Whether you’re an up-and-coming drag queen, somebody who likes to wear makeup or you simply just enjoy watching other people put on makeup (it’s a whole thing), the internet is chock-full of tutorials to help you stay distracted from whatever it is you should be doing. Though some might consider them to be time-wasters, they can be very informative and I find watching some of them to be extremely soothing and therapeutic.
Cosmetics have intrigued humans for thousands of years and are a part of almost every culture on the planet. People have, since the dawn of civilisation, been fascinated by the transformative qualities of makeup. It has a deep, rich history and some would say is one of the pillars of human society.
For thousands of years, women AND men wore makeup a lot and for many reasons. It’s use (or lack thereof in the case of the modern man) points to deep-seated societal norms regarding gender and how we define what is feminine or masculine.
So now that we’ve established that makeup is no joke, let’s take a look at four of what are (in my opinion) the best, most informative, most entertaining guides to painting one’s face in this century, in the following drag queen makeup tutorials.
Valentina’s Vogue Makeup Tutorial
Valentina is a RuPaul’s Drag Race gem; a “Latina Goddess” with a huge following of die hard fans. She’s a true beauty, who lives and breathes in her own fantasy. Though not necessarily known as the most congenial queen, Valentina has affirmed a place in the hearts of many through her stunning looks, fashion sense, quirky humour and star power.
This tutorial is one of my favorites because I just simply adore Valentina, ’nuff said! She has a magnetic confidence and a charisma that reels you in. She’s also quite a skilled makeup artist and although you won’t see how she does her brows (that’s a secret and is done off-camera), you will still see how she achieves her flawless, red-carpet ready, Jessica Rabbit meets Tella-Novella look.
What I love about Valentina is that she’s drop-dead beautiful- but it’s still drag. With her features and body type, she could easily just give us glamorous, gorgeous woman and be done with it, but she does so much more than that. For example, she plays up her eyes and eyebrows to give an almost cartoon-like impression, which to me shows that she doesn’t take herself too seriously.
Valentina recently came out as non-binary, telling Out Magazine, “I don’t completely feel like a man, I don’t completely feel like a woman. I feel like a goddess. I feel like I’m my own gender.” It’s visibility from people like her (she still prefers she/her pronouns) that slowly helps to establish acceptance of these different gender identities in society. I’m sure many people have and will continue to be inspired by her to pursue their dreams and not hide or feel ashamed of their true identities.
Trixie Make-up on a Budget
In this tutorial, Trixie Mattel uses drugstore products to produce her signature look, as an aid to those who would like to dress-up like her for Halloween, but may not have the budget. Despite what some people assume about Trixie on account of her makeup (which is overdrawn on purpose), she was in fact a professional makeup artist before she became a drag queen.
She knows what she’s doing, and every makeup ‘faux-pas’ she commits is done with intention- the classic example of learning the rules so you can break them. Also, what makes this tutorial great in my opinion, is that simply spending any time with Trixie is always a laugh.
As I’ve said before, Trixie is a hustler and the way she took her ’15 minutes of fame’ from her first appearance on RPDR and spun it into gold is extremely inspiring. Not only that, Trixie continues branch out and her resumé just gets longer and longer.
With the release of Trixie Cosmetics earlier this year, her comedy special “Trixie Mattel: Skinny Legend” and the upcoming release of her third album “Barbara”, there’s no doubt that Trixie is on her way to drag-queen-mogul status. By the way, her first single from that upcoming album entitled “Yellow Cloud” can already be found on Amazon and Spotify. Go Trixie, Go!
What To Do/What Not To Do Drag Makeup Tutorial- with Pearl Liaison
This one is probably the most informative on the list. Pearl Liaison, the runner-up of season 7 of RPDR, shows us how to paint her face like a professional, seasoned queen would, as well as the common mistakes many beginners make. She does this by dividing her face in half, which allows us to clearly see those mistakes and how effective correcting them really is.
Pearl has done an impressive job maintaining and cultivating her career, despite being one of the few queens to openly speak out against Rupaul. Some might call this “biting the hand that feeds you”, and although I can’t argue with that, it just goes to show how talented and hardworking Pearl really is. It’s clear to see that this incident hasn’t really had a negative impact on her career.
Pearl describes herself as “stepford wife robot bitch”, an alter-ego that originated from drawings that she did as a kid of older ladies wearing extravagant jewels and fur. She has a great eye for fashion and turning looks.
Plastique Tiara transforms James Charles – Extreme Drag Transformation…
Plastique Tiara’s transformation of James Charles had to be included in this list because it is just so remarkable. The self-proclaimed Asian Barbie literally turns James into her sister- the family resemblance is uncanny.
For those of you who are not familiar with either of these popular millennials: Plastique, a.k.a. the “Unclockable Beauty”, was a contestant on the most recent season of RPDR (season 11) and is the drag daughter of Drag Race legend Alyssa Edwards.
James is a Beauty Guru/YouTube sensation with more than 16 million followers. He is quite well-known for his makeup skills and dabbles in drag makeup now and then, but even he admits that he learnt a lot from Plastique while filming this video.
What do you think?
So there you have it, my take on the best drag makeup tutorials on YouTube. Did I forget anyone? Is there someone who you think I should or shouldn’t have included in this list? Let me know in the comments down below what you thought of my top picks!