– Hi, Nicky! – Hi, Antoine, how are you? – I’m fine and you? – Great, great, thank you. So, we’re gonna do our makeup together today? Yes, I can’t wait. Even if there are plenty of bearded queens around the world, we’re not going for that look today.
We’re going to do a pretty classic Nicky Doll look and I’m going to show you some of my techniques and tips. – So, let’s go shave and come back? – Sounds good. Ok there we go. Oh, yeah, that’s a real change.
What do you use to moisturize your skin before you start your drag makeup? It’s Weleda, it’s called Skin Food. Oh, yeah, that’s very good. Moisturizing your skin really is the most important part of drag makeup.
If you don’t have well moisturized skin, all the layers you’re going to add will dry out and all the lines will show with all the powders you put on your face. You really have to get a nice smooth canvas.
So, France, it’s France, right? – Yes, France Gaule, exactly. – Very French. When was she born? She was born almost a year ago for the 2019 Pride. One of my best friends works for Amnesty International, and they asked me to come and DJ on their float.
I really wanted to do it in drag. It started like that, that was the very beginning. So, France is a DJ too? Yeah, exactly. Okay, great. For me, Nicky, she was born at the 2009 Gay Pride in Paris. After living in Morocco for seven years, I needed to reveal myself as a young gay man and create that sense of pride.
Because living in a Muslim country when you’re a young gay man is not easy at all. When I came back to France, I really needed to do something extreme. So I decided to wear tights and a wig. Nicky Doll was born.
What do you use to hide your eyebrows? The famous purple glue stick. I tried a slightly stronger glue but I lost a quarter of my eyebrow one day. That’s probably because you didn’t know how to take it off.
So, the purple glue, if I perform, if I dance, it’s hell. So I use Pros-Aide, which is a glue for prosthetics. It’s pretty viscous, quite creamy. So, you apply it and then, once you powder it, it doesn’t move.
You be in drag for 12 hours and you won’t have any problems. What’s annoying, though, is when you come home to remove your makeup. You really need something oil-based. So what I use is sweet almond oil, for example.
You use circular motions to roll the glue off. So how did you become a drag queen? Because you were a makeup artist originally? It’s the other way around, I was a drag queen before I became a makeup artist.
And I thought: “Why don’t I try and get into makeup?” And that’s how I started. And I never stopped. So Nicky Doll started Karl’s career. I love it. Earlier, you were asking me about my beard. I’m using a super dark orange.
Don’t think it’s going to transfer into your foundation. Because orange is still a skin tone that will be neutralized by the pigment in the foundation. And the one I use is called Dragun Beauty, and it’s by the first trans CEO of a cosmetic brand.
So what I usually do is apply it to the areas where I have the most beard, and I blend it like this. And then, what I have left, I apply to my eyebrows. And now, if I apply my foundation, it’ll really cover it all up.
You use pink? Have you ever had any bad surprises with that one? At the end of the night, a little bit. At the end of the evening, for both Nicky and France, it’s time to go home. Absolutely. I know you have a style that mixes in anime.
Do you have any characters who particularly inspired you, or you like? I think I’m a nice person, but when I wear makeup, I always have a cartoon villain’s look. And so every time I do Nicky Doll makeup, I have all the female villains from Final Fantasy, it’s a video game, a Japanese RPG that I love, or Charlize Theron in Snow White, I always have those very powerful female characters, and that’s really the face I’m trying to convey with Nicky Doll.
So what about France? France can be this very haughty bourgeoise, full of principles, and suddenly become a nostalgic heroine. She also has a sense of humour, she tries anyway. That’s great. I really like the reference.
You tip about heating up the Kryolan sticks, there, you see, it’s perfect. It was revolutionary for me at first. I thought “That’s great, I have to do that all the time”, but I found a better solution for sensitive skin, and dry skin: Dermablend Leg and Body.
It’s not officially a foundation for the face, but it’s waterproof and it’s super, super, super supple, it doesn’t dry the skin at all. How long does France usually take to apply makeup? Embarrassingly, it takes about three and a quarter hours.
What? Wow! When I started, I didn’t take long enough. So I went from 40 minutes to an hour, from an hour to an hour and a half. And now, if I really do my best work, it’s two hours, two and a quarter.
The drag scene in France was very different from when I left it in 2009. It exploded, I feel like there’s a new drag queen every two hours in Paris. Yes, I’m part of that. That’s good. I’m glad. It’s great.
You’ve paved the way for a lot of baby drag queens. That must make you happy. It’s a small piece of social history, I think, too, it’s important to change people’s minds. Definitely, I’m really happy to see that nowadays, a drag queen can have paid gigs and opportunities, when it wasn’t always the case, you know.
