Category Archives: Drag

Drag Cookie Cutter Face

Drag Cookie Cutter Face

I love all my young fans around the world, I try my best to be an example to them, even at my advanced age, to be as glamorous and “real” as possible. This is what impersonation and transgender is all about!

We all do what we think is cool in our youth! I look back on my early Sophia Loren tribute attempts. In this video, my very first time, I spent so much time sucking my cheeks in to try for that famous “La Loren” bone structure that I could barely talk! The blush was badly placed, eye make-up not structured for La Loren (I leaned over the years it takes tapes and an entirely different eye liner slant) and the lighting was unfortunate. I have since then learned to “step into the light” the right way and never let a photograph or video be taken without checking out the light!

Screenshot from EarlyLizLorenI laugh now, how amateur, how gauche!! But I was going for real, not a stamp that could be found on hundreds of others!

There is a fine line between “on-stage” make up–that has to be bold to survive the lights–and make up for an “up close and personal” daytime event!

This cooky-cutter-craze has been on my mind for a long time. I see more and more young queens taking advantage of drag being mainstream, thanks to RuPaul and others, and make-up techniques running rampant! Some are highly skilled and quite beautiful, some are clown-like and some even demonic, as if they were auditioning to appear at the RAW club in Malmo, Sweden! (a very edgy show). There are a few long time drag divas, professionals, who take the outré’ to the limit ON PURPOSE for this is their persona. Felicia Halston, Empress of Reno Nevada is one, and Chloe Knox of Arkansas is another. But even in these extreme cases they have their own created face! Hundreds, maybe thousands of others do not. This is what I take issue with!

It appears as though many of these young people watched the Miss Fame make-up tutorial over and over again and transferred this face onto their own with racing stripes, no blending, airbrush eyebrows and life raft lips! How this can be construed as “real” outside of being on-stage in a large club with a follow spot is beyond comprehension and a ride through Who Framed Roger Rabbit cartoon characterizations.

I will say in all fairness Miss Fame is a damn good make-up artist with a well done video. But that is HER face (although for me, far too many products and steps) and as I recall,

she mentioned “blend, blend, blend” many times!

The current trend is to carefully outline everything with definite low light and high lights and just leave it and slap on a wig with no thought as to face framing style or balance for an elegant profile. Then grab a cell phone and vamp, pooch lips and roll the eyes with 5 pair of upper and lower eyelashes, without bothering trimming them on the inside near the nose so there is a natural graduation.

Some queens have “drag mothers” or a person who does their face and wig etc. the first time and tries to tutor their protégé. Unfortunately the newbie emulate their drag mom much of the time, becoming somewhat of a carbon copy in the process. I myself have been guilty of this. One time I had a Princess Royale in my Court, gowned and jeweled her and did her first make-up! After that, outside of a few tips now and then, she was in her own!

But I never stressed “find you’re own face” and at a San Diego Coronation,

Our Queen Mother, Nicole the Great took one look at the little Princess and wryly remarked, “it’s a Liz clone!”

From that moment on I urged many fledgling Royalty to find their own look, practice and practice it, and blend!

I worked hard for this, which is why I created the DMK a Foundations of Skin, a medical silicone base, no oils, that covers everything in one sheer coat and looks like your own skin in broad daylight! I was tired of 2-3 layers of foundation having to be constantly powdered down to cut the shine (regular oil based foundation, regardless of brand, is cooked at the lab at 85F, several degrees lower than your own temperature–which is why you are powdering all the time in the loo).

Perhaps I will do a make-up tutorial, reveal some Liz secrets (gasp) and then everyone can find their own wonderful and special look that stuns the audience and makes a certain type of man smile with eyes full of interest and open a door for you!

Kissing Air with Drag Queens

_MG_2949Kissing Air with Drag Queens

Kissing air has been going on for centuries! In some countries it is practised by men in social occasions. In Italy a greeting and a goodbye is accompanied by loud smacks on either cheek! However, between women and other women, a light pretend kiss usually one side of the face only, depending on depth of friendship, is sufficient.

The reason?

Simply, make-up! No woman wants her maquillage ruined by someone else’s lipstick!

With drag queens kissing air goes a little deeper, as deep as two to three layers of foundation and shading some apply! Wiping off lipstick is fairly easy with a light foundation, a quick touch up is all that’s necessary. But re-establishing a “face” back to perfection can not be easily accomplished without a bag full of tools too cumbersome to tote around a Ball or Coronation!

Air Kissing also signifies a level of female society from the old New York days when Ladies Lunched! Bette Midler and many other vocalist did “Here’s To the Ladies Who Lunch” from Stephan Sondheim’s Company recalling an era when a special ratified species of women whose husbands were wealthy had nothing more to do than go to the hair dressers, the milliners, the dress designers and facialists and then after a busy morning being pampered, all met at a very long and expensive lunch at one of Manhattans popular watering holes–or the Russian Tea Room.

Many secrets were despoiled during these hours, reputations made or ruined and even businesses! The power of these women was immeasurable! Never to be equalled again except by a certain set of drag queens!

Bearded Drag Queen?

Where does a Bearded Drag Queen belong?

Today I became embroiled in a controversy regarding bearded drag queens and the trend thereof! There were photos showing lovely guys with Miss Fame make up, the airbrush eyebrows and 1960’s Bridget Bardot lips and beards.

Fun? Yes, my alter ego did this a couple of times, once at the Liberace estate, and had surprising results with people actually being attracted!

