It’s no secret that the art of drag has inspired A LOT of makeup trends - contouring, baking, over lining the lips. But have you ever wondered how Queens take care of their gorgeous mug pre and post show? A full coverage face can wreak havoc on the skin so we simply had to ask Tina Bikki her tricks of the trade.
As you’d expect, seasoned Queens liken their skincare and makeup routines to muscle memory. “In an ideal world where I’m actually running on time I would set aside two hours for skincare and makeup, and then another hour for hair, body and costume. But you could say I’ve mastered the fine art, and I can wing it in about 90 mins if I have to.”
“When you’re putting as much makeup on your face as I do, it is super important to look after your skin and establish a solid skincare regime. I can’t stress that enough! I’m someone who has to shave everyday too for a really clean drag look, so, hot tip, I actually use L’Oreal Paris Men Expert Magnesium Defence Face Cleanser in place of shaving cream when doing so. Once my skin is cleansed I apply a really rich moisturiser, and then a nice primer; I’m obsessed with Burberry Beyond Radiance.” Simple but effective at getting that bright, bouncy, blank canvas ready for makeup.
Depending on the venue, occasion, latest TikTok trend, Tina’s look tends to change. But there is one fail safe routine you’ll probably pick up on with a quick scroll of her profile: “My signature winged eyeliner, sometimes even 2 or 3 wings, inner and outer! Teamed with a midnight black brow to make the eye area really pop. I like to feel sassy.”
After all the strutting, shimmying, very emotive miming to queer allies like Ricki-Lee and Samantha Jade, it’s time to undo all the drag. Now we’ve heard some concerning industry hacks that have hopefully gone out of fashion - using harsh soaps or olive oil on the skin, rubbing alcohol on those set brows - but here’s an insight into what happens backstage.
“I swear by a Johnsons makeup wipe with a teeny bit of organic coconut oil to break down that first layer. Then I go in with a thorough double cleanse, an oil first, followed by my regular foaming wash. I exfoliate the skin to stop my pores clogging and get rid of any buildup, then I religiously apply L’Oreal Paris Revitalist Filler Hyaluronic Acid Serum (current fav) each night, before locking in all the moisture with a good quality face cream before bed. And for the love of god DON’T FALL ASLEEP IN IT!”
BTS (Behind Tina’s Sparkles)!
Tina’s been around the block for a few years, so we had to ask what an impact she, and drag in general, has had in cementing a sense of self and sexuality on and off stage. “I’ve spent so many years doing this, I think that she’s transferred over to my everyday persona, or maybe it’s the other way around?! Drag definitely unlocks so much internal and external confidence.”
Drag is for everyone, all genders, all sexual orientations. Don’t listen to me, repeat after RuPaul: we’re all born naked and the rest is drag. Next time you’re in the presence of a Queen you can acknowledge just how much love and time and energy goes into turning up (with glowing skin!) for a show.
“We’re here to make you laugh, smile, engage, get you inspired. Soak. Us. Up.”
Happy WorldPride / Gay Christmas.