By Evan Ross Katz
Alyssa Edwards doesn’t get cute. She gets drop-dead gorgeous. That was proven in spades on Sunday (May 26), when the back of the floor at RuPaul’s DragCon was transformed into a fully-staffed makeup counter thanks to the highly-anticipated release of Anastasia Beverly Hills’s new limited-edition Alyssa Edwards palette.
The star of VH1’s RuPaul’s Drag Race and Netflix’s Dancing Queen was on hand to pose with fans as they got their hands on the new 14-shade eyeshadow palette — which includes 11 mattes and three metallics with names like Inspire (metallic champagne gold), Unicorn Tribe (matte cool plum pink), and Beast (matte blackest black), the last being a reference to one of Edwards’s many iconic catchphrases from her two seasons on Drag Race.
She joins past Drag Race contestants Trixie Mattel and Aquaria in using this weekend to launch her makeup (Mattel has released Trixie Cosmetics; Aquaria a collaboration with Nyx Cosmetics). Other alumni including Miss Fame and Bianca Del Rio have released makeup, and of course the queen of queens, RuPaul, did a collaboration with Mally Beauty in 2018.
Finding a moment to chat with the fan-favorite queen proved difficult considering her effort to meet every fan attending the event, but we finally found time as the crowd began to exit on Sunday afternoon. “Come on, MTV,” she told me.
For Edwards, the launch was a two-year plan coming to fruition, and there was no better place to celebrate the collaboration than with her fans and the community at DragCon. "These people have built me up and have supported me and followed me all around the world," she said. "It’s magical and it’s definitely been a moment.”
Perhaps in a nod to those who launched her career, Edwards designed this palette for “the everyday woman,” a ray of light in the lives of those who need it. "It’s for the after 6 or 7 o’clock gal on the go, and this is definitely for the 1 a.m. queen on the show or the king, the young little boy or the little girl,” she said. “This is for any artist that ever had a dream…"
In the background, a voice from the loudspeaker cuts her off, announcing that everybody must exit the Los Angeles Convention Center. Edwards is characteristically undeterred.
“They’re trying to cut me off, and this is my Emmy moment,” she said. “I just want to say that beauty is art, makeup inspired me. I never felt powerful until I put makeup on. I’m one of seven from a small town and I have four sisters and I secretly played in their makeup. And I hope now when people put this on they don’t secretly do anything. It’s bold, it’s daring, it’s strong, it’s inspiring. It’s all things Alyssa Edwards."
And it's that attitude that had fans lining up all day to bask in her aura, refusing to miss the opportunity to share a moment with their favorite queen.
"You know, right now I’m tired, I’m low on energy, I’m stuffed in this corset, but then it’s on the plane ride home where I’ll go, ‘Did you ever in your wildest dreams imagine or fantasize that you would be signing pictures of yourself?’” she said. “And no I didn’t. It’s truly a dream come true. It’s a blessing. I will cherish and treasure this forever. If it all ends tomorrow, I did it. I had to do it my way. And that’s what it’s about."
And with that, Edwards musters one last smile and heads off to get that corset removed. For a queen who has continued to inspire and create since her Drag Race days it’s just another mission successfully accomplished.