‘Twas the season of giving, and all through the town,
Not a drag queen was twirling, not even the clowns,
The tights were hung on the back of a chair,
In hopes that they’d never rip, run, or tear…
If you’ve been to a drag show or had access to the internet in the last couple of years, you’ve probably heard at least one drag queen raising cane about how expensive drag is to upkeep... So, in the spirit of giving, we’ve compiled a list of the top 10 things you can buy your favorite drag entertainer this holiday season.
- Purple Glue Sticks—The foundation of many drag makeup looks involves concealing the natural eyebrow by gluing it flat against the forehead using an Elmer’s disappearing purple glue stick. Available for $0.25 at Revel Haus, or similarly affordable at any local pharmacy, this drag stocking stuffer is an easy way to say, “I hate oatmeal brows...and I care.”
- Nail Glue—A simple and affordable stocking stuffer, having nail glue on hand will save an entertainer from many a last minute trip to the local CVS. Kiss Maximum Speed 3 Second Nail Glue is available on Amazon for $2.39, or you can pop into any pharmacy and find it similarly priced. Want to get your fave something a little stronger? Gorilla Super Glue (with Brush & Nozzle applicator) is quite popular as well, available on Amazon for $6.48.
- BatMe Lashes—No drag makeup look is complete without a set of long, fluffy lashes to bat at the menses, womenses, and themses, and Nashville drag entertainers are LOVING the “Velvet” style lash from BatMe Cosmetics. Now, BatMe isn’t local to Nashville, but it is a Trans-POC owned makeup company that has been very supportive of Nashville drag, so let’s show some support back! It doesn’t hurt that the lashes (and contour kits, and lippies, and eye shadows) are sickening! The “Velvet” style lashes are currently on sale for only $4 (reg. $7.99) at www.batmecosmetics.com making for a great, and cheap, stocking stuffer.
- Marley Tape—Despite the flawless illusion that all the hair you see on stage is literally growing out of the performers’ heads, most of us drag queens wear wigs, and we need a secure and comfortable way to secure those wigs to our noggins. The best way to do this is to use a stocking wig cap, and Marley Tape, a clear flexible vinyl tape that has some stretch and give to it. The adhesive isn’t as harsh on hair or skin as duct tape, and the stretch gives a secure yet comfortable base for wig installation. You can grab a roll for $10/each at the all new Revel Haus, located at 100 Taylor Street, Suite D5 in Germantown.
- Tights—No self-respecting drag queen has left the house without lycra on her thighs since she was 15...if she was raised right, and most of us wear at least 4 layers of tights to smooth out padding and give you the ooh-ah-ah Barbie leg sensation. Unfortunately, tights rip, run, and tear, and can cost upwards of $25 apiece. Capezio full stretch transition or footed tights are a great option for most entertainers, just make sure to find out your fave’s color and size. If you really want to make a queen smile, get her a new pair (or two) of Capezio fishnets. They run $28.50 a pop before tax. A broad selection of Capezio products, including the tights and fishnets, are available at Spell’s Dancewear at 708 51st Ave. North.
- Morphe X James Charles Palette—YouTubers can be a real pain-in-the-ass, but every once in a while, a collab with a well-known makeup brand happens, and it’s just right. The Morphe X James Charles palette has almost every pressed powder color a drag entertainer might need to complete their look and is affordably priced at $39. You can pick one up for the drag entertainer in your life at the Morphe store in Green Hills, or at any Ulta location around town.
- Wigs—Not every drag entertainer wears wigs, but for those of us that do, they’re not cheap. Unstyled wigs run about $50 a pop, most entertainers stack two at a time, and paying someone to style the hair can cost an additional $150-200. If you’re looking for a show stopping gift for a drag entertainer in your life, a new styled, lace-front wig, will do the trick. Reach out to Ivy St. James on insta @jivy85 or Eldar Gorak on insta @gorak_eldar for more information and to see their fabulous work!
- Costumes—No one wants to see 50-shades-of-beige in a wig and makeup dancing around for dollars, so we need to get the entertainers up in some gigs! Costuming is likely the most expensive part of drag for every entertainer, with custom looks costing upwards of $300 for labor alone. If you’re going to be affected by Biden’s tax plan and want to purchase a costume for an entertainer outright, no one is going to stop you. But, if you’re bank account is feeling a little shy, purchasing a gift card or costume credit of a smaller amount with a local designer might be the way to go. Haus of Curio has been creating fabulous custom costumes for many of Nashville’s drag entertainers over the past few years! Check them out on instagram @hausofcurio. Alternatively, get in touch with Thierry Meisel, a drag queen and fabulous seamstress you can find on instagram @ThierryMeisel for more info.
- Photo Shoot—In the words of the great Alaska Thunderfuck, “do you think I look like this just so I can exist in your feeble memory? Take a picture, and I’ll last forever!” Great photography is far from cheap, but high quality photos are an investment every drag entertainer should make at some point in their career. These images will come in handy for flyers, promotional materials, and will make an entertainer look more “bookable” to show directors but can be cost prohibitive especially for newer entertainers. If you’re looking to splurge on a performer, this is one way to do it. Prices vary by photographer, but expect to spend around $200. Check out Cody Stallings at www.codystallings.com or Alyssa Barker on instagram @alyssabarkerphoto for more information!
- Skin Care—We saved what we think is most important for last. Taking good care of your skin is easily the best way to improve your overall makeup application, but like most things in life, it costs money. Thankfully, there’s a skincare line born in Nashville, made by a drag queen and makeup artist, and designed for people who regularly wear heavy makeup that works, and won’t break the bank. Revel Haus Skincare, which launched earlier this year, has a simple 6-step skin care routine that we absolutely love. $164 buys the whole line, which lasted us nearly a full 2 months, but if you’re not that committed yet, start with the cleanser, toner, and moisturizer. Revel Haus opened their store front in the Taylor Arts building (100 Taylor St, Ste. D5) late last month, so you can pick up the product in person, or order it online at www.shoprevelhaus.com. Don’t forget to use code HAUS20 at checkout to save 20% on skincare.
Whether you have the ability to support with your dollars, or just your applause and Instagram likes, most of us would be nowhere without the love and adoration of our audiences, so thank you! Wishing you all a happy and healthy Holiday Season, and a Happy New Year.