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What Jinkx Monsoon Can’t Live Without

Photo-Illustration: The Strategist; Photo: Alec White

If you’re like us, you’ve probably wondered what famous people add to their carts. Not the JAR brooch and Louis XV chair but the hair spray and electric toothbrush. We asked RuPaul’s Drag Race All-Stars winner Jinkx Monsoon — who stars as Mama Morton in Chicago on Broadway — about the gaming console she plays in her downtime, the markers she always carries, and the eye mask that’s “inconsiderate asshole”-proof.

Throat Coat has saved my life multiple times as a singer. It keeps my voice in good condition, which is important, considering how much I, a drag queen, thrash my vocal cords. I really love that the ingredients in this tea are the same ones the ancient Egyptians used for sore throats and to maintain throat health. I make sure to travel with it now, too, because I’ve needed it on the road and couldn’t find it, so I had to try to figure out the ingredients to make it myself. The licorice is easy to find, but it’s just not that easy to come by slippery elm and marshmallow root.

Lighting is everything for makeup. When possible, you should be in control of your lighting, because as a drag queen who travels around the world and has to get ready in hotels most days, you’re used to doing your makeup in the most unflattering lighting, then hoping it looks good under a spotlight. I used to travel with my own light-up makeup mirror, but I have the worst luck with them. They break into a million pieces in my makeup bag every single time. Now I just travel with a Trixie Cosmetics hand mirror that I insist on having with me everywhere — in case we’re at a venue that doesn’t think that performers need to see themselves.

My PS5 is the creature comfort that makes living away from home tolerable. It’s how I watch my entertainment, play music, and unwind with video games. It really makes me feel comfortable in whatever space I’m in and gives me something to do at the end of the day that’s not drinking myself to sleep. I always play Overwatch 2 to blow off steam. That’s my go-to. But right now, I’m playing a game called Forspoken, which my husband told me is very divisive in the gaming community. It’s about witches, though, so I love it.

For me, witchcraft works as an extension of therapy. I’ll identify with my therapist what I want to work on, like, “I’m going to practice being kinder to myself,” but then I’ll realize I have a really busy week and don’t have time to practice being kinder to myself. So I like to create a ritual or look up a spell that’s supposed to help with what I’m going through. I put my attention and focus into that spell, and it takes away my anxiety.

I have a ton of spell books by different authors, but I always start with The Element Encyclopedia, and it normally points me in the direction of which book I need to look at next — like, if I should go dig into one of my spell books for nature magic or an herb encyclopedia. Originally, I was reluctant to start practicing witchcraft, because I was scared I’d do it wrong and I’d offend someone who takes it super-seriously. I was like, Where do you begin? but luckily, now I know, because I found Pam Grossman. She’s my mentor, and what I love about the way she approaches witchcraft is that she’s very pragmatic. And she’s got a great sense of humor about it all. Absolutely everyone who starts with Waking the Witch or her podcast, The Witch Wave, finds their way in.

Two things that get destroyed when I travel are my shoes and my suitcases. I’ve learned not to be attached to either of these things. Many times, my shoes have fallen apart on the road and I’ve had to run into an Aldo to buy these classic heeled ankle boots to get me through my tour. I love a shoe with just a little bit of a heel, because I spend so much time in heels that it actually feels more natural to have a little incline. I find that when I’m in flat shoes, my hamstrings get strained, because they’re not used to that.


For me, a sleep mask is about trying to control your experience as much as possible. One of my biggest fucking pet peeves, and this is gonna be really bougie, but when you’re in first class, it’s a smaller area. If you’ve been on tour for the last three months and you’re sitting in first class and it’s completely dark except for one person who has their window open, it feels like the light is shining directly into your soul. I always make sure I have this eye mask, because I can sleep in any situation but not when someone’s being an inconsiderate asshole.

Truff hot sauce is a bit of a luxury, but I put it on everything. I found it when I was writing and filming The Jinkx & DeLa Holiday Special with BenDeLaCreme. We had some lovely hosts who rented their house to us while we were working in Seattle, and it was stocked with Truff sauce. I tried it, ate all of it, then had to replace it, because I felt so bad. They had three bottles, and I finished them all. I always have it stocked at home. I don’t always have it on the road — Sriracha is my close second, but there is a Sriracha shortage right now, so we’re living in bleak times. You can order Truff online, though, and it’s starting to be carried in more grocery stores. They sell different levels of intensity, too, so you can pick what you want as far as heat level, but the flavor goes with everything.

I have to have something reliable to sign with. Nothing is more heartbreaking than when someone wants a signature and all they’ve got is one of those little ballpoint pens from a hotel that doesn’t work on glossy paper. I try to always carry a Sharpie somewhere on my person. I like to have a black one plus silver, gold, or copper, just so that different textures and backgrounds can be accommodated. I hate to be this person, but there are certain things you don’t skimp on, and when it comes to permanent markers, go for the Sharpie. I was raised in a very modest tax bracket. I’m all for a deal, I’m all for the generic brand, but not when it comes to permanent markers, it has to be a Sharpie.

I’m always as active as I possibly can be in the production of any merch. I want it all to feel authentic. I want it all to have the right tone and not take itself too seriously. I’m a big tote person. In my household, we have hooks for all of our shopping totes, and I even carry my day makeup in a witchcraft tote that was gifted to me. I think totes are endlessly useful, so why not have one with my face on it?

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What Jinkx Monsoon Can’t Live Without