A version of this story originally appeared on the Strategist U.S.
If you’re like us, you’ve probably wondered what famous people add to their carts. Not the JAR brooch and Louis XV chair, but the stain remover pen and the tongue cleaner. We asked drag queen Shangela Laquifa Wadley — a star of HBO’s We’re Here and a RuPaul’s Drag Race alum — about the foundation, deodorant, and razors she can’t live without.
Out of drag, J.J. Malibu is one of my favorite brands of swimwear. They have a fun selection if you want to be vibrant while you’re poolside. I’ve always been a mid-thigh kind of diva, but every now and then you’ll catch me being bikini fish. I have all the styles. These shorts from their Pride collection are my favorite right now — I can’t wait to put them on. It’s Pride season, and you’ve got to find little ways to celebrate whenever you can. [Editor’s note: Shipping and taxes are not included in this price.]
I’ve used Capezio tights my entire drag career. They are a little jewel that divas before me passed down. Like, “Okay sis, you’re getting in drag tonight? You’re going to need these Capezio tights — wear three pairs plus a pair of fishnets on top and you’ll be good.” I’m a padded queen — I like to give the illusion of an hourglass shape because I don’t have those natural hips. In order to shield pads from showing, drag queens, myself included, have always worn Capezio tights. They’re the most durable.
Dermablend Cover Creme Full Coverage Foundation in golden bronze is my base. I mix other colours in there to contour and stuff, but baby, you can’t start without the base. They call it foundation for a reason. I am a man pulling off a transformation and I don’t want my darker hair, mustache, and goatee shading to come through the makeup. A single application of Dermablend has lasted more than ten hours; it’s such a nice, thick coverage. I have fallen in a pool, gotten out, and continued shooting without needing to reapply.
I’m wearing a pair right now. These sneakers come in really cool colors and styles, but they’re also very comfortable. I have red ones, neon-yellow ones, gray ones, and a pair that’s like a mauve-pink colour. I just love them. I’ve been working out to try to keep off the Quarantine 15; I ordered a treadmill from Amazon and put it in my grandmother’s garage in Paris, Texas. My mom put it together for me, and I have been running, honey — at least three miles a day.
These are another thing that I’ve used from the beginning of my ten-year drag career. I’ve probably paid for a new Neutrogena building with all the wipes that I’ve purchased. They don’t irritate the skin — you can use them around your eyes and they won’t irritate your eyes. And they take off a good amount of makeup in just one wipe, at least in my experience.
My career takes me to so many different climates, so my skin goes through a lot. In order to keep it really smooth and soft-feeling, I love a thick body cream. I had never seen a lotion with eczema relief in the name before I bought this, but I figured if it’s good enough for people who use it for eczema, then it’s definitely good enough for me. It’s like this oatmeal skin protectant that’s so moisturizing to my entire body. Girl, I feel like butter.
A candle can change the whole ambience of a room. My favorite is for sure this Jo Malone English Pear and Freesia scent. I love to have a candle burning right at the start of my makeup routine. Doing makeup is a two-hour process for me, and I like to be calm. A candle burning just sets the scene. I get into drag right after a shower: I’m in my robe, I sit down at my makeup table, then, boom, there’s my candle. Time to get glam.
Not just from the beginning of my drag career, honey — I’ve worn this deodorant from the beginning of my life, I think. If I’m going to be doing a ten-minute Beyoncé medley, then I need to put this on. I may dance like a lady, but I definitely sweat like a man. But not if I put this on. It’s strong and smells good, too.
Lady Gaga and makeup artist Sarah Tanno-Stewart did a brilliant job in creating this line. The black liquid liner is definitely one of my favorite products. When you’re looking to draw the perfect wingtip, you need a really thin brush in order to be very precise with your art and detailing. This particular liner has enough black pigment in it that the black stays on. You can see that it has a strong black colour, but it also gives you that fine line to create and really draw with.
These days, I can’t get in drag without this. It comes in this little silver tube and when I put any kind of coloured eye shadow on after applying it, the colour pops so well that you can clock my eye paint from the back row. Being a lady of colour, sometimes makeup likes to soak into my skin. So if I want the colour to really stand out and pop, it’s important to put a base on so that the makeup has something to lay on top of.
Honey, you wouldn’t have a Shangela without a Mach 3. These razors are something I swear by because they have three blades that are very good for shaving off my mustache and goatee, but don’t leave my skin ripped apart. They leave me with a very smooth surface to paint on top of. I like to use them with the Skintimate Skin Therapy Moisturizing Shave Gel. That with a Mach 3 razor — honey, you’d think I was 16 again.
All bottled water does not taste the same, and I love the natural taste of Fiji. It’s crisp and cool and sometimes it feels like it even gives me more energy. It’s in my rider — my rider actually only has two snacks: Fiji water and SkinnyPop popcorn.
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