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Thread: I'm Learning As I Go

  1. #1
    Member Linda K.'s Avatar
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    Red face I'm Learning As I Go

    As a CDer that has never really been serious about dressing until recently, I am learning how difficult it can be to dress and be passable at the same time. So I am buying items one bit at a time to learn what it takes to use the items properly and all the work involved with using them. For example, press-on nails. I purchased a set and found the first time I tried them was a disaster, they kept peeling away and didn't stick very well. I watched a YouTube video on how to apply them and it worked great, they stuck really good. However, I painted them on a paper towel before putting them on thinking they would look better once I had them on but they didn't look very good because they kept moving around on the towel and they picked up a lot of lint from the towel. I stuck them on my fingers and tried touching them up. Made a bit of a mess on the fingers but found it is easier to paint them on the fingers than a paper towel. I then decided to try and repaint them. So I used acetone to remove the old polish and learned that acetone will eat through the press-on nails too! DOH! Next time I am going to just stick them to the fingers first and then paint them.

    I know what you are all thinking but I want to remind all of you, I am just getting started with this and have never tried any of it before. So please, any advice that will help be more presentable would be appreciated. This is what has drawn me to this site, all the support I have seen so far.

    So with that being said, what have you found is the hardest part of getting dressed and making it look right? So far for me, almost everything! LOL!

    P.S. How does anyone type with nails on? It's impossible!

  2. #2
    Just being true to myself Jolene Robertson's Avatar
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    Hi Linda, It is quite an adventure for sure. You'll get better as time goes by and that is part of he fun. We all have our weak spots, for me it's the makeup, sometimes I put it on and look like a clown and have to remove it all and start over a couple times. I have long nails so I've never tried the press on ones so I can't be of much help there. But I can type fine with the long nails just takes some getting used to.

  3. #3
    Miss Conception Karren Hutton's Avatar
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    When I use press on nails, I always take the entire box with the nails in their plastic shells and paint them with spray paint. Either regular or hobby spray paint. Give them a couple coats. The colors are amazing and the finish is fantastic. Always got compliments about my nails when out and about. Works for glue on nails too.

  4. #4
    Member Kris Burton's Avatar
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    It's quite a learning curve to be sure...makeup is the area for me...how are you doing there? I follow tips made by persons here, and watched the you tube videos...much practice needed yet. How are you doing with clothing? My male body - hips the same size as my waist- really makes this an adventure in itself...I have returned many outfits. I think need to purchase some hips before going any further.
    Girl, we got a lot to talk about!

  5. #5
    Senior Member Pumped's Avatar
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    I often will paint my fake nails before I put them on. I have a small piece of board with ten screws driven in. I take a bit of duct tape and roll it sticky side out and stick the nails to the screw heads. Do this the day before and let them dry!

  6. #6
    Silver Member Maria 60's Avatar
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    I give you credit for trying the nails at all, I painted my nails once and it was a challenge. The worse part was the nail polish was getting into the cracks of my nail and it was impossible to remove it.
    I remember the first time trying on lipstick, it took me an hour and I kept going off my lips and making a mess. Now even my wife's impressed how fast and perfect I put it on. Practice makes perfect.

  7. #7
    Member Linda K.'s Avatar
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    Kris - I have been lucky and really happy with all the clothing purchases I have made so far. I just took measurements of everything, including foot circumference, and saved it all in a spreadsheet. This way I don't have to remember anything and it helps me find the right size for me. The only purchase I have made that didn't work out is a pair of pumps. I ordered my size but they weren't true to fit, they were a bit large and the heels were nowhere near underneath my heels. I reordered a size down and they fit well but real tight in the toes. I just kept wearing and massaging them and they finally broke in. Now I can wear them for much longer periods of time. Unfortunately, they didn't want the first pair back and I don't know what I am going to do with them. I thought about getting hips too but decided against them, I'll just go with what I have. My pantyhose keep losing the "battle of the bulge" and I was thinking about getting a waist trainer to help with that. I really don't know where to start with makeup. The only makeup I have bought is a concealer. I have my eye on a starter kit, but I am not sure if I will just end up looking like a clown, as Jolene has said. Maybe I will buy the kit and just practice with it.

    Pumped and Karren - Both excellent ideas that I didn't think of. I will give both a try and see which works best for me.

    Maria - I am having difficulty getting the polish out of my cuticles. The press-on nails were supposed to help me hide the fact I am using polish at all and I went through a lot of cotton balls trying to get it off the cuticles! I have never tried lipstick because I am afraid I won't be able to get it all off when I go back to "man mode." When I am ready for that, I will practice, practice, practice!

    Thanks everyone!

  8. #8
    Rural T Girl Teri Ray's Avatar
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    Hiya Linda and welcome to the Crossdressing "tried that and didnt work club" Your story is very common and I am betting we here could have a whole forum about the things we have tried and found were done wrong. I have many times screwed up my false nail job resulting in quite the mess. Lets not even begin to discuss eyeliner errors, those stories could be a chapter all alone. Did you hear the one about my first time trying to trim my eyebrows? I ended up trying to use a razor and cut one off. Well how does one explain that??. Luckily for me I am an expert story teller and conjured up a story about lighting the gas grill and the flash back burned my brow off. Kinda a long shot story to buy but since I am known for doing dumb stuff it worked. Other great error excuses to come.

