We all have an idea of what drag queens look like when they are all made up. They have their hair done, they sometimes wear wigs, and they are wearing a ton of makeup. Oftentimes, they are all dressed up, too. Most of us can imagine that they would look quite different without all of these glamorous additions.
Just how different can they really look though? Some of us may venture to say that we could definitely recognize a drag queen out of drag. We might think that there are some easily noticeable differences. Surely their eyes or nose or something else would look nearly identical.
In reality, it can be shocking how unfamiliar these drag queens look once they’ve washed off all the makeup and put away their wigs. It can even be nearly impossible to recognize them. It makes sense just because of the amount of time and effort that goes into getting done up as a drag queen.
Most of these drag queens’ before and after pictures are hard to match up with each other. There are so many major differences, and it can be a challenge to figure out who’s who. Here are 20 of the most shocking drag queen transformations out there!
20 Lineysha Sparx/Andy Trinidad
Lineysha Sparx began her career as a drag queen in October 2008. The Puerto Rican’s real name is Andy Trinidad. Her drag get-up is pretty elaborate, so we can all imagine why it would be difficult to recognize her out of drag. This is even truer because of how simple her everyday style is!
Part of the reason it can be so hard to tell whom drag queens are outside of their drag queen ensemble is because they tend to go above and beyond. This requires hours of work, pulling everything together and touching up little details. It’s truly impressive if you think about it. All of the accessories and finishing touches can be a lot to take, but they’re the norm in the world of drag races and queens!
19 Jinkx Monsoon/Jerick Hoffer
This queen’s given name is Jerick Hoffer, but they have chosen to go by Jinkx Monsoon instead. At first glance—when not in drag—Jinkx Monsoon looks like any average individual. They don’t have a lot of uniqueness or dress in flashy clothing outside of drag. Likewise, unknowing individuals may have no idea that Monsoon is truly a drag queen if they haven’t actually done the research to know that.
This is one of the reasons why it is so shocking to see the difference between them in and out of drag. They don’t always look how we would expect drag queens to look—whether or not they are in drag. We suppose that one of the reasons that Jinkx Monsoon and others choose to be so elaborate when they have the chance to is because they want to step out of the realms of the “everyday person.”- Jinkx Monsoon definitely accomplishes that!
18 RuPaul/Andre Charles
RuPaul Andre Charles is pretty well-known among the general public, regardless of who is into the drag world. He has even been producing his own drag show since 2009. RuPaul’s Drag Race is a competitive drag show. All of the preparation that goes into the show has a lot to do with his background. Rupaul himself is a drag queen as well!
RuPaul doesn’t have hair, so he naturally goes for a wig. In addition to a bright, platinum blonde wig, he also wears plenty of eye makeup. Most of the time, this includes false eyelashes and an intense smoky eye. A nice pop of color—in the form of a shiny lip gloss or a smooth lip stick—is added as a finishing touch! RuPaul absolutely owns this impressive transformation.
17 Coco Jumbo/Luke Waqa
Coco Jumbo is another drag queen who can be tricky to notice outside of the usual drag get-up. Like Jinkx Monsoon, Coco Jumbo has a very simple look outside of drag. This is totally normal and happens to be a pattern. It really makes for an even more dramatic drag look.
For one, Coco Jumbo’s hair experiences a lot of change to get into drag. The usual short curls are swapped out for a long, sleek hairstyle—which is most likely a wig. Additionally, Jumbo is a big fan of accessories and pops of coordinating colors.
Coco Jumbo isn’t afraid to step out of the natural and super relaxed look and into the world of bright colors. We definitely would have a hard time recognizing Jumbo out of drag—and for good reason!
16 Krystal Kleer/ Jasper
Krystal Kleer was a part of season two of Twitter’s Drag Race. The result was a 5th place ranking, but it was related to her lip syncing talents and not her striking looks. Her outward appearance is a winner, even if her lip syncing is not.
Out of drag, Krystal Kleer had short dark hair and likes to keep things au naturel. At the right moment, Krystal Kleer knows how to go big. False lashes, lots of makeup, and plenty of lipstick are her favorites. We’ve also noticed that she tends to opt for unique hair colors in some cases. Sometimes she can be spotted with pink or gray hair.
One thing that remains the same—whether she’s in or out of drag—is the septum piercing. Krystal Kleer usually jazzes up a simple ring for drag purposes though.
15 Jackie Beat/Kent Fuher
At first glance, Jackie Beat out of drag looks like a pretty average individual whom we would see anywhere. They can usually be seen sporting a beard and not an ounce of makeup.
Beat in makeup is a dramatic sight, just because of how into it they get. They don’t want to miss out on this opportunity to get all dolled up. When Beat is in drag, they go above and beyond with the little details, which actually makes these details a big deal.
