Make Up & The Art of Transformation


Behold, the power of make up!

These incredible, yet beautiful and thought-provoking photographs are by multi award-winning New York photographer, Leland Bobbé.

The images are from Leland’s Half-Drag – A different kind of beauty, series.

Half-Drag offers a unique perspective on the men behind the make up, while providing provocative social commentary on gender identity, normative ideas about gender roles, and the traditional male/female paradigm.




I love how the photographs demonstrate the skill and creativity of these New York drag queens.  I realise these are extreme versions, but I think there’s a lot you can learn from them. You must check out his website for close-ups.

Talking of make up skills, I’m certain you’ve already heard of him, but if not, there’s a cult (though I believe he’s way beyond ‘cult status’ by now), make up artist called Wayne Goss, who produces short, but to the point, make up videos on his You Tube Channel

Goss – I can’t think of him as ‘Wayne’, obviously loves cosmetics and the power they have to transform, misdirect, (I mean ‘disguise flaws’ really), and improve. He’s got a witty, dry sense of humour but doesn’t mess about and just gets on it – something other You Tube make up gurus need to take note of, 15 minutes is too long for a tutorial.

The main reason I’m a huge fan of his videos though, is that he often demonstrates make up techniques on himself. Now, I’m sure I’m not the only one who sees this, but Goss’s 30 something, male eyes, are a near enough equivalent to female 40 plus eyes – which means older women can relate to his videos, I’ve even copied a couple of them with success.  I also like that some of his valuable anti-ageing tips are ones I already knew and figured out for myself.

Back to Half-Drag – Check out this last photo, doesn’t the ‘made up’ side seem to be the blue print for many a reality television celebrity? Naming no names, of course!


See more of Leland’s critically acclaimed photographs on his official website particularly, ‘Women of Fifth Avenue.’

All Images © Leland Bobbé

1 Comment

  1. April 30, 2014 / 9:55 pm

    Hey Leland,to be honest i am really fascinated by your ‘half-drag’ feature as it really inspired me.Looking at the images made me realise how drag queens are such experts at doing make-up and i would do anything to be as talented as them when the apply their flawless and beutifull make-up.This feature definitely took me by surprise and caught my eye,i appreciate that you have attempted to try what no one else has and this feature is really unique.Please could you email me the guy in the red wigs name i would like to see if he has any youtube channels or an instagram.His make-up was the one i admired the most:) ( They all looked great though).
    Aimee , ( )

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