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WATCH: Opulence holds makeup workroom to help Penn State drag queens improve important skill

Makeup was scattered across a Willard classroom Wednesday night as Opulence, Penn State’s drag ambassador club, held its first makeup workroom.

The event was byom&m — bring your own makeup and mirrors — and was held to help members improve their makeup skills.

“Everyone does their makeup different, but it all comes out kind of the same,” Drake McCoy — or Mz. Peaches — said. “So, it’s always good to see what tips you can get from other people.”

From 7-9 p.m., queens and their friends filled room 269 and either painted their own faces, helped out others or simply came to bond with the members of Opulence.

To McCoy, a member of the club, makeup is a defining factor of drag.

“If you’re not wearing makeup, I don’t think you’re doing drag,” McCoy (senior-rehabilitation and human services) said. “Your makeup needs to be dramatic, it need to be extra and harsh. It can symbolize what you want to bring out of drag, whatever your drag aesthetic is.”

Seneca Hill, the secretary of Opulence, said she thinks drag makeup transforms a queen’s face and can define who her drag persona is.

“Because you’re trying to become a different person,” Hill (sophomore-animal science) said. “You’re trying to be a character that exists only in drag, basically. You’re making yourself a different person, so I think that’s why [the makeup] is so extreme. You’re completely changing your face.”

McCoy said drag makeup is different from everyday makeup because queens paint their face for the back of the stage. This means harsh contours, harsh highlights, big eyebrows and anything dramatic.

“With drag makeup, I don’t think anything is wrong,” McCoy said. “You can do literally anything you want and it’ll be valid.”

Opulence, Drag Makeup

Jess Dawes (junior – psychology) does her makeup at a Penn State Opulence meeting at Willard Building on Wednesday, Apr 4, 2018.

Jacob Brittingham — or Terra Aness — came out to the event because he said he’s simply not good at putting on makeup.

Brittingham, a member of Opulence, said drag is all about pushing boundaries, and that’s why makeup is important.

He said drag queens wear a lot of makeup to make fun of gender stereotypes such as one that causes makeup to be sold with the pressure that women need to wear it in order to look pretty.

“At the same time, it’s good to cover up the masculine features because on the guy’s side, you’re not allowed to look pretty,” Brittingham (graduate-chemistry) said. “You need to look rugged. So, putting on the makeup in this exaggerated fashion is flipping the script on both sides.”

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