The world has been in disarray lately, due to America’s never ending pandemic (psst, it’s our own fault). Has getting out of bed been a challenge? Is keeping up with personal hygiene, #SelfCare, a daunting task? Well, honey, you’re not alone! The Yellow Scene team sat down with Boulder’s very own drag connoisseurs, Lola and Ms. Felony Misdemeanor, to talk face. These queens opened up about how COVID-19 has affected their daily routine and how to make your personal care routine just right for you! Self care is not just about baths, facewash, or your hair anymore. Makeup has become a major part of men and women’s lives on a day to day basis. Let’s face it, some of us need professional advice on how to create a look with makeup that best suits each of our unique facial structures. Who better to give you advice then the most glamorous of all?
The pair got real with us on how the world’s current state has affected each of them as individual people. Lola seemed a bit relieved, saying, “I welcomed the break with open arms. Drag is super mentally and emotionally taxing to the point that it’s easy to lose oneself to the superego that they create. This break really put things into perspective for me and my routine seemed to be centered around more emotional and spiritual self care, rather than care of the vessel. It was a chance for me to hang up my wigs and box up my costumes and just breathe.”
Ms. Felony touched not only on the novel virus but on the world’s current focus on the Black Lives Matter movement, “I am not terrible. I am trying to stay positive, and I am trying not to go crazy. But, I am exhausted. That is where I am at today. Seeing and reading the same sh*t day in and day out takes a major toll on me, and I am 100% sure on many others. It is heartbreaking to hear that people want a change but see that nothing is being done. But it is also to be expected.” She talked about how COVID has completely altered her daily life. “I am now unemployed,” she says. “I had a great job in the community at Planned Parenthood, helping people get screened for HIV and providing education and treatment if it was needed.”
Lola presented herself as somewhat of a fashion philosopher, explaining how the virus directly affected her art, mental health, and daily self care routine. “I have been forced to vacation from my art. In stepping back I have realized that performing in drag is a taxing experience. I have started asking myself where is the balance? How do I keep a balance between my boy-self and my performer self? I’ve been given the opportunity to rebrand the character, and I don’t know what the necessarily means yet, but when performing is unpaused I’m sure I’ll figure it out.”
Ms. Felony adds that, “Expression is still happening. Still, lockdown has changed things. I have been a performer for 20 years… Then it was March 17th, and I was forced to take a vacation.” The glam pair is making the best of the situation. “I am thinking that maybe it is okay to keep this break going. What if it was more about quality and less about quantity from now on?”
Drag As Expression
“Drag is about self-expression; it may be the most pure form of it. It’s about body language and the levels of body communication. From painting on a face, to the way that fashion is a social statement, that is expression!” Lola’s energy and excitement began to show. “Ultimately I have no set inspiration, rather my inspiration is more of a conglomeration of different artistic methods and people. When I had to pause performing, I think that the character of Lola paused with it. Thus my inspiration for the character hasn’t changed but that doesn’t mean I’ve stopped looking. I like to go beyond the art and comedy and into, let’s say, Monty Python and Dolly Parton. Drag lets you have the confidence and the medium to express yourself on a whole other level.”
Ms. Felony, on the other hand, pulls her inspiration from an entirely different wavelength. “My looks are my ideas from something as simple as a piece of fabric that I like. Now that being said, we aren’t over here reinventing the wheel. Pop artists also inspire me: Prince, Janet Jackson, Bjork. I didn’t grow up with drag in the 80’s and 90’s. It was all about the music artists back then.”
The Art of Makeup
We as human beings are infinitely unique. Makeup can be a challenge, especially if you don’t know exactly how to cater to your personal facial structure. Lola stepped up to the plate with advice like, “Makeup happens in layers and levels. If you respect the order of the layers then it can be easier to have a look hold throughout the day.”
Yes, honey, you have to layer your makeup like you would layer paint on a canvas. “Eyes go last ladies! The order is as follows, Foundation first, then highlight, contour your face, powder, then set.” After that it is time to focus on your soul’s windows, the eyes! Ms. Felony chimed in, “Keep in mind: your eyes are sisters, they are not twins. Let them go; they will not be perfect, and that is just fine.”
Lola looked back at her first experience with makeup. “I learned to do makeup from crappy YouTube tutorials in my bathroom by myself for the first 10-15 looks I did. They were rough and ultimately never seen by anyone aside from my roommates and then it would be taken off almost instantly. Only one of those 15 looks was worn to a Holiday Party. But since then I’ve had teachers and mentors help me along the way to ‘perfect’ my style of makeup. But a performer who rests on one face and doesn’t branch out to experiment with different shapes and motifs and experiences is a boring performance in my opinion. So I challenge myself to do a different makeup look every time I put a face on. As my drag mother has said “Makeup is too much fun to do the same look twice.”
Ms. Felony explained, “My best makeup tip will always be, practice. You can’t expect to get your face the way you want it the first 50 times, sometimes even more! I still have issues and I have easily painted my face over 2,000 times!” Every budding makeup enthusiast needs to hear, “GO FOR IT! The first time you do your makeup it will not be your best. Some people are prodigies but honey, that’s probably not you. Do it alone and then do it ten times. Do not be afraid to ask for help. I think every human should try drag once, though I understand that is not a popular opinion.” Lola went further and said, “No judgement is fair judgement. Please go for it, get at it, experiment with different looks. Make sure to take your time, be patient and do not forget to BLEND!”
The pandemic has put many Americans in a financial bind. This can pose a challenge for anyone trying to get their hands on new materials to experiment with in the mirror. Ms. Felony looked back, “My first makeup palate was so cheap but you have to use what you know. Quality product is key, and higher cost does not always mean higher quality. Do a brand check. We all go to Walgreens when we have a makeup emergency but get to an actual makeup store to get yourself some standard products. Graftobian is cheap but it is quality. La femme is an old Hollywood brand and girl, it lasts!” For my male makeup enthusiasts out there a big tip from the best, “Make sure to shave as close as possible. After all, Covergirl does not Cover-boy.”
Lola provided a pearl of wisdom, “Your body is a temple. Listen to it, it will tell you when you have had enough. Find a balance between the you that you show the world and the you at home on your couch. Accept life and find a way to enjoy it.”
As for our seemingly increasing unease with the never ending pandemic do not forget to breathe. “Go out and to do things they wouldn’t normally do and try things out of their norm or comfort zone. Life is bountiful and beautiful, and experiences that expand our spiritual and emotional knowledge make us more empathetic to our fellow humans. Expand and extend your experiences and you may surprise yourself to find that there is beauty out there!” Just because we may be feeling isolated does not mean you can’t treat yourself during these hard times. Don’t forget to pamper yourself during this pandemic. Just remember to layer.