28 incredible drag queen transformations that'll make you want to 'Sissy That Walk'
Thanks to RuPaul's Drag Race, what was once an underground art form is now very much a part of mainstream culture. While the show has only been running for ten seasons, the history of modern drag goes as far back as the late 1800s when "pantomime dames" became popular in Europe. And now that drag is more popular than ever, queens are only becoming more fabulous.
This has had a hugely positive effect not only on LGBTQ+ culture but the way that people view members of this community. Drag Race finalist Courtney Act, for example, used her stint on British reality TV show Big Brother to inform a wider audience about the fact that gender exists on a spectrum, and Drag Race itself often reveals the daily struggles which still affect LGTBQ+ people.
In the video below, Michelle Visage discusses the cultural impact of Drag Race with Bianca Del Rio:
At its heart, drag remains an art form which celebrates different forms of expression, and in order to be successful, queens truly have to be multitalented. Firstly and foremost, they must be accomplished makeup artists in their own right and to demonstrate this, Cosmopolitan magazine had a number of Drag Race queens showcase their incredible skills on their website.
1. Alexis Michelle
Let's start things off with a queen emulating one of the world's most famous faces - matriarch of the Kardashian-Jenner clan, Kris Jenner. As these pictures demonstrate, Alexis is talented enough to use makeup to turn herself into a freakishly similar version of Kris - complete with her signature momanager haircut and a stiff drink. It's actually hard to believe it's not Kris!
2. Alexis Michelle
Up next is one of Drag Race's most beautiful queens, Alexis Michelle. Her signature looks very much reflect old Hollywood glamour, and in these transformation pictures, she somehow manages to become even more glam than Marilyn Monroe.
3. Naomi Smalls
These days, contouring is a must for most makeup wearers and it's safe to say that Naomi slays in this department.
4. Alexis Michelle (again)
If there's one thing to be learned from this tutorial, it's this - tamed brows are a must for any self-respecting queen and they have to be controlled with Elmer's glue. Its "dries clear" quality means that it's easy to tell when it has set.
5. Trixie Mattel
As Trixie so famously said in Drag Race, when she's applying her makeup she paints for the people watching at the very back of the room, and in this country look, she is very much channeling her inner Dolly Parton. Fabulous.
6. James Charles
For the sake of full disclosure, it's worth noting that James isn't just a drag queen, but a fully fledged makeup artist too. That being said, this impressive transformation is too good not to show - I doubt many makeup artists out there are this good.
7. Alaska Thunderfuck
It's hard to believe that it's the same person in both of these pictures. Fun fact: her wig comes in two parts.
8. Violet Chachki
If any drag queen could give Dita Von Teese a run for her money, it's Violet Chachki. She's always runway ready.
9. Miz Cracker
This queen has a secret: duck tape. It's what she uses to strap down her wig liner and the rest, well, it's a doddle.
10. Alyssa Edwards
Drag queens are famed for being gloriously extra and Alyssa Edwards knows how to give the people what they want with this totally over the top glam headpiece and earrings. She's the LGBTQ+ community's answer to Wonder Woman.
11. Sasha Velour
If you don't have any hair on your head, then you can go all out in the foundation department, and Sasha proved to everyone that different is beautiful when she won season nine of Drag Race last year. She sure knows how to rock those freckles too.
One of the great things about drag is that there really are no rules and queens (and kings and non-binary performers) are free to let their imaginations run wild. In this gorgeous look, Aja proves that a splash of color is no bad thing.
13. Yuhua Hamasaki
I'm not going to lie, with a look like that, she should be on a stage in Vegas. Those diamonds are simply dazzling.
14. Dusty Ray Bottoms
The video above is a testament to the fact that makeup inspiration can come from some pretty unlikely places...
15. Kandy Muse
Sure, most people might buy highlighter that's a similar shade to their skin, but not Kandy Muse, oh no. In true drag queen fashion, she's taken it to the next level by, quite literally, highlighting her face with gold. It's a million dollar look.
If you've ever wondered whether or not having a smokey eye is a good idea, look no further than the video above.
17. Chi Chi DeVayne
This look is proof that you can never have too much of your favorite color. Purple EVERYTHING (well, apart from her earrings).
18. Mayhem Miller
Because so many drag queens frequently go over the top with their looks, sometimes simplicity can be, in itself, killer. However, a splash of color is still no bad thing and this bubble gum lip really makes Mayhem's look pop.
19. Blair St. Clair
I think you'd be hard pressed to find anyone with winged eyeliner more perfect than this. This whole look is #glamgoals.
20. Miss Fame
If you identify as a man and have a sharp jawline, then you're already one step ahead of the game if you ever become a drag queen.
21. Thorgy Thor
Sure, most drag queens don't have dreads, but Thorgy does and I am LIVING for it. In these before and after pictures, she transforms herself from your average hipster barista into a silver-haired glamazonian with a rocking sparkly jacket.
22. Sandy Devastation
I'm not going to lie, the clown look isn't something which many drag queens aspire to, but drag is all about performance, and Sandy's incredible transformation proves that when you're different, well, it's hard for people to take their eyes off you.
23. Phi Phi O'Hara
The makeup itself is fierce, but the nose ring and earrings send it into a level I've not seen before.
24. Kalorie Karbdashian-Williams
True to her drag name, Kalorie very much makes a point of channeling America's first family of reality TV.
There's a lot more to makeup artistry than just applying products and Valentina proves this with a lip created from four different colors. She really is the ultimate Latino queen and, in my opinion, one of the most beautiful ladies to grace Ru's runway.
26. The Vixen
The video above is a testament to the fact that you can never wear too much glitter.
27. Vanessa Vanjie Mateo
Well, I obviously had to include MISS VANJIE. This transformation is truly inspirational.
Now that's what I call a gloriously colorful look. She's the drag version of an exotic bird.
29. Sharon Needles
Check out the video above to be scared in the best possible way.
30. Momo Shade
If you're looking for intricate eyeliner inspiration, look no further than this look. It's actual wizardry.
So there you have it - 28 incredible drag queen transformations that will make you want to sissy that walk. One thing's for sure - with every season of Drag Race, the standard of queens just gets higher and higher. Who knows what they'll look like by the time season 20 inevitably rolls around, but I'm certainly going to be living for it (and so will the Pit Crew, obviously!).