“We all came into this world naked. The rest is all drag,” quote from the famous RuPaul. Drag is an amazing form of self-expression. It is a practice of play and liberation. In drag, you can be anyone that you want to be. You can access any part of you and dance in the form of self-expression.
Adulting makes us forget. It puts us in strong containers of appropriate behavior and manners. It confines us into constrained action. As kids, we would shed all of these societal expectations and we would play ‘dress-up.’ We would have fun, lost in our imagination, we could be whoever we wanted to be. Liberated from our prescriptive lives, we got lost in the magic.
Dressing up in drag, you get to re-explore this kind of play. You can express the different sides of yourself. By doing this, you will gain confidence through exploration and experimentation. This will help you grow as a human and create community. There are countless stories of people who by the art of drag learned to love and embrace their humor, their gender expression, quirkiness and more.
You may be surprised at what getting into drag will get out of you. Will you turn into a glamorous elegant lady, a crazy and funny comedy queen or a fashionista who turns heads?
We won’t lie, trying on and trying out drag can be overwhelming. As a drag queen you basically need to know how to be your own makeup artist, hairdresser, stylist, dancer and comedian. This can be a big barrier to entry. However, don’t worry. In this article, we will go over the important first steps on how to get started in drag.
This will include unpacking how to build your own persona and style. Must-buys you’ll need to invest in to get started and how to use them to aid in your transformation. We will learn how to master the skill of makeup and how to move like a drag queen. Let’s enter the world of drag.
The Road To Becoming a Drag Queen
First thing is first, anyone can become a drag queen, no matter your gender or sexuality and there is no right or wrong way to be a drag queen. The truth is, it’s easy to start drag, but it takes a lot of work to become a master at it. And that’s ok, that’s how skills work. You have to work at them to become better. One step at a time. Each drag queen has their own path, there is no one way, and that’s what makes the art of drag so fun! Your creativity gets to lead you. But you have to take the first step. So, what is the first step?
Creating your very own drag persona
What Will Be You Drag Name & Character
We hate that it’s one of the first orders of business and it happens to be a big deal. Don’t worry, you aren’t locked in for life, but it can have a very empowering effect. When it comes to deciding your drag queen name there are many ways of arriving at one. Some queens get their name passed on from their drag mother or drag family, but if you don’t have any of those, no problem, you get to pick your own. For some drag queens creating a name takes a couple tries, and that is fine.
Choosing a sort of vibe, energy and atmosphere – might feel limiting but it’s also liberating. Are you an over-the-top comedy queen, oozing laughter and wit, or are you a fashionista? A dancing queen? A show girl? Maybe you are a mix of two or more? You don’t have to do it all, you get to have a gorgeous niche and within that niche you can have lots of play and fun. Honestly, choosing your name and character are best done in tandem as they can influence one another.
If you’ve seen Rupaul’s drag race, especially the episodes where the contestants are challenged to do make-overs of family members or other people who have never done drag before, you see that getting in drag immediately changes someone’s character. We all have a drag character hiding inside of us. The only way to find out is to try it and see what comes out!
You get to play around and see what feels good. From a branding point of view, choose a name that in some way encapsulates your vibe and character. It’s recommended to create something memorable and catchy. Think about what play and performance you want to bring to life in drag. You might not plan to ever perform in front of anybody when you start, but you never know where the path of becoming a drag queen can bring you in the future.
What Will Be Your Style?
The sky is the limit. (Re)watch some of your favourite Rupaul’s drag race queens and focus on their drag style. It will give you some inspiration. If you don’t know what you want yet that’s ok. It’s great to explore before making any decisions.
Often we write styles, colors, or props off that we think we won’t like but end up loving. In the same vein, we might think we will love something and realize it just doesn’t suit our body or personality. Sometimes things simply just doesn’t feel right. Don’t shoot ideas down too quickly. Give everything a chance and see how your style reveals itself to you over time.
