A Vegan Drag Queen’s Guide To Cruelty-Free Glamour

I’ve been a vegan for over a decade and I’m a full-time drag queen, so LISTEN UP!

Fay Ludes
Fay Ludes
Aug 9 · 3 min read
Photo: Jeremiah Corder

These days, a new beauty guru pops up daily with promises of THE BEST reviews of every product under the sun. Who knows more about makeup than a drag queen though? Well, I think I must might! Not only do I work as a full time drag queen, I’m also a licensed esthetician since 2001, a former international makeup artist and beauty blogger, as well as vegan for well over a decade.

Take it from me, drag queens are hotter than ever and we certainly know how to look glamorous from day until night. Whether you’re a drag performer or just a makeup lover who wants the best products to beat your mug; here’s the tea, sis!

A primer is an essential way to prep your face for makeup, especially when you’re sweating in the club until 2am. Youngblood is a silicone based mineral product that smooths out pores and wrinkles, takes down the shine, plus keeps your makeup looking fresh longer. I’d never apply makeup without it!

Whether you want a bold eye look or something softer, Juvia’s Place has rich, pigmented eyeshadow palettes at affordable prices. I own a gaggle of palettes, but reach for the Zulu and the Mini Magic palettes regularly. Did I mention you’ll be supporting a cruelty free company owned by a woman of color? WERK!

Gone are the days of sponge applicators and dirty fingers; to get a flawless application, you need a good set of brushes! Furless Cosmetics is a vegan company with brush sets for every budget. If you invest in a great set, you’ll have them for ages; I’ve had mine for over a decade and they’re still slaying!

Moisturizer is life and my skin is parched after a night of sweating on stage, especially in the winter! First Aid Beauty repair cream is the only thing I’ve found that keeps my hands from cracking while not being too heavy. I haven’t personally used it on my face, but I’ve heard fantastic things from friends with dry flaky patches. It’s not cheap, but a little bit goes a long way!

Photo: Guys and Queens

Anastasia Beverly Hills broke on to the scene by sponsoring RuPaul’s Drag Race and damn, I’m glad they exist! A drag queen is nothing without highlighter and contour; ABH is my go-to for both of these products. Their palettes are gorgeous and can even be found in discount shops like TJ Maxx sometimes!

One thing you’ll always find in my makeup bag is products from Sugarpill Cosmetics. I wear so much of it, it’s hard to pick just one thing! Their black and white shadows (Bulletproof & Tako) are the industry standard for drag performers. I also use their loose pigments for shimmery looks, liquid lipstick for the most pigmented lips in the game, and I never go without their Porcelain lashes under my eyes! Their vegan products are clearly marked and they’re actively creating new vegan products regularly.

Sometimes you just have to draw on your face; whether that’s exaggerating your lips, creating a cat eye, or drawing on a fierce eyebrow. Many pencils have beeswax in them, but Morphe Brushes has a super emollient formula that leaves the bees out of the equation! Their pencils are interchangeable on the eyes and lips, plus they’re only $4; I’m gagged, girl. Did I mention they make an amazing beauty blender too?!

A new product in my regular rotation is by Revolution Pro, a company based out of England, that is also popping up stateside. Their lip palette has a massive range of fantastic colors, so I never have to worry about my lips looking right with my outfits, especially when I do a quick change. They mark their vegan products and are so inexpensive, I was shocked by the great quality. You’ll find them in select stores, including Ulta.

Now you have a peek at what’s in my regular beauty rotation, so henny, let’s get sickeningggggg!


A friendly + radical vegan magazine dedicated to living well with kindness towards animals, care for the planet, and justice for all.

Fay Ludes

Written by

Fay Ludes

Chicago’s orange haired psychedelic drag clown.



A friendly + radical vegan magazine dedicated to living well with kindness towards animals, care for the planet, and justice for all.

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