For Canadian drag queen Priyanka, working with the Quo Beauty brand on a lineup of makeup products celebrating Pride was about more than just beauty.
“It’s so incredible,” the Toronto-based star and winner of Canada’s Drag Race says. “I never had someone like me on TV growing up. So now I’m so excited that I get to be this for other people that never saw themselves in media.”
Priyanka, the drag persona of former YTV host Mark Suknanan, says collaborating on the brand’s first designated Pride collection provided a strong reminder of where she’s come from — and how far she and the LGBTQ+ community can go.
“We always have to remember where we came from,” she says. “Like, why am I able to be this drag performer that’s sitting here on an interview about an incredible makeup launch?
“I think there’s so much history to be made. And there is always so much history that has been made. I think it’s so cool to be a part of that and to know where you came from. And to continue to add to that.”
The role of ambassador for the cosmetics collection also holds additional importance for Priyanka, as she recalls always wanting to wear makeup before becoming a drag performer.
“To be sitting here and talking about the Quo Beauty Pride Collection … I feel like I’ve won the lottery, honestly,” she says.
It’s a bonus that she also happens to love the colourful products including eyeliner, false eyelashes, lip colour and more, which will see 10 per cent of sales up to $20,000 donated to the non-profit organization PFlag Canada. The collection, the star says, was a classic case of “love at first sight.”
“I truly took the makeup and I really wanted to capture what Pride means to me via makeup,” Priyanka says. She points to the collection’s eyeshadow palette, which she says also works double-time as a blush, as a personal favourite.
While Priyanka admits the pandemic has prompted her to temporarily shift her own makeup style — “I went from stage makeup, to more beauty makeup. A smaller eye, more blending.” — the well-known drag queen says she hopes people feel empowered to experiment with the colourful creations she’s helped create with Quo.
During Pride, and long after too.
“Makeup is year round, in the same way that being a part of this community is year round. If you want to show up to Christmas looking like a rainbow — do it,” she finishes with a laugh.