But in reality this is like “almost pregnant” or “half n erection” a semi!

I have been following the true art of female impersonation since the 1950’s, have met and known most of the greats such as Lynne Carter of The Jewel Box Review, The Paper Doll at Finochios in San Francisco, the great TC Jones all the way to Jacky Beat, beautiful Jimmy James and the incredible Dolly Levi! These people make their living impersonating (Jimmy lately only doing the diva voices using his own pretty face) and work hard at it.

Then there are those charity Divas like me and the glamorous Elaine Lancaster on the East Coast. We work hard at it too, and of course I have double work to support multiple entities funded by a person from another world!

Now I realize that there is a huge wave of gender bending out there now, which I totally support, in fact it is why I even exist! There are many shades of all colours, Transgenders NOT being the same as transsexuals (another blog) but just people being who they want to be…finally. Of course, the young ones all have the same face, as in any popular trends, perpetrated by such drag tutorials like Miss Fame put up on the net (remarkable). The dramatic shading barely blended, the airbrush eye brows, the several sets of eyelashes both upper and lower– a lot of it great art work and highly effective from the stage in spot lights.

Eventually these youth will find their own face if they stay with impersonation, but the “in look” is rampant and the public is accepting it, most of the time. Of course there are rare exceptions such as California”s Calvin Royalty , a innovative make-up artist whose school is becoming the place to learn make-up. Calvin has a very small trimmed beard and moustache, dramatic eye make up and facial contouring. But this is mainly a walking billboard of his work more than a drag statement!

But appearing in drag in a full beard is not impersonation.

And while as I said earlier, although fun, a beard is not the show stopper people pay to see! They DO pay to see a man impersonating a woman, whether it be comedy, sexy, outrageous or glamorous couture! True, there are some cute boys with well trimmed short beards and make up on that are just pretty in their extreme youth, and I think that is an acceptance break through also. But it is not drag.

Drag is hard work and takes a lot of details that the audience does not dream of! Especially night after night! Just heels alone, no matter how good the fit, are as much a pain to drag queens as to women!

There have been some “shockers” such as the Austrian talent contest winner Conchita Wurst. When some of my fans told me to watch Conchita on YouTube, I was appalled! Here was someone with a beautiful face, gorgeous smile, surrounded with special effects most show queens only dream of, great gown and a good high tenor voice and a paste on beard!

Now this gimmick did win her the contest and thousands of European kids hailed her as a great “break through ” for the transgender community or the gay community. But I could not help but think how much MORE compelling she would have been without the beard? No lip-syncing, beautiful face and figure, the new Celine Dion, yet a man. It would be like seeing Jim Bailey launch his career in the late 60’s and sky rocketing to fame and fortune over night in a less accepting society!

Female impersonation is an art form centuries old, transgender is a life style and expression of what one wishes to be (and the right to be it). Bearded ladies belong in a midway!

Dolly Levi Stuns San Diego

Dance legend Dolly Levi stunned the attendees with another incredible drag dance programme at this year’s Imperial Court de San Diego Coronation.

The 56 year old Diva is as agile and energetic as ever, never giving less than a stellar “wow” performance since her days at Disney until now!

A tremendous choreographer, she also wrote and directed all the dance numbers for our kids who appeared at The Czarinas Diversity Balls, and took centre stage in production numbers that left the audience gasping with disbelief!

David’s Transition into Audrey

photo (11)David is a young man who is crippled with Rheumatoid Arthritis, Although he is a very cute kid, he always felt ugly and worthless-an object of fun poking even from members of his own family. I saw Audrey Hepburn in him, a natural grace and elegance that I knew would be brought out in a costume.

Empress 12 of the Los Angeles Court Lonnie (heavily disguised as Elsie the Borden Cow) and I decided to debut him at the 10th Annual Harmony’s Halloween Haunt, a yearly fundraiser sponsored by Long Beach Empress Harmony Lynn Rockafeller. Usually held up at my Estate, Aerie Hall, this time the venue was the elegant BLISS Restaurant in Long Beach.

Popular Drag star JACKIE BEAT performed along with other local talent, rocking the packed room with her reverse Mae West humor and incredible voice, Ajax, the energizer bunny Empress of San Diego Em Ceed with her usual flair–a rare talent that had them in the aisles two months ago at the Washington DC Coronation and also last March at the Night of 1000 Gowns in New York City–you go girl!

To once again see a cactus bloom like a rose was a thrill–David as Audrey was the epitome of regal grace and beauty all evening long as he discovered that not only was he beautiful outside, but a natural Monarch inside as well–we see a bright future for Audrey Maria Romanov!

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As Elsie said so succinctly “It is UDDERLY ridiculous how fabulous you look Audrey!”

The Art of First Time Drag

IMG_0354lgFIRST TIMES! Many gay teens first time experiences can influence the rest of their life–even to exploring “their other selves” and becoming someone else for awhile.

A teen with self worth issues, bashed or put down most of their life–sees instant changes when they dress up to perform.

The stage and the spotlights are powerful “healers” when the audience is “oooing” and “awwwwing” and has fun. There is mass acceptance and that little moment of glory when everyone seems to love you.

Danné King, a good friend of Liz Loren, treated troubled teen “Dallas” to his very first “impersonation make over” using the remarkable DMK Cosmetics–up at his hill top estate recently.

Past Los Angeles Empress Lonnie, advisor to The Emerald Kingdom of Czarina Liz Loren was on hand to assist.

Enjoy our tutorial video showing the transition from shy and introverted boy to glamorous star.