With each brush stroke, Claire Voyant’s vision of her future look became more clear.
Thirty minutes into her makeup routine, the 26-year-old drag queen’s face is a blank canvas for infinite makeup options. But considering the season, she plans to serve something macabre to her audience.
“You don’t have to wear blood to look spooky,” the self-described “spooky twink” (a cheeky nickname for attractive, younger gay men) said as she decided on a nude-colored lip.
It’s Halloween, and all eyes are on the queens of makeup, costumes and wigs.
Between cooking up new looks, rehearsing dance numbers, producing shows and promoting their work, LGBTQ performers might be the busiest in Chicago during the month of October.
Claire Voyant, a drag queen who lives on the border of fantasy and reality, (and also, in Uptown) says she has already performed more than 25 shows this month. For artistic performers like Voyant, October is a perfect time for experimenting with bringing extravagant looks to life.
Yazayra Diamandis, 23, has been in the Chicago drag scene for about two years and has already garnered attention for her makeup and styling talents.
“At first I tried to look like a fishy queen [especially feminine], but when I really started pushing my makeup to a creative side, I got more attention through social media,” said Diamandis, who has over 1,339 followers on her Instagram.
Yazayra’s makeup routine can take between two to four hours, depending on the look. Four hours can fly by and she could still be detailing an accessory on her face, she said.
The horror and gore genres aren’t strictly seasonal for Claire Voyant. Shock value is central to her identity as a performer, she said.
“I’ve been trying to give into the fact that at my core, base level, I am a little bit darker and spookier, but sometimes it won’t appeal to a specific club or audience,” she said. ”So it’s a little bit different to take that aesthetic and apply it. You almost need to commit to it full-heartedly.”
Click through the gallery for some of Chicago’s LGBTQ performers’ best Halloween looks. Category is — Chicago Halloween Extravaganza!
- Otter Chaos’ (@otterlychaotic) cosplay from “Love, Death, and Robots” she did Oct. 2019 at Mary’s Attic. Photo provided by Joe Lewis Creative
- “You know the demogorgon? This is his sister the demowhorgon. She’s demogorgeous,” said. Hashtag Trashly (@dragtrashly). Photo provided by Hashtag Trashly
- Lady Amalthea’s (@ladyamaltheax) as Elvira, Mistress of the Dark on Oct. 2018. Photo provided by Lady Amalthea
- Kenya J. Sanchez’s look for “Mis Argentina” from Beetlejuice. Photo provided by Kenya J. Sanchez
- Ashley Morgan as the bride of Frankenstein. Photo provided by Ashley Morgan
- Dan Ryan McMahon’s (@mcmahon_he_can) rendition of Jim Carrey’s ‘The Mask’ which he featured for a Halloween Edition of his show King’s Korner. Photo provided by Dan Ryan McMahon
- Maureen SanDiego as Cher. Set off with comfy fur slides to avoid any bar hopping blisters. “Divas can be comfortable, too, honey,” SanDiego said. Maureen has her post apocalyptic cabaret show “Cher & Cockroaches” Nov. 6, 8:30 p.m. at the Juicebox Theatre in Lakeview. Photo provided by Jeff Ramone.
- Chamilla Foxx’s Toni the Tigress look from 2018. Photo provided by Chamilla Foxx
- One of Yazayra Diamandis’ (@yazayradiamandis) favorite looks for Oct. 2019. Photo provided by Yazayra Diamandis
- One of Coco Sho-Nell’s best Halloween looks. Photo provided by Coco Sho-Nell
- Dixie Devereaux’s (@dixie.devereaux) Bath Loofa look. Photo provided by Dixie Devereaux
- One of Dymond V. Westbrooke’s best Halloween looks. Photo provided by Dymond V. Westbrooke
- Ginger Forest’s rendition of Connie the Hormone Monstress look from Netflix’s “Big Mouth.” Photo provided by Ginger Forest
- One of Harlet Wench’s (@harletwench) best Halloween looks. Photo provided by Harlet Wench
- Kiki Fierce’s (@thekikifierce) drag take on Ursula. The corals are UV activated and glow under black light. Fierce handmade and painted the look on her own. Photo provided by Kiki Fierce
- CATEGORY IS: Area 51 Alien Realness. Nena Dee (@nena_dee_) was going for a blue magical smurf creature but, at the same time, a blue demon elf. Photo taken Oct. 2019. Photo provided by Nena Dee
- Susan Stinker’s (@susanstinker) cotton candy version of Marie Antoinette. The dress is completely handmade and hand beaded, and the wig is from Kat Sass. Photo provided by Susan Stinker
- One of Lucky Stiff’s (@lucky.stiff) favorite Halloween’s looks. By Erik Kommer for The Darling Chicago’s Halloween event taken Oct. 2019. Photo provided by Lucky Stiff
- Max Dinerstein (@fauxpadrag) and Daddy Long Legs’ (@daddylonglegsdrag) Ghostbusters number Oct. 2019 at Plot Twitst at Berlin and Jackhammer. Photo provided by Max Dinerstein
- Muffy Fishbasket’s favorite Halloween look as a possessed nun. Photo provided by Muffy Fishbasket
- Rylan Aspen’s take on a “Swamp Witch” look for Halloween 2018. Photo provided by Rylan Aspen