The #ITGTopShelfie interview collection focuses on the sweetness routines of Into The Gloss’ pretty, completed, and dependable group of readers. Submit your individual on Instagram—put up your High Shelfie (tag us @intothegloss!) and embody the hashtag #ITGTopShelfie for an opportunity to be featured on ITG.
“My title is Naomi Smalls (@naomismalls), and I’m from Redlands, California. I grew up with 11 siblings, which was actually nice as a result of I by no means had a second the place I felt lonely. My solely actual profession aspirations have been to be a socialite or Woman Gaga’s backup dancer, and since these weren’t within the playing cards, my mother pushed me into going to cosmetology college. I used to be completely unfamiliar with the sweetness world, and being the one one within the class who had no expertise with males’s or ladies’s hair was so irritating. Then I noticed my first drag present. As I watched, I believed, ‘How might I elevate this?’ As a substitute of being that lady within the nook talkin’ shit, I wished to take it on myself. Thank God for YouTube and Manila Luzon movies—now there are such a lot of drag tutorials, however at the moment, it was very uncommon.
After I obtained fairly profitable in novice competitions, I utilized to be on ‘Ru Paul’s Drag Race.’ Everybody attempting to be a profitable drag queen ought to apply for ‘Drag Race’—you get an incredible platform, the chance to journey, and an opportunity to be taught from so many queens. Since ‘Drag Race’ I’ve achieved issues I by no means thought I’d be capable to do. I talked to Cardi B for Cosmopolitan—that was so wild. I’m working alone solo present, ‘The Smalls World Present,’ which has been an enormous check of artistic talents. However my favourite challenge that I’ve labored on up to now was my collaboration with Kim Chi Stylish Magnificence. That was the primary time a drag queen had ever collaborated with one other drag queen on a make-up assortment, and it was superior.
After I’m entering into drag, I actually suppose extra concerning the hair than the make-up. I don’t know if it’s as a result of I used to do hair, or… possibly as a result of hair is the simplest strategy to change a vibe utterly. Most of my wigs have been customized achieved by @gowigorgohome. It prices like $350 and requires a becoming, however Violet Chachki and Bianca del Rio taught me that going customized is value it. If I’m doing my very own hair for drag, Kenra Skilled Platinum Ending Spray 26 is glue in a can. A magnificence hack that I realized from my pseudo-drag-mother, Roxxxy Andrews, is to make use of a shoulder pad beneath your wig to provide your head an additional bump. Since quite a lot of us are dudes in wigs, that quantity makes us appear extra petite onstage. On my pure hair, I like to make use of the Redken Curvaceous Ringlet Anti-Frizz Perfecting Lotion and Full Swirl Curly and Wavy Hair Cream Serum. For a queen who has no curves! However Ampro Professional Styl is my go-to, which I feel quite a lot of Black boys can relate to. It’s been in my life for therefore lengthy.
My skincare routine for once I’m getting in drag is fairly minimal. Placing on too many lotions and potions earlier than drag will make me shiny. I wish to go exhausting with a very tough exfoliator, just like the Frank Physique Creamy Face Scrub, earlier than I shave, after which I’ll simply tone with the Magnificence Water from Son & Park. I want that I might say that drag make-up takes an hour or two, however I put aside 4 hours. Which isn’t to say that each second is spent doing make-up—I’m watching a present, getting within the zone, working towards my efficiency. My very first step is gluing my sideburns down with an Elmer’s Stick. If I can see my sideburns below a wig, I simply lose the fantasy. I’ve been utilizing MAC Cosmetics Studio Repair Powder Plus Basis since highschool, and it’s an incredible product to mix my hairline with my wigs. I’ve been concealing my brows with MAC’s Studio End Concealer since highschool too, and draw them again on with Anastasia Dip Forehead in Chocolate. I take advantage of Kevyn Aucoin’s Pores and skin Enhancer in my spotlight areas and Make Up For Ever Extremely HD Stick Basis within the contour areas. Then I set all of my make-up with Kim Chi Stylish Magnificence’s Puff Puff Cross Powder within the shades Suntan and Banana, and add blush from the Kim Chi Stylish Sunkissed In June palette. After that I do my very first layer of Morphe Steady Setting Spray. Steady mist doesn’t provide the disgusting droplets throughout your face that some sprays do.
I just about solely use Sugarpill and Kim Chi Stylish eyeshadows, as a result of they’re tremendous pigmented, tremendous velvety, and I get little to no fallout. I owe quite a lot of my face to Plastique Tiara, who taught me so much about totally different shapes and strategies. I do eye make-up with an excellent exact crease, actually graphic liner, and actually chunky glitter. I’ve hooded eyes, and once I don’t give myself a crease I’ve seen that my make-up doesn’t visually spark in the identical approach. Like so many queens that I do know, I maintain onto my lash strips till they’re just about falling aside. After I began off I’d stack like six pairs of black lashes, however with time I spotted that placing quite a lot of black round my eyes made my already small eyes look smaller. I need to open them up as a lot as doable. Now I wish to put on fake mink lashes from Velour, as a result of I get that separation and fullness, however you’ll be able to nonetheless see your exhausting work via them. After I was youthful I’d cry if I put a lash on earlier than the glue was dry and it ruined my complete eyeshadow. I undoubtedly advocate Velour’s lash tweezer software to assist with that.
