Drag Wednesday: Bye bye brows…

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So Drag Wednesday has rolled around once more and since our Marty focused on eyeliner last week, I decided to tackle the eyebrows this week.

No matter what look you’re going for, in drag or out, a good set of eyebrows are vital to frame the gorgeous eye look you’ve created. You wouldn’t stick a Picasso to the wall with push tacks, would you? NO! So we need to create a frame to suit. With drag, a lot of queens go for a very hyper-feminine arch or opt for a thin brow. So some prep is necessary to be able to get that new and improved feminine brow. Here are just a few options which I’ve tested out:

  • Tape – It’s possible to get an arch simply by using tape to lift the arch of the brow. This works best with men who have quite orderly brows and womens brows. The drawback comes with covering up the tape in question so I have a tendency to avoid.
  • Shaving/Waxing – This one all depends on how comfortable you are with half to no eyebrows whilst not wearing make-up/being out of drag. I personally already shave off the outer half (maybe 3/4) of my brow so I can extend my arch and have a more exaggerated brow shape and it really was a life altering experience (thank you wine)  because doing my brows has become so much easier. You could go the full whack and shave your eyebrows off completely but I’d take a serious think before jumping in. Are you prepared to draw your brows in every day or will you feel comfortable enough to go completely browless on days where make-up isn’t an option or you’re under a time constraint.
  • Blocking – The most opted for choice of queens, make-up artists and cosplayers the world over, is blocking. Which is simply just covering the brow. Sounds simple enough but I’ve had enough mishaps to know that you need to do it right for it to work. The upside of taking the time to block though, is you’re left with your own natural eyebrow hidden underneath so that you can just wash it right off when you’re done and are as good as new. Here’s a simple step by step on blocking…

What you’ll need:

Cleansing water, a spoolie (or two), glue stick (preferably Elmer’s purple glue stick), pressed or loose powder (I’m using baby powder for this tutorial), metal spatula (or the closed end of a set of tweezers will do in a pinch), foundation.

Step 1: Cleanse the eyebrow area, ensuring that there’s no product or any facial oils remaining. Take a spoolie and brush your eyebrows, finishing with a downwards stroke.

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Step 2: Take your glue stick (Elmer’s purple glue is the best to use but I’m working with Pritt Stick at the moment) and rub it along the eyebrow, first against the grain, then with the grain so every hair is coated. I only have the first 1/3 of my eyebrow so you would just do it over the whole brow or however much you’re wanting to cover up.

Step 3: Take an eyebrow comb or a spoolie and brush the hairs firmly in the direction you want them to go, flattening them to the skin. Allow the glue to dry.brows2

Step 4: Use loose or pressed powder (I prefer baby powder myself) to set over the area which we’ve just glued down. At this point you should have a good amount of coverage from the powder alone.

Step 5: Take your metal spatula and scoop a small amount of glue onto the tip. Use the spatula to press the glue along your eyebrow, ensuring that the area is completely smoothed. You want to cover up the texture of the eyebrow but you don’t want to leave an obvious line where the glue is. Allow to dry and repeat step 4.

brows4Step 6: Cover with foundation and set with powder.

It’s really not difficult once you get the hang of the smoothing and timing the drying of your glue. It’s a worthwhile technique to master as it can be incorporated into everyday makeup, face painting, special effects etc.

So now that you’ve got no brows, go forth and be creative with your eye make-up. I’ll be back next week with some handy tips and products for drawing your brows back on again!!

Be bold. Be brash. Be you.

x Marianne x

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Drag Wednesday: Bye bye brows…

Drag Wednesday: All drag is valid.

Good evening everyone! Drag Wednesday has sashayed it’s way around once again.

This week, after seeing yet more bitching and moaning online about what “real” drag is and how certain types of drag are not drag at all.

Well, I’m not a drag queen, I’m not actively involved in the drag “scene” so I’m only commenting as an outsider. Someone who goes to shows, follows drag online and follows drag related TV shows so I’m not a professional by any means.

But here are my thoughts: drag is individual, there is no formula to drag. There’s an idea of drag which is ingrained in people’s minds as a hyperfeminine character. Yes, most queens nowadays fit that bill. People of all genders (because cis males aren’t the only people out there doing drag as people often think) doing drag mostly choose the hyperfeminine, glamourous drag most often observed in pageants. But there’s more to drag than gowns and looking like your a-typical beautiful woman.

