The past year had many of us stuck at home as we worked together to stop the spread of COVID-19, which undoubtedly changed the everyday realities of most of our lives — including our favorite drag queens like Alyssa Edwards. Raised in Mesquite, TX, Edwards gained popularity from her appearance on Season 5 of “RuPaul’s Drag Race.” With her signature tongue pops, back rolls, and larger-than-life personality, this dancing diva has racked up over 1.8M followers on Instagram since her time on the show.
Like many drag queens, Edwards turned to virtual drag shows to keep entertained during such a difficult time. While it was a great opportunity for her to stay connected with fans, Edwards says there is simply no feeling like being back on the stage. Most recently, she performed her limited-time one-woman show, Alyssa, Memoirs of a Queen, at London’s West End from June 7 to June 13. “I can say it has absolutely been sensational and a dream come true. Being back on stage again, moving again, seeing people live in person again,” Edwards told STYLECASTER. “The amount of energy that has been in this theater each and every night has been overwhelming.”
This was one of Edward’s first times back on stage since March 2020 and the show has received nothing, but positive reviews from fans and critics alike. “All the reviews were very positive,” Edwards said. “Something I teach my dance kiddos at Beyond Belief is ‘winning isn’t everything, but wanting to is’ so don’t ever let a judge validate your art.”
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This advice came in handy for her dance students at Beyond Belief Dance Company when a select few had the chance to perform on “America’s Got Talent” last month. The group performed a dance routine to Todrick Hall’s “Nails, Hair, Hips, Heels” where they received a standing ovation from all four judges.
Similar to how Edwards’ dance students had to prepare to perform on national television, she also has a special process to get her in the zone before a show. “It starts with a mental get ready. Before I can be Alyssa Edwards, I have to sit in the mirror, get into my character, gather my thoughts, say a few prayers,” she said. “You got to feel the fantasy. I have to feel and embody this character before I can be it. I really really really have to get into it.”
Before I can be Alyssa Edwards, I have to sit in the mirror, get into my character, gather my thoughts, say a few prayers.
This is the same mentality Edwards is trying to cultivate now that the world is slowly starting to get back to “normal.” As of late last month, the drop-dead gorgeous queen has partnered with Degree as the face of their Move Again With Degree campaign to help people get reacquainted back into society. The campaign fits perfectly with Edwards’ lifestyle as she is active and can always use a bit of extra protection from sweat whether it’s out on the runway or teaching a dance class back home in Texas.
“The hashtag speaks for itself. #MoveAgainWithDegree it’s perfect for me being a dance teacher and stage performer. I’d love to be an inspiration to everyone,” Edwards says. “After this last year, we’ve gotta get up, get glammed, get glamorous, we got to feel our best to be our best. Put your deodorant on and get out and start moving again.” Oh, and in case you’re curious, her favs are Degree’s Dry Spray Shower Clean and Degree Men’s Advanced Protection.)
While every month is one to celebrate the L.G.B.T.Q.I.A.+ community, last month’s Pride festivities were the perfect excuse to celebrate with her friends and family. Side note: Edwards even takes her BBDC dancers on the floats with her — how sweet!
Similar to many L.G.B.T.Q.I.A.+ youths, Edwards also grew up insecure and uncomfortable in his own skin and identity, she’s finally at a place where she’s confident in her own skin. “There’s something so magical about accepting you, and all of you, and not just accepting, but celebrating,” Edwards said. “If I could tell little Justin something, I’d say, stay tuned because it’s going to get really good.”
There’s something so magical about accepting you, and all of you — and not just accepting, but celebrating.
Now, given that we’ve learned most of our beauty tips from drag queens, we obviously couldn’t let Alyssa go without getting the lowdown on some of her beauty must-haves. First and foremost, Edwards loves Anastasia Beverly Hills — and I mean, who doesn’t. “I’m a fan of everything Anastasia Beverly Hills,” Edwards said. “The Dip Brow to me is next to none. It’s unmatched.” Aside from the Dip Brow, Edwards can’t get enough of her palette collaboration with ABH, of course. With shades named after her dance company and iconic phrases, the eyeshadows bring Edwards’s character to life. (FYI: She told us that ‘Unicorn Tribe’ is her favorite!) Scroll through below to shop some of her holy grail products.
ABH Dip Brow Pomade
Alyssa swears by this best-selling brow pomade for its intense pigmentation and long-wearing formula.
Fenty Beauty Body Lava Luminizer
This lightweight luminizer fluid gives the skin a natural-looking glow and never feels sticky.
Degree Men Advanced Protection Antiperspirant Deodorant in ‘Cool Rush’
To help keep her confidence on point and her sweat at bay, Edwards trusts Degree’s 48-hour antiperspirants.
Buy: Degree Antiperspirant 2-Pack $15.85
Kryolan HD Micro Foundation Mattifying Fluid
“Kryolan is perfect for the stage and it’s so full coverage and just melts right into the skin,” Edwards said.