After an appearance on Canada’s Drag Race last year and garnering thousands of followers on YouTube, Instagram and TikTok, it could be argued that Kyne is certified Canadian drag royalty. This made it a no-brainer to have the performer showcase her skills on Queens of Cosplay, the new four-episode Showcase series where Kyne and fellow queen Baby Bel Bel use their hair, makeup and costuming talents to create two characters — an original superhero and supervillain.
Kyne, 23, was thrilled to be a part of the series, which was self-shot at home. “[I] basically take the viewers on a bit of a journey of what it’s like to put a look together; to design the costume, do the makeup and the hair. It was really exciting,” she says. Her favourite look was a tech mathematician inspired by Ada Lovelace — a perfect fit for the real-life math whiz. “You know, I love cosplay. I love dressing up as other characters. And I love the challenge of sewing and making a whole new look. I was especially excited because I haven’t sewn in so long,” she says.
See also: Interview: Baby Bel Bel on drag, covid and ‘Queens of Cosplay.‘
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She’s a sewing queen with advice for newbies
Getting to create the costumes was also the perfect chance for Kyne to show off her sewing skills, which is only one of her many talents. With more and more people turning to sewing to do thrift flips, Kyne has a key piece of advice for stitching newbies. “Just go for it,” she says. “Maybe start out by taking clothes from your own closet and modifying them and upcycling them. There are lots of ways you can start sewing that don’t involve starting from scratch using just fabric.”
Related: I tried two viral TikTok DIYs and this is how they turned out.
While Kyne may be a pro on the sewing machine, she’s better known by many for her glamorous and informative makeup, wig and math tutorials. Born in Manila but raised in Kitchener, Ont., Kyne has been experimenting with all things makeup on YouTube since her high school days. In terms of makeup go-to’s, NYX’s epic ink liner and Duo lash glue are the beauty staples that she uses every time she gets glam — she isn’t one for beauty fads — and she has wise words for those interested in her beauty secrets.
I’m a big believer in just doing your own thing, and not necessarily going with the trends and just cultivating your own personal style. My biggest tip is just to have fun with it.
When it comes to styling wigs, she feels expectations for drag queens have climbed over the years, particularly as more queens start wearing human hair wigs. “I love that whole trend and you know the mullet has [been popular] this year, which I love,” she laughs.
Related: 9 makeup must-haves, according to a drag queen.
Finding confidence in the world of makeup tutorials
Due to the lack of gay clubs and amateur performance opportunities in Kitchener, Kyne inadvertently became a queen well-versed in social media. Although she always felt supported by her community and teachers, posting on YouTube felt a bit strange at the beginning. But as Kyne says of most things, it’s always weird until you own it. “You just have to take that first step and be really bold. And then once you go outside of your comfort zone, you just feel so much more confident,” she says of her vlogs and tutorials. Since then, she’s amassed more than 127,000 subscribers and created videos ranging from organizing one’s makeup collection to the trustworthiness of statistics.
Related: The richest drag queens, according to net worth.
Kyne’s keen mathematical mind
Kyne graduated with her bachelor of mathematics with a major in mathematical finance from the University of Waterloo in 2020, and has since been able to merge her passion for drag and her love of numbers. “I’m getting to really use all the different parts of my brain, which I’m really happy about because I feel I have a bit of a unique perspective that I can offer to the world,” she says of her videos. In one TikTok vid with almost 250,000 likes, she breaks down the math behind having long passwords using exponents while outfitted in a flowing brunette wig and electric purple eyeshadow. It’s enthralling and fun, educational but not pretentious. “I love that I’m getting people excited about math and encouraging people to stay in school,” she adds. Combining beauty and brains isn’t something she takes lightly, and she feels thrilled that she is able to inspire others to enjoy math and science.
@onlinekyneIt’s ##WorldPasswordDay – here’s why you need a LONG, BIG password 👌🏽 (that’s randomized and hard to guess) ##math ##tech ##password♬ original sound – Kyne
It’s not just her advocacy for STEM that sets her apart from other queens, as she also plays the flute, though she maintains it’s a hobby and she is anything but an expert. She has been playing on and off since the seventh grade, explaining she wanted to play the music from Titanic. It’s a talent she didn’t get to show off during her time on Canada’s Drag Race, but nonetheless, she says her stint on the show was enlightening. “I think it taught me that sometimes I just need to take a big chill pill and relax and try to not take everything so seriously, and just have more fun,” she says. “And I definitely feel like I’ve grown so much since then, because of that experience.”
With a slew of fans and the reality competition on her resume, it’s not surprising that she appears to radiate confidence. She attributes her self-assured demeanor to the age-old adage of faking it ‘til you make it, explaining that she “[pretended] to be this super confident person who just thought they were like the hottest thing in the world.” Her advice to others? Do the same.
Showcase’s Queens of Cosplay premieres Tuesday, June 15 on @ShowcaseTV Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.