This was my very first attempt at doing drag makeup. I’ve been fascinated with drag queens and culture for about 5 years now, so I thought it’d be a good idea to finally try it out myself. I took inspiration from my favorite drag queens, Trixie Mattel. Her style is like a very exaggerated barbie mixed with a glamorous clown, and I love it. It’s very different to “traditional drag makeup” which I seem to be more attracted to versus the regular “beauty pageant” queens. I find it more creative and interesting to look at, and I feel as if I can identify with that quirky and ridiculous style of drag better with my personal aesthetic and personality.
After collecting a few reference photos and watching many tutorials on YouTube, I started the look by covering up my very thick and dark natural eyebrows. I had tried once or twice before to block out my brows, and it had been a hellish experience if I recall correctly. To do this, you brush out your brow hairs flat and comb through small layers of glue (from a glue stick), powder them once dried with translucent face powder and repeat the process until the brows are completely flattened and ready to be painted over. I guess practice does make perfect since I think I did a very good job on this part. It’s really important to do this in drag makeup because it erases your eyebrows and allows you to create new, exaggerated “feminine” ones higher up on your face. Since the average drag queen is a biological male, their eyebrows are usually much more different than a female’s so this is a crucial step.
I then proceeded to cover up the eyebrows with a thick full coverage foundation that matches my skin to make them disappear even more, and I dragged it down to the rest of my face and neck. Next, I contoured and highlighted. This is what truly makes or breaks a drag queen because it completely reshapes the facial structure. I studied my reference photo and tried to replicate how Trixie Mattel’s contour and highlight was placed. The cheeks are very rounded and sculpted so I used a cool toned brown cream paint to carve them out. To highlight, I applied a light cream color to the high points of my new cheeks. The nose is very delicate and small, so I painted on two very close lines on each side of the nose with one in the middle using my highlight shade. Once finished, I knew I had to powder the entire face since I was finished using the creme/liquid products. If you don’t do this, you risk smudging or wiping off all the work you’ve done on your face previously. Powders also do not blend on cremes unless the creme has already been evenly coated in a powder product of some sort. The technique is known by makeup artists worldwide as “Paint and Powder”. To finish off the face I applied a heaping load of Trixie’s signature hot pink barbie-esque blush all over the cheek area. This really brought the look together and made it more recognizable.
Next, I went on to doing the eyes. A lot of drag queens paint the crease of the eye over the eyebrow to create a higher set eye which kind of gives an “eye lift” effect. I knew I wanted to do a blue eyeshadow look, so I drew a rough outline of my new eye shape and slowly blended in the blue shades. I put a thick white line on my bottom lash line to make the waterline of my eye seem bigger. After blending away, I added a humongous amount of liquid liner to create the signature winged eyeliner which completely covered my natural eyelid. I stacked on about 4 sets of false lashes on each eye, although next time I think I would use more lashes, as well as bigger ones which I didn’t have at the time of doing this.
Once I had my new eyes down, I drew on my eyebrows. These didn’t turn out how I wanted them to be, but I’m sure that with practice I can master it. The eyebrows weren’t meant to be the focal point of this look, so I didn’t worry too much about them anyways. I completely overdrew my lips to make myself look like I’d had 43 lip injections in the past week, and I was done!
This was really fun to do and a great learning experience for me. I definitely want to try drag makeup many times again. I have many ideas of other drag looks I would like to recreate, and once I start to really get the hang of it I’d like to maybe even create my own drag style.