Drag Queen Makeup: 7 Tips and Tricks I Learned
Drag makeup is taking the beauty community by storm — and with the rise of shows like Rupaul's Drag Race and Dragula, inspiration from the makeup seen on screen and created by drag queens continues to trend. Now I may be dating myself here, but in an age where beauty tutorials were actually about…beauty tutorials, I read a book by infamous club kid James St. James called Party Monster. The protagonist was a self-proclaimed “gender obscurist” and drag queen who would glue eyelashes to his chin and rhinestone in his eyebrows. My 14-year-old mind was blown — and my makeup was forever changed with the knowledge that you could glue almost anything to your face with just a bit of eyelash glue.
Whether you are trying to learning drag makeup yourself or just looking to have more fun with beauty trends, here are seven reasons why it isn’t a drag to paint like a queen.
Everything must be glitterI’m not talking a subtle sheen to your eyeshadow. I’m talking pots of gel glitter than can be applied liberally until fellow party-goers can’t tell you apart from a disco ball. Euphoria, who?
Pro tip from the queen's mouth herself:Apply "a thin layer, letting it dry and then [put] on more. Schmear that shine and use it all over as a highlight on your legs, collarbone and shoulder. You can never have too much glitter."
Tools: Coverboy Glitter Gelly, USD $12
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Over-line your lips for the godsI’m going to say it — Kylie “I started wigs” Jenner may claim to have popularized the trend of over-lined Instagram lips, but drag queens really taught us how to do it. One look at Trixie Mattel’s pucker and you’ll say Kylie who? I thought her name was Stacy.
Pro-tip:Use a nude shade (similar to your natural lip) to create the desired shape before applying the final lip colour. This creates a consistent base so that the over-lining appears more natural (if natural is what you're going for) before finishing with a bright lip.
Tools: Stacy Lipstick, USD $16
Block the browsBored of seeing the same brow? Honestly, me too. Take a cue from some beloved queens and have a little more fun with your brow(s). Paint them purple! Extend them out further! Block them completely and move them up four inches! Queens create space to paint by moving their brows up and creating a larger canvas for eye looks, so play with both style and spacing to completely change the dimensions of your face. Sure, it may not be your look for the office, but the point is to have fun and use your imagination.
Pro-tip:Comb brows down flat, apply a layer of non-toxic glue stick and comb down again. Dust with powder and repeat glue layer if necessary until your eyebrows are flat. Apply concealer (if you have dark hair, use concealer with an orange undertone) and finish with foundation.
Tools: Elmer’s Glue Stick, $5.29
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Line it upThe bigger is better, but keep it sharp enough to be dangerous. Experiment with colour, shape and size. A good trick is that you can make any colour work like a neutral by repeating it in your brow or lip. A blue liner will look bold and beautiful on its own, but pair it with a blue brow and blue lip and you’ll be surprised how cohesive it reads.
Pro-tip:Draw an imaginary line from the tip of your nose to the end of your brow and use this as your guide for the flick of your eyeliner.
Tools: Haus Liquid Eye-Lie-Ner, $26
Add just a little flirty lashI’ve recently embraced a day lash on the weekends, so I know I’m nearing my final form. Sure, it may not be subtle, but you’re reading an article about drag makeup. Subtlety was never the goal here. Don’t be afraid to play around with your lashes, stacking or cutting them to find your perfect look.
Pro-tip:One of Kimchi's top makeup tips is to apply lash glue just past the lash line strip of your falsie. This allows the lash to sit at a more upright angle and will give you a doe-eyed look as opposed to a sleepy bedroom eye.
Tools: Wigs and Grace 301 Multipack, $20
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Contouring is your new secret weaponOne of the biggest game changers to my makeup was seeing how queens could transform just playing with light and shadows. With just a contour palette and a dream, you can completely transform the shapes of your face. Whether you’re looking to elongate your nose, reduce a chin or forehead or create hollows where your cheeks are round.
Pro-tip:For a perfectly beat complexion, follow these tips from Miss Fame. Use a shade lighter than your skin tone on features you want to highlight. Using your darker colour, sweep on in “halo formation”, Miss Fame tells Cosmopolitan. “Under your cheekbones, along your jawline, and under your bottom lip [to add instant volume]."
Tools: NYX Highlight and Contour Pro Palette, $27
Pop on that colourWhether you’re throwing on makeup for running errands or painting for the back row, there's no need to be neutral. There's no excuse for blah eyeshadow.
Tip:For colours that really pop, start with an eyeshadow primer and then block out the area with a cream eyeshadow, concealer or creamy pencil. Using a small, dense brush pack on your eyeshadow, pressing the shadow gently into your cream base.
Tools: Anastasia Beverly Hills Alyssa Edwards Palette, $60
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