It’s hard to decide what we love most about Violet Chachki, originally known as Jason Dardo. Maybe it’s the hilarious quotes she provided all throughout the seventh season of RuPaul’s Drag Race, which she won in 2015 before launching into superstardom. Or the fact that the 28-year old is an icon across the drag, fashion, and beauty worlds - forming partnerships with Prada, performing burlesque shows with Dita Von Teese, and serving as a makeup muse for Pat McGrath while serving Chachki’s unique brand of unapologetic artistry and fearless glamour. Impressive for a then-22 year old who talked back to RuPaul and was always picked last for team challenges. But as Violet once said, “I am a one-of-a-kind collectible,” and it’s her unmatched confidence, talent for makeup, and charisma that made Violet Chachki a household name. As we celebrate LGBTQ History Month this October, try these makeup and skincare tips that Violet Chachki never leaves her burlesque-inspired home without.
“I use Albolene Moisturising Cleanser as a pre-cleanse to remove make-up,” Violet Chachki told Vogue. “It’s an emollient texture that breaks down makeup in literally one swipe and leaves skin dewy afterwards.” Any celebrity will tell you the importance of washing off all your makeup before bed - from Jennifer Lopez and Beyonce to Zendaya. But it’s even more crucial in the drag world, where you can seemingly wash your face to perfection and still wake up five days later covered in excess powder or leftover glitter. Such is drag queen life. And since nobody wants to clog their pores with sweat, dirt, or last night’s foundation… it’s always a good idea for glam makeup lovers to double cleanse. Use a more gentle cleanser, like Violet’s favorite by Albolene, to remove every last trace of liquid foundation, lipstick, blush, and mascara. Once your face is 100% clean, follow up with a strong yet effective face wash like the UltraCalming Cleanser by Dermalogica to show kindness to your skin. This is an ideal method for those who like to do Instagram glam every day, or aspiring drag queens who want to layer on the makeup while maintaining a youthful glow… just like Violet!
Beautyblender has become synonymous with the beauty YouTuber community, with nearly every influencer saying “and now I’m going to use my damp Beautyblender!” before creating a flawless, airbrushed finish with the sponge. And don’t get us wrong, it’s an iconic product… but Violet Chachki is all about going back to basics with makeup brushes. Many YouTube tutorials show the drag queen and makeup artist using their favorite blending brushes to apply foundation, concealer, and even highlighter. They told Logo, “I like using a brush because I think it’s just easier to blend. It feels more ‘painterly’ I guess, and I feel like it’s a little bit more precise.” It definitely makes sense coming from Violet Chachki, as she's an artist in every sense of the word. And you can be too with the right set of blending brushes, like the MUA Life Brush Collection by Morphe, as this set features a tool for every task to help you achieve full glam that’s pretty and precise. Blend out eyeshadow, pat on concealer like a pro, and use a fluffy brush to bake your face to perfection like the drag world taught you!
Cat eyes are a classic beauty trend, so we can’t exactly give Violet Chachki all the credit for it. But we can talk about their unique variation on this timeless look, stepping away from the “kitten wing” and modern floating eyeliner to create a sky-high wing that reaches nearly up to the brow bone. Wow. Guess you could say that Chachki’s liner is as high as her ambition and confidence levels. There are a few reasons that Chachki loves to put a twist on this quintessential trend. The first is that she has hooded eyes, and has spoken about having lesser lid space when doing beauty looks… though that definitely hasn’t stopped Violet Chachki from creating the most iconic eyeshadow creations, ever. The second is that this ultra-high cat eye (high-liner?) is a tribute to the vintage glamour that Chachki is all about, particularly the burlesque world in which they dance with Dita Von Teese and celebrate the best old-school beauty looks. This eyeliner look is edgy, exquisite, and just a little bit extra, just like Violet Chachki, and you can use the Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner by Stila to go to great lengths - and pair it with a red or vampy lipstick to recreate their best vintage glam makeup effects.
The “eyes vs. face” debate is a pretty big thing in the beauty community - and people will defend their stance on makeup technique with a fierce passion. “You have to do your eye makeup first, you’ll avoid fallout!” or “I like to do my face makeup first and save the fun stuff for later!” While most beauty influencers and makeup artists seem to prefer the “eyes first” technique in 2020, you can always count on Violet Chachki to take an unique approach. She blends out her foundation, concealer, contour and highlighter seamlessly before moving to the eyes, and there are definitely benefits with this technique. Your face makeup has more time to “set” while you’re lining your eyes, and there’s less risk of ruining your eye makeup by accidentally smudging it with your doe foot applicator during concealer application. Because there’s no greater heartbreak than smearing or smudging your smokey eye. If you’re looking to get Violet Chachki’s best full-face (it’s an understatement) looks, pick up a cream bronzer like hers to add warmth and dimension while contouring your cheekbones like no other. Soleil Tan De Chanel Bronzing Makeup Base by Chanel has top ratings on MIRA for blendability, staying power, creaminess and consistency!
