When My Son Does My Makeup

C.J. started dabbling in makeup like most of us started — with Lip Smackers and cheap, hand-me-down eyeshadow that was a free gift with purchase. A spritz of perfume here. A few coats of nail polish there.

Suddenly his makeup bag grew from a old small one I used to carry in my purse to a hard pink box the size of a briefcase with vanity lights inside.

He applied his makeup to himself. Then his Barbies. Then the mannequin head my mother-in-law bought him for Christmas. That head is, more often than not, eerily affixed to our kitchen island; staring at me as I watch TV long after C.J. has gone to bed and the night has grown dark. “You scared the shit out of me!” I say to it often while catching my breath.

IMG_1233 IMG_1234Once C.J. started doing my makeup, he begged to do it every night. With little regard for my skin’s rebellion. My adult acne is due in large part to my son’s heavy application of makeup night after night.

IMG_9789When we were young, my brother and I did our mom’s makeup and always aimed for a natural look. You know, lipstick on the lips, eyeliner on the lids, mascara on the lashes. I quickly learned that C.J. doesn’t care for a natural look.

The first time C.J. did my makeup, he turned me into a zombie.

IMG_8292IMG_8305Then I was a “Candy Girl” inspired by Katy Perry. With heart-shaped blush and candy swirls rising from my eyes.

IMG_9803Then, I was the girl from the Starbucks logo. When I saw myself in the mirror the only thought I had was “please, please, please let all of this come off for work tomorrow.”

IMG_8704IMG_8349A future fine artist who also does makeup to support himself, C.J. still does his own makeup from time to time. Here he gave himself a “Big Eyes” look based on the art of Margaret D. H. Keane.

IMG_9838Naturally, a new favorite pastime of C.J.’s is watching makeup tutorials on YouTube. Who do you recommend?

I’m not the only one in the family who gets their makeup done by C.J. Click here to read about him doing Matt’s makeup.

About raisingmyrainbow

RaisingMyRainbow.com is a blog about the adventures in raising a fabulous, gender creative son.
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26 Responses to When My Son Does My Makeup

  1. Zachary Arrick says:

    I am in a gender studies class at Oklahoma State and from what I have learned in that class you are being a great mother to your child CJ. We have been listening to TED talks as well as reading numerous passages. These might include the textbook definition of what a boy and a girl is; we have even read poems describing stereotypical boys and girls. These poems showed us what society thought what it meant to be a boy/girl. What you’re doing with your son though breaks these molds. Just because society might see what he is doing as something non-masculine, that doesn’t mean that he should be excluded from doing it. I hope his skills get better as he gets older and he follows his desires no matter what they are.

  2. Laura Ciccone says:

    Have him check out mirellebelle on YouTube!!

  3. I'mMyOwnStar says:

    I love the fact CJ does your makeup! You’re such a great mom! And tell him I am in love with his Wicked shirt!

  4. Pippa Pirrip says:

    Off topic and I’m sorry I can’t find a better source (with pictures) than this Buzzfeed link, but I thought you might like this: Australian photographer Emma Leslie asked transgender and gender-diverse children to design their own photo shoots for an exhibition titled Transcend: Portraits of Transgender and Gender Diverse Youth.


  5. scribblenubbin says:

    I’d check out http://kazzified29.blogspot.co.uk/ – she does all sorts of looks and they are often based on characters from her favourite TV shows so can be dramatic in nature.

  6. Love this, love CJ and love the photos! ❤ Rainbows!

  7. Giselle says:

    Ooh, I love the Candy Girl look! I adore CJ’s creativity, it is just wonderful.

    I’ve seen a great make-up tutorial video on YouTube by Conchita Wurst (of Eurovision fame) – the eye make-up is wonderfully dramatic. It might not be what CJ is looking for at the moment. The Starbucks logo look is just an amazing interpretation – I love it!

  8. David says:

    CJ might enjoy tutorials by members of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence. Just search on YouTube.

