Being a woman is not easy. The once-blistering open spores from your five-inch McQueen's have forever left an emblazoned mark on your right ankle. That grueling hour you spend straightening your untamed mane alone renders you catatonic. Let's not even dive into the messy horrors of child birth. All that insanity aside, it seems the hardship we ladies struggle with most is loving ourselves.
Constant comparisons to aesthetic pieces of art like Cara Delevingne (arguably on every magazine cover), and trying to live up to impossible standards is straight-up exhausting. But Houston based luxury cosmetic line, Body of Royalty, and the "Vanessa William of Drag," Alyssa Edwards, say fuck that.
Their means of relaying the message: The #PhuckYourShade Campaign.
This spring, Body of Royalty CEOs Jermelle Pitts and Joseph Chargois have teamed up with RuPaul's Drag Race queen, Alyssa Edwards. They're bringing their ample attitude and lush palettes to Miami and the world in hopes to obliterate fashion and beauty stereotypes and capitalize on girl power through five featured lip shades.
"With beauty, it's a lot of blonde hair and blue eyes, fixating on what's 'beautiful' and what's not. With this campaign, I wanted to see all different shades of women," Pitt says. "The focal point of #PhuckYourShade is Alyssa Edwards from RuPaul's Drag Race. It brings in a different aspect of beauty. We get a chance to show our perception of what beauty is and it includes everyone."
Certainly, a drag queen isn't the usual makeup mascot, but doesn't it just make all the sense? We've all been jealous of those girls faces.
"Beauty doesn't have a shape, size, color, or gender," Edwards says.
When trying to come up with an enduring campaign concept, the Body of Royalty creators knew they couldn't just settle on any pretty face.
"We thought, who could we have to represent a different demographic? And that's when we landed on Alyssa Edwards," Chargois says. "Alyssa [Edwards] is actually a beauty queen. She won Miss Gay 2006. So it was kind of ironic, because we refer to our customers as "beauty queens" and the name of our brand is Body of Royalty - it all fit together."
"Drag queens are under-represented. You don't see many of them with beauty and fashion ad-campaigns," Pitts says. "We wanted to remind people that it could work. It can be done."
But when Edwards was approached with the initial concept of the campaign, she had all sorts of mixed feelings.
"I remember looking at the email, like three or four times, and the thing I kept reading was 'PARTIALLY NUDE,'" she says. "I was like 'I don't have time to get liposuction. I'm not going to look good for this.'"
Though extremely apprehensive, she was equally intrigued.
Edwards admits that "after speaking to the guys who created this campaign" that plans to "unify not only the beauty industry, but all facets of what pretty is," she had to jump on.
"I've never done any print work like this," the self-proclaimed "bad bitch" says about her semi-nakie cameo, alongside four milk-chocolate beauties. "It's edgy, it's racy, but it's right."
The brand, best known for their cruelty and gluten-free products with a smooth, vitamin E-enriched application and vibrantly pigmented hues, will feature a round table of five royally awesome shades: Silence, a brilliant sunset orange; Soul Work, a bold, bright pink; Love Hard, a bubble-gum pink; Revive, a soft red ("Just enough flashy and just enough classy," Edwards says); and Always and Forever, a fierce pink gloss - shades that would make any Miami girl gawk.
"Miami has a luxurious feel to it," Pitts says. "You have the cars, the water, the celebrities, Star Island, and all the fun and glamour. We have produced products like Majesty, Enchante, Silence, Jet Setter and Gurl Code. These colors work really well on the beaches and the night life that Miami is known for."
But when we asked Edwards' -- who, on her downtime, frequents the drag queen mecca of Miami, The Palace -- what her favorite shade was, she couldn't possibly decide.
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"The red is probably my favorite," she says. "But, I don't know. The orange is so pretty. But that pink is no joke." #girlproblems
You can shop the brand exclusively online at bodyofroyalty.com and support the #PhuckYourShade movement (launching every spring/summer).