In today’s time and age, a lot of people, girls and boys, have quite the extensive make-up routine. Contouring, highlighting, brows and big lips,… It’s a lot! Ever since the Kardashians made contouring into the big thing it is right now, the world has gone crazy over shaping the face to perfection. Well, here’s a news flash: it is not Kim and co. who have made contouring and all that into the phenomenon we know today. The roots of your make-up routine (if that is your thing) lay elsewhere: in the crazy world of drag queens.

Drag it up

Drag culture has been around for ages, and thanks to pop culture and shows like RuPaul’s Drag Race, it has gained both popularity and respect. While previously, the art of drag was frowned upon, it is now admired. People realise that drag is indeed a form of art and performing, and they embrace it. And, like always, when the masses finally get on the train of something that has been an underground thing for ages, they steal from it and claim it as their own.

Shape the man away

No worries, this subtitle is not meant to be man-hating comment, it’s just what drag queens do: they shape the man away. One thing about drag will never change: it is a lot of make-up. You see, drag is basically men trying to create a female illusion. Pretty early on in the world of drag, men realised that they could shape their faces to look more feminine. How? By using strategically placed shadows and highlights. That’s basically what contouring is: creating shadows on your face where you want it to appear more narrow or sunken in, and highlighting the parts you want to bring forward.

Slowly but steadily, somewhere around last year, more and more Instagram and Youtube guru’s started applying these techniques. It wasn’t long until celebrity make-up artists caught up on the trend, and there we are: when Kim K started started carving out her cheecks, everyone started doing it.


Drag make-up as an inspiration

Contouring and highlighting the face is probably the most famous aspect of drag make-up we adopted, but there is more. Overdrawing the lips, for example: something Kylie Jenner claimed to do before she admitted she got lip fillers. Lining your lips just outside your natural lipline makes your lips look fuller (when done right), and it’s an easy trick drag queens have used for ever. What else? Another drag-inspired trick that a lot of beauty guru’s have been using is ‘baking’. Basically, it is the act of setting your concealer (mostly under-eye) with an abundance of powder, let it sit, and then wipe the excess away. Baking prevents concealer from creasing, a problem a lot of people struggle with. Drag queens have to use it because otherwise, their make-up would melt away on stage. Not cute!

It’s not personal, it’s drag

Yes, I have always wanted to use a Drag Race quote as a subtitle! This article is not at all meant as a (personal) attack on Instagram or Youtube people who apply those typical ‘draggy’ tricks. It’s all about education, giving you guys a new insight on where your beauty routine comes from. It is very typical that an underground culture that is frowned upon at first, all of a sudden gets popular, and more often than not serves as an inspiration. Acknowledging where certain trends come from is important, and it’s (at least in my opinion) also very interesting! After all, make-up is fun, in any shape or form. It’s fun to experiment and to try new things! Now, go out there, have some fun and drag it up!