Monique Heart: Buy cheap makeup and know how to blend it

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For those of you having RuPaul’s Drag Race withdrawals like I am, fear not! Thanks to the internet, you can still check in with some of your favorite queen-testants. Some of our season 10 favorites (and other Drag Race alums) were asked by the Gay Times to share their tips to help readers unleash their inner diva, and they’ve got some helpful advice that anyone can benefit from.

Monique Heart:
“Don’t spend your money on expensive cosmetics, because you’re not making a profit to spend on that. Buy cheap makeup and learn where to put it, learn how to blend it. Drink water and use cocoa butter.”

(Celebitchy’s favorite) Blair St. Clair:
“Go to as many shows as you can, as many outlets of drag as you can, and become very knowledgable of where drag came from and the scene of drag culture. Culture yourself every day, and start learning and practicing and have fun! Never be afraid to try things, and keep trying fearlessly.”

Mayhem Miller:
Don’t waste your money on expensive products. It’s all about how you use the products, not how much you spend on them. Beg and borrow as much as you can! And remember to have fun with it. It should be fun!”

Monét X Change (Miss Congeniality):
“Go out! No matter how bad you think you look. It’s super easy to paint in your apartment and stay there, but just go out! Even though it is very nerve wracking to leave your apartment and home, and to be faced with people who you don’t know who are judging you, just do it. When you do it once, you’ll want it to it again and again. Then, you’ll be like Monét X Change, six years later, brushing your kitty cat wigs and going to the club.”

[From Gay Times]

Monét swapped out her kitty cat wig for a fun bouffant for her appearance on ABC’s What Would You Do? last Friday. Monét and the show’s host John Quiñones and add some commentary to the scenario, where a son attempts to get his parents to accept that he’s a drag queen. I honestly forgot this show was even on, but this segment is pretty awesome.

Expect to see more of Monét on your TV screens, as she and Monique are rumored to be the season ten queens in consideration for RuPaul’s Drag Race All-Stars season 4. I hope she mops up the competition (I really wanted to make a sponge joke and that’s a close as I could get).

When I had the chance to interview the queens from earlier seasons of Drag Race, I always asked for beauty advice. I personally think you can’t get better makeup tips than the ones you can get from a drag queen. And, if you want to see an amazing transformation, check out my favorite season 10 queen, Kameron Michaels, recreate his rose gold look from the show (he also talks more than he did during the entirety of season 10. I kid. He’s such a sweetheart).

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50 Responses to “Monique Heart: Buy cheap makeup and know how to blend it”

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  1. PBAN says:

    I TA with the cheaper makeup. I never buy that expensive stuff. And Coco butter is a must have. Great advice. Drag Queens knows their stuff.

  2. fortune100 says:

    Makeup advice from drag queens? Really??? They look like clowns!

    • Shijel says:

      There’s an insane amount of make-up knowledge as well as technique and colour theory that goes into this ‘clown’ make-up. I bet my left kidney that all of these queens know how to do the most perfect, natural ‘no make-up’ make-up.

      Is a person who prefers to paint on a canvas with a limited palette, soft figures and subtle brush strokes inherently above someone who prefers a colourful palette, strong brush strokes and bold shapes? Girl.

    • Betsy says:

      I was just thinking that in a sense they can get away with imperfect colors because they’re layering and packing it on. A wrongish foundation color is okay if you’re wearing so much and blending it all the way down your neck. I enjoy expensive cosmetics – and I’m not wearing amounts in which it gets used in a few weeks – but I’m coming to believe that I’m not buying drugstore foundations without a tester. It’s not that the formulas aren’t great (and god knows the prices have come way up there, too), but I can’t take not having a perfect match. It’s just making me nuts.

  3. Esmerelda says:

    I have no idea who these people are (non American here), but they all look great! I love the super sensible make up advice of buying cheap, blending and borrowing! I’ve spent too way much money on brand name makeup and it’s so rarely worth it…

  4. Eric says:

    Um. Based on some of these photos, I’m not sure I’d follow this advice.

  5. Aang says:

    Drag makeup is an art. Kind of them to share their secrets.

