The Key to A Long-Lasting Makeup For Drag Queens


Have you ever wondered how drag queens make sure their makeup stays fresh and powerful the entire day? Because I most definitely do!


I have always admired how drag queens manage to look fabulous and fierce with their full-on makeup because I want mine to stay fresh all day during my cross-dressing sessions, too!


The Key to A Long-Lasting Makeup For Drag Queens


Thankfully, I did my research, so I’ll share beauty tips and hacks to keep you looking good and sassy after an entire day of drag performance!


Such tips include using a strong primer, lifting their facial features, shaping their eyes, and more!


You’ll also be surprised at how existing makeup trends were influenced by drag!


Stop wondering and read this blog to discover the top makeup secrets of the drag queens we look up to!



1. Don’t Forget to Shave


Shaving is important before putting on drag makeup. It helps drag queens achieve a smoother and cleaner face, ready for any full-on makeup style they choose.



After shaving, don’t forget to do your skincare routine because it helps maintain your skin’s suppleness and elasticity, looking young and fresh.


2. Use A Strong Primer


According to Meatball, a famous drag queen and makeup stylist from the first season of The Boulet Brothers Dragula, the key to long-lasting beautiful makeup is using a strong primer that can help erase your pores and control your oiliness.


He recommends Cover FX Blurring Primer because it’s a lightweight primer that clears your pores, making your face look flawless!



Using a good primer ensures that your foundation will not stick to all the imperfections and bumps on your face, making your skin look dry and rough.


Another famous drag queen, Deere, loves packing a significant amount of his primer around his eyes because it improves the look of his eye makeup.


3. Lift It Up


Lifting certain facial features, especially the eyes, is essential for drag queens to create a youthful look.


I recommend Mark Traynor’s Miracle Face and Neck Lift Kit, complete with the strings and invisible tapes drag queens need to lift their eyes while smoothing out their jawline.



When a drag queen’s eyes are lifted and the jawline smoothened, their faces look smaller and more v-shaped, making them look more feminine.


You’ll be amazed that even several makeup artists use this product style for their clients in runway shows and fashion shoots!


4. Blending Your Foundation is Essential


Applying a good foundation is one of the keys to successfully matching different pops of colors on their faces.


A good layer of foundation also allows better facial contouring, and it helps make them look flawless and pore-free!


I know we love using matte foundation because it controls our oiliness, and drag queens love it, too!



5. Pack on Heavy Color


Having bold eye makeup is the way to go for the drag queens.


Meatball recommends putting as many pigment layers as possible to make your eyes truly pop.


However, he reiterates priming before layering, and he suggests the NYX Glitter Primer to help make your eyes have a shiny finish.


Drag queens love applying deep colors, especially when they know it will be a long night.




An eyeshadow recommendation by most famous drag queens is the HipDot Diamond Diva Palette because it features bold colors, perfect for night-outs and parties.




Aside from applying deep colors, here are five fundamental elements when applying eye makeup for drag:


Cut Crease


The cut crease is a makeup technique that makes the drag queens’ eyes look wider and brings out the color of your lid.


This technique uses a lighter shade of eyeshadow, creating a line across the eyelid’s crease.


It’s an essential component in drag since it helps create larger-than-life looks for stage performances!



Raised Eyebrows


Raised eyebrows help make the eyes of drag queens look fiercer and bolder.


It’s another staple in the drag industry and one of the easiest techniques to master.



Before drawing the drag brows you need for your look, you need to cover your normal eyebrows using a glue stick.


Doing this allows you to have a clean slate to help you achieve that brow look you want.


After using the glue stick, apply powder with a shade similar to your skin complexion.



Long Lashes


You’ve probably mastered how to make your lashes look longer because of makeup artists and influencers you see on YouTube.


However, did you know that this trend was actually inspired by drag?


Long and fluttery lashes have, in fact, played significant roles in the history of drag!


Most drag queens even love stacking false lashes to create more lash volume.



