How to Conceal & Cover Beard Shadow for Crossdressers and Trans Women
How to Conceal & Cover Beard Shadow for Crossdressers and Trans Women
We get a lot of emails about how to cover beard shadow from crossdressers and trans women so we have written this article which covers the most important tips, techniques and color correcting concealer products for hiding beard and 5 o’clock shadow.
One of the most annoying things about male faces is that pesky beard area (namely 5 o’clock shadow) on the upper lip and chin, before I started my transition and subsequent facial laser treatment it was something that annoyed the heck out of me. In the early days it was hard work trying to find ways to completely cover up the beard area, that was until I found an amazingly effective technique to do just that with color correcting concealers.
I wanted to give you the essential makeup coverage techniques for hiding 5 o’clock shadow on male skin and we also want to introduce you to the makeup color wheel which is as an important reference in regard to facial colour correction for covering things like acne, blemishes, spots, dull areas, beard shadow, dark under eye circles, PCOS (Polycystic ovary syndrome) and general discoloration.
Quick Article Index: Colors for correcting areas of the face, the makeup artists color wheel, correct application of concealer, recommended color correction concealers, laser hair removal and further reading.
We know the many people still believe that the key to a flawless makeup look is applying a ton of foundation and concealer, if the truth be known, tackling those dark areas of the face with layers of regular foundation is the worst thing you can do. So, by using color correcting concealers you can get away from that caked on look and achieve a more natural feminine look whilst covering up any beard shadow.
When you understand how color correcting concealers work on the different parts of your face then you have the ability to create a flawless makeup look. So don’t dismay any longer if you have been looking for a solution to very dark, heavy or pronounced facial hair, or scars and acne from PCOS then there is a simple way for you to achieve a flawless face of makeup using our makeup/concealer application steps.
Take a look at our dual color wheel makeup chart (we will refer to this throughout the article):
The color wheel and color correcting concealers:
The makeup artists color wheel shows a range of colors which we can use to identify specific problem areas on our face. The trick with using the wheel is finding say a reddish area on our faces for which we then take the color on the opposite side of the color wheel so red is opposite to green, therefore you should apply a green concealer to cover reddish facial areas or blemishes.
When it comes to beard shadow, you will find that with even the closest of shaves will still leave a varying degree of dark beard area which in most cases will have a bluish or blue/green tint. If we refer to the color wheel then you can see that blue inversely gives us an orange color for which we can use as the concealer color to hide your beard shadow.
Another important consideration when using the makeup color correction wheel is that of skin tone/shade. If you have fair to light skin then in the case of beard shadow you would use a lighter coverage of orange or pink color concealer (See color wheel chart B above), if you are dark skinned then you can layer more of the orange for a thicker coverage (layer using a setting powder and then apply a further application of concealer).
See what colors can cancel out and neutralize our other facial flaws:
You can see from the above image that salmon also covers blue tones on darker areas of our skin, however the image above does not show orange which is effectively a darker shade of salmon, most male skin tones will suit orange and pink shades for beard coverage.
BEARD CONCEALER QUICK TIP: You will need to apply an orange color (medium to dark skin tone) or a pink color (lighter skin tone) concealer to cover your beard shadow area.[Skip down the page to see product recommendations]
The concealer colors to choose for hiding beard shadow and other problem face areas:
Take a look at the image below which translates this theory into a color correction palette which gives you the corresponding opposite (neutralization) colors (The inner segments of the color wheel correspond to different skin tones).
The colors that neutralize different skin problems:
Orange concealer for covering heavy beard area and hiding 5 o’clock shadow:
Choosing the best color of correcting concealer comes down to a couple of things; the color and consistency of the product. If you need to cover a very dark area of beard shadow, most beard areas have a blue tint, you will need a good coverage concealer with a more intense hue, so a darker orange would be your best choice. If you want to cover beard shadow that is fairly light to medium intensity then you could use an orange in a lighter or a softer hue, so maybe a salmon/peach shade (see below).