Often, Beat will wear a ton of makeup all over, but the main focus is on the eyes. A bold combination of eyeshadow, eyeliner, and false lashes is sometimes paired with gemstones or additional highlight. They don’t skimp on the lipstick either, ready to make a statement!
14 Colin McLean/Polly Filla
Colin McLean may be better known as Polly Filla to some of us. Overall, McLean has simple tastes. He keeps things clean and doesn’t do anything very fancy. This naturally has to mean that he looks totally different once he becomes Polly Filla. We can expect that Polly Filla’s got a lot more to her than McLean does.
What does McLean look like all made up as Polly Filla? Well, her curly, blonde hair is much more visible, when compared to McLean’s shaven head. Eye makeup seems to be a favorite here, as Polly Filla likes to use a lot of it. She also adds colored contact lenses to her look. Her accessories add to her overall style as well, keeping things exciting! This is one drag queen who knows how to look glam—no matter what!
13 Milk Queen/Daniel Donigan
Daniel Donigan’s stage name is Milk Queen. Most of us will agree that they are definitely a queen, especially with the style choices they make. They’ve also continued to get better since they began drag. As we have mentioned before, a lot of these individuals have very simple styles outside of drag. Most use drag as a way to express themselves in a way they normally wouldn’t.
Milk Queen rocks a variety of wigs, depending on the day. Some of these are pretty big and voluminous. Other ones are short and simple. No matter what their hair—or wig—looks like, they look stunning. Milk Queen’s got a pale complexion, to which vibrant lipsticks are added. They also wear a lot of bold eye makeup, including false eyelashes.
12 Sharon Needles/Aaron Coady
Sharon Needles—also known as Aaron Coady—has one of the more shocking transformations out there. Outside of drag, Coady still has a nice look about him and wears a little bit of natural makeup. Coady clearly puts forth a decent amount of effort into their looks, regardless of if they are getting ready for drag or not.
As we compare Coady to their drag queen persona of Sharon Needles, we can catch a lot of dissimilarities. For example, Sharon Needles is another queen who wears colored contact lenses. Most drag queens also wear a massive wig, which is true in this case as well. Their pale skin and intense makeup looks make a big impact on the overall differences. One similarity is the dent or bump on their chin, which is visible on both Coady and Sharon Needles.
11 Darienne Lake/Greg Meyer
Greg Meyer goes by the stage name of Darienne Lake or Miss Darienne Lake. Meyer looks clean cut and average outside of drag. We wouldn’t expect them to be so bold in their drag get-up, but it turns out that’s the case.
When Meyer becomes Darienne Lake, there are more than a few differences. For one, the hair color change is a big deal. Meyer’s usually light-colored hair is switched out for a deep red or golden blonde wig. The hairstyles change, too, with Meyer having short hair and Darienne Lake sometimes rocking the fringe and curls. The makeup is a highly noticeable difference, too, because Meyer doesn’t typically wear any. Darienne Lake opts for bold eye makeup looks! Accessories are put on as a finishing touch, adding even more to the overall look.
10 Nancy Buoy/Daniel Nauthe
Nancy Buoy is recognized as rocking a glamorous look that can hardly be noticed outside of drag. When Nancy Buoy is not in drag, they keep things natural and easy. No hair to maintain and a casual look are likely a nice break from the amount of time, energy and beauty products that go into getting all prepped for drag. This would make sense and apply to everyone on the list.
Nancy Buoy is generally seen in a fiery red wig and a ton of makeup. The eye makeup is definitely utilized here, along with a bold red lip. Nancy Buoy also loves to pile on the accessories. They are often seen wearing statement necklaces and exquisite earrings. When looking at Nancy Buoy in and out of drag at the same time, the transformation can be pretty surprising!
9 David Galle/Linda Lamont
This is one person we would have an impossible time matching up with their drag queen persona. David Galle looks totally different as drag queen Linda Lamont. It’s likely a shock to all of us when we see their pictures side by side. Some people might be in denial and complete disbelief.
We aren’t sure where to begin with Linda Lamont’s stunning looks. There is so much added to them, especially when compared to Galle’s clean image. Linda Lamont’s dark hair is a sharp contrast to Galle’s lack of it. Linda Lamont usually sports a bold eye and bright lips. Statement jewelry is one of the ways that they step out and jazz things up just a little bit. Who doesn’t love some bling? We will forever be impressed by this incredible transformation!
8 Trixie Mattel/ Brian Michael Firkus
Trixie Mattel—born Brian Michael Firkus—is one of the better-known drag queens to make their way onto this list. Most of us have heard her name at some point, especially if we’re well-aware of the drag culture. We may not know what they look like outside of drag, just because we can more commonly find them in drag. That’s when most of the pictures are taken.
Mattel has a pretty extreme drag style, which is much more vibrant than their casual look outside of drag. Generally, they choose to focus on the eyes and end up going big. To see them without all of the eye makeup is a huge shock to most of us. The big, bright blonde hair is another detail that makes up this signature drag persona.