Shopping for the essentials
Shopping for the essentials to create your drag look can be a time-consuming but rewarding experience. When you start out and don’t want to spend a lot of money on drag, we recommend creating a couple looks that are versatile. Being able to mix and match items that go well together will give you countless looks.
Think about your drag style character and then build your capsule wardrobe around that. Consider one of your basic needs and character troupes. For example, a dancing queen would prefer something easy to move in, something that’s durable, while a fashionista might focus more on beautiful jewelry, a gorgeous dress and a well styled wig. Tip: find a base to work from. This will make everything easier!
Same as the wardrobe goes for getting a good wig. You want something that you can style in different ways. It allows you to practice and create different looks without needing to spend a lot of money.
The following is optional, but for some starting queens it is very important. Don’t underestimate the power of padding. A corset and fake boobs can go a long way in creating a womanly illusion. Creating an hourglass shape will help you cancel out any manly bodily features (big shoulders, small waist and hips). Don’t be afraid to exaggerate the hourglass shape, especially if you are big and tall.
Don’t forget that accessories are very important and finish your look. A nice pair of earrings, necklace, bracelet, rings and nails are details that pop and you can be very creative with them. Pick a few staple pieces that are (again) versatile at first but also statement pieces that speak to your character and vibe.
What Will Be Your Makeup Style?
Makeup is a wild ride. It is a skill, a skill that you will have to spend time on. But first thing is first, you need the internet. There is so much to learn by watching Youtube tutorials, so watch as many tutorials as you can tolerate.
Try different looks from different queens. We recommend looking up RuPaul queens who have a similar face shape as you and doing their tutorials. After watching a few videos, make a little of list of the things that feel essential to you and start with your own makeup kit.
Remember, practice makes perfect. You will quickly find out what tricks you can use to transform your face and what works for you, and what doesn’t. Pro tip: make sure to save the videos and take pictures of every look you’ve created. That way you can always recreate your looks at some later point.
Once you are more comfortable doing makeup, you can start exploring, combining different makeup elements to create your own signature look or looks. Don’t be afraid of the time commitment. Creating a look in the beginning might take you 3 hours, but soon enough you will be able to do them in less than half that time.
Move Like a Drag Queen
You can be the most beautiful and hilarious queen out there, but if you want to show off your drag in public, you may want to know how to move elegantly. And by this, we mean walking like a woman. Practice walking in your heels before heading out the door. You don’t want to go through the hassle of putting yourself in your most beautiful outfit with hours of makeup on your face, to then break your neck on your heels the minute you step out of the door.
We recommend wearing your heels a couple of times at home while you are doing nothing, just to get used to wearing them. There are tons of Youtube videos on how to walk in heels as a drag queen. Practise your walk in the mirror or record yourself walking towards your phone. This will help you gain confidence.
Not every queen is a dancing queen, but if you want to become one, you will have to practise practise practise. Try following easy drag queen dancing tutorials without heels, and slowly increasing the difficulty while adding heels. This may seem daunting, but you have to make it fun yourself. Look for your favourite songs and see if there are dancing tutorials to it. If for some reason moving or dancing like a queen doesn’t work, embrace that you are bad at them and own it. Confidence and humor can make up for a lot of things!
So Who Will You Be?
Drag is fun for the sake of fun. So, whether you want to become successful doing drag or simply want to play, it is important to know that brainstorming is the name of the game! Be creative with your character that you want to embody. Study your favourite drag queens on Youtube. Learn the techniques they have, get better and create your unique style.
Drag is an art that requires a lot of hard work and dedication but we hope that with this article and the products in our store you will be well on your way to becoming an amazing drag queen.
Just remember to practice your routine, pick a fantastic drag name, slay those heels, and avoid any neck breaking spillages. With each practice and performance you gain confidence in the craft, so, hop in those heels and paint your face – it’s time to show the world how fabulous of a queen you are!