Nikita Dragun Wants To Help Other Trans People “Allow Themselves To Be Free”
She developed the products in her Dragun Beauty x Instagram Pride Pack based on what she, as a trans woman, wasn’t getting from the beauty industry.
When Nikita Dragun decided to launch her eponymous brand Dragun Beauty in March 2019, it was out of, among other things, frustration. “I was like, ‘I don't see any girls like me. No one's catering to people like myself,’" she tells Elite Daily during a recent Zoom. Dragun, now a trans CEO and who’s made a name for herself in the beauty industry with her over-the-top, flawlessly executed makeup looks and tutorials, homed in on a hole in the beauty industry she knew she could fill, thanks to her personal experience.
“I always wanted to feminize my face almost in terms of survival, because at the end of the day, I'm just trying to go out of my door and live my life. I don't need someone questioning if I'm a male or a woman,” she says. “A lot of the issues [with makeup] that I faced early on were to cover my 5 o'clock shadow, to feminize my face. I've always studied from DaVinci books the difference between male and female faces, and it's really all about how the light hits you.” Dragun used this knowledge to launch Dragun Beauty’s first products: the DragunFire Color Corrector Skin Perfecting Potion ($25, Dragun Beauty) and the TRANSformation Face Powder ($35, Dragun Beauty).
Two years post-launch, Dragun is having a bit of a full circle moment. For Pride 2021, Dragun Beauty has partnered with Instagram to launch a Pride Pack. Available exclusively on Instagram checkout, the Pride Pack launches on Thursday, June 17 at 3 p.m. ET. “Everyone wanted to doubt me,” says Dragun. “The fact that, two years later, I'm still here and bigger and better than ever and partnering with Instagram is just really exciting.” Accessibility, particularly during Pride month, was top of mind, according to Dragun, and because of that, shoppers can snag the Pride Pack, valued at $105, for only $25.
Inside the Pride Pack, you’ll find Dragun Beauty’s hero products — the ones Dragun first launched with: The TRANSformation Kit and all three DragunFire Color Correctors (in lavender, green, and orange), packaged inside Dragun Beauty’s iconic purple Dragun Egg. She chose these products specifically knowing how instrumental they’d been for her when applying complexion products as a trans woman. Dragun creates a blank canvas for her makeup with the color correctors, prior to any other complexion products, to neutralize any unwanted undertones, like a 5 o’clock shadow, under-eye circles, or darkness around the mouth. “A little goes a long way with the color corrector,” she says. “Don't get freaked out because it's orange. Utilizing these steps to neutralize your face, you will be shocked at how amazing your face will look just from color correcting before your base.”
When I ask Dragun about the idea behind the brightening powder, in the Pride Pack and in general, she says she can only explain it to me the way she explained it to her mom. “Imagine a spotlight hitting your face, but at all times,” she says. Essentially, the brightening powder reflects light to blur and lift certain areas of the face, softening the darker shadows that might show up in photos. “I've even had my guy friends use a little bit of the Transformation Powder, and they're like, ‘What the F is? This is Facetune, Photoshop, and an Instagram filter all in one.’"
You might think Dragun is biased, but the TRANSformation Powder’s reputation seems to speak for itself. Dragun even has Cardi B and her glam team in her DMs asking for it. “I think Cardi B is my number one Dragun Beauty supporter. She or Erika La’ Pearl, her makeup artist, whose also trans and amazing, will DM me and be like, ‘Girl, we need some more,’” she says. “Or Tokyo [Stylez], her hairstylist who's also an amazing, gorgeous trans woman, will DM and be like, ‘I need more Dragun Powder. I need more color corrector.’ They've always been so supportive.”
Although Dragun launched her brand with trans people in mind, she’s quick to clarify that hers are products everyone can use “to play and to transform.” That said, she hopes trans people are able to use these products as a way to feel comfortable in their skin and embrace what makes them feel most authentic, regardless of opinions from anyone else. “Whether you're doing what [other people] want you to do or doing what you want you to do, people are always going to say something,” she says. “Allowing yourself to be free, I think, is the most important thing.”
Visit Dragun Beauty’s Instagram Shop to snag the Pride Pack at 3 p.m. ET.