In this day and age, specifically the Golden-Era of Drag, talented drag and makeup artists are finally receiving the recognition they deserve. Thanks to social media and entities such as Rupaul’s Drag Race, as well as the increased visibility of LGBTQ+ people in the media, Drag Queens and LGBTQ+ influencers are being given platforms like they’ve never had before.
With so much power and influence shifting into the hands of queer people for the first time in history, there is an ever-growing number of people to look to for inspiration. Here are 5 Drag Queen Makeup Brands that I love and their respective Drag Queens that, in my eyes, have made a significant impact on pop-culture and/or the beauty and fashion industries.
Alyssa Edwards Eye Shadow Palette
Alyssa Edwards is considered to be Drag Race royalty. Thanks to her unique personality and dance ability, she became a break-out star of Season 5 and All Stars 2 and now stars in her own Netflix series “Dancing Queen”, a reality show centered around her dance studio in Mesquite, Texas.
Made in collaboration with Anastasia Beverly Hills Cosmetics and using their signature quality formulas, Alyssa Edwards Eye Shadow Palette features an array of dazzling matte and metallic eye shadow colors.
Though I wouldn’t necessarily consider Alyssa to be the most fashion-forward queen, she is an incredibly fierce performer and a proper show-girl; undeniably a superstar in her own right.
Miss Fame Beauty
If you’re not following Miss Fame on the gram, you’re missing out on some serious fashion and makeup eye candy. One of THE most stylish queens, Miss Fame’s keen eye for couture has brought her to great heights, such as working as a makeup artist and modeling for Marc Jacobs, both in and out of drag.
She launched her self-titled makeup line Miss Fame Beauty last year and most recently came out with her “Under My Skin” collection, which looks decadent. She’s a goddamn brand, yet at the same time seems to be an incredibly endearing soul, with a lot of humility and sensitivity. A portion of each of her sales goes towards the Hetrick Martin Institute to support less fortunate LGBTQ+ youth.
Check out her insta so you can double-tap all that so hard.
Aquaria x NYX Professional Makeup Color Palette
The winner of Rupaul’s Drag Race season 10 is one of the youngest queens to ever grace the ‘main stage’, let alone win. She’s a very confident queen with an astute eye for fashion design, detail and construction, as well as comprehensive knowledge of the fashion industry and its history.
Since her win, she has remained at the top of her game, stomping the runway for designers like the Blonds and Jeremy Scott and walking the red carpet at the Met Gala. Aquaria is also a wiz with makeup and was known for it even before getting on the show (RPDR) by recreating viral memes as makeup looks. It only seems natural that she has now collaborated with NYX Cosmetics on her Aquaria x NYX Professional Makeup Color Palette, to create a full house of extremely pigmented eye shadows.
Being so young and so fierce, it’s incredibly exciting to imagine what she will have accomplished 10, 20 or 30 years down the road. She is the actual definition of the bee’s knees, according to Merriam-Webster.
One of my personal favorite queens, Trixie Mattel is in my opinion about as close to self-made as one can get coming from RPDR. Her first appearance on the show was short-lived and despite her razor-sharp wit and brand-able name and look, she wasn’t able to connect much with the judges or to the public at first. But as Trixie has said many times since, the real race starts as soon as the show ends and Trixie did nothing but hustle.
Teaming up with Katya Zamolodchikova, together they created “UNHhhh”, a now iconic and hilarious web-series on YouTube in which the two of them attempt to stay on topic for 20 minutes in front of a green screen (which later turns into whatever their editors want it to, usually inciting hilarity).
She returned to RPDR All Stars 3 already as a superstar in her own right, but then solidified that status by winning the damn thing and securing a spot in the Drag Race Hall of Fame. Along with all that, she’s also a successful recording artist, singer-songwriter, actor, comedian and makeup artist to name a few.
Her first venture into the beauty business was with an eye shadow palette called Oh Honey! in collaboration with Sugarpill Cosmetics, and since then, she’s gone on to found her own makeup company called Trixie Cosmetics. Also, a portion of the proceeds from Trixie Cosmetics goes toward the preservation of honeybees. Oh honey, we stan an eco-friendly queen!
Mally x RuPaul Color Cosmetics Collection
Lastly, RuPaul Charles: a queen who needs no introduction. The mother of all RPDR queens and four time Emmy award winner. Without her, none of these aforementioned queens would be where they are today. Her career and life have had such a huge influence on LGBTQ+ culture and on pop culture period.
Over the years, despite being in the business for so long, RuPaul has only ever collaborated on a couple makeup lines: Colorevolution (a Drag Race sponsor), and MAC’s Viva Glam campaign. But as of this year, she will now release The Mally x RuPaul Color Cosmetics Collection, available exclusively from qvc.com.
You simply can’t argue with this level of winning. It appears that all she actually does is win, win, win, no matter what. RuPaul is a mogul, both in the entertainment and beauty industries, not to mention a Gu(ru), singer, dancer, actor, producer, director- an actual living LGBTQ+ legend!
QUEENS for future
I hope you enjoyed my take on some of the beauty industry’s most influential Drag Queens of today and their corresponding makeup lines. There are numerous other queens coming out with cosmetic lines now, as well as many other LGBTQ+ influencers and celebrities, so let me know in the comments below what you think of my selection and if you think I should have included anyone else in this list!
It’s just so inspiring that these platforms exist and that LGBTQ+ people are achieving such success, but I feel it’s important to keep in mind that this is a “surge” in the proverbial stock market and that times may not always be so fruitful.
We have to take advantage and celebrate these moments by supporting these queens in their endeavors! Let’s continue to lift each other up while the going is good and perpetuate queer acceptance for generations to come!