Second Life Steals, Deals, and Freebies: How to Do Drag on a Dime in Second Life!

As my regular blog readers know, I have a drag queen avatar in Second Life, named MissDrag, and I have written about doing drag in SL before (here, here, and here).

Now, in the real world, I have never (yet!) picked up a makeup brush or cinched my waist (as if!) to fit into some eleganza extravaganza ballgown and lipsync for my life, but despite this lack of real-life experience, please let a truly seasoned DIGITAL drag superstar (well, in my own French vanilla fantasy, anyway) share a few tips on how to get started in Second Life drag.

First, understand this: THERE ARE NO RULES IN DRAG. RULES ARE MEANT TO BE BROKEN. DRAG WAS AND STILL CAN BE A TRANSGRESSIVE ART FORM. So feel free to break some rules about what a drag queen (or drag king!) should look like.

I mean, in the recently-concluded Season 12 of RuPaul’s Drag Race, one of the finalists dressed up as a piñata who occasionally farted out confetti!

Drag queen Crystal Methyd, dressed as a piñata 

Given the virtually endless avatar customization options in Second Life, your drag can be anybody (and anything) you like! Start with a male body, start with a female body, start with something in-between, or start with something completely different: a mermaid, a centaur, or a technicolor whirlwind of animated pixels! Whatever you can dream up, you can create for your own unique, signature look!

I mean, if you stop to think about it, everybody in Second Life is already doing drag. It’s actually a lot harder to recreate your actual, real-life look than it is to start from scratch with a blank canvas! (Although if that’s your scene, more power to you, boo. It’s your Second Life; make it what you want!)

Well, I woke up one morning
Flossed my teeth and decided
“Damn, I’m fierce!” You look good!
You can be just like me! A goddess? Yeah!
Don’t just pussy foot around and sit on your assets
Unleash your ferocity upon an unsuspecting world
Rise up and repeat after me: “I’m beautiful!”

I’m Beautiful, by Bette Midler

In real life, I am a 56-year-old, gay, divorced academic librarian who spends waaay too much time on the Internet, and is significantly overweight, asthmatic, and sometimes struggles with clinical depression, but in Second Life, I am Vanity Fair, the absolutely fabulous former supermodel 😉

I mean, if this is not drag, then what is? I just choose to unleash my ferocity upon an unsuspecting virtual world instead of the real world!

My main avatar Vanity Fair: Everybody in Second Life is doing some form of (digital) drag. (This delightful Lou belted minidress is a free gift from Asteria, by the way!)

Now that we have firmly established that there are no rules, there are, however, a few general tips and guidelines. First: BIG HAIR, mawma! (Although many well-known real-world drag queens like are rocking the bald look, too!).

The higher the hair, the closer to God.

—Dolly Parton

If Dolly speaks the truth, then this next hairstyle is truly divine! This is the Hunny wig from Zsa Zsa’s House of Beauty, home of the finest drag queen wigs on the grid.

It comes the fabulous wig wall at Zsa Zsa’s Haus of Beauty (exact SLURL, open your map and follow the red arrow from your initial spawn point on the Tableau sim):

Here’s the full look, from head to toe:

Another guideline which can be observed or discarded as you see fit: accessories are all-important.

Purse first!

—Bob the Drag Queen

This wonderful purse is the Love Loca handbag from Vive Nine/Ryvolter (here’s the exact SLURL):

This purse comes in various versions with different Bento poses, hanging from your shoulder, elbow, hand or even just one finger!

This avatar is wearing:

  • Mesh Head: Freya by Catwa (free group gift, no longer available for free; more details here)
  • Mesh Body and Nail Polish: Romeo by Altamura (this was a free group gift for Valentine’s Day 2019; the Altamura group costs L$100 to join, but I had joined back when it only cost L$50)
  • Hair: Hunny wig by Zsa Zsa’s House of Beauty (L$235)
  • Eye Shadow: Pride Galaxy eye shadow by Dotty’s Secret (free group gift; group costs L$75 to join, but I took advantage of a free group join period in the past)
  • Lipstick: the high-definition lipstick is included in the Catwa Freya package
  • Dress: this green Liam dress was a freebie from the SL Marketplace! It comes in just the Signature Gianni size, but I was able to make it fit the Altamura body using the alpha sections on the HUD.
  • Purse: the Loca Love handbag in black from Vive Nine/Ryvolter (L$249 per colour)
  • Shoes: I picked up these female sandals and tintable feet by Ydea (which completely replace the masculine feet of the Romeo mesh avatar!) from The Free Dove, but they are no longer available there, and unfortunately, I cannot find them anywhere else in-world or on the SL Marketplace. No matter. I’m sure you can get similarly creative for your own drag look!

