Makeup is a powerful tool when used correctly, it can be used to boost peoples confidence, complete an outfit or make you look Trixie Mattel or Violet Chacki. Incredible artist Abby Roberts who at the age of 16, can transform into best-loved drag queens. Starting out with Valentina, this young lady has built her way to being noticed by the very queens who she transforms into.
Being part of the social media generation everyone has been able to see the incredible work put into creating these jaw-dropping images. We grab a chat with Abby to talk about drag, her channels and how you too can have fun with makeup.
DA: Can you tell us a little about yourself? How did you get into drag and what made you come up with the idea of transforming yourself into your favourite queens?
Abby: I’m a 16-year-old makeup fanatic from England! Being so young this meant that I was part of the generation that grew up on drag race, so drag has been something that was ever-present in my life. I’ve always loved makeup from a young age, and drag makeup has always been something that I’ve drawn inspiration from. I came up with the idea of transforming into my favourite queens mid last year (the first one being Valentina – it was my first time in drag so it wasn’t the best!) because I was so in love with them. In the beginning, this was just me experimenting with the idea of transformation, but as of late my involvement in the drag world has grown drastically and so I decided to get more seriously involved in creating more accurate transformations incorporating my favourite queens’ looks.
Valentina – my first transformation and in drag and the latest transformation as Hungry:
DA: Your drag transformations are absolutely amazing and have even been recognised by some iconic queens aka Trixie Mattel and Aquaria, how does it feel to have them love your work?
A: Thank you very much! Of course, it feels incredible, having looked up to these people for so long it feels extremely surreal to have them know who I am and appreciate my work.
DA: Which queens do you feel in particular inspire your makeup looks, and how do you choose a certain look done by the said queen?
A: I think Aquaria would have to be my number one inspiration, I’ve been following her on Instagram for years and her looks are so one of a kind and so well executed I am always amazed by her creations. Another queen I am inspired by is Miss Fame, her technical skill is just unmatched. But I do find myself inspired by all queens really, I enjoy learning new techniques from each person to find what works best for me. I choose the looks I’m going to do by either choosing an iconic, recognisable look (eg Trixie) so that people can easily identify that queen, or if the makeup look inspires me I just have an urge to recreate it (eg Aquaria).
DA: Our favourite transformation you’ve done is Trixie Mattel and Aquaria, how do you come up with the concept?
A: For each of these the process was different – for queens with iconic catchphrases/poses (eg Trixie’s ‘Oh Honey’) I try to incorporate these into the look somehow; for example painting the honeycomb on my face, whereas queens who focus on looks such as Aquaria I just try to replicate the look as accurately as possible by creating props to match.
DA: What’s your process when doing a transformation and how long does it take you on average? Do you have a favorite step/least favorite step when doing your make-up?
A: First I try to collate as much photo/video content showing the look so that I can get a view from all angles, I try to find tutorials to learn about the queens’ techniques. Depending on the look, they usually take me anywhere from 3-6 hours to complete but if I have to make props it can soon become a full day project. My favourite step is definitely eyes I really enjoy doing a colourful shadow or graphic liner, and my least favourite is brows, I mess them up all the time (laughs)
DA: Could you define a top 3 of looks you’ve done?
A: Out of my drag looks my Miz Cracker, Violet Chachki and Trixie Mattel transformations were all certainly the most well-received online, so I’d have to say those!
DA: What advice would you give to beginners who want to experiment more with creating looks? Do you have a top 3 of make-up products you couldn’t live without?
A: Definitely don’t be afraid of experimenting with different colours, techniques, and styles of makeup! I feel like I shied away from those things in the beginning as they scared me, but in hindsight, it prevented me from growing as an artist. I really recommend watching YouTube tutorials whenever you’re looking to learn something new. My top 3 makeup products (especially for drag) are; Kryolan TV paint stick, Anastasia Beverly Hills eyeshadows (for neutrals), and Sugarpill eyeshadows (for colours)!
DA: How did you get started in experimenting with make up? Has it been a passion from a young age?
A: I began experimenting with makeup through doing it at Halloween as a kid, and I’ve always had an artistic flair so soon I was doing my whole family’s Halloween makeup! Makeup became more of a passion of mine when I discovered makeup tutorials on YouTube which I would binge for hours on end, when I was 11 years old I started my very own YouTube channel where I have been posting my makeup tutorials ever since.
DA: What would you love to happen in the future regarding the transformations you do?
A: Gosh, I haven’t even thought about that yet! Of course, I’d love to continue doing the transformations on Instagram right now; I have a bunch of my favorite queens still lined up to do. One thing I’m looking forward to doing is meeting Miz Cracker and Aquaria this August on their ‘10s Across The Board’ tour where I plan on showing them my transformations into them, I can’t wait to see their reactions! Aside from that I’ll just keep doing my thing and see where it takes me (laughs)