Pink concealer for hiding dark skin area, under eyes and light beard shadow on lighter skin tones:
It is worth knowing that pink is created with a mix of red, orange and yellow hues and there is a lot of talk about using pink as a beard shadow concealer but you should note that pink can be a salmon or peachy tone. So, the lighter the tone of pink you use (salmon or peach) should correspond to your skin tone (be it light or medium).
Green concealer for covering redness, acne, rashes or birthmarks:
You can use a green concealer to cover things like red spots, rashes, acne, birthmarks or indeed any other areas that have a redness to them. If you look at the color wheel you will see that the opposite color to green is red, so you should understand, this is how we arrive at using green correcting concealer to cover red imperfections on our skin.
Yellow concealer for correcting mild red and pink skin imperfections:
You should use a yellow concealer to hide any mild red, purple or pink skin flaws, it is great for covering things like purple bruises, veins, and even under eye circles.
Purple concealer for correcting a dull complexion and yellow skin tone areas:
You should use a purple color correcting concealer to hide any yellow undertones on your skin, I use purple to combat my dull complexion and find that it makes a big difference to my overall flawless makeup look (Blend it well with a good brush or beauty blender).
Application instructions for color correcting concealer:
(1) Apply your color correctors before any foundation; the color concealer is one of the first thing to use but can be applied on top of an initial face primer.
(2) Use a good quality brush to apply the concealer; you should apply the concealer only in the general area that you need to color correct.
(3) You should only start applying a light layer or application of concealer; as you can always add more and you can layer it by using setting powder between each layer of concealer application.
(4) You should blend out the concealer; to avoid leaving any harsh edges which are more likely to show through foundation (TIP: Use a beauty blender makeup sponge it is far easier to pat and blend with).
(5) You can apply foundation directly on top of the color correcting concealer; but be careful to only dab the foundation on these areas to avoid any wiping off or smudging of the color corrected areas. You can use a good quality stippling brush or a beauty blender for the foundation application so go with your own preference on this.
(6) Only use the colors you really need; If you have trouble seeing a spot on your face when it is covered in regular foundation then chances are you won’t need to neutralize it with color.
LIPSTICK QUICK TIP: We do know that some people use lipstick instead of concealer for hiding facial hair but we do not recommend it as lipstick does smudge and blur, it is much harder to achieve a good look, as opposed to using a concealer which is designed for the purpose.
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Recommended Color Correction Concealers:
There a large variety of color correcting concealers on the market from affordable to high-end cosmetics but we want to give you some product recommendations at the high-street end of the scale, stuff that I have used and know works, which is affordable.
Some of the recommended products for color correcting are available in mixed color palettes but others need to be purchased in single containers such as LA Girl Pro, Urban Decay (Naked shades), Dermablend and Kryolan concealers, we have included the shade codes for these items for quick reference, you will also find the links to Amazon for more information on the individual products to buy.
We have listed only the products that offer the best coverage and they have the ability to used sheer or for heavy coverage, there are many other color correcting concealers available but beware as a lot of them just don’t cut the mustard.
(1) NYX Cosmetics Color Correcting Concealer 3CP04 (Palette & Single Jar):
This is the conceal, correct and contour palette by NYX, you will need to add the single jar of orange cream corrector as well for your beard coverage and then you have most colors you will need for color correcting your face. (You also get two skin tone concealers in the palette).
NYX is an inexpensive option and the concealers cover most skin imperfections and dark beard areas pretty well.
Get more information on the NYX palette (3CP04) and/or their single jar of orange concealer.
(2) L.A. Girl Pro Corrective Concealer Set in Orange, Yellow and Green:
The L.A. Girl Pro conceal set is available in this set of 3 popular colors, you can use the color wheel to work out quickly what each one is used for. Also, for those wanting a very good beard cover then the orange in this set works really well with most skin tones from light through to darker skin.
This is a very good, high-street end, concealer and it has a lovely light weight creamy texture that applies easily to the skin.
Get more information on the L.A. Girl Pro Concealer Set.
