Over the years I’ve come to accept that change is needed for us to move forward, to grow and to adapt – for the better. Since coming out as transgender, I do honestly feel my life is better. I’ve been released from a prison and I cherish life and a future. But that’s from 2017 onward. What about life before that?
Change is good thing. My anxiety begs to differ and likes to kick my ass about it on a regular basis but that doesn’t mean change is bad. It’s just my perception of change. Transitioning is change. The cocoon which allows the start of something new. Something more authentic. Like many other trans women in the world, I started my transition well after puberty. Though I have a diagnosis, HRT and surgery to alleviate the dysphoria, transitioning doesn’t give me back the years I’ve missed as my true self. It doesn’t allow me to experience childhood or grow up as Eva. I guess there comes a point in all our lives when we need to let go of what never happened and to make the most of what can now happen.
One thing that trans women can struggle with is make up. As I’ve mentioned in a previous post, cis females have been lucky enough to learn and refine their make up skills whilst they’ve been growing up. Though I’ve been wearing makeup of some kind for quite a few years, I still can’t help but feel like I’m missing a certain development. Others have had much less experience with makeup. There’s some catching up to do. Luckily though, the make up industry has seen a shift in how make up is perceived – especially with male makeup artists being recognised more and more.
Towards the end of last year, I discovered a brand called Jecca Blac, which was founded by film and TV make up artist Jessica Blackler. This brand was unique in that it was inclusive of all makeup wearers. As Jessica explains “I was inspired by my clients to create a brand that overlooks gender and concentrates on individuality. We work with our customers to create products that suit them and that’s why our first product was designed to cover beard shadow – this hadn’t been done before.”
With the support of L’Oreal Paris, she created the important product for the trans community. Being Chinese, I count myself very lucky. I mean, when was the last time you saw a Chinese person with a moustache or a full beard?! I never had any problems with facial hair, and even when I had laser hair removal to get rid of the bits I did have, they evicted themselves after the 3rd treatment. However, I can totally understand why trans women need such an important product in addition to the important skills needed to apply it correctly. Jessica not only created the product but offered a place where trans women could learn “I got approached by someone from my website asking if I offer makeup lessons. After having many clients I decided to open a studio that acted as a safe space environment that was open to all.” She also agrees that more should be done to help trans women when it comes to makeup “As a brand, education is so important. We educate through our online channels, product packaging, leaflets and also have makeup artists that work for the brand.” With exciting additions being added to the range this year, I cannot wait to see what’s next!! Btw, Jecca Blac have released a limited-edition lipstick called “U.R.U” for transgender awareness. For each one sold, £1 from each one will be donated to Mermaids. This isn’t a paid link btw. I bought one and it’s fucking stunning. The makeup junkie in me therefore feels the need to share the love!! For those who are wondering, all products are vegan as well as cruelty-free, approved by PETA. The best part is that they contain exclusively natural ingredients – perfect for all skin types!!
In addition to make up, Jecca Blac as created Trans Festival – the first of it’s kind in the UK. “Clients feedback was always they felt they wanted an event that was devoted to bringing people together – that’s what Trans Festival is all about.” It’ll happen on Saturday 8th February – which ties in with LGBTQ+ History Month here in the UK. Just like her make up sessions, this too will be a safe space for people. There’ll even be changing rooms for those wishing to change before and after the event. She has thought of everything!! On the day, there’ll be panel talks from icons such as Cambell Kenneford, Juno Dawson, Jake and Hannah Graf on behalf of Mermaids, as well as the chance to get more info about various services and also shop!! With other events planned for the future, this is the start of something exciting for the community.
I just want to say a massive thank you to Jessica for her time, and I’ll see you all at Trans Festival!!
Main image: via Jecca Blac