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“I’m Rashida Renée Ward (@evilrashida), and I run a trend archive on Tumblr and Instagram referred to as How To Be a Fucking Lady. I titled it that as a result of the entire idea of being a woman is an oxymoron—there is no such thing as a approach to be a woman. I needed to curate an homage to the influence of Black ladies in trend, however it additionally served as an outlet for me to conceptualize myself, and who I needed to be. I grew up within the Bay Space, primarily in a magnificence salon. My mother owns a salon and so does my aunt, and she or he, my mother, and my cousin, and my sister-in-law all do hair. Although my dad was round, my household was extra matriarchal—it was a hyperfeminine setting. The ladies in my household are stunning, massive Black ladies, and after I was rising up folks have been brazenly antagonistic in the direction of them for training radical self-acceptance. And I used to be a kind of youngsters who had a typical trans narrative. I acknowledged my womanhood very early, however I additionally discovered early on that the world will not be good to individuals who don’t conform.
If you’re Black and trans, there’s a excessive probability that trend is part of your tradition. Between my home, my grandparents’ home, and the salon, there have been at all times loads of Black magazines mendacity round. Nothing however Jet, Ebony…Eunice Johnson’s Ebony Fashion Fair was life-changing. Beginning within the ‘50s, she would journey to purchase couture from designers like Yves Saint Laurent, Emanuel Ungao, Paco Rabanne after which placed on a large-scale trend occasion. On the quilt you’d see Naomi Campbell or Beverly Peele, Stephanie Roberts, Katoucha, Sonia Cole. After which ‘96 and ‘97, you had Alek, Stacey McKenzie, Debra Shaw, and later Oluchi. And since so lots of these ladies have been dark-skinned, I believed it was regular for Black ladies to be all made-up and in trend. I used to be additionally lively in loads of queer LGBT Black communities on MySpace, which is how I bought into ballroom. My curiosity in trend made sense with ballroom, as a result of it was all about wanting the very best. Seeing the women, the trans ladies, stroll and current themselves–I didn’t perceive what transitioning really meant till then. You don’t actually know if one thing can exist till you’ve seen it, proper? Ballroom grew to become like a chance mannequin.
I see magnificence as a survival method, nearly like a camouflage so folks deal with me higher. It helped after I was transitioning. In my downtime, I simply put on sweats with no jush—the glam will not be sustainable! But when I’m getting dressed, I’m placing all the things on. I’m sporting lashes, my eyebrows are finished, I’ve a lip on, full contour, spotlight all the things, wig glued down, corset on, outfit on, excessive heels on. I wish to be beat to capability. There’s a factor in ballroom referred to as a ‘femme queen good 10’: femme queen good 10s are clear, finished, and snatched with a flawless face, physique, all the things. I would like 10s throughout—a snatchation so extreme that I sort of appear to be a Disney villain.
If I’m simply doing my make-up to see a boy, I’m not priming—I’ll solely be round him for like two hours. I’m not doing additional for males. They don’t discover the distinction in any respect! But when I’m going out, I exploit a mixture of Milk Makeup Hydro Grip Primer and the Tatcha Silk Canvas so all the things sticks to my pores and skin. I just like the Becca Ultimate Coverage foundation, and just lately I’ve been eyeing a Pat McGrath one. Do you ever simply purchase into somebody’s model identification? I actually wish to be part of Pat McGrath’s world. I’lI coloration right with Cover FX Correct Click below my eyes, round my mouth, just a little bit on my cheeks, and wherever I don’t wish to appear to be a beard. However my holy grail concealer is the Nars Radiant Creamy concealer in Café. That’s my favourite. I exploit one other creamy concealer from Sephora for contour as a result of it’s so onerous to search out one thing darkish sufficient. The shade is Haute Cocoa. I would use that one on my eyes, too, after I’m attempting to be extra-extra. Then I set all of it with the Laura Mercier Setting Powder in Medium Deep, which I’ve been utilizing without end.
I like my eyes to look very intense, however pure—like a 1992 Naomi child cat eye. I’ve this Anastasia Beverly Hills eyeshadow in Deep Brown that I exploit to do a brilliant dramatic tapered eye. If I’m doing eyeliner I’ve a liquid Pat McGrath one that works, and—you know the way folks use white eyeliner on their decrease waterline? That appears too harsh on me, but when I wish to get that very same look to open my eyes a bit, I’ll use a little bit of this Blonde Ambition Sephora brand pencil on my decrease lash line and within the interior nook. Then I’ll put just a little of Astral White Pat McGrath pigment [Ed note: discontinued] proper there simply to make it sparkle. I’m not choosy with mascara–the one I exploit probably the most is Maybelline Colossal Volume. However I like sporting big eyelashes. For a day I’m working errands, I just like the Ardell Wispies, which I’ll stack on with the clear Duo lash glue.
