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A History of Queens

“Don’t be a Drag; be a Queen.” - RuPaul

We’re not talking about Queen Elizabeth, Victoria, Anne, or Cleopatra - although we might in the future! We’re talking about our modern day queens of the drag variety and how their looks can inspire you! After all, who doesn’t love a good lash fact!

Although the actual origins of the term “drag queen” are unclear, the first recorded person to refer to himself as “the queen of drag” was in the 1880s by a man named William Dorsey Swann. That’s right, besties, drag is older than electricity and iPhones!

Of course, the concept of men in heels, wigs, and makeup has never been a “new” idea. Since 4000 BCE, it has been recorded that men wore kohl around their eyes to protect them from the sun in Egypt, all the way to the turn of the 18th century when wigs were worn not only by justice court officials, but also upper class men. It was only in the late 1800s that makeup became a gender regulated concept. 

In fact, men have been wearing makeup for longer than women, so if you really think about it, it's about time it became a normalized idea again! It has continued to be an uphill battle for the drag community to gain acceptance, and for younger drag princesses, the road may still seem long. With mainstream media and younger generations of supporters, we can definitely say we’re excited to see what the drag world will evolve into.

Let’s dive into the stunning looks from drag over the last few decades, and find some inspiration for your next drama queen client!

"It’s just a lot of fun, and I look damn good in a pair of high heels and a wig." - RuPaul.

Shows like “RuPaul’s Drag Race” have gone leaps and bounds to normalizing drag culture and giving the audience an in depth look into all the work that goes into creating the perfect drag outfit. We’ve seen individual personalities shine through the outfits from wig to heel. That being said, we’re going to take a look at what is below the wig. The makeup!

As lash artists, we know a good set of lashes can make the world of difference, and with drag queens, bigger is definitely better!

1950s - 1960s Drag

1950s era makeup can be summarized in one word: Glamorous!

Legends like Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor, and Audrey Hepburn were well on their way to becoming beauty icons. Famous drag queen of the 50s, Kitt Russell, also known as Paul Russell, was also becoming known as one of the most glamorous men on the scene. The 50s were all about natural skin, subtle eyeshadows and brows, and pinkish reddish hues for the lips and cheeks. And, of course, the liner. Drag is all about artistry, and in a pretty tumultuous time in history, drag proved to be all about the drama. Overlining lips, dramatic brows, and extended wings became popular throughout the 50s, and as we know, experienced a resurgence in modern times.

So what does this mean for your lash client who is obsessed with her wings? Suggested a winged liner lash style using our Flat L and M curl lashes to create that iconic flicked eyeliner look!

1970s - 1980s Drag

As we all know the 80s were all about being loud. Madonna, Bowie, and Lauper are all icons many took inspiration from whether it was fashion or beauty. 

It was all about bold liner, and neon! Not to mention the big hair and bold brows, the 80s looks were all about being loud and proud. So what does this mean for your lash clients looking to add a bit of spice to their lash set?

To mimic bold liner, suggest a volume or even mega volume set using our Runway lashes for the boldest lash look! Add a few coloured lash fans on the outer edges of your lash map for the ultimate 80s inspired lash look.

1990s - 2000s Drag

Thin brows, low rise jeans, and butterfly clips. Can you feel the nostalgia creeping in? Don’t forget the body glitter or blue eyeshadow! Drag certainly evolved with the trends and the thinner the brows, the better! While blue shadow has taken a backseat with the recent resurgence of Y2K aesthetic amongst Gen Z-ers (thank you, lash gods, for small blessings), the trend for lashes was the spidery-er the better. 

As lash artists, we know clumpy mascara lashes are not the vibe we’re going for, however, a spike lash map or “wet look” effect is definitely something we can accomplish with artful styling and proper technique! Sugarlash PRO’s LashSTYLE™ Course is well worth the knowledge to accomplish your 90s babe’s lash dreams!

2010s - Present Drag

Drag is ultimately an expression of personality. With the beauty industry evolving and becoming more inclusive, drag has also evolved to encompass individual identity and style. But one thing is certain: modern drag is all about the drama and embracing uniqueness! Learn your client’s lifestyle and personality during your lash consultations to understand the style that would best suit your client! Whether it’s a classic 50s inspired winged liner look, or the spiky lashes of the 90s, lash extensions are versatile! Be bold like the queens of the 80s and explore different lash styles!

Sugarlash PRO Tip: Seriously, don’t sleep on the LashSTYLE™ Course and learn how to elevate your lash services and your business!

"Good luck and don’t mess it up." -RuPaul

In conclusion, be bold, be fearless, and be inspired! Don’t forget to tag us in your lash looks on instagram @sugarlashpro and check out Amazon Prime’s latest musical coming of age film that inspired this post “Everybody's Talking About Jamie” - we know we will be!




Sources:

https://allthatsinteresting.com/history-of-drag-queens#6

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drag_queen#History_of_drag

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Everybody%27s_Talking_About_Jamie_(film)

https://glamourdaze.com/history-of-makeup/1950s

https://kidadl.com/articles/best-rupaul-quotes-from-americas-iconic-drag-queen

https://www.them.us/story/inqueery-drag

https://www.queermusicheritage.com/f-russell-kitt.html

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