marina summers drag routine

World, Get Ready As Marina Summers Sashays Through Her Drag Routine

Slaying as always.

In an interview with NYLON Manila, Marina Summers spills the tea on her beauty routine and the not-so-glamorous side of being in drag.

Related: 5 Reasons Why Marina Summers Is Going To Devour RuPaul’s Drag Race: UK vs. the World Season 2

Marina Summers, the unstoppable force who snatched hearts as the runner-up on Season 1 of Drag Race Philippines, has graduated from being a showstopper to running the entire show. With a repertoire that now includes modeling, singing, directing, and show producing, this Filipina Diva has become everyone’s favorite muse. But she’s not just conquering the local scene; she’s about to conquer the world with her appearance on the second series of RuPaul’s Drag Race: UK vs. the World.

Now, if you’ve ever wondered what goes on behind the scenes as Marina Summers gets ready to serve some slayage, she spills the tea on her meticulous routine, giving us a sneak peek into the glitz and not-so-glamorous transformation of the persona we all adore. From the initial strokes of makeup magic to the final touch of fashion, Marina Summers sashays through her drag routine in an interview with NYLON Manila.

Getting ready for drag involves a meticulous routine. Could you walk us through the makeup process?

Shower—simply take a shower. Make sure that your face and body are clean because when you feel good outside of drag, you will feel good inside of it. Then, remember to prep your skin; always make sure to moisturize and prime. If you stay in drag for seven hours and film videos, your makeup needs a solid foundation—literally a strong base to begin with so that it doesn’t cake or become oily.

Marina Summers has a distinctive and captivating look. Can you share the creative process behind developing your signature style and overall aesthetic?

It was a constant change. Take it as an evolution, but at the moment, I think I’ve hit the sweet spot for Marina’s signature style: all-neutrals, snatched, and very Filipina ang atake. You know, it’s natural but it’s drag—like you can tell it’s drag, because it’s not natural in a way that I’m a one-eyeshadow kind of girl.

When it comes to the fashion side, three words describe it: glam, feminine, and sultry. So for me, Marina’s signature look, in terms of her aesthetic, is that she loves femininity and a lot of skin as well.

What are some of your must-have beauty products or go-to items in your makeup kit when preparing for a drag performance?

Number one—I love MAC powders, from pressed powders to their compacts; I think they’re very, very good for drag. Number two is gloss, which I don’t have on right now, but always gloss, gloss, gloss. Number three is not makeup, but I always wear perfume. Remember, you have to smell the part, and not only look the part.

At this point, kahit fingertips linalagyan ko, especially when I’m performing kasi kailangan maamoy nila—the scent elevates the experience. Now, I won’t tell you what my perfume is. Many people are asking, but it’s a secret.

Drag makeup is transformative. How do you navigate the balance between creating a bold, glamorous persona and staying true to your identity as Marina Summers?

For other people, their persona out of drag is very strong, very powerful, but when they get in drag, they become cutesy-cutesy. Then, for some, they may be shy in person, but in drag, they turn into dominatrix figures, sex sirens. But for me, that’s not the case—Marina is simply an extension of who I am as a person.

I think the only difference between me and my persona simply lies in the fact that she’s more famous and wearing layers of foundation.

Beauty and fashion go hand in hand in the drag world. How do you integrate your beauty choices with your fashion selections to create a cohesive and show-stopping look?

Marina is always beautiful. With that, it’s not always a problem to mix and match my looks. Like I said, when I do drag, it’s all about glamour and femininity, sexy and sultry, so it’s not that hard to plan wigs with outfits. It’s simply a matter of ‘do these choices make sense?’

For example, when I see structured hair, do I go for a structured look or a more flowy one? Then, when I think of strong, straight hair, what look would complement it? It will depend on the hair or the look, and the rest will follow.

Do you have any pre-show rituals or routines that help you get into the mindset of Marina Summers before hitting the stage?

Now, this is always part of the initial process—eat. When it takes me two to three hours to get ready, it’s in time for my digestive system to ~werk~ before a performance.

Makeup is not just about appearance; it’s also a source of confidence. How does the process of getting into drag impact your stage presence?

When I do my makeup, ang tahimik ko. Every stroke matters; every change in the look changes something in me. So when I do my makeup, I have to be centered. Walang kumakausap sa akin, alam nila ‘yan. Kasi the process of transforming doesn’t simply happen after attaching the wig. The moment you sit there, the moment you pick up a brush, the moment you pick up the glue, that’s where the performance starts.

Beauty is an ever-evolving industry. How do you stay current with the latest beauty trends, and do you incorporate them into your drag looks?

Always stay, scroll online, and save posts. Then, for inspiration, constantly change your mood boards. Lahat online now, every makeup look, every fashion show is there, so the trends are there that’s why I thing social media is very, very important talaga.

Drag has a powerful way of conveying messages. Are there specific themes or messages you aim to express through your makeup and overall appearance as Marina Summers?

Ang ganda-ganda ng mga Pilipina—well, not everyone, just kidding. Ang sarap maging Pilipina. So I always make it a point to embody the essence of being a Filipina. I want to look like a Filipina muse—a Filipina in drag. That’s where the pride comes in, and that’s the message I want to convey through the looks, through the outfits.

Kaya ko rin laging sinasabi na ‘she’s the Filipina Diva.’ Laging may Filipina because Marina Summers is a Filipina.

When you competed on UK vs the World, what was it like translating your style and aesthetic to a more global platform?

There wasn’t a big shift in making sure that my drag and Filipino drag are palatable to the international audience because it already is. What you saw on Drag Race Philippines is Filipino drag, and I wouldn’t change anything about it. Without giving away too much, all I can say is being Filipina is my biggest asset.

The drag community is known for its camaraderie. How do you connect with other drag artists, share beauty tips, and collaborate within the community?

Again, stay online. Create content, and watch videos of drag queens that I look up to, locally and internationally. Or when we travel, we meet queens from abroad, and makikita mo talaga in-person, and you’ll know more about their techniques and routines. While I’m always saying to stay chronically online, it’s important to live outside of social media. Explore and experience the drag world in person, you know?

Since I also produce my own shows, I get to work with a lot of drag queens with different personas, different aesthetics, and different perspectives on beauty. Ang ganda na magkakaiba kami, kasi lumalawak yung knowledge, yung kaalaman ko about the drag community.

While the focus is often on the glamour, what challenges or surprises do you encounter during your beauty routine that people might not be aware of?

When you have a bad skin day, there are times na hindi kumakapit yung foundation, to the point na kahit anong gawin mo, maghihiwalay siya. Even though you’re well-rested, kapag tinamaan ka ng malas, talagang there’s no way na maayos mo siya. Speaking of rest, one more thing is when you’ve pulled an all-nighter, and then you have to wear contacts—that’s the hardest part of it all.

Lastly, when you’re running out of time. Drag takes time, and it’s not as glamorous when you’re still in the process. There’s tucking, shaving your legs, shaving your armpits, grabe—drag is high maintenance. Sabi nga nila, ‘mahirap maging maganda’.

For people aspiring to explore drag, what advice do you have for developing their own beauty routine and finding their personal style within the drag world?

Stop when you can because there is no turning back once you’re in drag. But when you’re already a foot in, constantly practice. Now, find what works for you and take pictures.

When you want to be a performer, take videos of yourself performing, watch them afterward, look at yourself—your silhouette, your makeup—and find what’s wrong. Kahit mukha nang tanga na pinapanood mo paulit-ulit ‘yung sarili mo, be your own best critic.

Continue Reading: A Primer On The Queens Of Drag Race Philippines Season Two