What do you use to do a well contrasted 3D contouring? What I like to do for contouring and highlighting is to use different shades. I’m not going to use a very dark color all at once, I’m going to use two contouring shades to make a perfect fade.
So I use this stick from Anastasia, the shade is ‘espresso’ for my complexion. It’s a stick that’s quite dark. And then I use another color, which is a little lighter. And so when I use both, it’s going to blend in with the color of my skin.
And I do the exact same thing for the highlight. And also, what I like about the complexion is when I look at my face, I try to look at the more masculine aspects. For example, I know I have a forehead that’s very present.
So I know I need to narrow it down. I also know that I need to widen my cheekbones. So I’m going to lower the hollow of my cheekbones and widen them with my highlighter. And then I’m going to break up my jawline a little bit and slip down my chin and nose.
And so the feminine version of my face comes out. Do you have any advice for me about my contouring right now? I think it’s already great. But, compared to Antoine’s face, the thing I would really try to do.
.. you have a very beautiful man’s chin, so I would really try to make it as slin as possible, and even add some shadow underneath to soften your jaw a little bit. But otherwise, everything else looks great.
Yeah, so really there… Yeah… and then you lift it up there like that. Like this, you leave a triangle. And then you see, right away, your face looks thinner. Yeah, that’s impressive, thank you very much.
You’re welcome. So why did you decide to do Drag Race? I had gotten to a point in New York where I was signed to an agency and as a drag queen, I had all the gigs I wanted, so the next step had to be Drag Race.
And also the fact that you’re living in a country legally, and that there’d never been a French girl in the show and that you’re French, obviously, it got me excited. All of Paris was behind you during the series.
You know, that’s what touched me the most and what I take away from that experience, to really see how proud my country was to see a French drag queen on the show and to have received so much love on a daily basis.
That’s really what touched me the most in all this. Do you have any particular advice about baking? I really go on the highlighted areas to really accentuate the highlight. And then, I just leave it alone.
I do all my eye makeup. That way, at least if I have any fallout, I can take a brush and get it off. Whereas if you’ve already taken it off, your eye shadow will fall on your cheek, and blend in with your foundation.
I’m going to move on to the eyes, well, the eyebrows. I know for example that my eyebrow needs to be above my natural eyebrow. So I go to the arch of my natural eyebrow, and I cover the whole second part, you know.
And by doing that, I know that it’s going to go up to there. Ok let’s go, I’m going to do the same thing. So, the among the other RuPaul girls, have you made any friends, any enemies? Are there nice ones and less nice ones? Look, we’re drag queens, so there are some nice ones, but there are also some who aren’t necessarily as nice.
But I was lucky enough to meet some drag queens who were very nice to me. For example, as soon as I got off the show, I had a lot of girls like Brooke Lynn Hytes, for example, who’s Canadian, who contacted me and said: “If you need anything, if you need advice, don’t hesitate.
” Do you also have any advice about how to finish eyebrows? Personally, I use the same stick that I use to do my contouring to do the base of the eyebrow, and then, with eye shadow, I go back over it and I’m going to use a darker shade to define the tail.
And then, with a bevelled brush, I like to use the same dark eyeshadow again and I’m going to draw on each hair. Between you and me, though, the eyebrow is what I hate the most. You know that Nicky Doll, for her first two or three years, had bangs all the time, all the time.
Because I hated doing eyebrows. It’s still a bit difficult for me, I’m discovering the little highlight you can put at the beginning. Even drag queens that have been doing this since season 2 of RuPaul’s Drag Race learn something new every day.
There’s no right way to do drag and there’s no wrong way to do drag. So, if I go to a France Gaule show, what am I going to see? You’re going to laugh at first. – Yeah. – Maybe cry at the end. I’m exaggerating.
In fact, I’d like to be able to really convey two emotions. At least try to do create an emotional roller coaster at my gigs, I guess. I can’t wait to see, can’t wait. So, Nicky, do you have a special someone? I’ve been with the same person for seven years, and so far, so good.
How about you? Well, I’m a single woman at the moment. Oh, you are? How come? Basically, I discovered Drag Race with my ex-boyfriend. He’s the one who introduced me to the world of drag because he was a fan of the show.
We saw shows together. Except that the day I did it, it was a bit of a source of tension because I was just starting out, I was a bit stressed out. It was difficult and everything. He said things that I didn’t like too much, like: “It’d be nice if you only did it once every three months, no more.
” or, “I don’t really like it when you shave your beard.” So I kept RuPaul and threw out the boyfriend. Unfortunately, there are a lot of fans of the show, fans when it’s on TV, who aren’t fans when someone they share their life with does it.
But it’s good that you stayed true to yourself and didn’t neglect yourself to please someone. Do you have any tips on how to never miss your placement or which shades you like to play with in particular? I like to use purple and brown tones to really create the contour of my eyes.
