Gurllll, life is already hard enough for non-queens. So serving tea by the liter while looking fabulous on top of that can be damn expensive. But it doesn’t have to be!
This is why this article will take into account both broke and fancy queens ( Hi fancy queen, will you be my sugar mommy AND daddy? ).
While it may take a little bit more werk for the bargain bin queen, with this guide, nothing will stop you from achieving near identical results to your 1% queens! It really can’t be a real democracy if all queens can’t look like a million buckaroos after all.
On the other hand, rich queens know all too well that time is money, so a lot of the stuff here will save you a ton of woman-hours, sweat & and mascara-laced tears. You can thank me later & I’ll be patiently waiting next to my mailbox for your cheques!
Still, I suggest having a peek at the budget options as well since this is where a lot of the DIY stuff is hidden. And sometimes that’s the only way to get exactly what you want!
So without further ado, let’s get to it, shall we?
Does the wig make the queen? Not really. But queens are almost nothing without their wigs!
But hold on! Before we get to the wigs themselves, equip yourself with your trusty wig cap and Got2b Glued blasting freeze spray for styling your hair ( or gluing the lace to your head! ) and keeping those locks out of your makeup!
If you’re going to do some mad hair whipping, there are also many methods to securing your wig to your head, going from pinning everything with bobby pins to full-on duct taping your wig to your head/cap depending on the length of your real hair!
Budget Queen: Amazon Wigs
Even fancy queens can agree that cheap wigs you don’t mind altering are always welcome. Of course, Amazon is the place to be to find such wigs!
While Lace frontal is always best, you can definitely get away without it if you’re smart about it.
Also, since synthetic wigs are cheaper than real hair wigs, know that with a bit of plucking in the front and at the part, you can get them to look pretty natural as well!
Lastly, it’s always a good idea to look at review pictures if you don’t want any surprises. That’s because some manufacturers will show you a premium wig in the product pictures and send you a sad, cheap Halloween wig in return. So keep an eye out unless it’s the look you’re looking for, you beautiful weirdo!
Another nice little trick of the trade for broke queens is to go for a lace-free wig with bangs, this way you won’t require all the realism frontal lace wigs have to offer.
For a little more dinero ( about 40$ ), there are some pretty decent lace wigs to be had as well.
Sapphirewigs(seen above), for example, are pretty impressive for the money! But they’re definitely not the only ones as there are plenty of small companies catering to all kinds of broke and semi-broke queens.
But…how do I get big fierce hair like the queens on TV?
By stacking wigs of course! But before you go out and stack 10 wigs on top of each other like you’re some kind of freaky Russian doll, know that there’s a science to it!
What you want to do is buy 2 wigs, add padding between them ( foam, plastic bags, ex-boyfriend’s clothes ) and sow the wigs together! It’s really what makes the difference between buying 4 wigs or 2!
Fancy Queen: Premium & Dedicated Drag Wigs
While DIY stitched-up & plucked wigs can take you pretty far in the world of drag, sometimes you just want a great pret-a-porter wig to slap onto your head and call it a day.
Unless you’re rocking that hairy queen look all the cool kids are into these days, you’ll most likely need to hide your eyebrows.
Of course, real dedicated queens can always pluck it all (or partially) off, though if you present yourself as a big ol’ hunk off stage, this might not be an option for you.
As a greek man myself, I know all too well the trials of the bushy brows, so let me help you out of this hairy situation!
Quick Tip: For your brow concealment of choice to stay on, make sure to wipe your eyebrows with alcohol first! It’ll rid your face of the pesky oils that will have you redo your brows over and over again, leading to the dreaded but all-too-common oatmeal eyebrows.
Once this is done, apply your brow solution of choice in all directions until your eyebrows are fully coated.Spooly brushesare great tools for spreading and flattening everything.
Add a bit of powder and foundation on top and you should look like a beautiful browless creature from outer space! Which is the exact kind of blank canvas you want to draw these suckers on in the first place!
Budget Queen: Elmer’s Purple Glue Sticks
If you think I’m kidding, this is actually the method of choice for like 80% of queens, fancy or not!
The Elmer’s purple glue sticks are not only washable, effective, and dirt cheap, but with a single whiff of the stuff, it’ll also let you relive the best years of your childhood over and over again! It’s not exactly poppers, but it’s what led you to it in the first place.
Plus, once you’re off stage, these glue sticks will integrate nicely with the scrapbooking habit you’ve adopted to destress.
Fancy Queen: Pros-Aide
If you’re a particularly sweaty or bushy queen, you will love Pros-Aide!
That stuff could literally glue a grown man to a wall ( is this a new fetish I feel surfacing? ) so it should definitely work well enough for your face! Just make sure you don’t buy the cream version as it isn’t as effective or useful.
