"I'm coming out of the closet and bringing my mom's dresses with me!" Manila Luzon exclaims, pertaining to the time she realized her truest self. For anyone who may be unfamiliar with her, well, her name might provide some insight into who she is.
A Filipino-American by blood, Manila has been in the international drag scene for decades now. While strutting through the werkroom of RuPaul's Drag Race (not once, but thrice, mind you) put her on the map, the entertainer has brought her conceptual ensembles, over-the-top performances, and iconic B&W hairdo to almost every nook and cranny across the globe.
Manila recently ventured home to be honored as Avignon Clinic's newest and first international ambassador. With a profession that entails her to look camera-ready 24/7, she professes that no stigma should stop anyone from getting the cosmetic enhancements they please. She vouches for the clinic's botox treatments to banish wrinkles, and she even quips about the wonders Emsculpt does for her husband's abs.
On the topic of makeup and beauty in general, there is no clocking Manila Luzon's mug. She tells Preview that "makeup is actually really easy to master" She adds, "I mean, I figured it out."
She shared that her journey with cosmetics began as a way to actually cover up what she didn't want the world to see. She opens up, "I had really bad acne, and so I was really embarassed about it. I remember [being] a boy [and] wishing that it was socially normal to put on some foundation just to cover up the acne scars, the redness, and the bumps, just so I [could have] more confidence."
Thankfully, the world has progressed since then, and even if not everyone became a global sensation like Manila, little boys and girls can now acknowledge the freedom they have to express themselves. "I'm really excited that these days, cosmetics and makeup [are] becoming used more generally. Like, it's more acceptable for a boy to wear them now," Manila says.
"My reason was I just wanted to cover up my blemishes and my imperfections. But what I really learned from cosmetics is that your face is like a canvas. And you can be creative; you can highlight the features of your face that you love and downplay the ones that you don't like."
So, to anyone who may be needing that push to finally pick up that makeup brush, here's what the queen has to say: "Go ahead and try, practice in the mirror, take selfies. And when [you're] confident to go take that beautiful painting on [your] face out into the world, go ahead and do it. Know that there are people who support you and think that that's a talent." Hear, hear!