There are no boundaries when it comes to drag. Your aesthetic is individual to you. Whether you want to be dolled up and slaying in a sequin gown, embracing your facial hair in bearded drag, stepping outside the box in more abstract drag or whatever you want to do, that’s okay. Your drag is valid and nobody should be questioning it.

There’s abuse hurled at queens over social media, groups of people having slanging matches over what’s right and what’s wrong when it comes to drag. Well the truth is, this isn’t a cookie cutter world that should be filled with cookie cutter queens. Like I said, drag is individual and nobody should try to take what you want to portray away from you. Get up, get dressed, fix your face and own that shit because that’s what makes you, you!

If you’re one of the guilty parties trying to say you know better and that what you say is gospel, you need to take a good look at the world around you. Look further into drag and different styles of drag. You’ll see yourself that we as humans, never mind individuals doing drag, aren’t all the same. Our styles aren’t all the same, the way we dress, walk, do our make-up, wear our hair, isn’t the same! So why should drag be the same.

A drag persona is just that, a persona. A character that a queen has developed, built up and put a fuckton of work into perfecting. It’s not your place to drag them down. Unless you’re sitting on a judging panel at a pageant or on a show like RPDR, your job is to sit down, watch a show and respect what another artist is doing. Because you don’t know what their inspiration is, you don’t know how hard they’ve worked to master their craft and you just don’t get to try and influence what makes them happy. Can you imagine how it would feel if someone tried to mould you into someone that you’re not just because they don’t like who you are or don’t respect who you are as a person? Remember there’s a real person underneath all that make-up and hair. A person with feelings.

The ultimate goal in a person’s life is to be happy and comfortable. Comfortable in their life, their career, their own skin. If someone’s drag isn’t your cup of tea then that’s your opinion. Hey, there’s queens in the world that I don’t like, that I’m not keen on their style of drag. But that doesn’t mean that their drag isn’t valid. It means it’s not to my taste. Just the same way I don’t like salt and vinegar crisps but I’m not going to write to Golden Wonder and tell them I think that their salt and vinegar crisps are shit and that they should stop making them because I don’t like them. Other people are quite fond of salt and vinegar. And that’s okay because a crisp is still a crisp, even if they’re salt and vinegar.

I’ve gone off on a tangent… so the point I’m trying (and possibly failing) to make is that not every style of drag is for everyone. Variety is the spice of life and all that jazz. You need to take off the blinkers and open your eyes to the fact that there is a whole world of drag out there. So many styles, so many different performances, so much creativity. If you don’t explore, you might just miss out.

In short, respect each other, respect your queens, and just appreciate drag for what it is. An art form. Whether you love it or hate it, it is what it is and we just need to get on. In the words of Rupaul herself “Everybody say love.”

Until next time, don’t forget to slay all day, everyday.

x Marianne x

Drag Wednesday: All drag is valid.

#DragWednesday: Sleek Foundation Review

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Well, this week, this basic bitch has gone a little basic with her drag look. For no other reason than time constraints. Bizarrely, my day time make-up was more interesting than my drag look…

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So while I was sitting contouring, I decided that I wanted to do a review on a foundation I’ve had in my kit for a while but not actually reviewed. A friend gave it to me and I kept the two shades (Barley and Coffee Bean) in my kit as my skin tone is quite pale. *BUT* it caught my eye while I was looking for my contour palette one day and I decided to try it out for my contour. I like quite a dark contour so Coffee Bean was perfect.

The foundation is Sleek’s Creme to Powder foundation. It’s £7.99 for a 9g compact and considering MAC’s Studio Tech foundation (another creme to powder type foundation) is £26 for 10g, it’s a total steal. The foundation comes in 30 shades which is fantastic considering a lot of high street make-up brands don’t really cater to darker skin tones. So there’s plenty of choice for make-up artists building a kit who don’t want to be constantly mixing shades and for darker complexions where a lot of high street brands only really cater to fairer to medium skin tones. The compact has a generous sized mirror in the compact and I use it regularly to do my full face as my eyesight is tragic so I can’t sit at a vanity mirror without my face being a centimetre away from the glass.

