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Raven Talks “Painted With Raven” Season 2

After obsessively binging “Painted With Raven” season one, I’m so happy that season two is here for the masses! I got to sit down and chat with the host, star, and makeup extraordinaire Raven herself about this new upcoming season.

C. Tepper: So “Painted With Raven” pits makeup artists against each other from across the country to do weekly challenges virtually for a cash prize of $25,000 dollars and the title of “Makeup’s Next Superstar.” What are the important qualities in finding “Makeup’s Next Superstar?”

Raven: Well, we want someone who’s able to do a little bit of everything. We’re not looking for someone who’s going to go in and do this super ornate prosthetic, you know. It’s more of the at-home beauty influencer who might do prosthetics, who may do beauty makeup, who might do body paint. But we want someone who just does a little bit of everything.

We don’t want someone to come and ace in every single thing. We want to see someone push themselves a little bit. So we’re looking for someone who can do a little bit of everything but who can take a challenge, tweak it to their expertise and make us go, “Oh my gosh. Look what you did!”

C: I was really impressed by the contestants’ level of skill in the first season. I feel like the show really levels out the playing field of who can compete because it is in a virtual format; the past season’s winner was literally living in their parent’s basement. Why was it important to showcase contestants from all different backgrounds and skill sets?

R: Because there are contestants from all different backgrounds and skill sets. With the advent of Zoom and the popularity of Zoom, we’re able to get into people’s homes. We’re able to see someone show us what they can do with makeup, what they can do with hair, what they can do with sewing, and how they can create something out of the dog hair that gets collected around their house.

We’re able to do these things, and we are able to celebrate them. You [the contestant] may not realize that you may do this in your house, but there’s someone doing it in theirs across the country from a completely different walk of life that you don’t realize you share the same common bond. So it’s great to have a set of contestants, a cast of artists that all speak the same language but are all from different walks of life.

C: ‘Painted With Raven’ premieres exclusively on WOW Presents Plus on Thursday, November 17, with new weekly episodes, and is the first major competition reality program developed exclusively for WOW Presents Plus. I thought the guest judges on the first season were so insightful and knowledgeable. Any hints on who we can look forward to seeing this season? I’m personally hoping for a RuJubee reunion.

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Raven Talks "Painted With Raven" Season 2 7

R: Oh, it’s funny that everyone goes to RuJubee. Everyone wants RuJubee there. There might be a RuJubee reunion in the near future, but I can’t say it’ll be on “Painted with Raven.”

But, you know, Patrick Starr will be there. Christopher Buckle will be there. And then, of course, RuPaul comes back. Duh. He’s going to be there. But we really want to make sure that we bring in judges who speak makeup, who know what they’re talking about, what they’re looking at, what they’re judging because the artists deserve that. And they deserve to be judged by somebody who also is well-versed in makeup. And all of our judges know what they’re talking about.

C: RuPaul is the executive producer for “Painted With Raven” and a frequent collaborator of yours as you famously won an Emmy for doing her makeup on “RuPaul’s Drag Race.” What have you learned from RuPaul both when it comes to makeup and also when it comes to hosting a reality competition show?

R: Well, when it comes to makeup, I learned highlight under the eyes can be a little too white, so tone it down and warm it up. Cause when I first started doing Ru’s makeup, I was going in. I didn’t realize that when I paint Ru, I’m also putting Ru under like ten spotlights. So everything gets really washed out and gets really lightened up. So my highlights on Ru were a little too bright, so he said, “We’re going to tone that down a little bit.”

But one of the biggest things I’ve learned from Ru, I guess it kind of does have to do with hosting – but is compassion. He’s a very compassionate person. He’s very willing to give someone, you know, more tries. I don’t think that my first run of doing Ru’s makeup was good.

I just don’t, and I never will. But the next season came along, and he was like, “Okay, we’re going to start filming again.” And I was there again and said, “Okay.” And we bounce ideas back and forth, but he’s never made me feel like I did a shitty job or that I did such an awful, awful job on this.

Ru’s a very sweet, caring, and compassionate person. And I’ve learned more compassion from Ru, and then being a judge, he told me, “You can’t go into this knowing that you’re going to have to eliminate someone or mute someone or crush someone’s dreams because that will sit with you and you will lay down at night and go, ‘Gosh, did I make the right decision?’ This is a job. Each one comes in knowing that that is part of the gig. So you just have to go with it and realize you’re not doing anything to be mean or vindictive. That’s part of your job.”

So I guess he kind of helped me along the way until finally, it was like, “Okay, you’re going to sit down on your own judges’ panel now.” I said, “Oh gosh, here we are.”

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Raven Talks "Painted With Raven" Season 2 7

C: What I’ve always admired about you as a contestant on RuPaul’s Drag Race, a Fashion Photo RuView commentator, and host of “Painted With Raven” is your unwavering confidence. You always come across as trustworthy and knowledgeable in your drag and makeup skills. Where does that confidence come from?

Thank you. I think my confidence comes from constantly learning and constantly upgrading, and downloading new information. I think that I do have an insight on things that I can share with people, but I also like to learn from other people. And I feel I do have the ability to interject my criticism or critiques because I’ve learned from so many people.

One of my favorite things is when I go to drag shows, and I’m backstage, and I’m watching people do their makeup, and I’m like, “What are you using?” – “Oh, that’s how you’re doing that. Okay.” Because the way you do something doesn’t mean that everyone does it that way.

I just think my years of being around a bunch of different people who do things their own way has helped kind of mold me into the person that I am as a judge, commentator, and person with critiques, but also as a drag relic.

C: No, drag legend! Drag legend! Saving the most important question for last, will there ever be a Raven line of cosmetics?

You know what, I was just speaking with someone about this. I would love to do a line of makeup, but I could not do like my own line. I would have to do a collaboration with someone because I’m so meticulous and such a perfectionist.

I’m not a control freak, but I want to know that “This is going to be like this” and “This is gonna be like that.” So if I’m able to find someone that I really like working with, which I’ve talked with a couple of people, but it wasn’t the right fit, then I know that I can say, “Okay, now let’s go do this together,” because I wouldn’t have the time to actually sit there and spearhead the whole thing. I would need to be able to do a collaboration.

C: I will buy it when it comes!

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Raven Talks "Painted With Raven" Season 2 7

R: Hopefully, it’s soon.

Season 2 is streaming now worldwide only on @wowpresentsplus, hosted by Emmy Award-winning MUA Raven

Written By

C. Tepper is an active member of NYC nightlife. She has worked for the YouTube series "Hey Qween" and currently co-hosts of the drag podcast "Wigging Out." She has co-written the book "The State Of Drag" where she interviewed one hundred and seventy five drag performers with diverse backgrounds from around the world, while noting the history and future of drag culture. "The State Of Drag" is now available on

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