Art doll

Nicky Doll from Beauty Hacks Drag Race swears by

Image source: Getty / Pascal Le Segretain

Kim Kardashian may have said no one wants to work these days, but that’s not true for a group of drag performers whose day (and night) jobs require them to be always on the go. Drag, a pandemic-tested illusionist art form, pushes the boundaries of beauty and entertainment. Think: contouring on the go, securing wigs with Spirit gum and a prayer, and practically doing gymnastics in heels. And now, thanks to platforms like “RuPaul’s Drag Race” and TikTok, it’s easier than ever to get to grips with the tools of the trade.

One such viral hack recently inspired a campaign in which French drag queen Nicky Doll becomes the unexpected spokesperson for pain relief. Dubbed AsperQueens, on behalf of Aspercreme, the campaign aims to encourage heel lovers everywhere to spray their feet with the brand’s lidocaine ointment to relieve stress on their feet. The ‘Drag Race France’ host admits to using the solution between performances, but also claims to have been an avid user of the brand throughout her career.

“Aspercreme reached out because they know drag queens probably have more heels than anyone else on the planet,” Doll told POPSUGAR. “The more I started using the product myself, the more I realized how amazing it was. It’s not just about pain relief, it’s so much more than that.”

It’s true: the art of drag is actually more like a sport. Although it’s an avenue of entertainment and community, getting in and out of drag is something of a marathon – from makeup to wig putting on to tucking and more. Any “RPDR” fan already knows that it takes hours to prepare. Doll is no stranger to sore feet, which made her a shoe for the National Concert, but she also uses Aspercreme for other parts of her body. “I used [it] for different parts of my body, like my shoulders and other muscles. Now I actually use it between songs. When I do a gig where I do two or three songs, I go backstage between songs and use it for my next numbers.”

She adds that her best tip for strutting in high shoes, if you’re really trying to minimize pain when wearing heels, is to go for a platform over a stiletto. “They give the illusion of a high heel but your foot isn’t that high,” she says. “It helps me get through the night easier.” (That, and to make sure you step on the ball of your foot when playing against the heel.)

tmp_nxts9z_c4b7423056ba2169_1425696661.jpgImage source: Courtesy of Aspercreme

Still, that’s not the only Doll-approved beauty hack that Doll has learned along the way. Other tips include nose contouring and how to choose the perfect combination of foundation and concealer, but she says the ones really worth sharing aren’t backed by science: “Believe Me: I’ve seen girls use deodorant sticks on their mustaches to clog their pores so their upper lips don’t sweat.”

His most important talent for catching an even stone is color correction. “As a Frenchman of Spanish descent, I have a strong moustache, so I have to correct the color before applying foundation. Then I set it with loose powder so it really locks in the correction color before foundation.”

She also shared her thoughts on following the contouring craze not sparked by the Kardashians, but started in the drag world: “I know a lot of people are self-conscious about their bodies, so there’s a leg and body foundation from Dermablend which I actually use for my face and body. And it’s waterproof! In areas where you might have varicose veins or something you might find unsightly, just cover it up. Body contouring isn’t mainstream yet, but I think people should embrace it.”

“I need to feel like I deserve the title of drag queen. If there’s no discomfort, where’s the fantasy?”

There’s a lot to be said for why we continue to sacrifice comfort for beauty, subjecting ourselves to the pain of heels and cosmetic procedures, etc., but Doll’s perspective reaffirms a dominant view of Why behind, well, pretty much anything. If an athlete continues to push themselves beyond their limits, proving again and again why they are a force to be reckoned with, so do artists and performers like Doll.

“As a drag queen, I may not be the best spokesperson for ‘just being yourself’ or wearing flats, but I need to feel a little pain to feel the fantasy. I need to feel like I’m earning the title of a drag queen. If there’s no discomfort, where’s the fantasy?”