Hail to the queen! Drag queen, that is. Last night, Raja was crowned America’s Next Drag Superstar during the finale of RuPaul’s Drag Race. At the official finale preview party, I caught up with Raja and the finalists, who each shared their top beauty tips to, as RuPaul would say, "looking good, feeling gorgeous."
First runner-up Luzon is a New York native whose style is as creative as it is endearingly kitschy.
1. Load on mascara. "Just when you think that you have put too much mascara on and you look like Tammy Faye Bakker—God rest her soul—just put another tube on. I always use Maybelline Great Lash Mascara. It’s a classic and it does a great job."
2. The bigger the hair, the better. "If a girl is feeling a little fat, if a girl is feeling short, if a girl is just not feeling right about herself, all she needs to do is jack out her hair. It will make the proportions of your body look so much better if you have bigger hair. You must have a good back-teasing comb for that. You can find one at any beauty supply store for like $2. And that’s really what drag is all about. It’s all about looking like a million dollars, but spending $12."
3. High heels. "You must always have fierce-ass shoes, girl. Shoes make you taller and longer, they make your legs look longer and thinner, they make your feet look much, much, much, much smaller. And when you’re a man and you’ve got a size 10 or 11 foot, they’re helpful. You don’t want to be a beautiful goddess walking around with Ronald McDonald feet. I like to find shoes that have a little sparkle to them."
Raja's high-fashion looks run the gamut from pin-up to tribal. Her beauty skills run deep, thanks to 17 years as a makeup artist (10 of those at a M.A.C. counter).
1. Moisturize day and night. "Moisturizing just keeps your skin looking youthful. Ultimately, we’re all animals and we have to upkeep our hides. I mean, it seems really primal and weird, but honestly they are our hides so we have to keep them soft and supple." Raja uses Aveda All-Sensitive Moisturizer during the day, and Sampar Lavish Dream Cream at night.
2. Flirt. "Flirting is one of the greatest beauty tips, because as long as you’re flirting, you’re smiling and the muscles in your face are nice and tight. I’ve been flirting for 36 years, and it’s worked for me."
3. Customize your scent. "I go between six different scents, and I mix women’s and men’s together. One of my favorites right now is Tom Ford Tobacco Vanille. It has that rustic feel of tobacco but yet it’s super-soft and kind of candy-like with the vanilla, which is really like my personality. It’s a combination of rugged with a touch of lady. You’ve always got to have a touch of lady."
Ultra-femme and glamorous, Mateo does her homeland of Puerto Rico—the arguable beauty pageant capital of the world—proud.
1. Don't be scared of makeup. "Women are too scared of makeup. Makeup is made for women, and we drag queens just borrow it. But drag queens are showing girls that it’s ok to be feminine. My favorite brands are La Femme Cosmetics and M.A.C. The colors are dark and intense and they really show up."
2. Clean hair. "It doesn’t matter if your hair is curly or straight or up or down: As long as it’s clean, it’s beautiful. I use Pantene Pro-V Curls to Straight Shampoo. I have curly, frizzy hair, and that shampoo really controls my frizz. Plus it’s cheap!"
3. A signature fragrance. "Having one favorite scent just automatically makes you feel pretty. People recognize it, and you’re familiar with it, and it makes you associate certain things with that scent. This is going to sound super-corny, but I love White Diamonds. It reminds me of my mother. Anytime I smell it, it reminds me of love. I wear it all the time. I’m actually wearing it tonight!"