    Have fun and stay safe.
    Teri Ray Rural Idaho Girl.

  9. #9
    Exploring NEPA now Cheryl T's Avatar
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    In the beginning the hardest part is Everything...

    Like anything else that you do it just takes practice.
    The other thing that helps is learning from others, like YouTube or a friend or trying tips you find in places like this forum.
    But mostly, lots of practice.
    Wear something pretty every day !

  10. #10
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    When my interests in wearing women's clothing expanded I was consumed with presentation. I was a lot younger, and, except for my height being an issue, I probably had an easier time with presentation than now as a senior. Aging sort of takes its toll. Yes, I tried press on fake nails. It was a lot of work and trial and disaster. As I became more comfortable with myself I started looking at the fingernails of women. Yes, I see some women with talons that are actually impeding whatever they were hired to perform. A women with talons at a check out counter or a key board is not productive. I noticed most women do not have long nails. The nails may fully cover the fingers, but do not extend very far past that. If I was the boss and I found my employees were not productive because of the nail length I'd tell them to cut the nails. And, if there was resistance, then I'd fire them.

  11. #11
    Aspiring Member MargaretJ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Linda K. View Post
    I have never tried lipstick because I am afraid I won't be able to get it all off when I go back to "man mode." When I am ready for that, I will practice, practice, practice!

    Thanks everyone!
    Hi Linda, I had similar worries about lipstick and eyeshadow, and after washing, I would be staring into a magnifying mirror for ages, looking for tiny spots I may have missed. Never found any, and it took me a while to get out of that habit. I use either make up removing wipes, or micellar water and cotton pads for an initial clean, and then use baby wipes as an overall wipe, then wash normally. The baby wipes were a tip from my sister, as she uses them and says they are far cheaper and better at removing make up, but I still use the "proper" wipes or micellar for an initial cleanse, mainly because I use a lot of mascara and eyeliner, and they are very good at getting heavy eye make up off.

    That's a really nice avatar picture you have.
    "She snuck up on me from behind. You'd think women would make more noise with those big high heels, but they don't, they've got this stealth thing going..."

  12. #12
    Junior Member crobeson96's Avatar
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    No one has mentioned the problem I had with press-on nails - how to get them off?
    What is the atomic secret to readily and quickly (car in the driveway moment!) remove a set of nails?
    Is that secret different for press-on as opposed to glue-on?

  13. #13
    Senior Member NancySue's Avatar
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    I echo many responses. Practice, practice, practice. Each failure is actually a success. The key is try and try again, then again. I, too have learned a lot watching YouTube, especially makeup. Even after you?ve reached improvements, you?ll have good days and bad days. Be not discouraged. After a while, it will be second nature. I tried artificial nails, but now prefer to file my nails and use nail polish. Yes, it took a lot of practice. Was it worth it? You betcha.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Maid_Marion's Avatar
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    The best nail polish remover to quickly remove all traces of polish is 100% acetone.

    Use a base coat to prevent staining your nails with red nail polish. The top coat can sometimes work magic when fixing up bad applications of nail polish.

    I now use Expressie nail polish because it goes on quickly and lasts a reasonable length of time.

    Marion
    Last edited by Maid_Marion; 10-24-2021 at 11:51 AM.

  15. #15
    Aspiring Member DianeT's Avatar
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    Hi Linda I paint my nails directly without protective varnish. This works for me since I dress very infrequently, otherwise I would use some protective layer to avoid the nails to turn yellow. Since it's never for more than a few hours, I don't need an additional layer to protect the varnish itself. If I cook or do things around the house (very rare too since we usually split the flat in two when I dress and I rarely have it for myself), the varnish gets slightly damaged, but since I don't go out it still looks good enough for me, and nobody will be there to contradict me.

    The thing I find the most difficult? Making my male's eyebrows a little more arched and elevated since it participates a lot in the illusion of a female look. I tried many recipes (except paper glue, I like my skin thanks), it was each time horribly complicated and moderately effective, so last time I just gave up and kept my eyebrows natural (and took the opportunity to switch to a much lighter makeup routine). I really love some of the photographs I took then. Much more natural.

  16. #16
    Member FrannGurl's Avatar
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    When it comes to makeup, just keep practicing and YouTube can be very helpful.
    As far as nails I use the Kiss brand with the glue and I go with the medium length ones. I also usually buy them in a French manicure style and just paint my toes, although when I do paint my nails, I usually paint them after I put them on.
    One thing with the glue on nails though is that you need to be sure they are on straight the moment you put them on because the glue sets immediately

  17. #17
    Member Denice's Avatar
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    I'm trying to fathom the mysteries of mascara
    I'm a man. I like being a man. I also love wearing women's clothing. It's my way to show honor, respect and solidarity with them.