7 Courtney Act/ Shane Gilberto
Shane Gilberto Jenek’s drag queen persona is Courtney Act. Again, we see a drag queen out of drag looking like any average individual. Jenek does look a little bit more put together than some of the other drag queens do when they’re not in full drag. Jenek knows how to clean up! Regardless of how good Jenek might look without drag, this transformation is pretty impressive!
Who we’re really focused on is Courtney Act, who is quite unique from Jenek in plenty of ways. For example, Courtney Act can usually be found with cotton candy colored hair. Other times, it’s bright platinum blonde. Regardless of the color, it’s always looked luscious. They usually don’t go too far overboard on the makeup, leaving the attention on their gorgeous clothes and accessories.
6 Rhubarb Rouge/Ricky Beirao
Rhubarb Rogue is a less familiar drag queen to some of us, but that certainly doesn’t take away from their magical beauty skills. Before, Rhubarb Rogue looks kind of tough but mostly looks like any everyday guy. That’s why their change from out of drag to in drag is so dramatic. It’s definitely worth taking a look at.
Overall, it’s just a challenge to find any similarities between Rhubarb Rogue before and after. Clearly, it’s the same person. We just wouldn’t likely know that without the pictures being side by side. The difference is pretty surprising. The nature of drag queen makeup adds to it though, so it’s much more than just a simple transformation.
Some of the best details about this queen’s look are things like their eyebrows and facial hair before and after!
5 Shangela/D.J. Pierce
D.J. Pierce is the person behind the popular drag queen persona named Shangela. Some of us are familiar with what Shangela looks like, but we may not be aware of Pierce’s looks. Pierce maintains a good-sized Afro, but it doesn’t interfere with their drag appearance. Pierce’s facial hair is another thing that doesn’t cause any major problems when it comes to getting all made up.
Most of the time, we’ll see Shangela with straight or wavy hair, meaning that Pierce doesn’t even give their natural hair a chance. We would think it’d be impossible to cover up such a giant Afro, but they’ve got it all figured out. Shangela is another drag queen who loves to go above and beyond with the makeup and accessories, too! This is one shocking change.
4 Raja Gemini/Sutan Amrull
Raja is also known as Raja Gemini. Underneath all of the glitz and glamour is Sutan Amrull. Out of drag, Amrull couldn’t possibly be matched up with Raja. We just wouldn’t be able to catch it. As it turns out—despite the heavy makeup and gorgeous gowns—Amrull and Raja are the same person.
One signature characteristic of Raja is their dark, bold eye makeup. The makeup is often black. In some photos—when they are also likely wearing colored contact lenses—their eye area is almost completely black. This is one of the reasons that it’s so tricky to see Amrull without all of those finishing touches. Of course, there is more that distracts us from noticing who’s underneath the makeup. Most of it has to do with unique outfits and intense makeup.
3 Chi Chi LaRue/Larry David Paciotti
Next up, we’ve got Chi Chi LaRue, whose birth name is Larry David Paciotti. Chi Chi LaRue is pretty well recognized, but Paciotti likely isn’t. Paciotti has the chances of being even less noticed once we’ve seen them both in and out of drag. Their overall facial features don’t resemble each other at that point!
In addition to the usual drag queen makeup looks, Chi Chi LaRue is the proud owner of a platinum blonde wig. This isn’t just any old wig though—it actually makes their hair huge and voluminous. This just further disguises Paciotti, who has short blonde hair typically. The eye makeup and bright lipstick add to it, too. When we take a good look at the before and after pictures, we’re shocked that they’re the same person, too!
2 Andrew Dessmann/Christina Andrew
Andrew Dessmann is known as Christina Andrew in the world of drag queens. We would say that their given first name being Andrew and their persona’s last name being Andrew would be a good way to let people know, but there are too many Andrews. Additionally, this transformation is nearly unrecognizable by anyone not expecting it.
Dessmann’s bald head is easily covered by a wig. Their makeup is done flawlessly. Clothes and jewelry are then picked out accordingly. Christina Andrew sure knows how to pull this all together—especially if they’re trying to keep things more undercover.
Dessmann really doesn’t seem to mind all of the hard work that goes into creating Christina Andrew’s look. They must really enjoy it and love the feeling of being so much more attractive afterward, too.
1 Lachlan Rickus
Last—but definitely not least—here’s Lachlan Rickus. This is one of the most impressive transformations we have stumbled upon and one of the most deserving to make the list. Aside from the pure surprise that this is the same person before and after, the whole look seems like it would take an insane amount of time to make happen.
Whoever is in charge of Lachlan Rickus’ conversion from their everyday style to their drag look needs a raise! There’s a lot of attention to detail, and tattoos are even added sometimes. Overall, we’re pretty blown away by this switch. From the hair to the makeup, there’s a lot to admire here! We are still having a hard time grasping that it’s the same person before and after—how could it be?