“I like a nice, dark, arched black eyebrow, lots of graphic lines - particularly around the eye to make your eyes look bigger, and just a lovely, crisp, fire engine red lip,” Violet Chachki told Glamour. She’s a vision of old-school burlesque glam, and that means sleek and sexy makeup that’s reminiscent of Dita Von Teese or a 60’s vixen. You’ll very rarely see her in a nude lip, as she prefers to go bold with shades of red, purple, and burgundy to make a statement. Sure, you love your nude lipsticks as much as the next person, but after a year like 2020 where even a swipe of lip balm is a chore… a pop of color can go a long way. For an affordable, fire engine red shade that looks flawless on all skin tones, the Stay Matte Liquid Lip Color in Fire Starter by Rimmel will give you the smokey eye and red lip combo to make Violet proud. You can also try the Suede Matte Lipstick by NYX in Violet Smoke, a rich purple hue with a name that perfectly describes Violet Chachkie’s fearless style.
Violet Chachki may be only 28 years old, but she understands the importance of a good anti-aging skincare routine. Environmental changes and physical stress can take a toll on your skin when you’re jet setting to Milan, Paris, and New York like she does - and while it may seem like the best problem to have… just trust in Chachki’s love for Hyaluronic Acid, okay? In a “de-dragging” video she did for YouTube, the star broke down her skin care routine and expressed her admiration for the powerhouse hydrating ingredient. “I like that it’s super moisturizing, I just like serums, I think it definitely works for me,” she said while holding up a bottle of the Pure Hyaluronic Acid Serum by Cosmedica. She’s not wrong, as Hyaluronic Acid holds up to 1,000 times its weight in water to flood your face with moisture - smoothing out complexion, adding a brightness boost, and providing intense hydration that’s absorbed easily into the skin with a serum. Your skin deserves a little love as you’re producing your best drag makeup looks like Violet Chachki, and that’s exactly what you’ll get with Hyaluronic Acid. Along with more Violet favorites like Retinol, face masks, and eye cream!
If there’s one thing to know about Violet Chachki, it’s that she’s obsessed with Pat McGrath, A.K.A. Mother. The drag star had McGrath’s work plastered all over her bedroom walls growing up, and really came full circle when she became a Pat McGrath muse and starred in the makeup maven’s Sublime Perfection foundation campaign. Along with launching a solo tour called “A Lot More Me,” sponsored by her idol. That’s the dream. These days, Chachki considers McGrath a friend and continues to talk up the entire Pat McGrath Labs collection in her beauty tutorials, and the feelings of admiration are mutual. “Violet is a fabulously disruptive style icon who’s distorting the gender binary,” McGrath told Vogue about casting Chachki in her inclusivity-driven foundation campaign. “Violet embodies the epitome of vixenish vintage glamour with her velvety skin and beguiling burlesque aesthetic.” Can you imagine getting a compliment like that from your childhood hero? Choose all your favorites from the Pat McGrath Labs collection to create Violet’s everyday (she has them, really) and glamorous makeup looks.
We know what you may be thinking, “primer is a makeup tip? Groundbreaking.” But hear us out. It’s no secret that the drag world has produced the most incredible beauty and glam makeup lessons - many of them designed to keep stage makeup in place underneath the hot lights. Baking, anyone? When you’re onstage every night like Violet Chachki - modeling, doing burlesque, or telling stories about the times RuPaul insulted your outfit… you need the right primer to lock your makeup into place without the risk of smudging or sweating it off. If you really like to layer it on like Violet, a mattifying primer like the Prep + Prime Skin mist by MAC will produce a smooth and shine-free complexion - keeping your makeup looking fresh without a sweat drop in sight. We all know that MAC knows stage makeup, as the brand has been a favorite in the drag world for over two decades… and now may be the time to swap out your current primer for this long-lasting, pore-minimizing setting mist. It’s Violet Chachki approved!
Violet is all about the cut crease - an influencer-approved eyeshadow look that consists of defining your eyes by “cutting” across the crease with a contrasting eyeshadow color and minimal blending. But like everything that Violet Chachki does, her technique is more innovative and a little extra. Since she has hooded eyes, her trick is creating more “eyeshadow real estate” through a few simple techniques. First, she “blocks” her brows by gliding over them with a glue stick, and covering them up with setting powder. And what happens next is pretty insane. "I do my eyeliner. I just cover my entire natural lid with eyeliner, up to my crease. Then I go in under my brow bone and draw in a new crease,” she told Allure about her cut crease routine. “You have to play with shadow to create the illusion of a new eye shape. Underneath the crease I've drawn, I use a pearlescent cream eyeshadow that really catches the light,” she continued. Finally, the grand finale. “Above the drawn-on crease I do an ombré black-to-gray with eyeshadow, just like how the shadow on a real eyelid would look." Violet Chachki calls this cut crease a “big drag trick,” and it certainly takes a lot of time and precision to pull off. But we believe in you, and so does she! Try another Pat McGrath favorite, the Mothership II Eyeshadow Palette – Sublime, to work your makeup magic and create a whole new eye crease like Violet Chachki.
Violet Chachki loves her makeup, and you can find all of her faves on MIRA.