What are your favorite make-up items?

It’s one of the top questions i get asked right up there with¬†do you have any advice for someone starting out in drag? ¬†(i do and you can find it here and here).¬†
But this question is¬†sooo hard for me to answer – which is why i’ve waited like 7 years to do it – because¬†i really do love everything in my make-up kit equally. And while i hate to play favorites (and¬†just between you and me), there might¬†be a few that reign a tad bit more supreme than the others . . .
This was hard, but i did it.
For you.
So without further ado, here are my top 7 must have make-up tools – straight from my make-up kit to (hopefully) yours.

1. Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer

Urban Decay and Smash Box
This is the kind of make-up item that you don’t think you need until you try it and then you can’t¬†understand how you’ve lived without it for so long. i promise you it makes all the difference in the world when it comes to your eyeshadow hues staying true their original color + not sweating all your hard work off. i’ve tried a few different primers, but Urban slayed the competition. ¬†


2. Smashbox Photo Finish

(Pictured above) Face primer = another often overlooked element. But this bad boy is the.closest.thing to real life-in-the-flesh photoshopping as we’re gonna get¬†loves. i started using this over a year ago and never looked back. It creates a solid, even, and flawless foundation to build the rest of your mug¬†on.¬†If the canvas is perfection, then everything that gets layered on top will be closer to that too!

3. Lashes

Brandi Amara Skyy Eyelashes
This is kinda like the DUH on my list because i’m known for my never-ending, fly-away, too-big-for-my-face falsies. Its my trademark. And i luhuv them! But picking a good lash is different from picking THE lash. And sometimes you have to create your own. All of the lashes pictured (except the top pink pair and the bottom) were made by moi. If you’re having trouble finding the perfect¬†lash try stacking a few pairs together to build your own. (And if that doesn’t sound like fun, there’s a strong potential that some of my personally made lashes will be coming to an¬†online store near you . . .)

4. A good highlight + 5. and an equally good contour

Ben Nye Banana powder
Brandi Amara Skyy Contour
While i use about 3-4 varying tones to highlight and contour, the two pictured are my ride or dies. Unfortunately for me, the MAC bronzing powder i use as my 1st layer of contour is discontinued and i have yet to find something i love as much. My bad luck aside, learning the art of contouring + highlighting – from a queen – is a must. But once you get the technique down, you have to know how to apply it to your face. This alone will change your life. And don’t be afraid of dabbing a little color – like one from your lids – on¬†your cheeks to help create a fully blended and complete¬†look. (Update. i stopped using MAC products in 2016 because they were no longer cruelty free).

 6. Black eyeshadow

Black MAC eyeshadows
Black eyeshadow to a make-up kit is what the little black dress is to a closet – a staple, a classic, and an overall absolute must!
Smokey eye? Black. Run out of eyeliner? Black shadow swept across the base of your eyelashes. Need more eye drama? Black. Need to create a depth to your eye look? Black. 
i love them so much i have about 6 different kinds. My black eyeshadow (the one on the right) pulls double duty as a brow blender and filler. (Update. i stopped using MAC products in 2016 because they were no longer cruelty free). 

7. Everything Else!

Make-up Kit Brandi Amara Skyy jpg
It had to be done. i had to sneak them all in . . . black liquid eyeliner, glitter, spirit gum, dark brown pencil eyeliner that doubles as a lip liner, clown white, brushes . . . the list goes on and on.
Because the reality is – it’s all essential.
All of it is magical. All of it is transformative. All of it is needed to create the ultimate drag, glam, performance look. The key to make-up (and really anything in life) is experimenting with it ALL¬†and then narrowing in on what’s essential TO YOU!
That’s where the real magic lies.
Speaking about the transformative¬†power of make-up . . . here’s a little something i dug up from the Skyy vault.
As part of my thesis, i included a photo journal called From Real to Faux so that people could see and experience first hand Рnot just read about Рme and other cisgender females transforming into drag queens.
Because the visual is powerful and necessary for understanding the art of female drag queens.
Each of these pics was an entire page, but i thought it would be cool to turn it into a collage. So i did! i LOVE the result!

2012 Brandi Amara Skyy Faux

February 2012

And of course after making this collage, i was totally inspired to recreate the photo series.
Because i have always loved Leland Bobb√©’s¬†Half Drag ¬†photo series he did in 2012, i used¬†this as my opportunity to make my own.
Here are the results.
Brandi Amara Skyy Half Drag Faux Queen Transformation 2015

July 2015

And it was so.much.fun!
i love make-up almost as much as i love making art. Both of them together = creative orgasm.
Paint art on your face. Make small pieces of art whenever and where you can. Be art Рeveryday.
But above all else have fun, experiment, and don’t be afraid of getting a little dirty ūüôā .
There is power in make-up but not nearly as much as the person wielding the brush.
Love, light, and wielding,


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