TOTAL COST FOR THIS DRAG LOOK: Only L$534! (L$50 to join the Altamura group, L$235 for the wig, and L$249 for the handbag)

Now we turn from day wear to evening wear! Check out this sickening lewk!

This avatar is again wearing the Freya mesh head by Catwa (which includes the lipstick you see here) and the Romeo mesh body by Altamura, plus:

  • Hair: Eleganza wig from Zsa Zsa’s House of Beauty (L$180)
  • Eyeshadow and Eyebrows: Vanilla makeup set by Dotty’s Secret (L$200)
  • Choker: the Nefert golden choker was a free gift from Poison Rouge at the recently-concluded 5th anniversary round of the Très Chic shopping event
  • Dress: This gown is my own unique creation! I bought the full-permissions Men’s Long Sleeve Skirt Dress from White Canvas Templates from the SL Marketplace for L$200, and textured it myself using a red bandana pattern I already had in my inventory, adjusting the tiling (i.e. how often the texture repeats) to get this look.
  • Purse: the Loca Love handbag in red by Vive Nine/Ryvolter (L$249 per colour)
  • Shoes: The same Ydea sandals and shoes as above (no longer available)

TOTAL COST FOR THIS DRAG LOOK: Only L$879! (L$50 to join the Altamura group for the Romeo body, L$200 for the Vanilla makeup, L$180 for the wig, L$200 for the full-perms gown, and L$249 for the purse)

So, what are you waiting for? Get out there and put together your own drag on a dime! And feel free to send Auntie Ryan pictures of your eleganza extravaganza!

And don’t forget to hit the SL Pride Festival to pick up some free gifts to help you create that signature look; the festival closes today! Here is more information on the Pride Festival.

Editorial: Eat. Sleep. Drag Race. Repeat.

Treat everyone you meet like God in drag.

—Ram Dass

Ladies and gentlemen (and fabulous people of all genders), I am now in day 84 of self-imposed pandemic lockdown in my apartment, the weather is cold and overcast, my eczema is acting up, Donald Trump is somehow still in office, people are still protesting, and I am in a mood.

Sometimes I think the only thing that is keeping me sane lately is RuPaul’s Drag Race. I need to buy this T-shirt for sale on Amazon, which pretty much sums up my life lately:

Drag queens are my real-life superheros: people who don’t give a damn what you think, they are going to be here, to represent, and to entertain! So I decided that, instead of writing about social VR platforms and virtual worlds when I am in such a foul and cranky mood, I would instead share a few recent favourite drag videos with you. (Please bear with me. We will soon return to our regular programming.)

Drag queens are responding to the pandemic (of course!) by hosting livestream drag shows on Twitch and other platforms, where each performer puts on a small show from their home, and this absolute gem of a lip-sync is by Asia O’Hara: Whenever I hear this song, it is 1980, and I am sixteen years old again, listening to 45s on a record player, singing and dancing with my high school friends in somebody’s basement rec room! I still have all my old 45s and I cannot bear to part with them.

The next video is a mashup of several well-known drag queens from various seasons of RuPaul’s Drag Race: Alaska (full drag name: Alaska Thunderfuck 5000), Manila Luzon, Adore Delano, Jinkx Monsoon, and Sharon Needles. It perfectly illustrates the in-your-face, confrontational attitude that is also a part of drag culture. Remember, drag queens were among the protesters who fought against the police in the Stonewall riots, a key event in queer history that helped launch the gay rights movement, and the reason many cities celebrate Pride every year in June.

RuPaul’s Drag Race is my favourite reality TV show, and it always cheers me up when I am feeling down. Between the recently-concluded Season 12 of RPDR, Untucked, RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars 5 (which just started last Friday, and promises lots of drama), RuPaul’s Celebrity Drag Race, and the upcoming Canada’s Drag Race, RuPaul’s production company is here to feed the children during this dumpster-fire year of 2020, and I am here for every second! We are indeed blessed.