Also, don’t bother buying the Pros-Aide remover as it stings like a fatherfucker! Instead, use baby oil to get it off. It dissolves just as well, plus you’ll get to keep your beautiful eyes if the stuff drips astray!
While Pros-Aide takes a bit of practice to master, once you get the hang of it, you’ll never look back!
Let’s get this straight, nothing breaks the illusion more than a swinging D or a mean moose knuckle. And while the boys might get a kick out of it, it’s definitely not going to win you points at your next beauty pageant.
So let’s secure that manwich real tight and tuck it right where the sun don’t shine. We wouldn’t want to upset grandma at the show now, would we?
Just remember that tucking, like cock rings, shouldn’t be a 24h ordeal. Circulation keeps your junk healthy. So if you have back-to-back shows from brunch to sunset, maybe slip out of your tuck and slap some sense into your Frankfurter before tucking it right back up!
Budget Queen: KT Tape
Broke or not, KT tape can serve plenty of purposes. But the main event here is really all about tucking!
Why choose this type of tape over your run-of-the-mill duct tape? Well, this tape is as flexible as it gets and will allow you to cartwheel and dip/deathdrop ( wherever you stand on this controversial term ) to your heart’s content!
You can even tape your head back under your wig for a cheap temporary lift! You’ll never look more surprised! Just don’t tell the fancy queen’s surgeon…
Fancy Queen: Gaff Underwear
Ahhh, the dedicated option.
If these are good enough for our trans sisters, they should probably cover all of a queen’s needs ( and genitalia! ). In the wise words of Secret’s Deodorant: Strong enough for a man, but made for a woman!
With a good pair of gaffing underwear, you could even easily serve some steamy bikini beach looks without fear of your Johnson & his two little brothers popping out for a quick hello!
Just remember to choose the right size, as tighter isn’t better here. It just means more injuries and hospital visits.
If you find tucking/gaffing uncomfortable, another great alternative is the “gaffers” found at Leolines’ Etsy. It’s a looser more comfortable tuck but looks great nonetheless. Just expect to spend about twice what you’d normally spend on a traditional gaff. Beauty hurts, that’s why comfort has a price, baby girl!
Padding can make the difference between you looking like Dennis Rodman on a bad day or like a mesmerizing hip-swinging goddess.
Of course, if you’re one of those naturally thin queens ( we all hate you, but that’s ok, god hates the rest of us ) you might want to skip this step as you were clearly already made for the runway!
But still, if you want to look curvier and just as fake as a Kardashian, I’ve got your back, either way, honey!
Budget Queen: DIY & affordable padding
Though a touch involved, the DIY method really has its advantages as you can reaaally customize your curves to your exact liking here. It’s also pretty easy to get real ridiculous as well, which can definitely be a good thing depending on your style.
How it works is that you carve high-density foam( if you’re really broke, just sacrifice your couch! ) with something like an electric turkey carver and secure it between two pairs of pantyhoses.
Gluing the pads to the outside of your first pair of tights ( the ones that are against your actual skin ) with Fabric glue isn’t a bad idea. But you don’t have to make it so permanent if you don’t mind readjusting your pads every time you jump into your “drag pants”.
Of course, dancer’s tightsare way better for this purpose as they are much more durable and will allow you to reuse your Mcguyvered curves ad infinitum!
To get the shape and size right, a good trick is to wrap your hips and tighs in saran wrap, trace a shape ( see example below ) where you want your hips, thighs, and booty accentuated onto the saran wrap.
It’s better if you go for one continuous shape that connects the side of your tighs & hips (h) to your booty (b). Once you’re done, remove the saran wrap and use that shape as your guide to start carving at your foam! Just make sure your template is stretched out to its original size when you do this.
Once your main shapes are cut out, all there’s left to do is to round off your foam until it looks nice and natural( ish, depending on what you’re looking for )!
If the result looks a little rough or lumpy, just keep adding tights on top of your contraption to smooth them out!
If you’re not so crafty, the drag queen closet also has a few affordable options as well that should be decent enough ( unless you’re looking to go REAL curvy ). Otherwise, I know you might have to skip a meal or two for these but Planet Pepper’s Astrobooty’s are some of the best pre-made pads around!
Of course, you won’t be able to customize these to your liking, but it’s a pretty decent alternative for the not-so crafty broke queens!
When it comes to breasts, if you don’t need to show cleavage, just do like the late bloomers in high school and stuff a cheap bra OR opt for one of those +2 cup size bras for a few extra “dollhairs”.
