Dragged by the heals

A Guru's Angel gets the Pangina Heals drag treatment and lives to tell the story

We did it. We've gone where no other BKK lifestyle publication has gone before for a story. We went drag. Nope, we didn't just stand on the sidelines, ask questions and admire. We went in, literally, as far as you can go, and experienced it first-hand for ourselves. And who else would we entrust with all the hair glue, glitter and lip-overlining other than the one and only leading Thai drag diva extraordinaire Pangina Heals.

Pangina Heals (Pan Pan Narkprasert). Photos Patipat Janthong

Working with Pangina, or Pan Pan Narkprasert, we had to play by his rules. That is, no looking at the mirror until the makeup was entirely finished, and you must have fun. To be honest, this was fairly easy to comply with, with Pan Pan right in front of you keeping you engaged the whole time. Two hours flew by faster than an episode of Girls. We went for a mermaid look in "clown drag" because our Guru guinea pig was already female, and because we needed to make something disproportionate. The result? Pure fabulosity. Two kilos heavier from the wig alone, our writer had transformed into a Gaga-esque sea creature, complete with an official drag persona: Ariel Ariolah.

The fun really begins there. Because drag is much, much more than an over-the-top makeover. It's a total embodiment of character. Without any direction or prior drag experience, a flip was switched between our style writer's bold but collected persona to this extra flamboyant mer-diva. Getting out of character was the real challenge, only achieved by a full removal of costume and makeup -- hours later.

Ariel Ariolah.

Through the experience, we came to understand a few things about drag. One, it isn't just something only a certain class of gay men can fully embrace. We were 110 per cent into it. And two, drag is truly another form of art that you can constantly work on and another form of escape from drab reality. Since when are those exclusive entitlements?

So, gay or straight, male or female, everyone could use a taste of drag at least once in their life. See how liberating and what an absolute joy it is. So how 'bout it for your next house party theme?

Photo: Nichanan Komson

Drag Tips for Noobs

1. PREP. Decide on a character. Are you going to be a celebrity, a famous fictional character or your very own character, like Ariel Ariolah? What diva have you always desired to be?

2. GET IN THE MOOD. Create a drag playlist to listen to during makeup time. It should include songs relevant to the character you're becoming. Fill in the gap with a little bit of classic cabaret and good ol' 90s to early 2000s pop/RnB.

3. APPLY THE MAKEUP. Exaggerate everything. Show McDonald's whose (brow) arches are boss. Drastically overline your lips. Paste big falsies on the top and bottom eyelids and away from the lash line. Make your cheekbones and masculine jawline visible from Mars.

4. WASH IT OFF. A product like the Makeup Eraser, a reusable makeup removing towel, is your new best friend. Just jump in the shower with this after your night of fun. You'll be the regular you again without even struggling.

For more inspiration, check out Pangina Heals on IG@panginaheals. Watch our drag queen transformation video on


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