The Edit

Illamuse: Michelle Visage

When 10 coats of mascara isn’t enough, what would Michelle Visage do?

With the drag culture firmly in her roots, an outspoken nature and love of self-expression, Michelle Visage is a certified Illamuse.

Hungarian and Irish-Catholic by birth, Michelle was adopted at nine months old and raised by her Jewish family. She may now be known for her cult status as a judge on RuPaul’s Drag Race but there’s much more to know about her diva career and how she gained her status in the drag community…

Teenage Michelle Shupack moved from small town New Jersey to NYC to follow her dream of becoming an actress and performing on Broadway. Equipped with a fake ID, she started to build the foundations for her career and entered the New York club scene.

Michelle spent her early days Vogueing in New York’s Copacabana Club, then topping the charts with the trio vocalist group Seduction, DJ’ing on an NY radio channel and co-hosting a VH1 talk show with RuPaul, Michelle has experienced it all to say the least. As a heterosexual, female drag queen, this has had a hugely positive influence on drag culture and its social perceptions.

Once an underground scene with taboo connotations, drag has become more of a mainstream celebration of self-expression, unity and the art of hyper-femininity in drag form. Dating back to the Victorian times, drag culture in itself was surprisingly very popular in the underground scene, however it was never a big topic of popular conversation until more recently.

During the 50’s and 60’s drag was much more ‘underground’ and even criminalised…now there’s a multi-award-winning show based all around fabulous drag queens, hosted by the best in the business, Visage and RuPaul. Both Michelle Visage and RuPaul have been outspoken allies to the LGBTQ+ community and continually vocalise their support and need for acceptance.

Michelle released her first book ‘The Diva Rules’ in 2015 with the intent to help the people who would message her on a daily basis reaching out for help. The Diva Rules was written to prove that celebrities are human too and everyone experiences difficulties at some point in life, even if you’re the biggest diva and have the most sparkle!
Quiver Lashes

 “All you beautiful girls and gays out there, you owe it to yourself to nurture the diva within you, and I am here to show you the way.” Michelle Visage

Visage Quiver lashes Illamasqua
Success comes from belief, determination, and living by the three tenets of diva-hood:

  • Bitches and divas are not the same thing; being a diva comes from a place of strength and love.
  • Divas expect others to do them, not do for them; behind the glamour is always grit.
  • All divas, no matter what size, sex, race, orientation, class, or fashion sense, are beautiful; an ugly personality always trumps a beautiful face.

“Sparkle your way to the top and find success, no matter the hand you’re dealt.” Michelle Visage, The Diva Rules.

Join us on the 26th May for an exclusive meet & greet with Michelle Visage at our London flagship store:
We’ll be re-launching Michelle’s favourite Illamasqua lashes, re-named VISAGE in honour of our most iconic Illamuse!

Tweet us with any questions you’d like to ask Michelle with the hashtag #VisagexIllamasqua and we’ll ask her LIVE on our Instagram and Facebook…stay tuned!

With drag culture in her roots, an outspoken nature & love of self-expression, read about Illamasqua’s newest collaboration with Michelle Visage.


Words by Jenna Day


Nadine Bourne

Nadine Bourne

Writer and expert