If you do need to show cleavage, I’d suggest using a strapless sticky bra. Just place the clasps real close to your nipples then hook it, pushing all that flat-chestedness together, and Boom! Cleavage. From there you can add a padded bra on top for the ultimate broke girl illusion!
If you’ve got lots of green stacks, the world of prosthetic padding has loooaads to offer!
With a full enough wallet, you could easily bomb down the runway entirely naked, and no one could tell the difference! These prosthetics are also perfect if you want to show off your lingerie or want to serve some sickening beach looks! But of course, sometimes the best outfit is really no outfit.
Now, if you’re really dedicated, you could always inject that beer gut right into your ass! Plus, you’d save up on corsets. But I completely understand that this isn’t for everyone, especially if you present as a big ol’ manly man when you’re away from the spotlights.
So let’s get real padded and confuse some heterosexual men, shall we?
If you’re not looking to get (near) naked and just want some great-looking natural hips and cheeks Dresstech’s silicone shapewear is definitely where it’s at! Most off-stage crossdressers swear by this lifelike solution, and hundreds of crossdressers can’t be wrong, Miss Mister!
For realistic breast forms, it doesn’t get much better than the trans-friendly Gendercat. These come in tons of sizes, they’re non-toxic, feel and bounce like real tatas, and can be used with or without adhesives. Another huge selling point is that you can request 100s of skin tone samples for free to match your complexion exactly!
Boobs for queens offer some pretty decent breastplates as well, especially if you’re looking for giant assets. But the nipples aren’t the most realistic around. Still, if you’re looking to show off some nip, you can always buy spare nipples from Gendercat like you’re some kind of sexy lady Frankenstein.
Otherwise, if you want realistic full-body or partial silicone prosthetics for all your lingerie and naked needs the drag queen closet has a few decent affordable options though they won’t look as realistic as some of the alternatives below.
The best of the best for showing off a full realistic body is really the Realgurl brand( as seen in the photo above ) by the famous sex doll makers Realdoll! It’s also the most expensive option on this list and they’re on Hiatus until the end of 2022. But holy smokes do their prosthetics look real! And isn’t it the goal of all queens to look like the most luxurious sex doll ever?!
If you can’t hold off until next year, another great alternative for full-body prosthetics comes from Gold Seal. It’s a bit cheaper and less realistic than Realgurl, but definitely should do the trick while you wait for the Realdoll… Uhh… real deal**!
Lastly, When it comes to covering up seams left by your prosthetics, necklaces, well-placed lingerie, or liquid latex plus foundation can go a very long way ( a little movie SFX secret for you queens )!
Cinching, when coupled with padding is usually the best thing you can do to complete that sought-after female illusion ( or parody, depending on the queen ).
Plus, you get to keep some of the gains off stage! And since all our man fat first starts building at the waist, this shouldn’t be bad news to any of us!
Again, for you skinny queens out there, while I said that you could skip the padding if you were after that “runway look”, I wouldn’t skip the cinching as this is really what’s going to feminize your form.
So let’s get that hour-glass shape going and make all your cis-girlfriends jealous!
Budget Queen: Amazon Cinchers
First of all, a message to all you penny-pinching queens, repeat after me: Do not try the duct tape and shrink wrap method! This dreaded method will not only prevent you from breathing properly, directly affecting your singing voice and great delivery, but it can easily make you pass out right there on the spot!
While fainting is pretty dramatic & queen-like, it’s definitely not productive. Plus, a decent Amazon cincher is pretty darn cheap!
But what’s the difference between a standard cincher/waist trainer and a corset?
Well, I’m glad you asked, my queen bee in the making! Cinchers will usually allow you to trim off about 1 to 2 inches off your waist, while corsets can easily go up to 4 inches with enough effort & time!
Cinchers will also give you more of a natural waist ( though when coupled with padding, you can still go pretty crazy ) while corsets can end up looking pretty unreal ( think Jessica Rabbit ). It’s also worth mentioning that corsets can be both worn under AND over your clothes as they are usually pretty gorgeous as well.
Before you go on and skip the cinchers only to buy the cheapest corset you can find, know that it’s usually a bad idea to cheap out on these. It’s actually the best way to get hurt, so I’d avoid it entirely!
If you’re looking for somewhat affordable quality corsets, my best suggestion would be to go with Orchard Corsets. Don’t settle for anything less…unless it’s a nice and cheap cincher!
Fancy Queen: Corsets
If you’re looking for a dramatically slim waist ( up to 4 inches in waist reduction, no surgery needed! ) and the option of wearing your corset under or over your clothes ( take that capsule wardrobe! ), you’re in the right place, fancy queen!
