A Minute-By-Minute Breakdown Of Drag Transformation

Miss Fame, or Kurtis Dam-Mikkelsen, is a gender non-conforming drag and makeup artist, model, and one of the biggest names in fashion and beauty. Previously seen on Season 7 of RuPaul's Drag Race, Miss Fame now walks red carpets and sits front row for fashion shows.
Here, Miss Fame graciously walks Refinery29 through the four-hour process — from room-service breakfast and apricot exfoliation all the way through wig styling — that it takes to transform from Dam-Mikkelsen to the Miss Fame. It's a practiced routine, down to the minute, and some steps will surprise you. The following interview was told to Amanda Mitchell and has been edited for length and clarity.
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Breakfast: 30 minutes

When I get up, and if I'm staying in a city, or hotel, which is often the case, like going to Paris Fashion Week, I’ll order a great room service, like an omelet, fresh juice, and avocado toast. Something really healthy and nurturing, and of course, an oat-milk latte.  

Shower Prep: 30 minutes

It's important I prepare skin from head to toe with full exfoliation. Full cleanse, and also, in case I need to shave any parts of my face. My skin is reactionary, so if I put on too many products and if I'm in makeup for too long, I might have a breakout during these crazy-packed days during Fashion Week. 
I rotate between cleansers that are a bit more clarifying and one that is more hydrating. I love 27 Rosiers Fight Grime Cleanser as an everyday cleanser, the texture is really great. I'll use it as a double cleanse, too, at night, when I take my makeup off. For the body, I'll use Dr. Bronner’s Peppermint Body Wash, and for exfoliation, the St. Ives Fresh Skin Apricot Face Scrub, once a week, only on the body — not the face. I like that it's very affordable, everyone knows it, and it feels great on the feet, hands, and back; it’s fabulous.  I'll then wash my hair with Aveda Sap Moss Weightless Hydration Shampoo and Aveda Pure Abundance Volumizing Clay Conditioner
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Masking & Skin Prep: 35 Minutes

Once out of the shower, I'll put on a hydrating face mask — honestly, whatever is in my kit, because I get sent a lot of things. I like Biologique Recherche VIP 02 Mask, an oxygenating, anti-pollutant mask. Then I use a hyaluronic-acid serum. I like to alternate between two: Dr. Barbara Sturm Hyaluronic Serum and Skinceuticals Hyaluronic Acid Intensifier, which I like because it's botanical, but also medical-grade skin care, and works well with my acne-prone skin. Then I'll use 27 Rosiers Quench My Thirst Moisturizer as a skin prep, because it’s lightweight. My skin is oily, so I need it to be supported in layers before I go in and do my makeup. 

Smoky Eye: 30 Minutes

I always start my makeup look in the following order: Eyes, skin, brows, lips, and then final touches on the eyes. 
I love a smoky eye, so I'll use the smoky shadows from my Miss Fame Beauty Under My Skin Eyeshadow Palette. I’ll add a little bit of light to the center of my lid with the highlight in the palette. 

Base Makeup: 30 Minutes

To create luminosity, I’ll apply 27 Rosiers x Miss Fame Extra/Ordinaire Skin Illuminator under my foundation, on the skin around my eyes and cheekbones. What I love is that it’s not just an illuminating effect, it’s also skin care. It’s soothing, anti-inflammatory, and protects against environmental pollution. It also has a stable form of vitamin C and collagen. 
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I’ll then apply my foundation — I mix shades together — and then conceal with a powder. I use Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Finish Setting Powder in 1 and 2, the texture is phenomenal for setting the face, and then Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder. I don’t like to excessively powder, but it is necessary because sometimes I’m wearing the same makeup for 16 hours straight, especially during Fashion Week. I’ll bake underneath my cheekbones, underneath my eyes, chin, and where I know my skin wants to crease, and will leave it there while I do my contour. So it's sitting there between 5 to 10 minutes. Sometimes, I even smoke up the under-eye area so anything that falls goes onto the bake, and then [I] lightly dust it off with a light, fluffy blush. 

Detail Work: 30 Minutes

Next, I apply concealer. I use the Makeup Forever Ultra HD Foundation Palette in two tones lighter than my base. I'll apply [it] underneath my eyes with the tip of my finger to blend it out, followed by a BeautyBlender. I also do this for detail work, like the bridge of the nose or to sharpen the brow. 
Then I’ll mix 27 Rosiers Extra/Ordinaire in Incandescent Rose and Brilliant Bronze to create a blushy, rose-gold shade and using a synthetic brush, stamp it into my cheekbones, into the chin, and a little bit into the forehead to create luminous points. On the brow bone, I'll then apply using a smaller synthetic brush. It’s essential in really creating that glow. 
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Lips & Finishing Touches: 30 Minutes

Ninety percent of the time I do a nude lip, so I use a range of nude shades. I’ll first use a matte lip liner, such as MAC lip liner in Chestnut or Spice, followed by Miss Fame Beauty Flesh of Flash Lipstick. I lightly press it over a moisturized lip to create a really glossy, neutralized tone. 
For finishing the eye, I use a Sephora Felt Tip Liner. The smaller felt tip gives great detail. For mascara, I use Byredo Astronomical Mascara, bevel it into the base lash line — [it] gives a lot of separation — and then apply Lilly Lashes (they are the best; I wear them for weeks and they always look good!), and use a tweezer to blend my false and real lashes together.

Hair: 45 minutes

Where I source my wigs is top secret! When I travel, I take 5 to 6 wigs with me. I have two lengths of blonde, brunette, peach, red, green. And then I had a yellow one that tore in half, unfortunately, during styling, so she needs to go to the wig doctor. I also have a bunch of synthetic wigs from my previous life as a showgirl because you can steam-style them into shape, and they stay in shape forever and don't get flat or frizz when traveling. 
For preparation and heat styling my lace-front wigs, I trust my hairdresser Parizhair — he does incredible hair sculptures — to do this in advance. He’s really a master, and you need a really-good wig person to preserve the life of your wig. You can easily spend several-thousand dollars on a really quality, human-hair wig. 
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Plus, if I did all the wig preparation on top of everything else, I’d never get a break!
For applying my wig, I always swore by the Alcone store in NYC, they sell a bunch of pro products and adhesives you use for special-effects makeup, [which are] also great for applying wigs for theatre. I used the Spirit Gum adhesive from there for many years, but was recently introduced, by my friend, to Schwarzkopf Got2B Glued Blasting Freeze Hairspray. I apply this to my natural hair before applying my lace-front wig. It’s shocking how quickly you can lay down all the little baby hairs with this hairspray.
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