Never Let ‘Em See You Sweat

Tricks to keeping a queen's makeup looking fresh. By Robert "Sandy Beach" Hitchen

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Being an award-winning entertainer, I’m often asked to perform in some of the hottest venues possible – temperature hot, that is, as in Penn’s Landing…on gay Pride…this weekend, hot. And I am often asked how I keep my glamorous makeup from sweating off in 90-degree heat like a nervous virgin at an orgy. It’s easier than you think. Here are some tips for all the queens out there:

First step: Apply antiperspirant to your forehead and temples. I use Old Spice All-Sport Clear. They don’t show this sort of thing on the TV commercials, do they?

Second step: Apply a light foundation. I use Cover Girl because it doesn’t feel heavy and greasy like Sunday dinner at the Old Country Buffet.

Third step: I line my eyes with a pencil because liquid eyeliners tend to run and make you look like the illegitimate spawn of Tammy Faye and Alice Cooper.

Fourth step: Apply the eye shadow of your choice, but please stay away from blue – unless you’ve worked at a diner since the Nixon administration or you’re Dolly Parton.

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To hide those bushy eyebrows, fellas, I use a clown white pencil, then cover them with a highlight color. Just draw your brow over your own brow, but don’t go to too high or you will look like you are A.) in a Scream movie or B.) been Botoxed more than Nicole Kidman’s forehead or C.) just a little too surprised by everything.

For the lips, I use a lip pencil and start with an outline before coloring in the whole lip with pigment. The pencil color stays on even if your lipstick has come off after three too many martinis.

When choosing a lip color, I try to use a water-based lipstick since oil-based sticks tend to not come off and stain the lips, which can be embarrassing when you’re working the late shift at the auto body shop. Just remember to always carry your lipstick in your bra (It’s not like we’re carrying much else in there, right?) as you will be kissing many people (Mwah!) and will have to reapply often.

To keep your lips from sticking to your teeth (yes, it happens) apply a small amount of cold cream or vaseline to your lips and keep the dirty jokes to yourself.

You’ll also want to apply blush, ideally the farthest shade from anything that might be found in the Ringling Brothers clown collection.

False eyelashes should be put on next with a non-allergenic glue. I use Duo surgical adhesive to apply lashes before letting them set for a minute. Just when you think they’re ready, I remove the lashes and apply another coat of glue before reattaching them. This two-step approach will keep your lashes on even if you are working the dunk tank with the gals at Sisters on Sunday.

Finally, this last step is probably the most important if you want to look like anything but wet and wild: To set my makeup, I use an aerosol hairspray, like Aqua Net or some other cheap brand. Spray your finished face with the hairspray – just not up close. Keep the can at least two feet from your face and apply a nice even mist. This, my gays and gals, will set your makeup for sun, sweat and sandy beaches.

But remember to hold your breathe. Like Bill Clinton, do not inhale! Whoever said show business was pretty?

After a long day dragging, I use baby oil to remove the makeup. For stubborn lipstick (yes, this sounds gross) cover your lips in cigarette ash. It will absorb the lipstick oil. You’ll also want to wash your face with warm water and apply a facial mask to pull everything (all the deodorant and hair spray and makeup) out of your pores. And if you break out – I know a terrific dermatologist.

Happy Pride!

Robert “Sandy Beach” Hitchen is a longtime entertainer who also works as a bartender in the Gayborhood.