Beauty and brains: Drag queen hosts makeup class for tweens at Ditmas Park library

Beautify: Cholula Lemon applies makeup to Jonathan Hamilt during a makeup tutorial led by the drag queen at the Brooklyn Public Library’s Cortelyou branch on Feb. 21.
Photo by Caroline Ourso

This teacher was a real drag!

A professional drag queen taught youngsters how to channel their creativity using cosmetics during a makeup tutorial at Brooklyn Public Library’s Ditmas Park branch, where the lady of the hour walked the kids through a toned-down version of her own fabulous routine.

“The difference between drag and regular everyday makeup is that drag is just more,” said Jonathan Hamilt, a leader of do-good group Drag Queen Story Hour, which partners with the borough library system to bring queens to book lenders for readings. “We remind everyone that if you want to wear this in real life, tone it down a little bit.”

The new cosmetology workshop, which debuted at the Courtelyou Library on Feb. 21, sprung from the book lender’s ongoing partnership with Hamilt’s group.

But unlike the readings — which cater to 3- to 8-year-olds — librarians geared the makeup mixer to a middle- and high-school-aged crowd, inviting 12- to 18-year-olds to watch New York City–based queen Cholula Lemon demonstrate how to apply such products as eye shadow, mascara, and fake eyelashes, according to the organizer.

The new gender-bending collaboration between the librarians and the lady performers introduces a different age group of kids to the queens, allowing the tweens to recognize and embrace differences that make their peers unique, according to Hamilt.

“Our mission is to instill tolerance, acceptance, and love, and to promote gender diversity,” he said. “We want kids to know its okay to love yourself for who you are, and let everyone know it’s okay to be different.”

Reach reporter Colin Mixson at cmixson@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-4505.

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