The foundation boasts a medium to full buildable coverage with a flawless finish, which sets to a powdery finish. There’s no suggestion for length of wear or anything like that on their site so I can’t do a time comparison I’m afraid. The formula is thick and creamy but doesn’t feel heavy or cakey on your face, considering the texture of the foundation. Right off the bat with one coat of foundation, the coverage is brilliant. I didn’t feel the need to apply any more foundation over the top of it and I’m a full coverage kinda gal myself. 

I only ever use this foundation for contouring as I haven’t actually been to Superdrug to pick up my own shade in the foundation but I tried out one of the lighter shades (Barley) all over my face and wore it around the house to see how it held up. It lasted the whole day. By whole day, I mean I had it on for 10 hours before washing it off. It held up all day and I didn’t have to touch up at any point.

Application wise, it comes with a sponge applicator, not dissimilar to a powder puff but more rubbery. Personally, I didn’t use it as it didn’t seem to apply the foundation to it’s full potential. I apply my contour with a flat foundation brush to get a sharp line and then blend it upwards with a RT face brush. When I applied it all over my face, I just went in with the face brush after priming with Freedom’s priming water. 

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This was after setting with powder.

My only issue with the product is it doesn’t actually set to a powdery finish. Which brings up a dilemma. How exactly do I rate it? As a cream foundation, I would say a definite 10/10 but as it’s supposed to be a cream to powder, it knocks it down to a 4/10 as it doesn’t do exactly what it says on the tin. 

Don’t let this put you off trying the foundation though (unless a definite powder finish is what you’re looking for) because it’s a wonderful foundation even if you do have to go through the extra few seconds it takes to set with powder. It gave a flawless finish, blends like a dream and doesn’t weigh your face down. I wore it on a considerably warm day, although I live in Scotland so my idea of warm might not align with everyone else’s idea of warm, and it didn’t sweat off like some foundations have done in the past.

Bottom line: try this foundation. It’s totally worth it.

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Next time we’ll have a review of the newest addition to my kit. The Morphe Master Studio Pro Brush 30pc Set. I am ITCHING to try out these bad boys!!

Until next time, don’t forget to slay all day, every day!!

x Marianne x

#DragWednesday: Sleek Foundation Review

#DragWednesday: On cheap wigs…

So a brief introduction to #DragWednesday…

Basically Drag Wednesday is my own favourite day of the week where I get into drag for no particular reason whatsoever to have some fun and look fierce.

This week, I decided to go for something a bit more understated than usual (yeah right) so not as to detract from the subject I want to talk about – WIGS! More specifically bargainous (ie cheap lol) wigs. So today, Rachel and I are gonna review some wigs, give some opinions and point you in the right direction if, like me, your purse screams at the suggestion of lace fronts and human hair wigs.

Cheaper wigs seem to get a bit of a bad rap. When you hear cheap wigs, you have a tendency to think of the shiny, plasticky monstrosities that you find in some fancy dress shops but thanks to the internet, a world of better quality bargain wigs has opened up. I only have 3 in my collection so far (but trust me, this is not the end, simply the beginning of an addiction) and none of them were over the £10 mark. So I’m gonna pop down a couple of sellers and shops I’ve used and give you some pros and cons.

Personally, I’m not keen on human hair wigs. I worry about the ethics of the human hair business after reading a harrowing article about Asian women being scalped for their hair and ever since then, I’ve never even entertained the idea of a human hair wig. Now, I’m not implying that every manufacturer of human hair wigs gets their hair in this manner but along the lines of my slight mistrust over the cruelty free aspect of some cosmetics, you just never know. So I’m a synthetic kinda gal. Typically, synthetic wigs are less expensive as well. So here goes the reviews…

