Paul Heaton, the managing director of Bond for transgender women, shares some of his pro tips and tricks on looking and feeling your best.
Tell us about Bond
Our main values are to improve self-esteem and confidence of trans women. We do this through making them feel good on the outside with make-up, hair, nails and all things beauty. We also have counsellors and other specialists that help people come to terms with anything that is going on in the mind. We have a holistic approach and our target audience is transgender women.
What does the makeover process entail?
We haven’t got templates that fit all because the trans community is very diverse. We assess their body shape, facial features, what kind of hair we think will suit them and then put a package and a look together bespoke for that person.
What products do you use?
I mostly use high street makeup because they are accessible brands. Mac, Nyx, Sleek are some of the brands I tend to use. I have got a real mix of stuff, some very expensive makeup and some midrange ones, so you don’t need to spend an awful lot of money to look good you just need to know what products perform well within each brand. For example, Nyx has a fantastic foundation called HD and its great coverage, yet it’s not mattifying and drying.
What are some popular looks that trans women prefer to wear?
It depends on the occasion; some girls come to me for a very light day look with all the feminisation techniques. Some people like to have a Goth or punk look which is usually popular among young people. Smokey eye with a little bit of sparkle and neutral lips is quite a popular night out look. If anyone has got tattoos or a favourite colour they like to wear, we reflect that in their makeup.
‘I’ve had people cry and hug me after I have done their makeup’
What are some of your beauty tips?
The most important one is the eyebrows because they are a real telltale sign. The male’s eyebrow sits on the bone while the female eyebrow is higher. It’s important to keep the brows nicely shaped. Contouring of the forehead is another important tip because again a man’s hairline is quite high. If they are using their own hair, just contouring at the top of the forehead will make the face appear a little bit smaller and they will look more feminine.
What style tips do you have?
The most important tip for dressing is to be age appropriate and wear clothes that other women of your age would be wearing. Have a look online what women of your age are wearing and then mirror that but also take note of shapes because obviously, a male physique is different from a woman’s.
What is your experience of working with trans women?
Working with trans women is really rewarding. When they see themselves transformed there’s a rush of emotions. I’ve had people cry and hug me after I have done their makeup. The trans community is very warm and welcoming and I have made many friends since I have been running Bond. There’s a real mix of different people out there on the trans spectrum and it’s fascinating reaching them all.