For Naomi Smalls, the wonder transformation from Davis Heppenstall to the individualized doll that’s Naomi is born from years of experimentation—however all the time with the same vibe in thoughts. “I remember seeing the John Galliano for Dior, I think it was ready-to-wear 2008 collection? Where the models were these like, Barbarellas, big hair, and I think that seeing that really fascinated me,” says Smalls. “She’s like, out of this world, but not like an alien. Like, a glamorous alien. She doesn’t exist. She’s a doll. And that’s what I always want to look like when I use makeup.”
Smalls, who acquired her begin on season eight of Ru Paul’s Drag Race, embraces a go-big-or-go-home strategy to drag—an ethos evidenced in her stage title, a coupling of Naomi Campbell and Biggie Smalls. “I landed on Naomi Smalls because it’s like based off of two people who are just really good at what they do, no one can come for them, and I have always had a gravitation to that unapologetic attitude,” says Smalls, who resides that reality with a powerful 70-step routine tailor-made to her show-stopping preferences. Smalls begins with an important skin-care routine—“It’s really important for me to take care of my skin because I want my skin to look as smooth as it appears when it’s all FaceTuned and Photoshopped and posted to the Gram.”—earlier than donning her first wig cap and getting down to enterprise.
“Makeup is not a game to me. It’s not something that I choose to wear to have fun. Makeup for me is like, how I make my money, and how I express my art,” says Smalls, who begins by drying and gluing sideburns, noting that the artwork of drag “some hardcore punk rock shit.” A set of coloured contacts are an important step for character, as Smalls prefers that nobody is aware of what she’s pondering throughout a efficiency. “I used to only wear like, blonde and blue eyes because I wanted to be the doll, I wanted to be Barbie,” says Smalls, donning brown contacts. “Maybe Barbie’s not made in every single color and every single fashion, but bitch, I’ll be the Black Barbie that I’ve always wanted to be.”
After setting the sting glue, making use of vinyl tape, and placing on one other wig cap, Smalls brushes up her brows and applies Anastasia Beverly Hills DIPBROW Pomade earlier than carving and framing them with a duet of concealers to placing impact. A bevy of painstakingly chosen concealers and foundations are artfully utilized into completely different areas of Smalls’s complexion, layered in realized and perfected patterns and baking in phases for an immaculately blended look. “I’m all about a complexion moment with drag,” says Smalls whereas expertly highlighting, contouring, bronzing, and blushing. “I wasn’t always that way, but I like dimension. I like depth. And I like working from lighter to darker.” Another flip to the forehead (“You will not catch me wearing makeup either in drag or out of drag without the Glossier Boy Brow.”) is adopted by swirls of eyeshadow, liquid liner, and fake lashes, these additional built-in with a pull of liner at their base. Ample mascara (on high and backside lashes) demand stability in a high-impact lip second which is achieved with an ombré MAC Lip Pencil in Chestnut, Sephora Cream Lip Stain Liquid Lipstick in Pretty Auburn, NARS Lipstick in Raw Seduction, and clear and tinted lip glosses.
And lastly: “Naomi, she loves a wig moment.” Another spherical of vinyl setting tape, adopted by wig tape, makes means for a protracted, sky-reaching raven mane, secured and camouflaged with wig glue brushed atop the lace entrance and obscured by powder concealer. “As corny as it sounds to say out loud, confidence really is your best accessory,” says Smalls, who finishes with a flourish of physique shimmer and oil, punctuated by a requisite spritz of fragrance. “So whatever makes you feel like the most confident, hone in on it and own it and customize it to you, because that’s what people are going to be super super super impressed with—seeing something that nobody else has.”