  6. Prettykrazee says:

    It really depends on the brand. I love Milani Cosmetics eyeshadow. They are better than some of my prestiage brands. But I’m not going to spend 10 minutes trying to blend cheap eyeshadow to prevent it from being a muddy mess. It’s not worth it to me. I rather invest in quality. Especially as I get older and my skin is changing.

    Plus if you know how to shop, you don’t have to spend full price on those brands anyway. You can get them on sale and pay almost drug store prices. As drug store prices continue to rise, they are inching closer to prestige brands.

    • Erinn says:

      I haven’t tried Milani eyeshadow, but I have a blush and a couple of lip products. Hate the lip products – the blush is quite pretty though.

      I have somewhat difficult skin. A lot of the time I can’t find a drugstore shade light enough for me. If I find something light enough there’s no guarantee it’ll work well for me because it will probably be too pink or too yellow. I also have acne prone, combo skin. I still haven’t found a foundation that I’m 100% in love with. Urban Decay Naked Weightless in .5 is about the closest I’ve gotten. I really wanted to love Fenty foundation, but something in it reacts horribly with my skin and I can go from no zits in the morning to coming home from work with multiple. I also find 110 to be a bit too dark for me – when fully dried it looks a little too orange, but I love the idea of it. Just wish it didn’t wreck my skin.

      • Prettykrazee says:

        I love their blushes. And their highlighters are pretty good too. They are really underrated brand. Their eyeshadows are so pigmented. Their palettes usually range from $15-$20 in price. There always sales on their website or coupons to use at the Drugstore.

        You might want to try Too Faced Born This Way Foundation. They recently expanded their range in lighter and deeper shades. There are tons of reviews on You Tube so you should be able to find swatches of the new shades.

      • Jen says:

        My skin is pretty sensitive to breaking out from makeup too-if I don’t remove it after work, I can tell by the end of the week. Regular facials have been key and Laura Mercier tinted moisturizer and MakeUp Forever HD foundation have been a good match. If you use both, you don’t need to use as much foundation for a nice blend.

        I wish I could find something cheaper, but less breakouts have been worth it! I do love NYX for other products, though.

      • chris says:

        Have you tried ordering from The Ordinary? They have a pretty good shade range and I think offer warm, cool and neutral in every shade. Plus side is its super cheap!

      • Betsy says:

        I:with you, Erinn. Most pale foundations pull pink, yellow, oxidize to orange or just read WHITE. I don’t even think I have that tricky an undertone.

      • Erinn says:

        Prettykrazee- I will look into that. That’s one of the ones I’ve had on my list to look into – I’ll have to search for some swatch comparisons.

        Jen- that’s great, I was actually tempted to order the MakeUp Forever foundation last night. I have nowhere in my tiny town to buy it – so I was going to make a sephora gamble. I’m definitely willing to pay more for something that doesn’t cause skin issues.

        Chris – I’m actually wearing an Ordinary foundation today. I just wish it lasted on my skin longer – but it’s SO close to my shade so I still wear it occasionally. I put it on on a whim this morning. I’m sure there’s a good chance that I look like a mess right now, but I only have a half hour left before I can get home.

        Betsy – I always thought it’d be easier since I’m relatively neutral. I don’t really want to buy two shades and mix them to find something to work – but apparently when you’re super fair (and plenty of other shades I’m sure) they assume you’re either super pink or super yellow.

      • Jan90067 says:

        As my skin has changed with age, I found that mixing a bit of primer (I use a Chanel one that has a pink tint…you literally need one drop!) with one small squeeze of Chanel CC cream (in 20 beige) will cover my whole face and look fabulous. Not at all “makeup-y”, very natural…stays on all day, and has sunscreen. I just use a bit of translucent powder around my nose, and between my eye area. Done! A bit of blush on the apples of my cheeks, mascara… honestly easy peasy. I find with better makeup, the ingredients are more finely milled, better pigment, no talc fillers… JMO 😊.

      • Prettykrazee says:

        @Erinn Makeup Forever HD is a good foundation too. It is not as full coverage as the Too Faced Born This Way. I don’t know what your skin type is but mine is combination. I have an oily nose and eyelids. So I use Becca Ever Matte Poreless primer on my nose and my foundation lasts. I don’t like Drugstore foundation. There’s a huge difference between medium and full coverage Drugstore and Prestige foundations. Jen is right. Regular facials work wonders. As well as weekly face masks.

