Celebrity beauty collections are exciting, but some can tend to feel a bit random if the celebrity hasn't had a strong presence in beauty. If someone in the public eye is going to try their hand, we want them to really know their way around makeup—and who knows how to get full glam better than a drag queen?
Gigi Goode, finalist in Season 12 of Rupaul's Drag Race, just announced their first makeup collaboration with the indie beauty brand Christian Audette, and believe us when we say, this is Goode news.
We saw many sides of Gigi on Drag Race. Their near chameleon-like ability to shape shift their look each week and nail every runway challenge kept them in the game until the very end. Their style is a little classic old Hollywood mixed with a bit of '90s baby nostalgia, and their makeup skills are untouchable. On any given day, you never know what Gigi is going to be wearing, but you can be sure that their face will be flawless.
Now, Gigi is bringing us a four-piece collection in collaboration with Christian Audette. Consisting of a classic red lipstick ($29), nude lipstick ($29), brown liner ($25), and clear gloss ($27), the limited-edition collection is full of classics that can be used in any look, from soft glam to full drag.
We caught up with Gigi to hear everything about what inspired the collection, what it was like being at the helm of its creation, and life since Drag Race (in quarantine).
How did this collaboration come about? What made Christian Audette the right partnership?
Gigi: This started like, oh god, seven or eight months ago. They reached out to me just asking if they could send me some product.
I never really used traditional tube lipsticks until they sent me theirs. When it comes to lips, I've always been a liquid lipstick and a paintbrush kind of girl. It's just the artist in me. But I was like, sure, let me try your product.
I tried them out and I was like, "oh, these are really good." After that, they approached me to ask if I wanted to create a product with them, which I had never done. Collaborations like this are one of the things that I did RuPaul's drag race to be able to do. I was like, "This is on the bucket list."
Walk us through the process of creating the collection, how you landed on the products and shades, and the inspiration behind them.
So I knew from the jump, if I'm creating a lip collection, it's going to have to be things that I want to wear.
I know a lot of people might say like, "Oh, it's so boring. She just came out with like a brown lip liner and a nude lipstick." But like the fact of the matter is, when you're constantly getting in drag, having your staple color and your staple products is really important just in terms of efficiency.
At first it started as one product and I said, "Okay, I have to do my classic nude lip." And it was both as easy, and as complicated in a sense, as literally piling together all of my favorite lipsticks and creating a color from all of them. It was so fun.
When you were first approached and you knew that this was going to be happening, what did you envision for the collection? What did you want to accomplish with it?
To me, first and foremost, formula is the most important thing because I have to be in this makeup for 12 hours at a time. It's really important to think about the formulation and the longevity. And I'm so happy to say that I got a big say in it, and it's my favorite formulation of a lipstick I've ever tried.
Tell me about the shade names in your collection.
I'm very stupidly proud of them because the names are just really fun. The nude one I had picked out already before I knew we were going to do other products, so that one is called Goode. The red lipstick is called Bloode, then the lip liner is called Woode, and the gloss is called Glosse.
I just wanted it to be fun and kitschy and campy and cute. I love it.
As a self-professed liquid lipstick lover, how was it to pivot to traditional lipsticks?
To be completely honest, it's amazing. It has cut down my makeup time quite a bit. And, the fantasy of putting makeup on when it's a lip liner and a bullet lipstick is so much more alive than taking like a paint brush and outlining your lips, then filling it in with a liquid lipstick, and having to wait for to dry. It's just like very Marilyn Monroe to me, which I just love.
Can you tell me about your current relationship with makeup? Both in drag and day-to-day?
Makeup has always been my number one girl. I have been doing drag for eight long years and I have never dreaded putting makeup on. Every time, it gets me excited for the reason I’m getting in drag.
I think that kind of stems from the artist in me. I think makeup is such a powerful form of art because at the end of the day, it's going to be wiped off. And that to me is some of the most beautiful art, the kind that is only there for as long as you are able to see it.
What to you defines a Gigi Goode makeup look?
It’s constantly changing and evolving. Heidi N. Closet on my season famously said, ‘If you're not growing, you're dead.’ That has stuck with me. But I would say my signature look, no matter what, is always in the neutral family. I love a gorgeous nude lip and a dark ‘90s lip liner. It’s very demure.
Do you still do the white cupid’s bow moment?
That has changed and evolved as I have changed and evolved. My relationship with makeup is changing as my relationship with gender is changing, and the way that I see myself and the way that I feel is projected out onto my face. Lately it has become about creating more of a female illusion rather than, I guess for lack of a better term, “drag queen makeup,” which, to me, that white highlight has always symbolized.
It's just like, that was Gigi a year ago. This is Gigi now. And Gigi next year will be completely different.
As a genderfluid person, do you find that beauty helps you explore your gender expression?
Well, it's definitely obviously different for everybody. I just find that having makeup as a tool, almost a window into all the different forms of me that I could become or want to become...for me, that almost just solidifies my fluidity even more, because it just means that I don't have to stick to one thing. I can be a million different things at any given time.
How does it feel to be one of the biggest stars of RuPaul's Drag Race Season 12, a season that happened entirely in quarantine?
It's strange because it never really felt real. I still to this day have not met a single fan in person. And once that happens, my perspective will change even more. But as of right now, all I have is the comments on social media to remind me that I'm famous.
It's like going through this process has allowed me to take time to work on projects like this makeup collaboration, which has been great because otherwise, had I been touring and traveling the world and on the road, I can almost guarantee that my drag would not have changed or evolved because I wouldn't have time to do that. I'd have to put on the same face every single night and I'd have to put on the same costume. So the opportunity for growth and evolution might not necessarily have been there.
What was the first beauty product that you fell in love with?
My mom used to use strictly Clinique makeup. It was the jade green packaging with just the most drab colors you could possibly think of. She had this little mini pallette that had a a brown eyeshadow, a pink eyeshadow, and like a shimmery white eyeshadow, none of which were matte, by the way. And one of those like little double-ended sponge tools in it. I would just find an excuse to put it on my face.
Your season seemed to have a camaraderie and a positivity between all of the girls that was refreshing and you may not always see on the seasons. Did you learn any one makeup tip from the girls, or just like really anything in general that you learned from your season that you have taken with you?
In terms of makeup tips, Jaida is so fast and efficient. And the same with Crystal Methyd. So like I learned a lot about efficiency. Don't take too much time on the details when it comes to this kind of thing. No one's going to notice the time you took on painting for the judges’ panel. Don't paint for the mirror to two inches in front of you.