At Jecca Blac, our number one is you, obviously – and we spend a lot of time getting to know you. But you don’t know each other! So meet Samantha, who you might remember from our Instagram series back in September, or when she told her story on our Youtube channel. Honest and funny, Samantha chats to us about her relationship with makeup, finding your style, and her live-by tips for flawless skin.
‘Hi, my name is Samantha and you may have seen a video of me on the Jecca Makeup YouTube channel. I’m now 50 and I only socially transitioned in early 2017.’
Q: What made you start playing with makeup?
I initially found ‘transition’ a tough enough time and at that point I’d never dabbled in the ‘dark art’ of makeup. I felt though that I wanted to bite the bullet and begin but I looked like something from the film Chucky. I quickly realised that this would take practice and lots of it!
Fortunately, at the time I lived with a housemate and she took pity on me and kindly made up my face and I was amazed at what I could one day achieve. She only did it the once as she said I needed to learn myself which at the time I thought was tough love but it worked. I think I’m there now and looking back I enjoyed the challenge. When I have good days I feel so strong and that’s my incentive to keep going. Makeup has become my number one hobby.
Q: How do you think being trans has affected your relationship with makeup?
Coming out as trans made me obsessed with trying to ‘pass’ but eventually I learnt that it’s way more important to be authentic and my true self. This has made me relax and realise that I’ll have good makeup days as well as not-so-good and that’s ok. As it turns out, when I am relaxed I have many more better days.
Being a trans woman has brought me a lot closer to makeup. It’s my daily routine now and never leave home without it. I’m learning more and more about daytime and night time looks. My routine varies between going to work, going to glitzy events or just going to the supermarket on a Sunday.
Q: What do you enjoy about makeup?
I love the way makeup changes my face. It’s certainly a powerful thing! Eyes though… urgh, I do struggle with eyes but I’m getting there. Just mastering one element at a time is incredibly rewarding but it does take time. When I consider that I didn’t start playing with makeup in my mid-teens I think I’m doing ok. Friends are always there to help out and I’m fortunate in that they are so patient with me.
Q: What’s the makeup tip that really changed the way you apply it?
Clean brushes! Liquid foundation applied from a stiff clogged up brush is great for entering face painting competitions as a tiger but for the more natural and feminine look, I always have better results with clean brushes. I used to think that cleaning them was a chore but now when I’m washing them I just think about the better results I’m going to get.
Q: What are you daily can’t-misses from your routine?
There is one ‘everyday’ must do in my routine and that’s skincare. With overly dry skin or clogged pores, my makeup doesn’t work so well and therefore I’m a firm believer in this. Skincare is healthy and makes such a difference. I spend so many hours a day with makeup on that I need to give my skin the love and care it deserves.
Q: What are your can’t-misses for a full face?
On a night out I wouldn’t be seen dead without a good blusher and highlighter. It shapes my face in a way that only facial feminisation surgery (soon I hope!) could. Cheeks are such a big facial feature and when I get it right, I can glance in a mirror and think ‘yes… Samantha you’ve got this’.
Q: What do you think is missing from the world of beauty?
One thing I have found on my relatively short relationship with makeup is that the way marketing can be confusing. There are a lot of products that make claims of results that just aren’t true – not for me anyway. It reminds me of television adverts in the past where if you use a certain deodorant that women are going to flock to you in their hundreds! Yeah right!
So honesty would be refreshing. This is our product, this is what it can do and this is what it can’t. For instance a cheap drugstore liquid foundation is going to be so watery that it will never work for a fifty year old so don’t market it to everyone! I think that companies that realise this will ultimately be more successful.
Q: How did you reach your current style?
After seeing myself when my housemate did my makeup for me, that became my goal. I watched and listened to her advice and ever since that day have tried, and I think succeeded in achieving it. This has become my default style, something I can do with confidence and relatively quickly too! It’s an everyday daytime look but it works for me and normally when going for a night out I have more time and so that’s when I experiment with a more adventurous look.
Q: If you could create your own product – no limits – what would it be?
Hair removal for trans women is a slow process and I’m not quite there yet. At the end of a long work day I can start to see darkening around my jaw line, (ok… five o’clock shadow if I’m honest) and so having a product that prevented this would be a godsend!
Q: What’s your favourite feature about yourself?
What I like about myself is the inner confidence I’ve gained since I socially transitioned. That was SO scary back then but we all get through it and become who we really are. I think sometimes we forget to pat ourselves on the back for this. It’s not easy and there are lots of lows at the beginning but soon after these are replaced with the highs of authenticity.
If I were asked for a favourite physical feature it would have to be my eyes. Maybe I’m overly critical of the makeup results I get and should learn to relax more but when I’m happy with the results and I look at my eyes in the mirror I see a blossoming girl with one hell of a story to tell!