Contouring Is Queer: 10 ICONIC Make-Up Tutorials By Your Favourite Drag Queens

Want to know how your favourite Queens create their most SICKENING looks? Look no further… We’ve compiled our top 10 make-up tutorials given to you by the fiercest and most fabulous RuPaul’s Drag Race contestants!!

Before we dive straight in, I want to take a second to pay homage to the Queen’s, who carved the way for us all to achieve the perfect contour.

A Quick History of Contouring

I grew up in the naughties, where skinny eyebrows and foundation lips were all the rage. There was not a highlighter or contour kit in sight – which my questionable MySpace profile pictures definitely don’t thank me for.

But contouring is everywhere these days – you just have to scroll through instagram to see hundreds of women, men and non-binary folk who have sculpted, contoured, highlighted, bronzed and brushed every inch of their face. But how did this art form become to popular?

We often associate contouring with the like of the Kardashian’s and other pop culture icons. But the history of contouring runs much deeper. To credit the Kardashian’s as the driving force behind this aesthetic would be to erase the complex and queer history of the art of contouring.

What Does Contouring Do?

Contouring enables you to change the shape of your face. It is the art of sculpting your facial features in order to create an illusion, to highlight certain places and disguise others.

In my opinion, the art of contouring belongs to drag queens, the trans femme girls and the underground queers. You just have to watch RuPaul’s Drag Race to see the love, artistry, talent and creativity that each and everyone one of the Queen’s devote to painting their faces.

Drag Queen’s play on the stereotypes of hyper-femininity to create a feminine illusion. By exaggerating traditional ‘female’ characteristics, they at once subvert and expose the absurdity of gender binaries and categories. This is where contouring has been one of the most important tools in a Drag Queen’s tool box. It enables more masculine features to be painted and changed to appear more feminine.

Drag culture has been catapulted into the mainstream thanks to shows like RuPaul’s Drag Race and the increasing acceptance of LBGTQ+ identities and communities. However many drag queens, trans femme and non-binary femme folk still face a lot of violence and discrimination on the streets and over the internet.

So, when we’re doing something as seemingly everyday as contouring our faces let’s just remember to pay our respects to the Queen’s who literally carved the way for us… and just remember #HistoryIsQueer!


Go forth and CONTOUR but just remember…

1 – Farah Moan’s Hurried Hotness Look

2 – Vanessa Vanjie Mateo’s Poppin’ Makeup Tutorial

3 – Valentina’s Latina Glam 

4 – Trixie Mattel’s ‘Legendary Make-up’ Tutorial 

5 – Sasha Velour’s Fabergé Egg Look

6 – Peppermint’s Train Transformation

7 – Monique Heart’s ‘Signature Lewk’ Tutorial

8 – Shea Couleé’s Melanin Goddess

9 – Trinity Taylor’s Lady Gaga Look

10 – Nina Bonina Brown’s Black & White 3D Glamour

You came, You saw, You contoured

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