Despite his decades-long status as a beauty and fashion icon, RuPaul has only ever released makeup with two brands: Colorevolution (one of Drag Race‘s sponsors), and MAC’s Viva Glam campaign. That, however, is set to change this week with RuPaul’s release of his long-anticipated collection with Mally Beauty, a beloved brand founded by celebrity makeup artist Mally Roncal.
The Mally X RuPaul Color Cosmetics Collection will be available exclusively from qvc.com and mally.com starting Friday, September 20 — and this one’s personal.
As Roncal and RuPaul tell Allure, the duo met in the early ’90s when Roncal was working as an assistant to fashion designer Kalinka. They crossed paths when Rupaul came to the designer’s offices for a runway show fitting; what ensued was more than 20 years of friendship that’s still going strong today.
“We instantly became friends,” Roncal says of their meeting and longterm bond. “We were always cheering each other on from the sidelines.” Decades after becoming friends, Roncal reached out to RuPaul about a collaboration, and he unflinchingly accepted. “She embodies everything I love about makeup and the playfulness of it,” Rupaul gushes. “When she asked me to collaborate, I thought, ‘Absolutely’.”
Together, Roncal and RuPaul created a massive collection that embodies the fun of wearing makeup, in what he says are the shades every beauty lover should have whether they’re a down-to-Earth everyday user or a professional drag queen.
“These are the colors that I wear all the time, and they absolutely work,” RuPaul says. “There’s something there for everyone. It’s fun to play with the trends, but you want to keep going back to the classics. There’s a lot of fun there, too.”
It seems that almost every day, another former Drag Race contestant is launching their own brand or collaborative collection — this year alone, Willam Belli, Aquaria, Trixie Mattel, and more have dipped their toes into the rapidly growing pool of celebrity beauty lines.
Still, fans have been left waiting with bated breath for creations by RuPaul, the queen who paved the way for them all. And that’s exactly what Roncal is bringing to the table this week. See the entire range of limited-edition, face, eye, and lip products below.
Limited-Edition Face Defender, $37
Don’t fix what ain’t broke was the approach Rupaul took with the Face Defender, an already-existing Mally Beauty face primer with which he’s infamously obsessed. “Every set I go to, the makeup artists have the Face Defender because it works so well,” RuPaul says. “I would buy them in bulk on QVC and pass them out to friends because I believe everybody should have this product.” For the purposes of this collection, he took the same lightweight formula with a soft-focus finish and repacked it in gold for his own personal touch.
RuPalette Eye Shadow Palette, $40
Because RuPaul wanted this collection to include colors that “work on everybody,” he stuck to a timeless eye palette full of neutrals and, of course, a whole lot of shimmer. What sets this 18-shade palette apart from the rest, however, is the dual-ended applicator that comes with it. Roncal wants to make it extra clear that while sponge eye applicators have a bad reputation, the one included with this palette has intention behind it. “A really big makeup artist slash drag queen secret is when you want pigment to really show up, you’re going to use a sponge… because they lay the product down so well,” she says. “But I think because people think they only have to use brushes, they don’t realize the power in using a sponge-tip applicator to put on shadows.”
Fans of Drag Race in particular will get the biggest kick out of the palette’s shade names, featuring some of drag’s best original slang terms and iconic RuPaul catchphrases. Charisma, Uniqueness, Nerve, and Talent, anyone?
Realness Eyeliner Trio, $29
Roncal’s and RuPaul’s take on the eyeliner pencil comes in three fool-proof shades, available exclusively in a trio set. Sequins (matte black, pictured above), Hey Sis (almost-black burgundy) and Mighty Love (deep red) have rich, one-swipe pigment that can be left to dry as is or diffused into smoky looks. RuPaul loves to use the dual-ended sponge from the eye shadow palette to blend out the liner for an effortless daytime look.
Draglash Mascara, $29
Roncal says the goal for her and RuPaul’s mascara was to deliver drag queen-level false lashes in a single tube, and that’s exactly what this product does with a unique square-shaped brush and “fierce, molded bristles” that comb through every lash with ease. Though the results of Draglash are longer, thicker, and fluffier lashes, she insists the lightweight formula makes it way easier to wear than actual falsies. “You don’t have to glob it on,” RuPaul agrees. “If you put [on] just a little, it will enhance the beauty of your eyes.”
Hiiieee-lighter and Ruge Duo, $33
A major problem Roncal has always had with powder highlighters is that they only look one of two ways: subtle and wet, or so bright it’s impossible to blend well. Her and RuPaul’s creamy version puts the best of both worlds into a single buildable shade, which Roncal says “look natural but slightly like you could see from outer space.” The paired blush combines a peach-y pink base with a hint of gold shimmer for a universally flattering flush.
Lipstick For Your Life Trio, $33
Let’s be honest, a RuPaul makeup collection would be totally off without a nod to Drag Race‘s weekly Lip Sync For Your Life battle. This trio of cream bullet lipsticks includes three staple shades: Teehee, a soft pink nude, Mama Ru, a true and bright red, and WerkRoom, a vibrant mauve.
Polished Liquid Lipstick + Discotheque Lip Topper 3-Piece Kit, $32
Because everyone has differing needs when it comes to lipstick wearability, Roncal and RuPaul created two other lip formulas for their collaborative collection perfect for mixing and matching. Polished Liquid Lipstick, Roncal says, is not like any other liquid lipstick you’ve used before. Whereas many matte liquid formulas make you sacrifice comfort for wearability, she ensures this one stays put without causing a fuss on your face. “I put [one of these lipsticks] on in the morning of DragCon; I essentially made out with 400 drag queens throughout the day, and it never came off,” she says. “It just feels like something you want to wear.”
Polished’s four-shade offering also includes timeless staples like Now Prance, a peony-colored red-orange, A Shade Shady, a purple-leaning mauve, Dragmother, a deep blue-toned red, and Showgirl, a caramel nude. To make each of them even more personal, the collection also features two glossy lip toppers. Condragulations serves intense coral pigment that can be worn on its own, meanwhile Lippy offers sheer iridescent shimmer that adds a touch of pink to any lip shade. Through QVC, customers will be able to select trio comprised of Dragmother, Showgirl, and Condragulations, or a combination of Now Prance, A Shade Shady, and Lippy.
When it comes to these products and all beauty in general, RuPaul has but one must-know tip: Makeup is not about using products to look like RuPaul, or anyone else for that matter; it’s about using them to embrace your best features. “Everything in life is balance. Once you know yourself — and know where your strong points are and how your face works — then you use makeup to enhance that,” he says. On top of all other things, our conversation with him led back to one important lesson: Don’t forget to have fun with this makeup.
“You owe it to yourself to take the time to discover and have fun,” he advises. “It’s the fun of being a human and being able to decorate yourself and being able to not take life too seriously… We do take kindness seriously, we take love seriously, we take freeness seriously — but most other things are not to be taken seriously.”