Today’s guest post comes from director, drag performer, and amazing human Gina Marie Hayes!
Most of us take our faces for granted. Sure, we might dress them up a little bit from time to time, like putting up string lights or a banner during a party, but string lights don’t change the basic architecture of a room.
Your face, with a little lipstick and mascara, generally still looks like your face.
Anyone who contours like a Kardashian
Drag queens (see above).
The game of drag is not to highlight your natural features and look like a better version of yourself. Your goal is to change the bones and create an entirely new creature who lives on your face for the night until you decide to take them off. Lucky Stiff, my drag persona, looks like an alien who, before they came to earth, intercepted a few videos by Klaus Nomi or Iggy Pop, the movie Blue Angel, the movie Metropolis, and several pictures of sad clowns and thought,
“In this way I will surely blend in with humanity!” They’re a perpetually sad little genderless lizard/robot/cabaret performer from the 30s and I love them like I would love a rambunctious pet.
When I “get into face” for a performance, I do the following:
- Cover eyebrows with 2-3 alternating layers of glue stick and face powder.
- Cover hair with 4 layers of clay face mask (I generally don’t wear wigs), unless I’m wearing one of several latex hoods.
- Apply several layers of white clown makeup all over my face and ears, followed by white powder.
- Contour cheekbones and chin with alternating layers of cream color and powder.
- Add blush (usually green)
- Paint on new, triangular eyelid shapes which cover part of my now-nonexistent brows, usually followed by eyelash glue and glitter over the whole thing.
- Paint on thin sad eyebrows. (As my friend Alex Kay said, “Every drag queen goes on a personal journey to find her eyebrows).
- Liquid lipstick on lips, unless I’m doing glitter lips in which case MORE EYELASH GLUE AND GLITTER!
- Glue on top and bottom eyelashes.
- Contour nostrils and the inside of my ears (this is the worst part).
I recently did a photo shoot in a bunch of my drag costumes but without makeup on, which made me feel incredibly vulnerable; they say the clothes make the man but in this case it’s really the makeup makes the Queen.
All of the above takes the better part of two hours. If I’m speedy (or running late), I can squeeze it into an hour and a half. This is followed by maybe another 30 minutes of multiple pairs of tights, sometimes a corset, pinning hats or headpieces into my now-hard clay masked head, high heels or platforms, and gluing any additional fun things to my face.
Starting off as someone that felt like they needed to wear a lot of makeup all the time to feel pretty or powerful, because when you’re born female you get that message early, I now feel most powerful with a mostly bare face.
I recently did a photo shoot in a bunch of my drag costumes but without makeup on, which made me feel incredibly vulnerable; they say the clothes make the man but in this case it’s really the makeup makes the Queen. Through trial and error in secret (aka at home) and then for about three months in public and at gigs I found the elements of Lucky’s face that felt right to me, conveyed a clear persona, and honestly still made me feel pretty which was important. Doing my makeup so much as Lucky means that I really don’t wear makeup in my normal life anymore (occasionally lipstick when I want to feel fancy), and that’s been great; from starting off as someone that felt like they needed to wear a lot of makeup all the time to feel pretty or powerful, because when you’re born female you get that message early, I now feel most powerful with a mostly bare face; I leave it to Lucky to do the big gestures, which frees me to live life on my own terms in the meantime.
Lucky’s favorite products:
Kryolan powders and creams, Ben Nye Sparklers (glitter), Classic 301 lashes (2-3 pairs stacked), Sugarpill loose pigments, Urban Decay’s Vice Palette , Colorpop or Jeffree Star Liquid Lipsticks, Kryolan Fixing Spray.
Gina Marie Hayes
Check out Lucky Stiff on instagram @lucky.stiff.
Peace. Love. and Bobby Pins