Wing Your Eyeliner


Drag queens also love winging their eyeliner for that extra glam; a drag queen’s makeup is commonly composed of an extra-thick, dramatic winged eyeliner.


Generally, they use black as their main eyeliner color, but you can still experiment and use the color brown if you want your eyeliners to be more subtle.



Apply the product to your eye area nearest to your lash line from the outer color.


Remember that the line should be upturned or sliding upward to reach your eyebrow.


Continue drawing until you reach the area above your eyelash line. The perfect wing shape should reach your eyeliner’s highest part.


Shape Your Eyes


Reshaping your eyes can dramatically enhance a drag queen’s look.


I learned that drag queens love using potted gel eyeliner to draw their ideal eye shape, then use other eye products such as eye shadow, falsies, and eye foundation to create more glam.


Meatball loved enhancing the look of his eyes to make them appear rounder, achieving the doll-eye look of women.



6. Contour to Add To Your Glamor

Drag makeup is not drag makeup without contour glamor.


Well-defined contoured noses and cheeks are essential for drag makeup because they help drag queens play with different shadows, colors, and proportions to match their looks.




To apply contour, it helps to suck in your entire face like a fish does so that you’ll see your cheekbones more clearly.


Slide down your contour product across your cheekbones and extend it until the lower part of your face to make your cheekbones look more emphasized.



If you want to learn drag-inspired contouring, here are simple pieces of advice:


  1. Use a darker shade of contour around your hairline to make your forehead look smaller.


  1. On the other hand, highlight your forehead’s center to make your forehead look bigger.


  1. Apply a layer of bronzer underneath your cheekbones to make them appear more defined and sculpted.


  1. To make your nose look more pointed, use a lighter concealer shade or Highlighter on your nose bridge and a darker powder shade on the sides to sculpt and define the shape.



7. Using Highlighter


Highlighting is also a drag queen’s makeup essential next to applying contour.


I’ve learned that even though highlighting only started to become famous during the early Hollywood years, it was already a makeup trend among drag queens before.



The best areas to apply your Highlighter will pick up the light naturally. These are the following:


  • Underneath the eyebrows


  • Apples on your cheeks


  • Around the eyes’ inner corners


  • Along the nose bridge


  • On the lower chin


  • On the cupid’s bow


8. Color Your Cheeks


When doing drag performances on stage, your presence can be more visibly seen when you apply blush.


And I have learned that the best part of applying blush is where your cheek apples are!


Choose a pinkish-to-red shade to make your cheeks look more defined, and don’t forget to blend it well.



9. Bake with An Oil-Pressed Powder


Yes, baking your face using translucent pressed powder is inspired by the drag community!


It’s an essential part of the drag’s makeup routine because the powder helps set the foundation and eye makeup.



Baking using translucent powder involves letting the product sit on your face for at least five to ten minutes.


You let the heat on your face bake the foundation and concealer you applied during this duration.


Ultimately, baking allows your makeup to last longer without appearing oily or your face producing creases.


10. Overlining the Lips


Now, it’s time for the lips! Drag queens love overlining their lips, especially around the cupid’s bow area, creating larger and perkier lips!


When overlining, it’s best to start at the edge of your lip’s outline, drawing inward. I have also learned that choosing matte-finish products is key to long-lasting lip color for drag queens!


They don’t smudge and are generally waterproof, too!




If you want to add shine or glimmer to your lips, finish your lip makeup with a layer of lip gloss, especially on the middle portion of your lips.



I have tried experimenting with drag-inspired makeup.


I loved the results, especially with contouring my face and highlighting the inner corner of my eyes to make them appear rounder.




Fortunately, it’s not difficult to find makeup products approved by most famous drag queens because they are almost available everywhere!


If you want to have a long-lasting makeup look that won’t smudge, don’t hesitate to learn about how drag queens apply their makeup today!




What other stories about drag makeup do you know? Let me know in the comments below!




Learn More:


How to Be a Successful Drag Queen

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