Drag Queen Makeup: The Stuff Stage Glamour is Made of

drag queen makeup
March 13, 2020

Rachael Waine

Drag queen makeup is the stuff of otherworldly dreams, dramatic wows, and beauty beyond measure. You cannot just become a master of drag queen makeup. It takes love for the craft and years of practice to specialise in true drag transformations.


A dab in the blush and some pink lip gloss won’t do it. Drag queens like to exaggerate. They are not modest on colours or ‘no-makeup’ makeup aficionados. You need not only love the attention: you have to adore it – well – most of the time and with certain rules. So, if you call yourself a drag queen and get sighs as you pass by or thousands of Instagram double-hearts, lucky you! We are all looking forward to your next drag queen makeup tutorial.

But if you are making your humble beginnings in the art of drag, then you might appreciate the makeup tips and tricks we have prepared for you. Clasp your bra and get your face clean: you are about to immerse into the magical world of drag queen makeup!

The Next Drag Queen Makeup Artist is Ready to Be Born

There is no subtle way to say this: practice will be your best friend. Getting skilled on contouring and excellent coverage that stays can be your nightmare unless you pick up specialised makeup brands that provide enough pigment saturation and lasting power.  And you can’t stop at simple, everyday beauty products – you need the mesmerising lashes, the glitter, the sparkle, sequins, and crystals. On your face and your clothes! Needless to say – calm brush strokes and choosing a perfect lip colour – the skills the average girl can be happy with – won’t nearly keep you satisfied. 

Many of your drag queen makeup endeavours will end up focusing on searching for professional and stage makeup. You may need to become your own lash technician, especially since professionally done lash extensions are not that cheap. But above all, no makeup artist will be able to match your self-knowledge and let your personality shine through as much as you can. As much as it is about external beauty, drag queen makeup is about your inside glow, too.  

Here is what you need to make it happen:

1. Start with a primer.

To get that smooth, flawless base on which you can showcase your makeup artist potential, you need a sticky base coat achieveable by primer. Don’t skip on it if you want to have drag queen makeup that stays for hours. 

2. Go down the neck.

When applying facial coverage products, make sure you blend them below the jawline. We would want to avoid the split look in which one part of you looks like a sea paradise landscape and the other one looks like a swamp. Make that line invisible for a true wow-effect unless you want to break the rules and spruce up that beard!

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It’s a gorgeous day for some COLOR

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3. Play with foundation and concealer.

You may find that seamless transitions from darker to lighter spot on your face are best achieved by mixing several foundations and concealers with different textures. But there is no need to go broke – just variate between thinner and thicker concealer coats and more or less foundation for an ultra-blended look. Two products will do in most cases.

4. Blend until exhaustion.

Since most blending starts with outlining, you can forget that you need to take some time to blend colours. Especially pay attention to contouring, baking, and strobing techniques, as they can make your face look dirty instead of looking spotless. Repeat the same strokes with eyeshadows to create dimensionality and eliminate clear-cut lines. 

5. Refine brow art.

There is no polished drag queen makeup look without spectacular eyebrows. 
When we say: ”Don’t skip on brow correction, they frame your face”, we cannot even emphasise enough the importance of it for drag beauties. Among all the widespread threading, tinting, and peel-off innovations, painting your brows stands out like a gem it is.  If you don’t want to limit yourself with that ‘one look’ by choosing a permanent brow shaping technique, amp up your correction skills. Erase, shave, paint, and cove your eyebrows in glitter all over – as a drag, you can do it all without worrying about occasion fits and being too much. 

6. Lip liner is essential.

Shape your lips with a lip liner before you add a setting top-coat, translucent powder, or longlasting makeup spray. That way, your lips will keep the perfect shape you imagined and brought into reality. Lipstick will stick, as it is supposed to do, without dissolving and making a mess of your fab lips.

7. Eyeliner magic.

“What’s this magic you may ask?” 

Here is your answer: it starts from the outer corner. Draw the tip first by pulling the liner up and then extend the line down to the inner corner. The trick is to start with the thinnest line possible and then fill it in until you are happy with your eye shape. Thinning and ending the line at a point which is about two thirds in from the outer corner works for most eye shapes.

8. Careful with the glitter.

Glitter makes a one-of-a-kind accent but once it is on, it’s difficult to remove. Or, rather, you can remove it, but it will leave sparkle all over your face and mess the previously perfected drag queen makeup look you were ready to show to the world. Plan well before you submerge the brush into the glitter bottle. Start small and enhance your skills as you gain more practice.

9. The night is out. Now what?

In all its fabulousness, drag queen makeup can be a bit too heavy on the skin. As much as you love basking in colours and shapes, your face will still need proper cleaning to keep your skin healthy and ready for the next makeup endeavour. Invest in a thorough makeup remover, paying attention to the eye-friendly products. 

If you use lash extensions, learn how to remove them without plucking out your natural lashes. Otherwise, next time you extend them, you won’t have what to use as a base! Aftercare is vital for drag queen makeup. Use a moisturiser that will nourish your skin well enough to compensate for the intensive makeup layers.   Drag queen makeup used to be conventionally male, but now you can enjoy its advantages regardless of what is your gender option. We love the variety – bring it on! 

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