Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics (OCC), the vegan beauty brand best-known for its cult-fave Lip Tars, just hired its first-ever campaign models. But they aren’t your usual run-of-the-mill safe celebs–they’re drag queens.
Queens Willam, Detox, (both of whom have been on RuPaul’s Drag Race), and Vicky Vox hit the Sephora in Times Square Wednesday night to fete the brand and celebrate their new gig. (You may recognize them from this freaking hilarious video they did in response to that whole Chick-Fil-A gay marriage controversy last year. Truly amazing Wilson Phillips parody. Do yourself a favor and watch it.)
It’s a bold statement for a cosmetics company to hire drag queens to front a campaign, especially its first-ever. But David Klasfeld, who founded the brand in 2004 when he started making lip balm in his kitchen, sees them as the perfect choice. “They’re the most amazing group of people we could ever hope for to represent the brand. They’re everything we’re about. They’re fun, they love makeup, they’re socially conscious,” Klasfeld told me. “These are three women who aren’t afraid to use their voice and I’m really glad they’re using it for us.”
Here’s one example of how they used their voices Wednesday night. Willam (after taking a poll to be sure everyone was over 18) said, “Lip Tar is amazing. You can suck dick in a hurricane–it will not go anywhere. And..it’s not tested on animals, just tranimals like us!” If that isn’t a ringing product endorsement, I don’t know what is.
“Makeup trends have always been aspirational and it honestly always starts with drag queens. Makeup artists see what the drag queens do and then they dilute that trend for the celebrity client,” Klasfeld said. “Right now it’s all about celebrity makeup. Why not start at the top of the food chain?” With that in mind, I chatted with the three ladies for their best makeup insight.
Not surprisingly, all three told me not to be afraid of color. “Really experiment with color, it’s your friend. Don’t be afraid of it,” Willam told me. “It’s just makeup, it washes off.”
Well, not always. Willam went on to tell me she once got in a bloody fight and when she wiped all the blood off her face, the makeup was still intact. Unclear whether or not she was wearing OCC at the time.
Besides OCC, the ladies dished on what other beauty products they can’t get enough of. Willam, like every beauty editor and makeup artist in the world, is into YSL’s Touche Éclat and Diorshow Mascara. More off the beaten path? Sally Hansen Air Stocking (now called Airbrush Legs, which is basically spray foundation for your gams.)
Oh, and spray glitter is very important–the kind that is made to spray on hair. But read the labels carefully. “I went to spray glitter on my face, and it was black hair spray instead of hair glitter, so I sprayed black all over myself,” Detox said. “It was right before I was going to do a number and I was like ‘Fuck, what am I going to do?’”
Vicky Vox, a self-described “wee baby drag queen,” has only been practicing the art for three years and is still learning new tricks. “[I learned by] trial and error. I fucked it up a whole bunch before I got it right,” she said. “Detox is technically my drag mother. She adopted me. She told me, ‘Watch everyone else put on makeup. You’ll learn what not to do.’”
When I told Willam she was gorgeous, she said “You have good eyesight” without missing a beat. Turns out she is currently on a course of the potent acne med, Accutane, which she’s been on and off over the years–a drag lifestyle can wreak havoc on your skin. But thank god for foundation.
“Use good primer always and just take your time in between layers. Don’t put your foundation and powder on right away. Go shopping online in between [each step] or something,” Willam said. If all else fails, Detox suggests plastic surgery.
So what was it like to find out they were going to be in a campaign? “I didn’t believe it. I still don’t believe it,” Vicky Vox said. “I kinda peed when I heard! I felt like a little girl.” The three ladies made their debut on the packaging for “Lip Tar and Nail Duo” packs, which you can snag now at Sephora for $22.50.
And as far as Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics, expect much more in the near future. “We’re developing so many new categories for eyes, lips and cheeks. We’re rounding out the whole line,” founder Klasfeld said. “We want everyone from drag queens to stay-at-home moms to do be able to do a full face of OCC makeup!”