I usually do all my powder placements before I do my liner. It’s safer, actually, because I can already see what color I’m going to do. And my liner is never really the same. Sometimes I make it thinner, sometimes I make it thicker.
Sometimes I want something natural and very retro so I just go for a liner and trace around the eyelid. Sometimes I want a very colorful look so the liner comes second. Actually, I’ve seen that you have mastered color like no one else.
Do you have a technique for blending? I only use blending brushes. It really helps you not to have a lot of matter. All the strokes you’re going to do are going to be very soft and smoky. It requires a little more work, but it’s worth it, because it’s much more natural.
What I do is that I use the transition colors first. Here, for example, I use purple and brown. It’s only afterwards, with a very thin brush and very lightly, that I apply the black or the darkest color.
That way, the transition colors will help the black to blend in by itself. You’ve never shaved your eyebrows for drag? No, girl. I have my limits. I would never shave my eyebrows and I would never wear fake nails on a daily basis.
As much as I love Nicky Doll and I love this super-feminine side of me, I need to go back to Karl when I remove my makeup. You’re making a big sacrifice with your beard, because it’s part of Antoine, your beard.
That’s right, Antoine, he’s the bearded one. France Gaule allows me to exteriorize certain things I have inside me, to completely annihilate this appearance, to become another person, that is to say to remove this beard and go all the way.
I’m really happy that you did all this psychological work to get there, because I have to admit that in France, when I left, I really felt that French society had a lot of work to do to accept the trans community, the drag community, anything that didn’t fit into a box made by society.
Unfortunately, the gay community also had a lot of work to do because if a very effeminate guy in heels walks by, the bearded Parisian guy drinking his beer is gonna say to his friend: “See, it’s because of people like that that we’re treated badly by straight people.
” I’ve heard that a million times. I’m glad to see a bearded man shaving his beard so France Gaulle can take over. So you framed your whole eye makeup? Yes, this is framed. The only thing I’d say about that is to take a slightly orange make-up, like a fairly neutral brown, and go back over it and stretch your line so it’s a bit smoother and blur that side, here.
You’re going to keep the definition of your shape, but it’s just going to blend the edges. For the liner, when you apply it, do you have any particular advice? If you start at the outer corner of your eye and you draw that line first, if you do that and you go to the middle of your eye, your wrist can’t move because your bone is literally locked.
It allows you to have a well-controlled line. Then you go inside and start joining the inside corner to the outside corner. It also depends on how much time you have to perfect this or that detail. I know I really like to spend a lot of time on the eyes if I can.
If your DJing career takes off, you will spend less and less time on the eyes, believe me. I’m speaking from experience. When I started, my favorite part was getting ready. I had my little glass of vodka, my little cigarette, listening to Sade in the background.
That’s what I did. And now I’m putting on makeup like crazy trying to get to work on time. Okay, I messed up a little bit, but it’ll be fine. I can’t tell. You’re starting on the inside. Yes. A word of advice, because I can see you’re doing a lot of small strokes.
With a liner, it’s better to make a line. You make a big stroke and then you join, otherwise you’ll have a hard time getting a clean line. Okay, start with the outline and then fill in, right? Exactly.
I didn’t do the same line on both sides, that’s not good. I’m not used to doing makeup on a computer. It’s hard for me today, too. Great, we screwed up in front of Vogue. Is there a difference between your behavior and your voice whether you are France or Antoine? A little bit.
I like to give it a little theatricality. She’s got an accent. She’s a bit bourgeois. You know, it’s France Gaule. Okay, I can’t wait to meet her. It’s funny, because I never feel like I do. It’s as my makeup comes in that my voice starts to change.
It’s a little more mannered. As soon as I put the fake eyelashes on, it’s too late. Karl’s gone. He stayed home. She’s out and about. Of course. With those facial expressions, it’s over. As soon as I start doing the lips, that’s it, that’s the moment when France Gaule takes over and starts to become unbearable.
It’s true they’re annoying, but we love them anyway. The people who hate me the most, generally, at parties, are my friends. They tell me: “You’re unbearable in drag.” What people don’t get is… this is for Vogue so we can’t get too graphic, but my genitals are in places you wouldn’t believe.
I’m in a tight corset, and I’m having trouble breathing. It’s hot. I’m wearing a wig. I have fake eyelashes. I’ve got contact lenses. So, yeah, I’m not super comfortable! How do you manage the heels? With blisters.
Plain and simple. Do you take Ubers in drag? How do you get to your gigs? In New York City, you can even take the subway in drag. It’s totally safe. I have trouble, after living in Paris, after living in Morocco, I have trouble walking around in public places.
Usually, I go by taxi or Uber. Which can be just as annoying, because sometimes you get very special feelings from the drivers. It’s very flattering, but it can be very annoying. I’ve been through that, too.
On Instagram too, I’ve had some pretty interesting DMs from young boys who don’t understand the difference between drag, transgender and transvestites. A piece of advice to everyone watching this video, if one day you get a picture, no, it’s not a selfie.
Be careful before you click. Before you scroll down. Girl, you’ve got to be sure who you’re talking to, okay? In drag, do you have some kind of phobia or fear? Losing my wig while performing. And maybe going unnoticed.
It can really impact our confidence as artists. It’s really important to understand and accept that your art will talk to some people and leave others completely indifferent. That’s what I find very difficult.
I was talking more about Paris. I’m very afraid of being attacked. Well, yes, I can imagine. It almost happened to me. I used to live in Jourdain, in the XXe. We couldn’t find a taxi. My friends and I were in drag, we decided to take the subway to Belleville.
Believe me, it almost got out of hand. I was very, very lucky. In Paris, as in so many other places you have to be careful. You don’t know what’s going happen to you in life. If you can’t have fun… As long as we don’t hurt anybody.
Okay, let’s start the lips. Usually I start drawing the lip with my pencil and always start from the outer corner to the inner corner of the lip, just like the liner, to keep control of the curve. Well, I’m left-handed.
You see, I always draw it much fuller. You’re going over a lot. It still has to be proportional to your lower lip. Since my upper lip is thinner than the other one, I try to have a symmetrical mouth. A piece of advice too, if you don’t want to see the line, because you don’t want that kind of look, it’s important, afterwards, once you’ve drawn your line, to go back with your pencil and blend it towards the center but very lightly.
Make small strokes between the line and the inside. That way, when you apply your lipstick on it, you have a much more natural gradation. I think, honestly, what I’ve done is a massacre. And in terms of lipstick, do you have any good recommendations for products to use? At the moment, I’m using transfer-proof mainly when I’m on stage.
That’s very good. That’s what you need to use. The formula that I really like is from Mac. It’s very very creamy and very comfortable. If you have dry lips, never forget to put lip balm on first. What I do is I put on my lip balm before I put on my makeup.
That way, the lip has time to soak it in. If you look at your future in a crystal ball, – how do you see it? – I see… a Nicky Doll who survived the coronavirus, who has got a slim, slender and toned body, who can finally walk for a fashion show, for a brand, make music, still a drag queen and still inspiring people.
I would love to be able to continue to educate myself on the issues that I want to advocate for, like the trans cause, the queer cause, but also for people of color because in the United States, for example, it’s still a huge issue and to be able to use my platform to talk about it and try to make a difference.
To be even more of an activist than I was before. Okay. I’m good. We can do the lashes, if you want. Mascara. What kind of mascara do you use? I use waterproof mascara from Make Up For Ever too. I realized.
.. I used to only use waterproof because I figured if a woman needs to wear waterproof, a drag queen needs to wear waterproof. But I realized that I didn’t need waterproof. And that it was more annoying to take it off than it running during the evening.
I’ll show you the fake eyelash I do. It’s the classic Nicky Doll eyelash. It’s a pretty thick base. Then, I’m going to add spikes, either on the outer corner if I want the edgy side, or fanned out if I want more of the doll side.
or fanned out if I do the doll side a little more. Ah there we go, she’s feeling herself. Look at her. She’s happy, she’s pulled off her look. I saw the shoulders move. I said, “Ah, she’s out and about.
” And she’s a lady now. Yes, she is. When the fake eyelashes are on, all bets are off. It’s normal. For the finishing touches for the highlights, do you have a signature? I have a palette like this, from Ofra.
I use this color first to blend in with my complexion. After that, I’ll use a yellow and then a white on the highlights. You start to have a slight pop, and then, as you go along, you start to accentuate.
I love the illuminator because that’s what creates the illusion of having skin that breathes and is light, when actually you have three kilos of foundation on your face. The highlight, to be honest, it’s really the finishing touch that gives the contouring its full meaning.
What’s your favorite style of wig? If I don’t perform, I like to have something very styled that doesn’t move so it looks very primed and super fashionable. If I’m dancing, I like to have some length so there’s movement.
I’m not a choreographer, but I’m definitely a hairographer. I love to move with my hair. For me, there’s nothing more sensual than hair that moves when you dance. I’m going to go change, put on my corset and I’ll be back as a full woman.
– You got it. I’ll see you in a minute. – I’ll see you in a minute. Wow, you look hot. I love the hair. Your wig is amazing. Did you style it? I paid for it. Thank you, Antoine, I mean, France. I had a great time with you.
Thank you, Nicky. I had a great time too. I learned a lot of stuff. That’s great. And I hope you enjoyed it. Don’t forget to subscribe to the Vogue Paris YouTube channel. I’ll see you soon, bye.