I put on my brows tremendous skinny. I wax them off—I bought that from my mother—and I’ll use Anastasia Brow Wiz to attract them in. I like to make use of highlighter to make my forehead bones and cheekbones pop—that’s a snatchuation second. Pat McGrath’s Skin Fetish is nice, and I additionally love the Fenty Match Stix in Unicorn. It’s a glittery lavender, which is my favourite coloration. I like lavender, lilac, purple… I love a darkish plum lip pencil and a few gloss. The lip pencil I’m utilizing is Pat McGrath Deep Void and the lip gloss is the Opulust gloss in Lavendaring. That mixture is my greatest pal.
My nails are pure proper now, however I gather press ons simply in case. I at all times have them lengthy and painted black—having lengthy nails wasn’t thought-about elegant after I was youthful, however I might get them to spite my mother anyway. I don’t get my nails finished commonly, as a result of very nice nails could be like $200. However press ons with Essie’s Gel Setter top coat appear to be just a little gel set. I simply purchased a set of tremendous lengthy ones from this lady on Etsy that I can’t wait to put on.
I’ve two several types of hair merchandise: pure hair merchandise and wig styling merchandise. I grew up braiding my very own hair and I taught myself tips on how to use skilled relaxer. However I’ve been pure since I used to be 25, so for six years. With pure hair merchandise, I care concerning the slip and the scent. I would like my hair to scent good when someone’s mendacity on me. It’s wild, as a result of the Suave Essentials Daily Clarifying Shampoo is like 5 cents at Walmart and it’s the very best detangling shampoo I’ve ever used. If I’m feeling snazzy I’ll do no matter hair masks I can get my arms on: proper now that’s the Shea Moisture Manuka Intensive Hydration Mask. Subsequent I’ll put in a leave-in conditioner, both the Curls Blueberry Bliss or my Curl and Style Milk from Shea Moisture. After which I exploit just a little Jamaican Black Castor Oil or this Design Essentials Lavender and Marula Oil to seal in all the things. When my hair is pure, I’m not gelling to make my child hairs look cute––I’m gelling as a result of I’ve a fucking lot of them and they should get out of the best way. You understand how it’s! My favourite edge management is the Style Factor Edge Booster. It’s actually fairly and is available in completely different scents.
Now, if I wish to put on my hair straight I’ll put a wig on. With a wig, I like setting my child hairs with Tresemme mousse, Got2b gel, and spray to maintain all the things in place and ensure the lace is glued down. I at all times prefer to remind people who so much Black hairstyles are primarily based round performance. For those who’re not Black you would possibly simply assume it’s a classy look, however the child hair you see on a Black girl’s wig is there as a result of she’s hiding her lace. It’s a simple approach to easy your errors in case you tousled or in case your hairline is wonky.
My pores and skin is simply good after I don’t contact it. I exploit a delicate, hydrating cleanser like Krave’s Matcha Hemp Hydrating Cleanser or Cerave after which I exploit a toner. I’ve this Laneige Fresh Calming toner, which I like as a result of it’s very gentle and refreshing, and I even have this Paula’s Choice BHA. I used to make use of witch hazel as a toner, so these are an enormous step up for me. I used to do electrolysis which left me with loads of hyperpigmentation, in order that and texture are in all probability my largest issues. I would like my make-up to look nice with out loads of basis. The azelaic acid from The Ordinary retains all the things easy, and I additionally simply purchased a bunch of Black Girl Sunscreen to guard my pores and skin in the course of the day. However at night time I’ll simply use a moisturizer.
To loosen up, I both learn or watch one thing that I can simply lose myself in. I used to learn loads of fantasy, like fluffy vampire or romance novels, however just lately I’ve been into watching Korean Noona dramas—Something in the Rain is simply so fucking romantic. I’ll additionally take heed to music for hours… Grace Jones, TLC, Mary J. Blige, Brandy, Aaliyah. I like YouTube. I watch loads of wig movies (lace frontals, closures, micro hyperlinks tutorials or pure hair tutorials, I like all of them) or trend exhibits. Due to the Fashion Channel on YouTube, I’ve watched nearly each single main trend present since ‘86. However my pastime after I’m bored bored is that this: I’ll watch an outdated present and screenshot all the very best quotes.”
—as advised to ITG
Pictures through the writer