Here’s How to Get Chappell Roan’s Camp-Meets-Couture Tiny Desk Look

Chappell Roan’s appearance on NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert series was instantly iconic, and the makeup on both the singer and her band truly brought the performance to another level. That’s thanks to queer trans makeup artist and drag queen Sterling Tull, who collaborated with the “Casual” singer and her team to craft the perfect camp-meets-couture look. Now, you too can learn how to look like a porcelain doll who stepped straight out of a John Hughes and/or John Waters movie, because Tull has been breaking down her process on TikTok.

TikTok content

This content can also be viewed on the site it originates from.

Them reached out to Tull to get more details on how the look was crafted, the inspiration behind the makeup, and more. For months, Tull had been telling her friends that she wanted to collaborate with Roan, who she said seemed like one of those rare people “that are gonna be down for some really cool, magnetic makeup.” Then one day, on a recommendation from a fellow New York drag performer, Roan’s manager emailed Tull to ask her to the singer’s Tiny Desk look. “I feel like I definitely manifested that out of the ether,” Tull told Them.

In her TikTok video, Tull recreates the Tiny Desk look on her own face, starting with a white foundation base and gradually adding dimension back to her face with layers of blush, pencil-thin brows, and that glittery, blown-out blue cut crease. Tull worked with Roan and her stylist, Genesis Webb, to craft the look, pulling primary inspiration from a Pat McGrath look for Dior’s fall 2007 couture collection. “The look was copied down to a tee with some extra elements added in that she specifically requested, like the white face, the blush, the lipstick on the teeth,” Tull said. “She wanted some more rhinestones in her eyes, she wanted different eyebrows and a little more depth in the crease — she wanted very similar elements to this makeup but more stylized to her.”

As for the band’s makeup, Tull and fellow makeup artist Chelsea Marie pulled from “really messy editorial looks” to create a ‘80s prom-gone-wrong vibe.

Roan and Webb told Tull that they wanted the band to look like they “went through hell, they just cried their eyes out, they just had enough of it and smeared their lipstick.” Tull said that those touches — the smeared lipstick, the running mascara — “are fun little details that also add to Chappell’s look, because Chappell has a few things that are kind of going awry on her face.”

In addition to the lipstick on Roan’s teeth, Tull used what she called a “messy glitter application” for the eyes, though that messiness didn’t make it any less purposeful. “There’s a lot of chunky glitter that I included in the look to add a lot of texture but also make it a little bit more off-kilter and camp,” she said.

Ultimately, Tull said that she was “nervous and surprised” about the positive response to Roan’s look because “drag is so politicized right now.”

“It feels amazing to see positivity surrounding the art in such a way that it’s emboldening people to become more interested in drag and playing with their identity and gender,” she said. “I think it’s amazing to see a younger generation be so receptive of this kind of work, and thank Chappell immensely for her loud showcasing and support of not only drag queens and kings, but queer culture. We so rarely have someone so big that outwardly supports this cause, and as a drag queen myself, it’s really amazing to see.”

Get the best of what’s queer. Sign up for Them’s weekly newsletter here.