Hi there Ariel! Thanks for making time to talk with me today. Has Philly dug out from that storm last weekend yet?
Yes, finally! I actually had to reschedule my monthly show because Mother Nature decided to rain on our parade! Well… Snow. But same thing. They are both wet and horrible.
Well to be fair, you probably shouldn’t be scheduling a parade for January honey. So let’s go back in time a bit shall we? Where are you from originally?
I’m from Cherry Hill, NJ. So Jerseylicious.
Oh dear. No one told me this was going to be a Jersey interview! Okay, I’m a professional. I can handle this. What was your first exposure to the world of drag?
I used to go out in Philly to see a show called The DollHouse review hosted by Mimi ImFurst. That was when I first turned 21. I eventually became a part of the cast (monthly guest spot) a year after! I also used to go to Philly Drag Wars. It’s sort of like a live Rupauls Drag Race in Philadelphia. I participated in the fourth cycle and came in 3rd out of 14. I’m currently about to be running in All Stars 2!
Was that your first time in drag when you competed?
Nope! Drag for me started as a Halloween costume. I was Ariel (The Little Mermaid) one night. And then Britney on the other. They were both tragic. I’m sure I thought I looked amazing with my Dior Airflash and lip gloss. No shit, my friend literally says that I said “I don’t know why you wear so much makeup in drag. I literally already look like Britney Spears.” REALLY QUEEN!? So that’s my excuse as to why I now paint myself like a live Bratz Doll.
I was going to ask where your name came from but I think you just beat me to the punch.
The Disney Princess I always wanted to be, and the brand I will never afford.
I’m nodding my head as I look at my own last name. You don’t see a lot of queens with last names like Target or Macy’s.
Haha! I’m stealing that.
All you baby!
Although I do love me some Target!
Oh so do I! I got a cute skirt there the other day……and a pint or three of Ben and Jerry’s…..but I digress. What was that competition like for you as still a fairly new queen?
Super hard! It took some getting used to. I sucked at the beginning. But then in the end the competition as a whole really helped me establish who I am as a performer today. About halfway through was when it clicked for me. Philly is very big on comedy queens. So being a pretty girl that can make you laugh was helpful. *Laughs*
So you agree? You think you’re really pretty? Oh god sorry! My inner Regina George just came out.
Well you’re just a home schooled jungle freak who’s a less hot version of me. So it’s okay.
Touché! I like you! So halfway through you said it clicked for you. Was there one particular “a ha!” moment for you?
When I started just letting go and having fun. Realizing that it shouldn’t be stressful. Some nights were really stressful though. Like Snatch Games. Although I was Big Ang (before Pearl even did it so don’t read) and it went over REALLY well.
Wait, drag isn’t supposed to be stressful? Is that something new?
Oh, it is. No matter how early I get ready, I always run late. Too many selfies and I trip over everything. Including my cats.
Your cats take selfies?
No I trip over them. BUT, they do take boss selfies.
Miss thing needs to work on her lace though.
She says it hides her whiskers. She’s insecure.
Well tell her not to worry. Willam still doesn’t really hide her whiskers and she’s a huge star.
Miss Reading Rainbow 2016 goes to….
I kid! I kid! Besides I had to sit through a Willam fisting video at the Queens of Comedy so we’re even.
What kind of impact did Mimi have on your career?
Well she runs Drag Wars and really kind of opened the door for me. She gave me the opportunity to step foot into the Philly Drag Scene. People may not like Mimi, but she’s a business woman, and she’s smart. I mean shit, she still gets booked all over so she’s doing something right.
So what happened to your career after Drag Wars?
That’s when it really picked up. I got my own monthly night show and brunch at Tabu Lounge & Sports bar. I then got opportunities to perform in other areas like Asbury Park, New York & Chicago. Travel is a lot of fun.
Ah yes. The three big cities in America….New York, Chicago and Asbury Park! That’s when you know you’ve made it.
It’s a start!
How excited were you to get your own show?
Very! It is great to host/promote and run a show.
What do think of the drag scene in Philly as a whole?
There are a lot of drag shows. Too many sometimes. A lot of competitions. But even though we all like to act cute and catty, it’s a sisterhood.
In a short time, you’ve managed to become a pretty popular name nationally among drag fans. When the lists of queens that people want to see on Drag Race come around, your name is invariably on there. What would you attribute your popularity to?
I think a lot of it now a days is just to have a consistent presence amongst social media. A lot of people like my look, and that is what got me attention for the most part on my page. (Hair and makeup wise.) And when people see me perform, I think they don’t expect what they see. I like to do a lot of comedic themed mixes, and I think it’s refreshing for people.
You mentioned your hair and makeup gets you attention online. Is that how you connected with Atomic Cosmetics?
Yeah, they were actually one of the sponsors for Philly Drag Wars so I’ve got to play with Dr. Jen’s line briefly before!
I’ve been a big fan of Dr. Jen’s makeup for a long time now. Wearing makeup that isn’t poisoning you with toxins, what a concept right?
Absolutely. I’m a makeup junkie.
You and me both gurl! So how did the Ariel Versace collection come about?
Jen and I got into contact with each other through Instagram! We talked about how it would be fun to do a collaboration, and we made it a reality. She likes my look and I love her products!
So can you tell us a little bit about the five new products?
There are three lipsticks, a highlighter and a bronzer/contour! The lipsticks are Ariel Versace (Deep Burgundy/Red), Kiss My Fin (Mint), and Nood Beach (Mauve Nude). The highlighter “Nautical Nonsense” is beyond! Its like a bronze rose tone. Very shimmery. Then the contour is called Tan AF. Perfect to bring warm definition to the face.
C’mon shimmer! Are the highlighter and contour geared specifically towards your skin tone or are they more versatile?
They are definitely versatile. I’d just say if your more fair use them in moderation because they are super pigmented.
Being versatile certainly makes one popular! Makeup-wise of course. So when and where can people get your line?
It is available exclusively on Atomic Cosmetics website on February 1st!
And you’re going to personally deliver every order right?
Yep I’m going to roller blade right to everyone’s door.
You better hope there is no more snow then honey.
How exciting for you though is it to have your own collection of makeup named after you?
Very exciting. I’m just hoping everyone enjoys it as much as I do!
I’m hoping it’s a big hit! So now that you have makeup named after you, what’s next for Ariel Versace?
Well Drag Wars All Stars 2 starts this week. I’m hoping to take home the crown this time around. Then the premier show for my drag troupe 6Cess is the 23rd called NETFLIX & CHILL at Tabu! Our group 6Cess performs exclusively at Tabu Lounge & Sports Bar (Philly, PA). It stars myself, my boyfriend Chasity St. Cartier, Astala Vista, Vinchelle, Ophelia Hotass and Cherry St. Cartier! Each month we have a fun, themed show with solo performances and a group number. This month’s show, NETFLIX & CHILL will be us bringing classic Hollywood Favorites to life!
So with a theme like Netflix & Chill….does that mean that after ten minutes, the audience is supposed to ignore you all and start making out?
God I hope so.
That could totally go viral on YouTube. Well my dear, I think we have just about reached the end of our little gurl talk here. Do you have any final words or wisdom to share with our readers back home?
Don’t let’s boys make you cry if your mascara is designer.
(Go treat yourself to some Ariel Versace products right now here!)