Makeup

3 Makeup Tips from Drag Queens You'll Want to Try Tonight

Because drag queens really do know how to do their makeup better than the rest of us

Kinky BootsenlargeKinky Boots
The Broadway musical "Kinky Boots" is up for 13 Tony Awards, and given that Cyndi Lauper wrote the score, I'm not surprised. The story is based on a 2005 British film by the same name, which follows a shoe factory owner who decides to make boots for -- you guessed it -- drag queens.

I caught up with the show's lead makeup artist, Randy Houston Mercer, to find out if he -- or the cast of drag queens -- had any tips that apply to, well, women. Here are three I've already tried:

1. First, find your inspiration. "I was basing [the makeup for the show] on Whitney. I was basing it on Beyoné. I was basing it on RuPaul," said Mercer. "I wanted it to be more editorial than drag." Translation: Next time you're trying to decide what to do, scroll through Pinterest.

2. If you want a smooth canvas for your makeup, you've got to exfoliate. Think about it: These guys need to shave -- a lot -- and shaving is exfoliation. "I prefer for them to come to the theater in the afternoon or evening and shave then," says Mercer. "They put on a medicated moisturizer, wait 20 minutes, then put on primer." By that point, their skin is perfectly prepped for foundation.

3. Primer is everything. Mercer says the makeup would melt off the queens' faces if not for primer. He starts with MAC Prep + Prime Skin, $29, and follows it up with MAC Studio Fix Fluid Foundation, $27.
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