These Pros Let Us In On Their Tips And Tricks For Slaying Drag Makeup
Find out what it takes to nail this demanding makeup skill!
Drag queens are often credited for many of the makeup techniques that we use daily—from contouring to baking, to overlining. They’re the queens of transforming themselves from one look to another—we mean, who else do you know that can go from Beyonce to Tina Turner with just a few strokes of makeup?
But their impact runs deeper than just all that chiseled, strobed, glammed-up glory. Drag queens have been fighting for equality and acceptance since as early as the 1800s. And today, it’s RuPaul’s Drag Race that’s bringing it into the mainstream like never before.
When it comes to drag makeup tips, it’s no surprise then that we turn to one of the country’s top celebrity makeup artists Jelly Eugenio and global drag queen Brigiding “Gigi,” to get the lowdown on their tips and tricks, and how you can apply it into your makeup routine. Read our exclusive interview with these pros below to find out how you too can elevate your makeup game this Pride month.
Metro.Style: Where do you draw inspiration when you do drag makeup and your art?
Jelly Eugenio: “Mostly pop culture, but definitely watching Rupaul's Drag Race is like the biggest inspiration for all the looks I try to do. I always love watching how they do their makeup because I learn a lot from that.”
Brigiding Gigi: “I take inspiration from the great icons of the 70s and 80s—Donna Summer, Dianna Ross, Shirley Bassey were all huge talents with such presence and star power!”
MS: What would you say are the greatest challenges you have faced when doing drag makeup or as a drag artist?
JE: “Gluing down the brows, and smoothing it is probably the hardest to do at the start, but also wearing those crazy heavy lashes is like a workout for your eye. That’s why I have great respect for drag artists. They always look flawless and confident even though they're wearing more than three pairs of lashes stacked on their eye, plus the outfit and heels. You need real dedication and love for this form of art!”
BG: “I think it is when you perform acts or music that nobody in the audience seems to relate—that’s when it gets challenging, to have everyone understand and appreciate the message of your performance.”
MS: What are the best makeup tips and hacks you can share for slaying drag queen makeup?
JE: “Loose powder, loose powder, loose powder. Set everything with loose powder to make sure your makeup lasts long. If you can also avoid too much highlighter because shimmer can emphasize skin texture. As a makeup artist, knowing how to do drag makeup is almost like keeping a secret weapon because most of the trends today are generally from drag makeup techniques (baking, cut crease, overlining the lips)—and not everyone can do it successfully.”
BG: “It is during the course of transformation where the real fantasy begins! This is when you discover yourself so it should be fun! Play with make up! Don’t be afraid to experiment and explore every time."