  7. Sasha says:

    Obviously they’re not suggesting that every person who wears makeup go specifically for the drag look. But they don’t just smash a load of makeup on their face and call it done – it’s PRECISE and creative and artistic. I would definitely accept makeup advice from a drag queen because if they can nail those intense looks I bet they can do flawless ‘regular’ looks too.

    • Astrid says:


    • Shijel says:

      Right? I’m surprised that there are people in this thread already who put down the make-up. Just because it is extremely bold doesn’t mean it isn’t done with skill, precision, meticulousness. Applying make-up like many of the queens demands a lot of practice.

      I also recall a scene from a season of RuPauls where one of the contestants (I think it might’ve been the Britney impersonator whose name eludes me?) was criticised for having make-up that was too subtle and classically feminine, and was told to ‘drag it up’. Drag queens’ make-up isn’t meant to be natural and feminine for the most part. It’s meant to be balls to the wall eye-catching and bombastic.

      • outoftheshadows says:

        Derek Barry. It was also a critique leveled at Courtney Act, mainly by other competing queens.

      • Trillion says:

        Remember when she gave in to the others’ advice and did drag brows instead of her own? Michelle Visage loved it, but I think she was one queen who looked better with her own brows.

  8. Rainbow says:

    I’m envious of the way they do their eye makeup and contouring, it’s so good. Actually I’m jealous of anyone who can blend their eyeshadow perfectly.

    Cheap makeup is not for me though, especially foundation. Never found a cheap foundation that worked for me. The formula is either too greasy or cakey. I like the Korean BBQ creams better and they’re also cheaper, but the Asian desire for pale skin means the shades only come in two colours: ivory and light beige. And while they always have SPF which is nice, they give the face a grayish tint sometimes LOL

  9. Christin says:

    A high school classmate has been a drag queen for 30 years and won national titles long ago. She’s still performing and I am in awe of the precision of her/their makeup.

    They go for very bold looks, sure. But up close photos show just how detailed it truly is. I can barely get a narrow eyeliner application to appear straight.

  10. Tanesha86 says:

    Makeup junkie here and I love drug store cosmetics brands, Maybelline and Cover Girl have really stepped their game up recently and have been turning out great products which rival some of the prestige brands. The only unfortunate thing is so many drug store brands are not cruelty free 😢

    • Jane says:

      This!^ I also love Almay too for their foundation. However, when I used to go to England every summer for a few years I hit the drug stores Boots and Superdrug for their cosmetics and went insane there. “Sleek” “Bourjois” and “Barry M” were my favorites. Great quality and all affordable.

    • Persistent Cat says:

      Make-up junkie as well. Maybelline makes my favourite lipstick formula. Second would be L’Oreal. I don’t believe in “I can’t wear cheap/drugstore” because there are so many options out there. I’ve used great drugstore/mid/high end makeup and I’ve used terrible drugstore/mid/high end makeup. I love wearing e.l.f. primer under Armani foundation. They work well together for me. I also don’t like calling it “cheap” because that implies it’s lesser and what is cheap for one person is expensive to another.

      I’m in the UK for a few months for work and I can’t wait to get back to Canada because everything here is so expensive. And I miss all the make-up I didn’t bring with me. Although there is an Inglot here…..

      • Betsy says:

        I will clutch my Revlon Super Lustrous Smoky Rose in my powdered little hands until the day they discontinue it.

    • nb says:

      I have a mix of drug store and high end brands. I go high end (Chanel) for foundation because it’s SPF 25 and the best match/formula I’ve ever used after trying drug store foundations for years. For lipsticks I use pretty much any brand, but drug store brands have many great options. Rimmel makes a fantastic matte lipstick, and I just tried Soap & Glory lipstick and love it. Milani makes a really great blush. I don’t go with high end for mascara anymore. Drug store is just as good if not better. But I did invest in a high quality set of brushes (Zoeva) and have had no regrets. It’s true that the right brush and blending can really be a game changer for a drug store product.