  9. merdman2013 says:

    I recommend Talia. She was a bit older than CJ, and put together a great many makeup tutorials. Talia had cancer and lived with no hair from all the treatments for many years, so she wanted to look more beautiful by learning how to apply stunning makeup. Sadly, she lost her battle a couple years ago, but her legacy of tutorials remains. I’m pretty sure CJ will like the authenticity and gutsy personality of Talia! Here’s her channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/taliajoy18

  10. Lyona says:

    Yes, yes, and YES for Petrilude! He is amazing.

    As for sensitive and acne-prone skin, you might want to invest in some water-based facepaint, such as Kryolan? Not sure you have it in the US, here it is one of the bigger pro names still accessible to the public. You can buy a palette (with all sorts of vivid colours) or buy them assorted.
    Sure, they can be a bit of a splurge, but in my opinion totally worth the money.
    Water-based is fairly easy to remove, does not clog the skin as much, yet can stay for a nice while, should it be for parties or not just for pre-sleep beauty routine. 🙂
    I have a fairly sensitive skin, and so far never had problems with Kryolan products.
    Downside (or upside? Depends…) is with the application – it is a bit like painting with watercolours, opposed to the classic brush-sponge makeup. I personally love it and use it a lot for LARP and fantasy events, but that’s just my preference, really.

  11. haugenka says:

    Talk about crowdsourcing! What an incredible list! Love the makeup photos. CJ could start a business…

  12. jonathanmayo says:

    I love dope2111 on youtube! She does fantastic makeup of all sorts!

  13. jonathanmayo says:

    I love watching dope2111 on youtube! She does fantastic makeup of all kinds!

  14. For the type of makeup CJ favors, I’d recommend MadeEweLook, though he’ll be asking for an airbrush kit. Some of my favorites who take a more natural approach are Stephanie Lange, Karima McKimmie, Nikkia Joy, and Jackie Aina.

  15. Ilke says:


    To accommodate C.J.’s wild and outrageous taste. Title is pretty self explanatory 😉

  16. Bennett Schneider (aka Sister Unity) says:

    There are two stores you must take CJ too. they are both in North Hollywood and it’s where the industry pros go, where the independent artists go and where we Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence go for ours:
    Naimi’s & Nigel’s. They have a lot of overlap, but each has things the other does not.
    At Nigel’s there are hockey puck sized water-based paints (comes off with water too! hooray!) by a company called “Wolfe”. They come in lots of bright fun colors. They are fun and easy to paint on. Get a few different sizes and shapes of brushes. Ask the staff to show you some varieties. These are FAR easier to paint and to remove than grease based make up! FAAARR easier!

    I hope you have fun!

  17. I love that C.J. has such a creative passion; and one that he could make a living doing at some point in life (if he so chooses). My nephew developed a passion for fashion very young in life, and is now half way through a college in New York studying fashion. I fully expect him to have his own house of design one day.

  18. Amanda says:

    I love that CJ is so into makeup. I’m very much in love with watching YouTube makeup videos. My favorites are Jaclyn Hill, Kathleenlights, Manny MUA (an amazing male makeup artist), Kandee Johnson, Chloe Morello. There are many more but then you would know how obsessed I am😂. Let me know some of CJ’s favorites.

  19. K T says:

    The Starbucks lady is my favourite!! Very creative.
    Has CJ heard of WSITN? Not sure it would be his thing but thought I’d pass it on just in case:

  20. mdaniels4 says:

    Lol. Gotta give an A for creativity!!! To be able to share those fun times is even betterbetter, Duron’s. Good show!

  21. JH says:

    hands down he need to watch Angie’s (Maria Cyza) make up videos: https://www.youtube.com/user/RiaC814/videos

  22. Alix Rezman says:

    I haven’t watched makeup tutorials in a while, but I used to love Petrilude and Xsparkage. I know there are way more boys out there doing tutorials and that might appeal to CJ. I read this last week and I know there are some male beauty bloggers in here http://mic.com/articles/138781/are-we-getting-to-the-place-where-men-will-be-in-beauty-ads#.xxx71ffw6

  23. Lorien__ says:

    vintageoracky … pixiwoo … gossmakeupartist …

  24. Brian says:

    THAT made my day 🙂 I’ll be enjoying that all the way home today
    Hope ya’ll can make it to Rocket City Pride! ¡ 6-18-16

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