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The Queens’ English: Words of Wisdom from Dragcon LA 2019

All the tea and shade from those who know it best.
Reading time 4 minutes

Photography by Tanya Akim

You’re born naked and the rest is drag! At RuPaul’s DragCon at the LA Convention Center over the weekend, the tagline of the event makes perfect sense. But there are changes afoot that reflect larger trends in the drag world crossing over to the mainstream: Cardi B trademarked “Okurrr” this year, a staple in DragRace vernacular, especially with star Laganja Estranja, and the KarJenner clan’s lessons in contouring (a signature in drag makeup) have created a beauty revolution. Lest we forget, these trends originated on drag stages and in ballrooms since the ’80s. Now, queens are championing individuals’ rights, inclusion, and love for all, proving that Drag Queens are somewhat of a new age superhero.

There was nothing casual about the weekend at DragCon. Dozens of booths selling wigs, merchandise, latex, and meet-and-greets lined walkways with names like, “1800 Sissy That Walk”. Event-goers were dressed in their best novelties and handmade originals. Among the longest lines were those where fans had a chance to meet their favorite drag superstars. We got an exclusive opportunity to ask queens and fan favorites some of their best tips on dating, beauty, and life.

Katya on Dating

All-Stars Season 2 finalist and fan-favorite took time out of her wrap-around queue to share her essential dating tips and what to do if you’ve been ghosted.

“On the first date, be sure to only operate at around 65-70%, because if you present your best self on your first date (which is the norm), it’s all downhill from there. Set the bar low-ish. You have to assess, of course, if you’re on a level playing field. If you’re dating down, then, just show up drunk. It doesn’t matter. But otherwise, keep wiggle room for improvement so you can really snag the person later. Also, don’t be afraid of having sex on the first date, but DO NOT sleep over.” And if you’ve been ghosted? “Haunt yourself. Look in the mirror and think about, ‘what is so terrible about me?’ …and then work on that!”

Silky Nutmeg Ganache on Gaining Confidence and Self-Love

The Season 11 top 4 finalist tells us some great tips for her big, self-loving personality. 

“For someone lacking confidence, this is one of the things I still do every day, it’s something I did in my childhood: I would get in a mirror, and look at myself, and I will point out one thing and I’ll say ‘I like this about myself’. And if you do that every day – it can be as little as ‘oh my goodness, I like my eyelashes today, or I love my button nose.’ – point out everything you like about yourself until you come to love yourself. I think confidence is a lack of love for self or lack of self-care so once you start practicing this you’ll get to love yourself truly – Look, I got naked on national TV, ok? You really have to love yourself to do that.”

Plastique Tiara on Makeup

Arguably the most beautiful queen of DragRace Season 11, and the ultra-talented makeup artist shared her life-changing beauty tip, with a dash of shade for her fellow castmate! “The best makeup tip I ever learned was color-correcting before your foundation with orange. You don’t want to look like it’s 5 o’clock everywhere—just ask Scarlett [Envy].”

Adore Delano on Aspiring Singers

The former American Idol contestant turned DragRace superstar has some practical pointers for someone looking to improve their vocals.

“I actually learned how to sing through Britney Spears. Everyone’s popular opinion on her is that she couldn’t sing the best or whatever, so if you put emotion into it and practice that’s the most important part. I faked it ‘til I made it—almost!”

Aquaria on Her 1 Game-Changing Make-Up Product

We caught up with last season’s DragRace winner and superstar at her NYX makeup collaboration booth. In May, Aquaria became the first drag queen to walk the Met Ball’s red carpet. What is the one makeup product that changed her makeup game this year? “Yellow blush. 100%.”

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