I leave you with some vintage RuPaul:

If you can’t love yourself, how in the hell are you gonna love somebody else! Can I get an amen?

—RuPaul Charles

Second Life Steals, Deals, and Freebies: Dotty’s Secret Lost Makeup Hunt

Dotty’s Secret, SL’s premiere drag queen makeup store, recently sent out an announcement to their group and on their blog:

Hello everyone!

We hope you are all safe and healthy! In these difficult times, many of us are quarantined at home, bored and worried about what the future holds… It’s the perfect time for us to spread some love, and, hopefully, entertain you a little <3 This is why we are starting a mini-hunt in our Mainstore, with 6 fabulous gifts up for grab. 

And since the good things don’t have to stop there, our group is now free to join, and with the group tag, you can enjoy a 25% discount store-wide on top of joining the family!

You are looking for six different pieces of makeup hidden all around the store. If you need help, there is a handy hunt hints panel located at the top of the stairs:

Miss Drag (my drag queen avatar, complete styling credits here) will now model three of the hunt prizes. This is the Sass makeup set, which includes the eyelashes you see here:

Next up we have two hunt prizes: the Drag 101 eyeshadow and eyebrows set, combined with the Decadence lipstick, which comes in four different shades. Both would work well for non-drag use, too!

And, best of all, you can join the Dotty’s Secret group for free, and pick up eight fabulous gifts from their group gift wall!

This is just one of the free group gifts, the Miss Pride makeup set:

This is a fun hunt! I was howling with laughter at some of the chat messages I got when I clicked on some items scattered all over that were not the hunt prizes!

Here’s the SLURL to the Dotty’s Secret store. Happy hunting! The hunt runs until May 6th, 2020.

Doing Drag in Second Life: Part III

If you can’t love yourself, how in the hell are you gonna love somebody else! Can I get an amen?

—RuPaul Charles, RuPaul’s Drag Race

My favourite reality TV show is RuPaul’s Drag Race! I never fail to miss a new episode. Currently I’m enjoying the very first season of the U.K. version of the show. I’m also a fan of the alternative, horror-themed drag TV show Dragula. I’m just so taken with the Charisma, Uniqueness, Nerve, and Talent demonstrated by the RPDR contestants (or, in the case of Dragula, the four tenets of Drag, Filth, Horror, and Glamour).

Given my hobby of designing complete avatar looks in Second Life, perhaps it’s not so surprising that I have written before on this blog about creating several drag queen avatar looks here, here, and here. (“Girl, you betta work!“, as RuPaul herself would say…)

So when I found out that the edgy fashion store Boys to the Bone had an October 2019 group gift of a black mesh ballgown with a plunging neckline, designed specifically for male avatars, I decided to build a complete look around it! The Morticia gown comes in three shades of black: light black, dark black, and shiny black. Here my drag queen avatar, MissDrag, is wearing the dark black gown:

The Morticia gown is sized to fit the Belleza Jake mesh body, and I had to fiddle a bit with the body sliders and alpha sections on my Altamura Romeo mesh body to make it work. I still had a bit of a problem at the back of the neckline, but the Nikki wig covers that area quite nicely!

The fabulous drag queen wig selection at ZsaZsa’s House of Beauty

This avatar is wearing:

  • Mesh Head and Body, Including Lipstick and Nailpolish: Romeo by Altamura (a past Valentine’s Day group gift; the Altamura group costs L$50 to join; you will have to buy and install the Omega system kit on the Romeo body to be able to apply the eye makeup below (it’s for sale for L$99 at this exact SLURL)
  • Dress: Morticia gown in dark black (group gift from Boys to the Bone; the BTTB group costs L$100 to join)
  • Jewelry: Ophira by Lazuri (free, from the Free Dove at this exact SLURL)
  • Mesh Feet and Shoes (Not Shown): black chained sandal by Ydea (free from The Free Dove at this exact SLURL; just the thing to replace those masculine feet!)
  • Wig: Nikki wig in red (naturals pack; L$235 from ZsaZsa’s House of Beauty, the finest collection of drag queen wigs on the grid!)
  • Eye Makeup: Vanilla makeup set; L$200 from Dotty’s Secret (the best drag queen makeup store in Second Life)

TOTAL COST FOR THIS AVATAR: Only L$684!

Pictures were taken at ZsaZsa’s House of Beauty and Dotty’s Secret.