For many, drag brings out the best in them – confidence, passion, and creativity. Today’s feature is about a very talented Adore Delano fan from Sweden, who keeps coming up with gorgeous and perfectly executed looks based on Adore’s latest album ‘Whatever’. We sat down with Elsa for a chat about the impact of drag and how to follow your passion for makeup.
DA: How did you get into the drag scene and how has drag impacted your life?
Elsa: Everything started almost 3 years ago, I haven’t always been into makeup, I rarely used it. I remember being bored one night, found RuPaul’s Drag Race S6 on YouTube. Started watching it and got really fascinated how they painted their faces, one thing led to another and I ended up following Adore Delano on Twitter (laughs), and from there I found more queens I found interesting and enjoyable. I saw fans recreating looks of their favourite queens and it inspired me to try too, everything just went uphill from there.
Drag has definitely changed my life forever. Before I discovered drag I was this straight girl with no interests, I had no passion, no style, I was afraid to stand out or talk about what I believed in. Now I’m this colourful non-binary pansexual human with so much passion and creativity I didn’t know I had in me. Doing a makeup look is a way for me to disappear from reality for a second and just play around with fun colours, I’m never more confident than I am when I’m in drag.
Drag has just made me more confident within myself in general, I think it shows with how I dress myself nowadays which makes me happy. I’m not afraid to stand out anymore. Ever since I was a child I was super shy, drag helped me to step outside that box and let my wings out. Drag just makes me super happy and it’s changed me for the better 100%.
DA: How is the local drag scene where you live? Could you recommend some fierce local queens to us?
Elsa: It’s not good where I live, unfortunately, I live in a small town where everyone is not as open mined as I wish they were. So I don’t think we have any queens who perform here in växjö, but I do know we have some who perform in Stockholm. @babsan58 is a queen I used to watch on a kids show when I was a kid and she’s amazing and the sweetest human ever.
Another amazing queen I got the opportunity to see on pride was @admirathunderpussy and she’s a sick performer. Other queens who mostly perform in Stockholm are @connybackstorm @christerlindarw and @elecktracm (all on Instagram).
DA: Who’s your favourite queen and why?
Elsa: I look up to so many queens for different reasons. But the one who stole my heart is Adore Delano. For some reason, I’ve always struggled with putting into words why they mean so much to me but I’m gonna try. Like I said before I was grey, sad and alone. Adore helped me find my colours, colours I felt comfortable in and confident in, which I’m so grateful for. They took me out of a dark room to try my wings and now I’m flying all by myself. I can’t count on my fingers how many times they’ve saved me from terrible situations, it could’ve been from just listening to their music or watch an old live stream.
The way they express themselves, how they play around with gender and break the gender norm, how they’re never afraid to be themselves, the way they express themselves through words, clothes, art, music. Just doing what the fuck they want is super inspirational to me and it changed me as a person. It made me question who I was as a person, I started playing around with different pronouns, I found out I was far away from being a girl, I was non-binary.
When I was a kid I never went outside the lines, I tried to fit in so hard but Adore helped me to blur that line within myself. Now I don’t give a single fuck and it feels so good!! I don’t swallow my opinions and thoughts anymore, I spit them out I yell them out I scream them out. Which led to me standing up for myself more and stay true to myself. They taught me it’s okay not to be perfect and it’s okay to go outside those lines! To break the norm and it’s okay not to fit in. To embrace my queerness not apologising about it. They restored a spark in me I didn’t know I had, a desire to live for the fullest while doing what I love doing. They basically helped me to find my purpose and it’s because of that purpose that I am here today.
I’m taking more care of my mind, I’m not as hard on myself like I used to be. Also, I’ve been introduced to some cool fucking people because of Adore who I love and admire with my whole ass heart. To sum this up, Adore is the reason I’m here. That’s why they’re my favourite person.
DA: You create stunning make-up looks, especially inspired by Adore Delano’s latest music video for ’27 club’. How do you come up with the concept and how long does a look take you to do on average?
Elsa: Thank you! It’s actually very random how I come up with these looks, sometimes I get inspired by other people and try to recreate it in my own style, sometimes I dream about a look and when I wake up the next day I try to recreate what I had in my head (laughs). Honestly, anything and everything inspires me, it could be anything from a bobby pin to a flower to a butterfly. I get inspired by colours, humans, emotions especially. Hmm from 1 hour to 4 hours, it depends.
DA: How long had you been experimenting with makeup looks to progress to such a fantastic level of creativeness?
Elsa: When I was younger, of course, I put on some lipgloss or mascara on here and there but serious makeup I started almost 3 years ago now.
DA: Out of all the stunning looks what is your absolute favourite and was it difficult to do?
Elsa: I think my favourite one of my most recent ones, I just love how much passion I put into it and how proud I felt of myself after the outcome. The makeup wasn’t too difficult, even tho one of the tears kept poking me in the eye whenever I looked down, It was more the headpiece who tried it with me (laughs)
DA: Adore has quite the musical catalogue, which of her songs are your favourites?
Elsa: Ohhhhhhh this is such a hard question!!!! I’m such a fan of her music but I must say My Adress is Hollywood will always be my favourite, it has some good memories behind it as well.
DA: If you had to choose one out of all three Adore albums to create looks of forever which album would you choose and why?
Elsa: Another hard question!! Even though I’ve already recreated some songs of this album, I think I’d have to go with Whatever. I just really really love the songs and all of them are so different from her old albums. The meaning behind them inspires me a lot and I relate to some of them as well.
DA: What three staple makeup products could you not live without?
Elsa: Probably eyeliner any kind of lipstick and eyeshadow.
DA: Advice for anyone who thinks they aren’t very good at makeup looks or confident with makeup in particular?
Elsa: Keep trying and believing in yourself!!! When I started, my looks looked like actual shit and I was so close to giving up, I just didn’t think I was good enough and I didn’t understand the techniques. But I kept trying and now I’ve improved so much. I feel like everyone says this but look up makeup looks on YouTube! It helped me so much and it made me understand what works together and how to use stuff the best way possible. Also just try it out, you won’t get any better by not trying.
Makeup isn’t made to look perfect, it doesn’t have to be perfect. It’s also not that serious, we’re all here to just have a good time and play with colours and glitter. YOU CAN DO IT!
Some YouTubers who helped me a lot is @ itslikelymakeup and Lucy Garland on YouTube.
DA: What drag queens do you look up to for inspiration be it through looks or just general life attitude?
DA: Has there been a ‘starstruck moment” when a queen reacted to your looks?
Elsa: I mostly always recreate Adore’s looks and when she sees any of them I get super happy and grateful. But I think In the beginning I always got super star struck when she noticed little me.
DA: What do you do in your off-drag life?
Elsa: (laughs) hmmm… I don’t do much honestly. I mostly just draw or paint, redecorate my room when I get bored of it. Annoy my cat because I want to cuddle him all the time. I eat pancakes a lot, I dress myself up to see what works together. I go out and photograph different things in my garden.
DA: What would be your future goals to achieve with your artistry?
Elsa: This is hard. I would love to work with something creative in the future, something I love doing. Something who includes makeup. I would love to put makeup on other people and photograph them in different environments. And also to perform! To perform in drag is something I think would be super cool and it’s definitely something i want to try out!