"Drag is an expensive career/hobby, so a big thing is affordability. My first fashion was the formal wear my sister left in her closet when she moved away. Luckily, I fit in her size. I love thrift shopping, and you can find some great treasures if you really try. My favourites are VV Boutique (Value Village) and Goodwill."
"I style my own wigs for the most part. Right now I'm wearing three. I have a short wig on the bottom, a bump at the back of my hair that I pin in and then a nice fall of hair that blends in with the base hair. The result looks like I have a shaved side and all this length. It's called stacking wigs."
"The internet has been my best friend. I've learned hair and makeup techniques by watching different YouTube videos and trying them out. When I first started out I learned a lot from a wonderful queen called Blanche Babcock who does video tutorials on YouTube (youtube.com/user/blanchebabcock)."
"I buy Kryolan TV Paint Sticks, thick foundation that's used for stage makeup, from the Complections Store (110 Lombard, 416-968-6739, complectionsmake-up.com). The most important thing is your base. You need a really thick foundation. The old drag queen saying that Covergirl doesn't cover boy is very true."
"I've learned to carve my own hip pads out of foam via YouTube tutorials. I've gotten away with crafting them from foam I bought at Walmart (900 Dufferin, 416-537-2561, and others, walmart.ca). Then I go to my father's house to use his really sharp kitchen knives. I hear an electric turkey knife's actually best for carving hip pads, but I haven't been able to get my hands on one."
"We all wear three or four layers of tights to cover and conceal the lines from our hip pads. It's hard finding the right shade sometimes, so l like to layer darker and lighter tights to even out the skin tone. Right now I'm wearing deep beige with very light pink on top. Capezio is a great dance tight brand, or whatever's on sale at Malabar."
"This wig was made by my drag mother [an experienced queen who takes you in and teaches you about the craft]. It's three or four wigs stitched together, and a big task to even put on because it's not a traditional wig and I have very little hair. I make a band around my head with pieces of elastic and then bobby-pin the wig to the band."
"I've been going to this hair store called Cloré Beauty Supply (1126 Bloor West, 416-588-2800, and others, clorebeauty.com). A lot of queens go there. It's more of a black hair store, but it's got tons and tons of wigs, hair and products. I go to the costume stores as well, but the quality can vary."
"Cloré has a great line of ethnic makeup called Black Opal. I only use their products for my foundation and powder. The coverage is really good, and you can find your shade, which can be hard for black girls. For eyeshadow, I swear by Ben Nye, which you can buy at Malabar (14 McCaul, 416-598-2581, malabar.net)."
"When you perform, you don't wear what an ordinary girl would wear. Also, I'm a big girl, so I can't just go to the plus-size section at Forever 21. Most of my stuff is either made by my drag mother, or I shop from other queens. One favourite store is Axiom Ladies Boutique (592 Yonge, 416-598-9393); a lot of queens shop there. It's supposed to be a regular women's store, but the fashion is just so eccentric and great for the stage."
"Shoes are a big challenge because I'm a thick guy and my feet are a women's size 14. There is no regular shoe store that carries that size, but luckily there's Kleen Air Dancing Shoes (513 Yonge, 416-966-2097), which carries up to size 16. The boots I'm wearing right now are 16s because I'll be doing so much dancing during Pride. Though a queen with size 10 feet can go to a normal store and drop $50, a 16 from Kleen Air runs me over $200."
"Boobs, for me, can be made of anything. There was a time when I stuffed my bra with my own boxers. My boobs right now are fabric. I cut old tights and stuff them with soft velvet, roll them, then put another layer of tights around them and put them in a tight bra."
Alisha Van Horne
"A good corset can make any outfit work. I wear corsets under my garments to suck me in and give more of an hourglass shape, as well as hide lines from undergarments and pads. I've had a lot of my corsets made by Dwayne Collins at DeLish (2116 Queen East, unit G, 416-698-6784, delishclothing.com)."
"For wigs, Mikah Styles (mikahstyleswigworld.com) knows his stuff. Just because someone is a hairstylist doesn't mean they know how to work with wigs - that's a big misconception. It's about finding the balance between looking real but still being over-the-top. It's also about knowing how to combine wigs with textures - it's very easy to fry them, or they might not hold their styles."
"I'm a big Make Up For Ever girl. I love their pan sticks and concealers. Makeup preference depends on what you grow up with in the drag world. Make Up For Ever is what my first drag mother, Nicolette Brown, used. Ben Nye also has a lot of great pots for different powders and shadows, and, of course, MAC is the go-to for lips."
"You're better off using foundation more geared toward theatre than what a traditional woman might wear. Facial hair and the beard line are the two biggest things to cover up, so I use two different pan sticks, one that's flesh tone and one that's pure white, and blend them for my highlight zone. Then it's all about having a really good loose powder and just beating that. When you hear queens talking about beating our faces in, we're literally beating our faces with a powder puff."
"I order my jewellery from another performer, Nova Starr, who runs Fierce Drag Jewels (fiercedragjewels.com). She makes the drag sets for Drag Race and Miss Canada Ultimate. She knows what she's doing, knows colours and is one of the very few jewellers certified to use Swarovski."
"When I'm doing pageants or shows, I order my nails from Pinky's Nails (688 Richmond West, 647-787-9521, pinkysnailsto.com). They custom-design everything and sell the best queen-size press-ons, so you don't have to wear them for everyday life."
"I'm wearing a breastplate that's made by Boobs for Queens (boobsforqueens.com). It does up around my neck, and I can wear things that are low-cut. You just have to powder it down and try to get it as close to your complexion as possible. When I'm wearing something that doesn't require that, I use shoulder pads. Another good thing that works well is getting pantyhose and filling them with rice."