The Edit

The rein of Drag Queens

Here at Illamasqua, self-expression is the foundation of our brand. It represents creation and imagination, not to mention individuality. We understand the powers of self-expression and encourage both men and women to take pride in everything they are.

In particular, for many men today, self-expression can form an alter ego through the art of drag. It is these artists that are the epitome of self-expression and the role of drag brings to life the artistic effects of make-up. In recent years, the interest in drag artists has grown phenomenally, with television and social media playing a huge role in its growing awareness.  Let’s take RuPaul Andre Charles and his infamous show RuPaul’s Drag Race as an example. The surge in this hit US drag reality series has seen RuPaul’s profile as a drag star rise; so much so that we are due to see his show hit screens in the UK. It is shows like this that have unveiled a positive shift in how Drag Queens are perceived. The negativity of drag has greatly reduced, with the focus now being on the art of transformation.

Drag Queens showcase the fun and diversity make-up offers. Colours and textures are used to their full potential to build a character and it is incredible to see transformations come to life. Thanks to the growing number embracing their alter egos combined with the rise in technique based make-up, the diversity of drag artists and how they create a face within a face has never been so greatly received. It was once only seen in an exaggerated form on stage yet tutorials on drag make-up are now a click away on YouTube. Tonee Roberio, Educator at The School of Make-Up Art, who has worked with many Drag Queens is thrilled to see this rise in interest. “Drag make-up has definitely become more accepted. People are seeing the power of make-up and how it can release an alter ego within you. Twenty years ago, drag make-up was quite raw but now products are so advanced and skill levels are much higher, more and more people are experimenting with make-up to create different eye shades and unusual colour combinations.”

Along with the positive change in how drag artists are seen, there has been a rise in the interest of learning tricks of drag make-up. More and more individuals want to dabble in it, whether it’d be adopting bold brows, enhanced contouring or going for the full look. Our School of Make-Up Art offers a class specifically focussing on this level of expertise and skills. Students who enrol get to grips mastering pigments, brow blocking, statement brows, feature exaggerations, colour cartooning and lash effects. It allows your creativity to explode and experiment with dramatic colour and texture.

It’s great to see the growing interest in drag and the artistic flair in becoming a second self. In reality, the time and effort that goes into the transformation is incredible and in terms of make-up, the power of product and what can be achieved is portrayed in all its glory.

To learn more about The School of Make-Up Art and the Drag Make-Up Course, visit the course page here.



Govinder Rayt

Govinder Rayt

Writer and expert