Long Curly Rainbow Wigs Pink/Purple Mix

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First off we’ve got this gorgeous pink number from eBay. My firstborn. Now, I totally freaking love this wig! The colours are beautiful, the strands are pretty soft and it sits well. I’ll touch more on the aspect of wig care and styling at a later date but it’s been washed and styled since buying at although it was a bit of a trial trying to figure out a way to style it without extreme heat, it was really easy to re-curl after washing. What I love about this wig is that brushing didn’t affect the quality of the wig. Yes, washing affected the curls but I was pretty terrified of brushing it incase strands started pulling out and the wig was fucked. The actual lines of hair that are sewn in (I’m not an expert so forgive me for not knowing the technical terminology for this) are really close together and there’s a lot of them so there’s a load of hair there to work with, the netting doesn’t show through due to the fact that it’s so dense which is a massive bonus. I personally thought that it was blatantly obvious that it was a wig but I’ve had so many people assume it’s my real hair and asking me about the dyeing process and people have been totally taken aback when I’ve told them it’s actually a wig. At £8.39, it was a total steal and the compliments have been endless so I definitely think it’s worth a look. There’s a good variety of colours, solid and mixed so plenty to choose from. Like most wigs, it’s also adjustable sizewise and it’s pretty generous at it’s non-adjusted setting so no matter the size of your head, the size clips offer a lot of options.

100cm Long Glossy Straight Wig

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Secondly I have this gorgeous white/silver number from Twinkle Deals. First I want to say that the prices on Twinkle Deals are great but be wary that there’s added charges for postage, tracking and the delivery times are pretty long. I waited about 4 weeks for this to come so if you need your hair in a hurry, I don’t know if Twinkle Deals is the site for you. The wig itself has been a bit of a pain in the arse if I’m being totally honest. Upon opening, I was absolutely blown away by the softness and condition of the wig and threw it on my head straight away. Then the shit hit the fan. The first thing that was glaringly obvious was the size of the netting cap underneath. It’s pretty darn small. It was really difficult to actually cover my hairline even with a wig cap on and it felt quite insecure because of this. So if you’ve got a larger head, steer clear. Due to the length of the wig, it knots pretty damn easily. Now, this isn’t a reflection of the quality of the wig itself but the length isn’t made for longterm or regular wear if you don’t want to spend half your life brushing it. Which brings me to the styling. Washing was pretty easy and it  dried surprisingly quickly considering it’s so long. After drying, it came to the arduous task of brushing this monster. I went through it first with my fingers to see if I could separate the knots and tangles but it was not to be. I got a brush and started brushing, holding close to the roots so none of the strands would come away. Alas, it was not to be. The brush was full of strands but thus far hasn’t made a noticeable difference. Brushing has left it in really bad condition as well, the strands are no longer silky and soft like they were at first, which isn’t surprising I suppose when you consider the price) and it’s quite frizzy at the ends. While brushing, I noticed that the rows of hair are pretty few and far between. I don’t know if it’s due to the manufacturing itself being cheaply done (you get what you pay for I suppose) or if it’s due to the excessive weight if you’ve got such a long wig with so much volume in it. This makes the netting noticeable at the back of the head when being worn long which obviously isn’t good if you don’t want it to be obvious that you’re wearing a wig. I’ve ended up just putting it into a braid so that it can be worn without the netting showing through. Definitely not somewhere I’m going to be buying from again.

Hosee Wavy Wig in Wine Red

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Thirdly, and lastly (so far) is this little Amazon number. With Prime delivery, it’s great if you’re needing your wig quick and quite a few of their wigs were same day delivery if ordered before 12pm. This out of the three, qualitywise, is the best. It’s so soft, sits and feels like real hair. For a synthetic wig under £10, I’m blown away. The cap alone is amazing. I’ve posted a comparison photo between the caps on the other two and the one on this and they are nothing alike. The cap on this has soft bands running all the way around the wig which keeps it sitting properly and it doesn’t slip up, making it look like a more natural hairline. It also makes it more comfortable to wear and there’s no itching whatsoever with this wig. I swithered about buying it as the photo on the listing wasn’t very good but after seeing it in the flesh, it truly is a gem and a brand I will DEFINITELY be buying from in the future. Ten out of fucking ten!!!

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To sum up this long winded post, I don’t think it’s worth  being snobbish about cheaper wigs. There really are some hidden gems out there as I’ve shown with the red Hosee wig. It truly is a brilliant wig and I love it so much. Keep an eye out, shop around and if the worst comes to the worst, you can always return it.

Much love everybody,

x M x

#DragWednesday: On cheap wigs…