RuPaul’s Drag Race UK Blu Hydrangea demonstrates how to apply stunning illusion makeup

Jayne Cherrington-Cook
·4 min read

Watch: Blu Hydrangea create a step-by-step illusion makeup look

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As the undisputed ‘look’ queen from RuPaul’s Drag Race UK, Blu Hydrangea knows a thing or two about makeup.

In an episode of Reality Check, she opened up about her love of makeup and how, as a teen, she would hide in her bathroom creating looks.

“I used to hide in my bathroom with a Sharpie pen and map out where I wanted my drag face to eventually be,” she admitted.

Read more: RuPaul’s Drag Race UK reveals plans for ‘even bigger’ second series

Hydrangea loves to get inspiration for her looks from everywhere and this particular tutorial focuses on a big-eyed makeup look inspire by Magna artist, Makoto Takahashi.

“He's very popular for his manga and his artwork is so soft and gorgeous,” she says.

If you feel inspired to jazz up your everyday look – or perhaps fancy a new look for your next Zoom call – here’s a step-by-step guide to getting the ultimate drag look.

Step one: Prep

Skin prep is key for any drag look and unfortunately for Hydrangea, that includes a shave!

“I started by shaving, which is my least favourite part,” admits Hydrangea. “It always hurts me and brings me out in a rash, but it is part of the beauty process!”

Read more: This eyeliner will give you a perfect winged outline every single time

You also need to ‘block’ out your eyebrows, which Hydrangea recommends using purple glue for! As it dries, it goes clear, so you know you’re safe to apply makeup.

Step two: Moisturise

Applying moisturiser before your makeup does two things. First it makes skin nice and smooth, so makeup goes on easily. If you apply makeup on dry skin, it go all cakey. Secondly, hydrating your skin will make it – and the makeup – look less dull.

Hydrangea then recommends using a primer, which fills in the pores, to create a super smooth base.

Buy it: Superdrug Collection Pore Minimiser Primer | £4.99 from Superdrug

Superdrug Collection Pore Minimiser Primer
Superdrug Collection Pore Minimiser Primer

Step three: Apply your base

For this cartoon-inspired look, Hydrangea is using a yellow foundation. The next step is to add some contouring.

“With illusion makeup, it is all about depth, highlights and shadows,” explains Hydrangea.

For this, she uses a variety of contouring creams. Use darker shades creams to define and shade the areas of your face and lighter ones to add highlights. Once you’re happy with how it all looks, powder it well with some translucent powder.

Buy it: Sleek MakeUP Cream Contour Kit | £8.25 (Was £10.99) from Amazon

Sleek MakeUP Cream Contour Kit
Sleek MakeUP Cream Contour Kit

Step four: Create the eye

Hydrangea uses a white cream in the eye area to create the circular eye. While this is the most technical bit of the look, she urges everyone to have fun!

“Enjoy this part because although this is the technical part, as long as you're having fun, that's all that matters - and it will be fabulous!” she says.

Read more: The best products to use for dry skin

Once the eye area is filled in, outline with a black eyeliner pen and add some lower, cartoony lashes. Hydrangea has a top tip on applying the more intricate makeup.

She says: “Just always be very confident with your strokes. That will make them look more precise because you're going in there with confidence.”

Once done, then add blue eyeshadow to create the look of an eye.

Buy it: NARS Eyeliner Stylo | £18.70 (Was £22) from John Lewis & Partners

NARS Eyeliner Stylo
NARS Eyeliner Stylo

Step five: Add the finishing touches

Hydrangea adds a pop of pink lipstick, which she buffs with a little eyeshadow brush after applying to make it look nice and soft.

With a white pen, she adds some cartoony highlights around the lips and eyes. Then it’s time to get crafty! Hydrangea cuts out some little cute, cartoony shapes out of cardboard and sticks them, along with cardboard eyelashes, on to the eyes for that ultimate anime look!

“I hope this inspires you to go out, be creative, be bold, be you and create some incredible illusion makeups,” encourages Hydrangea!

Watch: How to tell your parents you want to wear makeup