(3) Aesthetica Color Correcting Cream Concealer Palette:
The Aesthetica color correcting palette comes in a nifty round wheel container and it includes the 4 most common colors for correcting skin imperfections and the orange/red shade crème is great for covering most beard shadow issues.
We like that this cream correcting wheel comes with simple step-by-step instructions which makes the application a straightforward process for the beginner.
Get more information on the Aesthetica Color Correcting Cream Concealer Palette.
(4) Urban Decay Naked Skin (Color Correcting Fluid):
The Urban Decay Naked Skin (Color Correcting Fluid) is probably one of my favourite concealers for color correction but it does work out more expensive if you need to buy 2 or more colors. This concealer is light weight and applies really well to the skin, it also blends beautifully to avoid any hard edges showing through your foundation layer.
Get more information on Urban Decay Naked Skin (Color Correcting Fluid).
Brushes & Blenders:
Sigma Beauty F70 Brush: Small and slightly tapered brush ideal for applying your color correcting concealer.
Sigma Beauty F80 Brush: This brush has a flat head with soft dense fibres ideal for liquid or cream foundation application.
Beauty Blender: Ideal for easy blending of liquid or cream concealers and foundation (Best when used slightly damp).
Laser Hair Removal:
Laser hair removal can be an expensive option with multiple trips to a professional clinic and that means going to and from their location with no makeup which can cause anxiety for many transgender women. A great option is actually to buy a home laser kit which is far less expensive and a prefered option for crossdressers and trans women.
We have carried out own research on available face and body home laser hair removal systems, there is an option of both IPL and Laser devices, and found the Remington iLIGHT and the Tria Beauty to be the most effective home hair removal solutions.
(1) The Remington iLight Ultra (Face and Body) is an IPL (Intense pulsed light) device that effectively uses pulses of light to penetrate deep down into to the hair follicle giving permanent hair removal that is quick, gentle and easy to use.
(2) The Tria Beauty hair removal laser (4x) uses DLT (Diode laser technology) as found in high-end systems preferred by dermatologists and professional laser hair removal clinics, the output laser strength is both safe and effective with permanent hair removal results.
In conclusion; if you want to stop the never ending cycle of shaving or body waxing, or you have found clinic visits for laser treatment or electrolysis to be expensive and difficult to fit around your work life then why not opt for a home laser hair removal device that makes it easy to get rid of unwanted hair in as little time as 3 months. The two hair removal systems we suggest are FDA approved which means they are tested and approved by leading dermatologists, be careful to ensure that any laser hair removal system you decide to buy comes with FDA approval which guarantees both safety and peace of mind.
Take a look at our essential guide to ‘Laser vs IPL‘ it offers an essential comparison for home hair removal devices, covering how they work, effectiveness, pain factor, cautions and summary.
You will still need to have a few more prep and cosmetic products in your arsenal to complete your full face of makeup which include a good shaving razor, face primer, highlighting concealer, full coverage foundation and some makeup setting powder (See our popular 10 makeup essentials article for more information).
(1) 10 Makeup Essentials; This crossdresser transformation article covers all the 10 Makeup Essentials that you need to create your flawless feminine makeup look.
(2) The ‘Stepping out secrets’ Program; this complete video and online feminization instructional course helps you achieve amazing male to female (MTF) makeup results, incorporating transformational video tutorial modules from industry professionals on voice feminization, female body appearance, and being more confident as a woman etc., the course is specifically aimed at crossdressers and transgender girls alike who need feminization and transformation advice – take a look at this comprehensive article and review about the stepping out secrets program on the official ‘Transgender Hub’ website.
Do I need a color correcting concealer (makeup.com): This article describes the color wheel complimentary colors and an elementary discussion on what’s a color corrector including the basic concepts of correcting concealers and application.
You may also want to watch this great YouTube video from Carli Bybel who discusses color correcting for beginners; It’s worth a watch. You can find facts about laser hair removal and FDA approval for laser and IPL devices at the U.S. Food & Drug Administration website.
Our Best Selling Crossdresser Makeup Products: