we try our best to write blogs regularly,
but you know how it is for working GAls!
but you know how it is for working GAls!
How did Dirti become?
I went to The Continental Club in Ashby when I was 17 and saw Raunchy Rusty, for hours I would just be free from normal life and wished I could have that confidence. I began doing drag 20 years ago just to try it out, myself, Busti Barb and Fanlight were put in position of hosting and entertaining at a local gay night when our DJ quit, thats when our characters came through dealing with drunks and fighting our corner with the rough locals.
Who helped/ supported your initial drag?
My main support has been my drag sister Busti Barb, she has always learned the tricks and I have just copied. Hahaha.
What/ who inspires your drag?
I love the 70s and 80s, I love how makeup was so over the top, a bit messy and experimental. I love seeing other queens and admire their work so much, but I am lazy, I don't change too much, I occasionally will try something that one of my sisters do and sometimes I will adopt things into my look if it doesn't take too much skill or effort haha. There's so many queens who inspire me, but as I say it's more admiration and wishing I could be motivated. LOL. Ellis Atlantis, Gisele and Uma Daze make me want to try harder.
What do you love about drag?
Drag is so much fun, you can become whatever you feel like - it's like going to a fancy dress party every day. It makes you feel ageless, you can justify being a party animal and escape normality and become a 'thing' that doesn't exist for a few hours.
What’s the hardest part of drag for you?
Being from a smaller town where drag didn't really exist years ago was frustrating as I was judged differently, I found it annoying how people saw it as a defect in me 'what do your parents think?'. I find questions like this bizarre as I am just me in what I consider fancy dress. I think if you don't work on a stage or in a club you have to justify your drag more, it is my job, I of course love doing drag but it is to present products and I travel to meet queens to support them in their work. I think it's becoming more acceptable now to be a drag queen on different platforms, we are seeing YouTube drag stars, Instagram visual artists and drag queen business owners.
What’s your party trick?
When I have vodka I turn into an unpaid party starter, I will drag people into your bar off the street, get them playing party games and drinking the bar dry!
What’s your biggest drag achievement?
It's gotta be Give Face, it was one of the first online stores specifically created to support the industry of illusion, set up by drag queens. There are many stores popping up now as with Drag Race it's seen as a profitable market, but I understand the strains of the realistic drag wage and design bespoke products which hold real value. The past few years I have been on an in-depth research, design and deliver with Give Head Wigs and I am super proud of what me and Busti Barb have brought to the market. I am proud that we bring real, honest value to the industry and it feels incredible when artists come back and tell me how incredible things are, having helped them improve their presentation or more profitable.
Most embarrassing drag moment/ memory?
Falling down the stairs in Yumbo Centre Gran Canaria, top to bottom while those guys with the drums were entertaining the restaurants. I have never seen it so packed with families eating outside. My heel caught a step and sent me down the concrete stairs, the drummers stopped, the families all stopped eating to gasp and I was laying on the floor wanting the ground to swallow me while Barb told me to 'Get up now you stupid bitch!' hahaha. I genuinely was afraid to stand as I was almost certain I must have broken ankles. Haha. All night people were pointing me out as 'the one that fell down the stairs'.
What’s your drag related claim to fame?
Me and Busti Barb aren't really celeb spotters, two occasions we have missed out on golden opportunities - both at different Madonna concerts, we were sat next to Kylie Minogue at Brixton Academy and the Gwen Stefani in Earls Court, only realising after when we saw pics of them in the papers!
Where can we see you working?
I am chained to a studio desk designing products most of the time. I often travel to meet manufacturers and I do try to go meet my Give Face/Head queens. I chat to a lot of people through social media and we try to arrange to go visit them in their work so you'll often see me taking advantage of drinking and getting in a mess when I do! You might catch me judging something, partying with our queens in the bars or you may pass me in a kerb on the way home.
What advice would you give to someone who wants a career in drag?
If you want to make a career from drag, you need to be smart with your budget. One thing I always get asked about is budget, some queens invest in crazy things and they don't make themselves profitable. You need to remember you are a business, you are a product. You need to be smart and savvy, designer goods, £20 lipsticks and a case full of pretty boxes makes you look well fancy but it's a fast track to debt and product bankruptcy. On the other hand you can buy cheap, like picking up wigs for 20 or 30 quid and binning them after a couple of wears. You need to measure effectiveness and get a grip on value to work out your trade costs and set your price tag for your art to succeed. That's exactly why Give Face and Give Head were founded, luxury ingredients at drug store prices, sacrificing fancy packaging and over the top design to support artists and models to become more profitable. If you want drag to be a successful career you need to understand your finances and invest wisely in your tools. Its sometimes an eye opener for queens when you help them calculate the cost of their drag existence over a year, compared to what their annual income was.
What is your top hack or cheat which has helped your sisters out?
I have real sensitive eyes, a lot of queens I work with have lash issues, my top hack is chopping up strip lashes into pieces and applying them in small sections (I cut mine into three pieces). You can place them comfortably and the bonus is you can overlap them slightly so you don't lose the end with trimming to fit your eyes. I also apply the lash glue to my lash line (the reason our lash glue has a brush wand), I find I can get the lash to sit better and makes sure the lash makes contact with the lash line.
What’s ya fave give face products and why?
Wow, all of them! LOL. Okay, never thought I would say this a couple of years ago, but the palettes, I love how convenient they are compared to pigments which you know I swore by! Pressed formulas have just evolved over the last 20 years, our palettes have so much pigment. I am obsessed with iridescent glitters - Wish, Kendoll, Beetlewing just to name a few. Beard Blocker is a must for me, it hides my stubble shadow, my dark eye circles. The other product which changed my life was Grimas eyebrow plastic, gluing with stick glue once I hated it how lumpy it was and moved when I sweated, it felt like it took ages for crap results, so I quit blocking my brows out. Once I got the hang of the eyebrow plastic, I was amazed and I could not imagine being without it now, takes me a couple of minutes and the results are always good.
What you most looking forward to at Dragcon?
I know a lot of friends are going so its just a brilliant opportunity for me to catch up with so many in one place. I also feel like its a huge thing for us all as an industry, there's no denying how big the drag race empire is and all these things are validating us, so I am seeing Dragcon as a celebration of our art and I feel so honoured that myself, our brands, It's a Wig Thing and the gals that have hardcore supported me are next to me. It feels like a family thing, like we all showing out for that big family party. I am looking forward to spending the weekend with our team and seeing our customers in the flesh as we have liked their pictures and chatted to them through social media for years.
Director: Johnny (aka drag queen Dirti Denise)
"I founded Give Face Cosmetics in 2016 working in my editorial photography business Outside the Box Photography, I researched and sourced incredible ingredients to create an amazing range of vegan and cruelty free products designed especially for artists who need amazing pigmentation and effects with no additives to reduce allergic reactions and irritation. I want to bring artists affordable, amazing quality."