  18. #18
    Senior Member
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    A bit of a tip with press on nails. Buy the pre painted or decorated ones. It helps not to paint them and can be done quicker and looks good. I also found they have sticker nail color. You clean your nails and stick it on then trim with a file. Those work really well and come off easy or stay in if you want. It is definitely a learning process though something GGs take a life time to learn.

  19. #19
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    Linda, for me it's not really CDing if I don't have my nails done!

    As to the options, we all seem to have various methods that work but none are universal. I have often done the stick-on/press-on and lost a few before a few hours passed but for this summers adventure I got a new type (for me) that worked well for 2 days, but getting your nails clean and dry is really the key to success. The ones that worked had a stick on pad with a layer over it, I'll post it below. Roughing your nails can also help quite a bit, just that everyone's nails are different in the amount of oils, conditions, etc.

    As to gluing, when I really wanted as permanent solution as possible I did the same thing, roughed up my nail before applying. Since I'm right handed, I did that hand first as lefty can be a challenge. I found that Super Glue brand, LIQUID not Gel, is the best option. Pick out the ones you want and have them ready to go, in order. Going one at a time, I apply a thin layer to both the false nail and my nail, spreading it as smoothly and quickly as possible before placing them on and squeezing hard for about 20 seconds. This is perfect about 95% of the time, just make sure not to get it on your skin, clothing, table (Granite!) or anywhere else, it works too well every time! When taking them off I use the orange stick that comes with most, peeling it off with some possibly shredding in the process. I often have a layer of glue left which can be filed away if you wish and sometimes it lifts the top layer but either way in a day or so I don't see any difference. I have heard some have had real problems removing glued on nails so I would try it when you have time to clean up afterwards. I once had a set of red nails bleed through, had to tell everyone I was painting with spray paint and it got all over my hands.

    I did come to see how nice a set of French manicure look and Amazon has so many options and shades. I have done the blank ones and applied colors myself but often regretted it as I got a bit on my finger or it was somewhat lumpy or uneven.

    When done right, a set of medium length nails works best, typing was a small adjustment while longer lengths made typing impossible but they stay on through showering, dressing and anything else I put them through.

    Good luck, Jamie

    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07QJ56Q7C...t_details&th=1

  20. #20
    Member Misty_cder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Denice View Post
    I'm trying to fathom the mysteries of mascara
    I second this and add foundation too the mix.

  21. #21
    Aspiring Shopaholic BTWimRobin's Avatar
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    Hi Linda,

    I don't really know what I don't know. The learning curve is quite steep. When you think about it most GG's have been practicing since they were little girls and here we are trying to learn everything overnight. Sometimes I feel like I take one step forward then two steps back.

    Good luck!!!
    - Robin


    Because life is too short not to.

  22. #22
    Silver Member Bobbi46's Avatar
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    Linda, I had your cuticle problem and also at the side of the nails until one day in a shop I found a pot with a screw lid and sponge rubber inside with a small hole in the middle,it was filled with nail polish remover. You push your finger down into the pot and oscilate your finger up and down and round and round and in no time all, all vestiges of polish have gone. The lid also has a round piece of sponge rubber which gets soaked in remover every time it is put back on. Periodically I take the lid off, tip the pot upside down and at the same time squeezing the sponge inside to get rid of all of the old remover. Then a refill the pot and use it over and over again until the sponge begins to breaks up.
    I am sure you should be able to find something like this where you are
    I started life a lost man now I am a found woman

  23. #23
    Junior Member crobeson96's Avatar
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    Rather an aside to the topic at hand, I remember an article about the making of "To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar (1995)". The reviews indicate the movie hasn't aged well as it offered shallow stereotypes of three drag queens (played by Wesley Snipes, Patrick Swayze, and John Leguizamo) on a cross-country journey. What I remember though is a quote from the film's production - Patrick Swayze said as he got dressed for filming that one thing brought the sense of femininity to him every single time. Dresses, pretty underthings, makeup - none had the same effect as the makeup techs applying the glamorous fingernails and polish. He said by the time they finished, "I was her."

  24. #24
    Gold Member Helen_Highwater's Avatar
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    Linda,

    This may interest you;

    https://www.crossdressers.com/forums...ighlight=nails

    If you read though the post you'll find that I stick my false nails to pencils or bits of dowel with BluTac and then use car spray paint to give the colour and then a final coat of clear lacquer.

    I use super glue to attach them. Don't go mad with the glue or it'll end up spilling out onto the nails. To remove I use a metal nail file and gently starting at one edge work the file under the false nail until it pops off. You can get super glue release fluid which is useful for getting old glue off both your nails and the false ones.
    Who dares wears Get in, get out without being noticed

  25. #25
    New Member
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    Refreshing

    My first post, been stalking a while.

    This post is refreshing. So many things that I have thought about or struggled with!

    I am someone that has never been comfortable with the thought of EVER sharing this side of me with another CD (my wife is my best friend, knows, and we are in a good space.) But this conversation has made me think I could be at a bar sharing these stories and laughing.

    Is it odd that I would 30% want to say ?I hear you, man? and 70% want to say ?You got that right, girl!? - such a strange world we are in.

    Anyway, nice to meet you all.

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