Apr 19

Books on Beauty and Fashion

The following books are available in the Library to read or may be purchased by clicking on the link

Reinvent Yourself with Color Me Beautiful: Four Seasons of Color, Makeup, and Style

Color Me Beautiful_This handy guide provides a springboard to the concepts, colors, and regimens that can make you look your best. The Color Me Beautiful concepts have been refined and developed to give you more flexibility than ever before. The author has blended two all-new color concepts, warm and cool, with our tried-and-true Four Seasons color palettes: Winter, Summer, Autumn, and Spring, to help you better understand and choose the shades for you. Do you need to update your makeup? This is the place to learn how to do it. Do you need style advice.  We give you ideas on how to wear colors in ways you never have before. You will find our color analysis life-changing. Learn what generations of women have known about.

Makeup Makeovers Beauty Bible: Expert Secrets for Stunning Transformations

Makeup MakeoversRobert Jones, makeup artist extraordinaire, outlines step-by-step how even the ugliest duckling can become a swan—with makeup alone! In hundreds of awe-inspiring before-and-after photos, Robert makes it easy for any woman to achieve true beauty in this book, which has become the definitive encyclopedia on the subject. Unlike most makeup books that focus on celebrities or the already-glamorous, this book shows every woman how to be her most beautiful. No matter what your age, skin tone, or profile, Robert can show you simple techniques that camouflage flaws and highlight each woman’s unique beauty. Best of all, it’s EASY! Even if you’ve never worn makeup before, you can learn how to bring out your best in just a few minutes.

Face Forward

Face Forward“Makeup should be fun, not fascist,” celebrity makeup artist Kevyn Aucoin avers in Face Forward, his third book. Conceived as an exploration of the past, present, and future of beauty, Face Forward is an ingenious showcase of the transformative, creative possibilities of makeup, with portraits of everyone from Julia Roberts to Sharon Stone, and Martha Stewart to his mother, Thelma. One customer review: “Based on the same principles as Making Faces, Kevyn Aucoin created a reasonable sequel of his first book. However, making faces definitely had something in it that Face Forward is missing. If you liked Making Faces, I would recommend getting this book, too, but if you want to get one or the other, I would recommend Making Faces”.

Mar 10

Something To Confess

Something To ConfessBy Karen Adler

This Is Real

While this is a short, quick read (105 pages), it’s also well written and rings true to life. Being a life-long crossdresser I have met many wives and this is an exceptional one in her adaption to something strange thrust on her as it is done far too often by those of us with gender disparity. It is the autobiographical account of a 40ish-year-old English married couple and how the husband’s out-of-the-blue confession to his wife that he is a crossdresser impacts their relationship. It is told by the wife, based on a journal she kept as she worked through the early days of coming to terms with this revelation. It is intelligent, insightful, sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes heartwarming, and sometimes funny (darkly, ironically, or straightforwardly, depending on the episode); also brave and honest.

I was skeptical of the timeline in the book because it usually takes wives months and often years to accept or tolerate something that goes so much against the biological grain and cultural conditioning, but having had the opportunity to talk with Karen, her love of “Annie” and her insight into human nature helped her deal and yes perhaps even enjoy part of this journey of discovery, a situation that she handled more tactfully and sensitively than most wives.

Outcomes vary wildly because couples are all made up of unique individuals with their own personalities, tastes, values, turn-ons and turn-offs. This is a “best case” outcome that turned out that way because both partners worked hard to show mutual respect and support, neither focusing solely on their own wants and needs. She has found that this new dimension of their marriage provides opportunities for growth, exploration, sharing at newer and deeper levels than before, more fun, and in some important ways a fuller, richer, relationship. But at the same time, part of her wishes it had never happened and just wasn’t there, because of the high cost of learning to cope with all the pressures, confusion, roller-coaster emotions, and plain hard work that it took her to get to that place.

I would heartily recommend this book for any crossdressing husband or spouse/partner of such. It may or may not not provide any concrete answers to specific dilemmas faced by similar couples, but it could stimulate a helpful discussion between them, if such a thing is possible. I want to thank Tilda of the River City Gems for her contribution to this review and to Karen Adler for her response to my comments.

Sold by Amazon Bookstore, Something to Confess

Mar 10

My Next Husband Will Be Normal – A St.John Adventure

This is a “must read” for both crossdressers and their wives. I related to this book on so many levels; first as a married crossdresser, then as a sailor, a small business owner, a writer, and lastly because I live in the tropics. It’s the story of Rae Ellen Lee and her husband Tom, now Rebekah Jane, written as a memoir by Rae Ellen of their years spent on St. Johns, Virgin Islands.

Paraphrased from Amazon, “Rae Ellen and Tom head for the Caribbean to open canvas goods shop and live the tropical paradise life. There is relentless hard work, endless bureaucratic frustrations and the challenges of living side by side with numerous creatures, inside ones home and out, from pet tarantulas to humongous spiders. But beyond this, there is Tom’s discovery that he is transgender, and Rae Ellen’s gradual understanding of how life-changing this discovery was to become. She is a master of description infused with emotion that brings the island of St. John to life introducing us to its beauty and to a variety of local characters. And as Rae Ellen and Tom’s life together unfolds, we come to know her courageous, generous, and compassionate heart. As in many things, the reality is so much more than the dream.”

We also get a look at St. John, Virgin Islands; its weather, the geography and the culture, which is as laid back as you might expect. If you ever wanted to know how canvas bags are made or what the life of a small business owner is like, you learn the details in spades.

The story overlays the basic conflict between Rae Ellen and her transgender husband and I can attest to the validity of the story through personal experience. We follow Tom’s desire to dress through the various milestones of evolution for a crossdresser, from early discovery to online support groups (Tri-Ess) through meeting other crossdressers and then dressing in public. All this has the expected emotional impact on Rae Ellen and we come to understand her thoughts and fears  as she confronts the future and the likely demise of her marriage.

We see her confusion, anger, sickness and various unsuccessful attempts to deal with the issues confronting them both, even while Tom is often oblivious to what is happening to Rae Ellen. She wonders, “does anything I tell him register”.  The dissolution of the marriage is cemented when we hear Rae Ellen say, “my particular symptoms can result from not feeling cared for and safe” as this is a basic tenet of male-female relationships. Her feelings towards her husband continue to diminish as his crossdressing becomes more and more the focus of their lives and what they too often talk about. At one point she says, “so how do you feel going through puberty dressed like a 1950s housewife’ I wouldn’t have married you if I known you’d evolve into someone else entirely” She views this transformation as a bait and switch, which is so often true for many crossdressers, who after denying themselves for many years, pursue their new found needs with vigor in later life.

The good is that they remain friends even after divorce. The unfortunate and heartbreaking truth  is that two people who love each other must now begin to live their separate lives.

Great Blue Graphics, Publisher

Paperback edition: 6×9 format, 300 pages
ISBN 978-0-9619328-5-5, $14.95
E-book: ISBN 978-0-9619328-4-8, $4.99

Available from the publisher or Amazon My Next Husband Will Be Normal — A St. John Adventure

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