get rid of unwanted face and body hair, and I take hormones – all of which have been fantastic.
But the one thing I struggled with was learning how to apply makeup in a way that meant I could just blend in.
There are a lot of makeover services out there for trans women – which are great if you want some nice photos done, or you’re going out – but I wanted guidance and assistance as well as being made up.
I wanted to know why the makeup artist was using certain products, colours, and methods, and to be taught how to use them myself.
One of the best pieces of advice I was ever given was to stop trying to contour my nose, which I had always tried my best to feminise and slim down. I learned that if you make your eyes pop, no one will notice your nose.
I started to wonder how many other trans women were using certain methods because the rulebook said so, when they weren’t necessarily right for them.
I felt that because I struggled to find a makeup service which gave me the confidence, time and attention I needed, other trans women would too.
I wanted to offer what I was so desperately seeking to others, and after having a chat with my good friend Louise who is now a fully trained and qualified makeup artist, Make Me A Woman Was born.
Part of what we offer is a coaching service as well, because some of our clients don’t have a lot of confidence and haven’t been able to go out in public, as a woman, by themselves.
We pop to the shops with them, go for coffees with them, every client has our full support and I can offer that because I know first-hand the difficulties trans women face.
The feedback we’ve had so far is fantastic and while we have a couple of clients in their mid-20s, most are aged 40 and above.”
Megan works alongside Louise Jarvis who gained the internationally recognised ITEC qualification at the London Makeup School, after retiring early from the NHS. Louise is also trained in mature, and male-to-female makeup.
“For trans women, surgery and hormones are important, but being able to apply makeup successfully is the last piece of the puzzle.”
Megan came to me with her amazing idea after I had retired from the NHS, and I remember thinking, oh my god! I knew immediately that I wanted to get involved.
A lot of trans women are used to using stage makeup which is extremely heavy and there are much better products out there. I use the Correct and Conceal product from Jecca Blac’s unisex makeup range, which is designed for use as a beard cover – and it’s one of the best products I’ve ever used.
We have clients from all over the country and while we do work out of London Transgender Clinic, we can work elsewhere if clients require.
I’ve always been absolutely fascinated by trans women and I have so much sympathy towards the struggle many of them go through, because in my opinion, there aren’t many worse things than feeling like you’ve been born in the wrong body.
So to be able to help in some small way, is extremely rewarding. When I started to train in makeup application I realised it was something I should have done years ago.
I love the opportunity I get to help trans women develop their confidence.
Make Me Up, £160, two hours
This package includes a consultation, full makeover, tutorial and aftercare/home advice. Clients will also get a list of all products used and you may take notes if you wish
Shop ‘til You Drop, £120, three hours
This shopping experience is designed to help with the purchase of makeup, clothes and wigs
The Full Package, £270, five hours
This session includes the Make Me Up and Shop ‘til You Drop services combined
Clients wanting an experience tailored to their specific requirements can get in touch for prices
Appointments are available on weekdays or at weekends.