Trixie Mattel is many things.
She is a best-selling country music artist, an All Stars winner, star of her own TV show, and now she is the brains behind a new makeup set from Sugarpill, aptly titled, Oh Honey.
To celebrate the launch of her new collection, Trixie spoke with NewNowNext about her own makeup journey, her talk show dreams, her favorite Dolly Parton deep cut, and why she’s so happy for Aimee Mann.
I wanted to wish you happy belated birthday!
It was my birthday! I turned 29, get into that gig.
And you were recently down in Australia for the Comedy Queens tour. How was that?
Oh, it was really fun. I had never toured with Jackie beat, Sherry Vine and Lady Bunny all together, so it was fun watching them all interact because they are all so funny, and so mean to each other.
It sounds like a dream.
Bunny is so disgusting, and Jackie is so mean, and Sherry is so old. So it was really fun.
So we should talk about your new makeup set which looks very glamorous.
Thank you! Let’s call it a playset. I liken it to a children’s makeup playset.
And you worked in makeup, right?
Before Drag Race, my day job was working at Ulta, Sephora, eventually I was working at MAC full time. I loved it. I enjoyed putting makeup on people, I also enjoyed helping people, and teaching them. Even women are so intimated by makeup products, and I got a lot of fulfillment putting the products in people’s hands and teaching them how to use it. For this specific launch I wanted to do colors that aren’t intimidating, but could be used in an intimidating way. Even if you look at Trixie, I wear a lot of makeup, but I use a lot of neutral colors.
And Trixie has gone through a makeup journey, herself.
Oh yeah. The concept was always there, but seeing myself on television, and being photographed helps sharpen your technique. Now I think I look like what I always wanted the character to look like.
When I look back at Drag Race Season 7 premiere party pics, and then look at Trixie now…
Oh my god! The Season 7 finale, my makeup, I think I was so miffed at the reception of my makeup that I was like, “you people wanna see too much makeup? Ill give you too much makeup.” My eyelid is up my forehead, when I turn my head at the finale you can see my brow goes under the lace of my wig. You know women, when your eyebrows are growing under you hair? Just normal women things #GirlsLikeUs.
Do you see queens doing Trixie makeup now?
The year after I was on Drag Race, all of these new queens had the dangling lash with the cut cheek, but drag queens all influence each other. For me it was putting Barbie, Nancy Sinatra, and Dolly Parton into a blender, and for some people, maybe I’m in their blender.
Do fans still give you jars of honey?
Oh, nonstop. Honey, Barbies. The number of Tamagotchis I have would make your head spin.
I love the names of the different shades in your set.
I was always fascinated with the names of colors and the process of naming them. Some of them are so obvious, like Romy is the color of Mira Sorvino’s lowlights in Romy and Michele. Some of them are odd, like Ponyboy is after Ponyboy from The Outsiders. My favorite name is Side Saddle because it used to be improper for women to ride with a leg on each side of the horse, so women would ride side saddle, and for looks, they had a fake wooden leg that they would throw over the other side of the horse—which is so funny to me. That the journey to femininity is so extreme there is a prosthetic is so funny to me.
And in the promo pics you are having a roll in the hay…
Yeah, and none of us thought to take allergy medicine that day, so that was kind of a trip because we had all of this hay in the house. We were all sneezing.
Have you heard from fans that you have introduced them to country music?
All of the time.
You’ve said how you don’t really know too many pop acts, but if you saw some certain folk or country artists in an airport you would just die.
Oh, I don’t know who anyone is. If I saw a Kardashian I would know maybe one of them, but if I met a voice actress from the Powerpuff Girls I would lose it. If I saw Brandi Carlile or Aimee Mann in real life I would lose my sh*t. I have been listening to Aimee Mann’s Mental Illness album for like over a year straight, it’s so good.
It’s so good.
It was really cool to see her win Folk Album of the Year [Grammy Award] because that album is so good. I love when people I really like win.
You should cover her!
I’ve always dreamed of doing a show where I host and play guitar, and I talk to guests like a talk show, and then for the musical act I play one of their songs while they sing it.
So speaking of Dolly, do you have a favorite Dolly song or album? And don’t say “Jolene,” I want a deep cut.
No! I don’t even like “Jolene” that much—don’t tell her that—but it’s not one of my favorites. There’s that Trio album with Emmylou Harris and Linda Rondstandt, and there’s this song “Do I Ever Cross Your Mind,” and the Dolly version is my favorite. But I have to say my all time favorite is “Coat of Many Colors,” it transcends time and space. I also really like “Backwoods Barbie.” I know it’s a little gimmicky, but it speaks to me. Dolly’s not young, and she’s still out there doin’ it. I mean Loretta Lynn has a new album coming out and she’s 86. 86!
Will you be doing this when you’re 86?
Girl. I probably won’t even live that long. I’m a man from Wisconsin. By 40 I’ll probably wrap my snowmobile around a Christmas tree. I like doing this, but my goal is to aggressively save money, quit young, and have a calm part time job forever—like working in a guitar shop someday.