As she teams up with Boots and Macmillan Cancer Support, the drag queen talks to Abi Jackson about self-care and learning to say 'no'.

For Baga Chipz, nothing beats a good old-fashioned pampering session.

"I'm all about skin," declares the drag queen, whose career rocketed after competing in the first series of RuPaul's Drag Race UK in 2019. "I wear a lot of make-up - I usually plaster it on, and I'm constantly bathing, so it's all about skincare for me. There's nothing better - it's my favourite thing in the world.

"People will say, 'Oh you have amazing skin' - but I've looked after it since I was about 12! I love my creams and lotions and potions, my Estee Lauder, my Clarins, my Dermalogica - I love all the stuff. Anywhere I go, if I'm in duty-free, I always come back with about 20 creams."

Naturally, she jumped at the chance to team up with Boots and Macmillan Cancer Support on their latest fundraising campaign - encouraging customers to host 'Me Time Pamper Events'. The high-street brand and charity have partnered on campaigns for 13 years, raising a total of £20 million towards supporting people affected by cancer - including those living with the disease and their loved ones.

For this new campaign, a percentage of proceeds from sales of selected Boots pampering products will go to Macmillan. Customers can get a mini makeover in-store for a small donation, plus there are 'Me Time' fundraising packs on the Boots website for anyone who wants to arrange a fundraising pamper event at home.

"It's such a good cause, and Macmillan does amazing work," says Baga, 32, who is also an ambassador for Cancer is a Drag - a charity set up by fellow drag artist Alan Bugg following his diagnosis with stage four cancer in 2010, facing the additional stress of financial difficulty due to being unable to work.

One in two people in the UK and Ireland will be diagnosed with cancer at some point during their lifetime - and like almost everyone, Baga has friends and family who've been impacted. A bit of pampering might sound simple, but these things can make a big difference to people who have been going through treatment or recovery, she says - as well as providing a welcome pocket of normality.

"And it's not just patients - their friends and family that support them often need support as well, because it is stressful," adds Baga, who says she "learned so much, and met so many amazing people" during the day spent filming the campaign video.

"Obviously your priority is the person going through cancer, but people forget how hard it can be [for their loved ones, too]. My mum had to look after her brother, and she'd just be at home crying, it was so sad. Getting your closest friends and family together [for a pampering session] is lovely, and you can have a day to forget about it all for a bit."

While Baga loves seeing the results of her skincare obsession, it's also about the ritual and a chance to press pause. "That's why I like doing comedy as well," she adds. "When people tell me, 'I switched off for a minute during your show' - everyone needs that, to switch off from your woes, forget about your bills and your troubles."

The performer - who recently took part in the new show RuPaul's Drag Race: UK vs The World on BBC Three - is currently on tour in Europe (she's just landed in Berlin when we speak). She was "blessed" to have money coming in during the pandemic through Instagram and Cameo (a service enabling people to buy personal recorded messages from celebs), when so many people in the entertainment industry and performing arts saw their work grind to a halt. But she's thrilled to be in the thick of touring again. "It's amazing, I'm travelling the world," she says. "I live in airports at the moment!"

Of course, exhaustion comes with the territory, when your job involves so much juggling and late nights. How does Baga switch off?

"Let's say I have a week off - that is rare, say twice a year - I like to book a nice health retreat or spa. I've just been to the Glass House Retreat in Essex - I had massages and facials, saunas and stuff, that was so lovely. But if you're talking a day or two off, or I've got a night off, I'll be laying on the sofa with Netflix, I'll get a takeaway, I'll have a face mask on and a hair mask. I'll have candles burning and just watch the Kardashians and Real Housewives."

Does she have a set fitness regime? "I'm probably the most unhealthy person in the world. I wouldn't say I go to the gym, or really eat healthily. I like my takeaways and I like going to restaurants and wining and dining. I love The Ivy."

Surely she gets some good workouts on stage? "Oh yeah, oh my God, on stage it's the most vigorous thing. You're constantly moving."

Like so many of us, Baga says her main self-care challenge is to get better at not over-committing. "That is my number one fault - saying yes to everything. I am what you call a people-pleaser, so I'm always like, 'Oh yeah, yeah, yeah'. And then when it comes around, I'm like, 'Why the hell did I say I'd do that!' Don't get me wrong, if it's a good cause, I love it, but I'm a very 'yes' person.

"I need to realise that you can say no to people. You can be like, 'I'm sorry, I'd love to, but I can't'," she reflects. "I need to concentrate a bit more on me and my physical and mental health, you know? What I've learnt is, you do need a day off - it's not even a question. Or you're going to burn yourself into the ground."

To find out more about Boots' and Macmillan Cancer Support's latest campaign and to download your own 'Me Time' fundraising pack, visit