Men dressing as females has been a thing for centuries. Actually, men used to play the female roles in plays because women weren’t allowed to participate in theater (rude). But now, drag queens are taking the stage, and they’re killing it.
Drag queens have taken the beauty world by storm. Believe it or not, many of today’s best known beauty hacks originated from drag queens – contouring and baking are just some of the skills we’ve learned from them. Aside from bright, exotic costumes and dramatic makeup, drag queens have a sense of boldness and sass that can’t be found anywhere else.
We interviewed one drag queen about her perspective on the beauty industry and the drag world as a whole. We even got some beauty tips – oh yes. See what Veronika Versace has to say about drag life.
Q: How did you get into drag?
A: I saw my first show my freshman year of college. I had a misconception of what I thought drag was but I learned so much about how creative it is and the rich history it has with the LGBTQ community and I fell in love and wanted to start doing it.
Q: What is your favorite part about doing drag?
A: My favorite part of doing drag is the transformation. I go really heavy with the makeup for stage lighting and I just really enjoy exaggerating my features to present a different side of me.
Q: How have your views of female beauty and drag influenced your life, and your participation in drag?
A: I’ve always been fascinated by femininity and beauty growing up, and drag has allowed me to turn my feelings and views into something tangible. I can physically create on myself my idea of beauty through makeup, hair, costumes, etc
Q: Can you describe the importance of costume and makeup in your stage performances and persona?
A: Makeup and costumes is a huge key factor in your persona. You can have talents like singing or dancing or comedy, but what you look like is the first thing an audience sees about you. I make a lot of my own costumes and hair and I do my own makeup so when I am onstage, what I look like is a representation of everything about my drag.
Q: What are some of your favorite beauty products? Products you can’t live without?
A: I really go crazy with contouring. I like huge contrasts so I use a deep brown bronzer and I balance that out with a super white setting powder for my highlights. Blush is my absolute favorite. I go back into all my contouring and warm it up with pinks, reds, and purples. Veronika is nothing without blush.
Q: What is your skincare routine like before a show?
A: I usually will shave my face, and moisturize afterwards. I also make sure I use a good primer before I apply my makeup because I go so heavy so I want to be sure my skin isn’t dry or anything like that.
Q: Who/what are some of your inspirations?
A: I would say my biggest inspiration is my drag mother, Jennicka Fierz. She saw potential in me when I started and she decided to “adopt” me into her drag family and mentored me about how to perfect my style of makeup and hair. She was the first queen I ever saw on stage and I wanted to look just like her, so a lot of my perception of drag comes from that friendship.
Q: Do you have any beauty tricks/hacks we might not know of?
A: I like really sharp lines on my face. In order to achieve that, I will often take an index card or straight edge sturdy paper and brush my powders up against it for a perfect line. I use this for my contouring so I wouldn’t advise that for natural makeup but it can help get a sharp wing for eyeliner or eyeshadow as well.
Q: Do you have any advice you would give to others wanting to get into drag?
A: Youtube is a huge resource. There are tons of makeup tutorials out there that will teach you drag makeup. Drag makeup is harder because you often use different products than girls, so it takes time to learn what to do. Practice often. It gets better each time so keep working at it. And ultimately, reach out to your local community. Drag communities are all over, so there is always someone you can go talk to and ask advice from.
Q: Where do you turn to for beauty ideas?
A: I really like watching youtube videos to see other tricks certain people do for drag. I also really enjoy just being in a show and getting ready with other people. It’s fun to be in a room with other queens who all do things differently so that’s a good place to learn something new.
Q: What are some troubles you’ve faced throughout your experience with drag?
A: Luckily my family and friends are super accepting. I have a lot of people who support me and I take pride in what I do. There is that misconception from others who don’t know anything about drag that think it has to do with gender and it doesn’t. There are a lot of trans people who do drag, but just because I dress up as a female persona does not mean I am or want to be a woman. I am simply expressing my creativity and feminine side. There’s a lot of stigma in the gay community about femininity so its hard to put yourself out there for people when you feel they won’t like you or want to date you because of your art.
Q: How do you feel about the cosmetic industry overall? The fact that more males are getting into beauty/makeup?
A: I think it’s really exciting! You see a lot of backlash about having a male covergirl model and now one for Maybelline but men and women have been using makeup for centuries. Why not allow people to express themselves however they choose?
Q: Is there anything else you’d like to share with us?
A: Drag is super exciting. It’s such a unique and diverse art form, with many different styles and you can find drag shows everywhere. A lot of people compare drag to what they see on RuPauls Drag Race, and while it’s a fun show, it’s not even a glimpse of what all there is out there. Go see a local show and learn about your community.