Drag 101 Part 1

Drag 101 Part 1: Skin Care, Shaving and Blocking Brows

pic In this issue we are going to start right at the beginning: with your skin. If your skin looks bad, then you look bad. Every girl knows that! So cleanse regularly, use good products, masks, scrubs, and moisturize, moisturize, moisturize. I cannot stress this enough. If you plan to be doing drag a lot, then your face is going to take a beating, so take care of it. My regime includes using Bioelements Decongestant Cleanser and their Reconstructive Clay mask to tighten my pores; the mask really helps to give a perfectly smooth and flawless appearance. Shop around and find what's right for you, or ask a skin care professional about what's right for you.

Shaving -- take the time to do this well, girls, because this alone can make the difference between you looking fabulous and someone laughing at you in the corner. I like to shave in the shower, but that's just personal preference. Use a good razor (I like the Mach 3 Turbo, but I have been told that those skinny Gillette Razors are really good for getting that difficult area under your nose), shave in every direction needed and check, check, check. After shaving, I use a toner and then an unscented (most rude to smell like a man and look like a women) razor burn eliminator (from Biotherm for Men), then I moisturize and I'm good to go.

Blocking your brows -- This is probably the question I get asked the most. Blocking out and covering your brows is the easiest thing. It just takes the right equipment and a little practice. I can do my eyebrows in about five to ten minutes. I highly suggest covering your brows for drag, or shaving them off if you're going to take up a permanent career as a female impersonator. If not, then covering them is the way to go. My brows go down and stay down very easily, however, Jacobs' (aka Dina Might) will not stay down using my method so we have to do her brows in a different way. I will explain both, and one should work for you, but there are others. If you have problems, then contact me. I'll give you some other alternatives. Before you start though, please, please, please clean up your eyebrows, wax those puppies out! It makes all the difference in the world and will give you a much smoother appearance. Ask your aesthetician to wax above, below, and in the centre of your brows.

You will need: Rubbing Alcohol, Eyebrow Plastic (Kryolan), Spirit Gum (Kryolan) and Flexible Sealer (Kryolan.) All of these products other then the Alcohol are available at Maritime Theatrical Makeup and are the best products I have ever used. These are professional strength products used for movies and special effects. Several times people have thought that I shaved my eyebrows off; that's how well these products work.

  1. Clean your brows with rubbing alcohol -- this will remove any oil from your brows, which will help prevent them from lifting (oil from your skin will break down the wax and spirit gum, which explains why you use baby oil to remove it)
  2. Using the plastic eyebrow stick, rub through your brows, first sticking them up and then smoothing them out in the direction of growth. Remove any excess wax from your skin with your finger (do not use removers or lotions - doing this will cause it to seep under your brows and they will lift).
  3. Lightly powder over them and press down with a tongue depressor. At this point your brows should look completely smooth.
  4. Brush off any excess powder and give them a light coat of spirit gum (light is the operative word here, as this spirit gum is very strong) allow this to dry -- I always have a fan going in the bathroom when I'm getting ready so I usually put my face in front of this or use a hair dryer on cool.
  5. Lightly powder over this and press with the tongue depressor until smooth and brush off any excess powder.
  6. You can (if you wish) put on another light coat of spirit gum, if you think you need it, but it's not necessary.
  7. Apply a very light coat of the flexible sealer (again, lighter is better, as this product spreads a long way) and allow it to dry.
  8. Lightly powder and press again, and you're done. It's a good idea to give your brows a few minutes to dry completely before continuing.

This whole process should take about 10 minutes max.

Now sometimes this doesn't work and for this, there is an alternative. Replace the eyebrow plastic with a simple inexpensive glue stick (I like the Green Fast Bond available just about everywhere). I still use the Spirit Gum and Flexible Sealer in the same procedure, but this is just my own personal preference. Still clean out your brows with the alcohol and cover them in both directions with the glue stick (against the grain first, and then smoothing them out with the stick). Clean the excess glue off your skin above and below your brow (if you don't get it all, it will dry and flake off later) with your fingers, again not using removers or lotions. Allow them to dry, lightly powder and follow the other steps as listed above. This method almost as flawless as the first method, but it's the best alternative I have.

With these steps, you're well on your way. It will take you a bit of practice, but it is worth it. Men have lower brows then women do naturally, so you need higher thinner brows. It will give you more space to apply makeup to your eyes. If you want to use your own brows, then try and shape them to be higher and thinner. I look at it this way: you're a man trying to look like a woman. And this, to me, means that you have to take away everything manly about yourself and replace it with things that will distract onlookers and leave them seeing only the woman in front of them.

Next time we will talk about concealing and powdering.

Next: Concealing and Powdering: Drag 101 Part 2