  11. Wood Dragon says:

    Drag or just a female, I gotta hand it to them; they are really dedicated to getting the right effect from their makeup. Man, once I cover the blemishes and even up the skin tone with my powder, I can scarcely be bothered to do more than the basics.

  12. Gabrielle says:

    I have a friend who once worked as a chemist at Avon and she said the drugstore brands basically use all the same formulas as Avon and other department store brands. The difference is in using good brushes for application.
    And yes, in these pictures they are going for an over the top performance type of look. It’s an artform.

    • Trillion says:

      Agree that high quality brushes make a HUGE difference. But I’m a sucker for packaging and love having all those gorgeous bottles, tubes and boxes in my bathroom. I’m frugal in all departments EXCEPT makeup. So although I agree you can use drugstore brands and get a great effect with quality brushes, Sephora gets all my money.

      • nb says:

        I bought a big set of Zoeva brushes about 3-4 years ago and it’s the best investment I’ve made as far as makeup goes. They really make a huge difference with application and despite many washings have not shed much or lost shape.

      • Prairiegirl says:

        Best advice on which brushes to buy, and how to use them, came from a Sephora employee at the Las Vegas strip store who was definitely a man under all that makeup!

  13. AmunetMaat says:

    I have been protesting L’oreal for years now which is half of the make up market, so through that process I had to find other products high and low end that work. I have cool tones with a chocolate complexion, cheapo drug store make up is not worth the fight. I’ve settled with Iman foundation qs my low market and love it. My favorite high end is Makeup Forever.

    • funfactor says:

      I have used both Makeup Forever foundation and Tarte Amazonian Clay. I prefer the Tarte–it gives a poreless look, and at 70, I need all the help I can get!

      • KiddV says:

        Tarte Amazonian Clay is amazing stuff. My skin looks flawless and gorgeous when I use it. It’s too drying for me to use every day, though.

  14. Alexis says:

    are we really going to take make-up advice from men?! this is mansplaining and it’s not ok!

    • nb says:

      Ha ha!

    • Ange says:

      Well my little ruskie bot technically mansplaining is when the man doesn’t know the subject better than the woman he’s explaining to. In this case we all need to bow to the queens!

  15. Cle says:

    Drag queens movement seems like a mockery of what being a woman is in the first place. It’s like a blackface but for women, gross exaggeration based on stereotypes. Being a woman is more complex than smashing makeup on your face and acting sassy and speaking in high voice.
    Drag queens are not trans people, so please, don’t yell cliche stuff about transphobia. But to be honest I don’t really care about it, if they have fun then whatever. Everyone is just to politically correct to ask: who are they mocking? is it a caricature of whom?

    • Betsy says:

      Yes, that’s occurred to me, too, and I’ve never really understood drag (except that they’re allegedly skewering our culture), but one point of difference between drag and blackface: gay men have been a historically targeted class, too. White minstrel actors weren’t powerless, they were punching down on the African American people who had no political power, and using the basest stereotypes, too.

      • Cle says:

        I agree about targeted class. But being gay doesn’t equate to doing drag. And as far as I know some straight men are into drag too, so…

      • ohreally says:

        Right, which is why it feels like men punching down to women, another historically marginalized class.

    • Eva says:

      Some drag is about appearing beautiful or otherworldly. In some cases it’s male rebellion against a society that tells them not to wear color or express emotion.
      Viewing it as a minstrel show is simplistic and means you don’t know all of drag. What would you tell “Drag Kings” – women who dress as men. Or “Faux Queens” – a subculture of women who love dressing up like drag queens. Drag is what you make of it.

      • Cle says:

        @Eva, yes, I get the rebellion part, but it doesn’t quite explain the drag. Dandyism is a perfect example of an elegant rebellion in black culture after black men were told they can’t be dressed in bright colors, or fashionably, it was their way to reclaim the identity.
        I don’t get how “don’t dress like a woman” would create a drag movement without an element of mockery. If you frowned upon by society for dressing like a woman just…dress like one. Don’t create a clownish image of a woman, that’s ALWAYS sassy, loose, vulgar and “precious” at the same time

  16. JFerber says:

    For perspective here, I’d rather have any one of these drag queens for president than Donald Trump. I certainly respect them more.