If you’d like a clear end to your lip, you need to use lip liner! I’m obsessive about utilizing two totally different shades to get essentially the most dimension doable, as a result of, particularly with a nude lip, the colour can get washed out on stage. I take advantage of MAC’s lip pencil in Cork round my lips, a darker nude like Chestnut within the corners, after which return with Cork and fill within the middle. That makes them look extra open and pouty. Dealer Joe’s chapstick is a desert island product for me—I purchase them in bulk and possibly have 20 of them at a time. It’s actually necessary to solely use chapstick after your lips are lined, as a result of in the event you do it earlier than the road gained’t be clear. Proper now I’m extra into bullet lipsticks than liquids, as a result of I really like how they settle into lips. I feel it appears much more actual. I take advantage of Uncooked Seduction, which is a really fairly coral-nude from Nars, and comply with it up with Glossier’s Clear Lip Gloss on the outer corners of my lips and Artist Couture Diamond Lip Tease in Climax within the middle. The Artist Couture glosses are literally made by my buddy Angel Merino, who used to carry out on the first drag bar I ever went to.
I’ve been attempting to get into the Kevvyn Aucoin supermodel matte look, but when I’m carrying highlighter, I actually like Kim Chi Stylish Magnificence’s Highest Level. It’s extra coral-y so it blends in with my blush, and the glitter isn’t too overbearing. For my physique, I like the Sol de Janeiro Glowmotions Glow Physique Oil in Copacabana Bronze. It smells superb. After I’m in drag I usually bathe in actually female fragrances. Roxxxy Andrews and Kim Chi launched me to Gucci Bloom, which is unquestionably my favourite. There’s nothing fiercer than when a queen is onstage and also you’re tipping them and also you simply get that massive sniff of their perfume. It simply sort of ties collectively the entire expertise. After I’m out of drag, I primarily put on Glossier You. It was given to me by an previous romance and although we’re not romantically concerned anymore, the scent stayed with me. I give it as presents as a result of so many individuals praise me on it.
After I’m not in drag—so once I’m Davis and never Naomi—my skincare routine appears fairly totally different. To start with, taking off my drag make-up is such a course of. It’s like a pound of glue and stage paint! The Tatcha Camellia Cleaning Oil breaks up all the things beforehand. I take the oil off with Neutrogena make-up wipes, as a result of I feel there aren’t any higher wipes on the market. And after that I get within the bathe. I nonetheless use a few of the skincare merchandise from my Into The Gloss interview 4 years in the past, just like the Philosophy Purity Made One Step Cleanser, for instance. However now there are different issues I’m obsessive about, like Glossier’s Resolution. I used it as soon as a day for a pair months, however now I take advantage of it each different day. I comply with that up with serums: Tata Harper’s Rejuvenating Serum, and Glossier Tremendous Bounce and Tremendous Pure. Then I take advantage of the Farmacy Honey Grail Extremely Hydrating Face Oil. If I’m actually on high of my sport, the Cosrx Triple C Lightning Liquid is within the fridge. I get some hyperpigmentation from ingrowns, and that stuff actually helps. I actually just like the little ball applicator on La Mer’s Eye Focus, and I maintain that in my fridge too, subsequent to Sunday Riley’s Tidal Water Cream. I put all of these on in a single go once I stroll into the kitchen. If I’m occurring a date or I’m going to be on digicam, I swear by the Boscia Luminizing Black Charcoal Masks, which is at all times out of inventory. Then I’ll use the Too Cool for College Egg Cream Magnificence Masks earlier than eye cream and moisturizer. At night time, if I do know I’m going to be up for a very long time, I’ll undoubtedly pile on the oils. I just like the Sunday Riley C.E.O. Vitamin C Serum, Luna Retinol Oil, the Neogen Dermalogy White Truffle Oil Drop… And Laneige’s Water Sleeping Masks makes me look much less drab within the morning, as a result of I are likely to get up with puffy eyes.
I do put on make-up as a boy. If I’m going to see anyone, concealing below my eyes and doing my brows are the minimal. I haven’t discovered a concealer that appears extra pure than Glossier Stretch Concealer, and I set it with Wowder. On my brows I take advantage of Boy Forehead in Brown first, to comb via and ideal, after which Black on the tails to attract up the attention for extra of a snatched look. The one factor that’s not Glossier is Dior’s Dreamskin Pores and skin Perfector. It makes me seem like I’m carrying quite a lot of skincare, however sort of dims down the shine. Particularly if I’m going to be on digicam, that could be a should.”
—as informed to ITG
Photographs by way of the writer