Iridescent Unicorn Drag Makeup
I called this makeup look “iridescent unicorn drag makeup” because I didn’t really know what to call it, but welcome to my Polly Pocket/Care Bears/Sky Dancer/pastel glitter butterfly fantasy. AKA Taylor Swift’s new #aesthetic.
While I don’t need an excuse to attach rhinestones, glitter, and lashes to my face, in this case I happen to have one. A few friends and I have formed a sort of movie club, where we get together to play around with makeup (sometimes wigs) and watch an iconic queer cinema film together. Last time we watched Priscilla the Queen of the Desert, and this past weekend we watched Hedwig and the Angry Inch.
I have long loved a few songs from the soundtrack of Hedwig, because I’m a big musical theatre geek, and have watched Neil Patrick Harris’s performance of Sugar Daddy at the Tony’s roughly 28194 times – but this was my first time seeing the movie.
Hedwig is all about glamour and bold makeup dripping in glitter, so in honour of the occasion, I put together this super understated, minimalistic natural look. You know, something you’d wear for a quick run to the grocery store, a family dinner, or a coffee shop first date.
The unicorn makeup trend is typically characterized by pastels and iridescent shimmer, and I was excited to work with that colour palette. I had a vague idea of what I wanted to do, and a couple of products I wanted to incorporate, but I mostly just let myself start painting and see where it took me. That’s my favourite thing to do with makeup anyway – I love giving myself hours to just take my time and play.
The most thrilling part of drag makeup, for me, is how limitless it is. With regular makeup, you’re working within the constraints of your facial features. For example, your eyebrows are in a certain position and a certain shape, so that forms boundaries for where your eye makeup starts and ends, and has a huge impact on what your face ends up looking like. But with drag makeup, you essentially erase your whole face and start over – creating whatever fantasy you’ve dreamed up.
(I took a hilarious photo of myself just after blocking out my brows, with my whole face erased with foundation. I look like a slightly pissed-off egg. I will not be inserting it here.)
(^ Why is this giving me Pieta vibes?? Bedazzled Pieta. Sorry, Michelangelo.)
Concealing my brows was the first step. I used the glue stick method, which means applying layers of glue and translucent powder to your eyebrows, pressing the hairs as flat as possible. I get a little better at this each time I do it, but I still haven’t perfected it.
Because my eyebrows are dark, I colour corrected the greyish shadows still visible under the glue with a warm, orangey-pink concealer. Then I applied a full-coverage layer of foundation to my whole face. You have now entered the egg phase.
Since I don’t need to conceal or colour correct any stubble-related darkness, I used my usual Fenty foundation – but if you are dealing with covering the hint of facial hair, you may want to use something with even more coverage, like Dermablend.
I used an Hourglass foundation stick in the palest shade to highlight the center of my face, and used Benefit’s Hoola matte bronzer to contour my cheekbones and jawline, bringing some definition back to the egg.
Now for the fun part. Turning the egg into a glittering fabergé egg.
The two products I knew I definitely wanted to incorporate were 1) a set of adhesive face gems I stumbled upon purely by chance, and 2) iridescent loose pigments by Danessa Myricks I recently bought. (A Black-owned business founded by an incredible woman. Yay!)
I blended a combination of blue, pink, and purple eyeshadows (all by MAC, only because it’s what I had on hand) into a pastel rainbow watercolour, starting slightly above my natural eyelid crease, and moving upwards and outwards. I also applied the blue shadow along my lower lash line, blending it into purple towards the outer corners, and smoking it out with the pink shadow to further the watercolour effect.
I blended NYX’s jumbo eye pencil in “Milk” all over my eyelid to serve as the base. I think I’ve used “Milk” in every single drag makeup look I’ve ever done, it’s such an essential. I also used it to line my lower waterline, to open up my eyes.
I applied the iridescent loose pigments on my eyelids on top of the “Milk” white base, which added subtle blue and pink reflects that look gorgeous when they catch the light. (See the video at the end of this post.)
The two pigments, both by Danessa Myricks – “Love Story” and “Daydreaming”, were also dusted on the bridge of my nose (which I contoured using the same eyeshadows I used on my eyes), the high points of my cheekbones, the inner corners of my eyes, my cupid’s bow, forehead, and even my collar bones and shoulders.
Then I took my beloved Glossier silver glitter (in “Bijoux Bijoux”) and applied that to the centre of my eyelids, over the pigment, and also below my lower lashes in the very middle, creating a glitter tear effect. To finish the eye look, I added an extremely dramatic cat eye flick with liquid liner, some mascara, and strip lashes, which I trimmed to be 3/4 lashes.
Cheeks and lips
On my cheeks I used a matte, cool-toned pink blush, bringing that up to the sides of my forehead as well. I blended a little bit into my nose contour, to tie all the colours I used on my face together.
I dabbed the purple and pink eyeshadows on my lips to create a matching, subtle lavender shade, and used a bit of the loose pigment with pink reflects on my lower lip to add a beautiful, iridescent sheen.
The final touch was of course the face gems. These stunning face gems are from Forever 21, and only $7! I just happened to come across them while doing some window shopping online.
While they are self-adhesive, since I was applying them to makeup and not a bare face, I knew the powders and creams would nullifying some of the stickiness, so I added a drop of lash glue on each corner to keep the gems in place all night.
See the unicorn makeup in action
Since iridescent makeup is almost impossible to appreciate in a still photo, here’s a little video clip of me wearing this look.
In the background of this clip I’m listening to “Chapstick” from Todrick Hall’s new album (featuring Trixie Mattel!), and if you listen to the lyrics, you’ll understand how fitting it is.
So what do you think? Would you ever try this iridescent unicorn makeup look? Let me know in the comments. :)