Before I get to my suggestions, here are a few quick tips of the trade:
To avoid pinching and unsightly bruises, wear a subtle t-shirt/tank top under your corsets! Of course, if you’re wearing your corset on top of your clothing, there’s really no need to double up.
Also, if it hurts, quickly get out and retighten your corset so it is comfortable for you. Pain = BAD with corsets. If you want more of a cinch, just slowly work your way to it. You get to your max cinch in days, not minutes!
Lastly, the most comfortable corsets for men are usually underbusts. Plus, they look great on top of almost any dress. It’s also not crazy to invest in a trans-specific corset either!
For affordable corsets, you should start with Orchard Corsets. They’re also super trans-aware too so they probably know how to deal with more “masculine anatomies” and I’m sure they wouldn’t mind helping out a queen either! It also helps that they have a whole section for dudes!
It’s no walk in the park to find cute or fierce feminine shoes when you’re built like Big Bird.
Petite queens are lucky creatures in this case, but for the rest of us, we need something a bit more out of the ordinary, just like our unique selves! Luckily for Queens, tall women, and crossdressers are a thing and all you need to know is where they shop!
Of course, you can always opt for unisex shoes like Converse or Doc Martens. Sneakers and Chelsea boots are also pretty easy to cheat with as the gender differences are usually nearly indistinguishable. But if you need something a little more suited for a ball (or a strip club), the following options will do nicely!
It’s also worth noting that a lot of “expensive women’s shoes” are still pretty cheap compared to what men usually pay for their kicks, so bargain bin queens, don’t feel too afraid to look at the fancy options this time around.
Their stuff isn’t directly catered to the more theatrical crowd, but you can definitely find some gems in there. It’s also perfect if you’re going for a more “traditional girl look”.
There are also some good bargains to be had on stripper shoes in sex stores for those of you looking for something a little wilder.
Those girls burn through shoes like thermite through metal, so affordability is usually a given. Plus, they often come in pretty big sizes which are usually left unsold & discounted!
Fancy Queen: Big Class
If you got the Benjamins, it really doesn’t matter if you’ve got feet that would prevent you from sinking in the snow. Hell, you can pretty much compete with any other petite gal’s wardrobe, regardless of your gigantism!
Pleaser is probably the best shoe brand around for drag queens as their shoes look like they’re truly tailor-made for drag.
All their brands seem to cater to a different kind of queen too:
OG Pleaser is all about class and stripper styles.
Demonia is perfect for all you goth & BDSM queens out there.
Funtasma is for all you weird beauties and club kids’ descendants.
Their Pink Label is more for girls who like to sport cuter traditional fem looks.
…And that’s just the tip of the iceberg!
Prepare for the death of your wallet and you can thank me/sue me later!
Ahhh makeup, a drag queen’s war paint! No matter if you’re a “natural beauty” or caricatural queen, you most definitely need it!
Now, I won’t go into details on how to actually get your makeup done as this would take an entire article in itself, but don’t fret, Youtube is here! No need to look specifically for drag-centric vids either as this will definitely limit your reach. Heck, lots of those makeup tutorial girls could easily pass for queens, so do take advantage of that as well!
Depending on your style, freakier queens might even want to delve into the unlimited world of SFX movie makeup! But for the sake of simplicity, we’ll only be featuring the traditional tools of the trade here.
Foundation for heavy-duty spotslike the beard is a bit hard to cheap out on here as you’ll most likely need theatrical/TV quality stuff to get full coverage. But the good news is that you can use a different foundation everywhere else so it should last you long enough.
Bargain bin queens need to know the truth about affordable makeup: The drugstore and Amazon are your bestest of friends!
Of course, this won’t be the best performing makeup under the stress of the stage lights and your manly manly sweat, but in a pinch, it’ll do just fine! Cheaper brands might also require a touch more effort for everything not too look like Halloween makeup but it’ll just feel so much sweeter & easier once you can invest in the premium stuff!
If you want to know which brands are affordable yet still offer decent quality and value, I’d say Wet & Wild, Nyx, and Maybelline should cover most of your needs. But feel free to stray as the entire drugstore is your oyster here.
As for good budget lashes, once more I’ll suggest going DIY with this one! Your best option is to buy a cheap fake eyelash kit and, with the aid of lash glue, stack about 3 fake eyelashes for your upper eyelid, and 1 or 2 for your bottom lid. The easiest glue to use is usually the kind that comes with a brush instead of straight out of the tube!
Alternatively,301 drag lashes are also cheap and widely available, no stacking required!!
If you’re willing to splurge a little more, Clinique’s Take the Day Off is even more efficient & hydrating ( plus it comes in a gorgeous tub ). While it is expensive it’ll last much longer than you’d expect, so I promise you won’t feel cheated!