Manny Gutierrez wants a palette that has it all. So, he created one, but not out of thin air. The beauty expert and Founder and CEO of Lunar Beauty, known online by his loyal fans and followers as Manny MUA, struck gold with his brand’s first eyeshadow palette, Life’s a Drag. The original palette featured 14 shades of bright colors and warm neutrals, all inspired by the vivid, campy makeup of drag queens. While Life’s a Drag certainly kickstarted Lunar Beauty in a major way, Gutierrez saw a greater vision for it. Thus, the Life’s a Drag Facelift Palette ($48, Lunar Beauty) was born.
“My main goal was to add more shades, and we achieved it with our biggest palette ever. I really wanted to create a palette that truly had it all, including all the primary colors,” Gutierrez tells Elite Daily. “I also wanted the palette to be elevated to fit our current aesthetic of Lunar Beauty but still be camp, hence the cover featuring my face, just like the original Life’s a Drag palette featured my eyes.”
Judging from the initial success of the Life’s a Drag Palette, along with the frenzied comments under Lunar Beauty’s posts teasing the new palette’s arrival, fans are itching for the release of Life’s a Drag Facelift, which now features an additional seven shades. Alongside the OG colors, you’ll find shades like All Tea, a matte pale peach; Clocked, a matte blue-violet; and Full Fantasy, a pearly glitter eyeshadow topper. These and the other new shades make for even more potential looks on opposing ends of the makeup spectrum, as shown in the palette’s new cover design: Gutierrez himself in two drag looks — one neutral and one technicolor look dotted with rhinestones — and face-lifting tape.
“I think the most memorable part [of the process] was the photoshoot, which I was in drag for. The amount of work and effort that goes into drag is literally shocking; I have so much respect for the queens who do it,” says Gutierrez. “Getting in drag for the photoshoot, I was shook at how long it took and everything that goes into the process.”
To Gutierrez, this cover shoot, and Facelift in general, represent “a full circle moment for me and Lunar Beauty,” though not just because Life’s a Drag was the brand’s first product. Rather, drag was essentially the start of Gutierrez’s career as a Beauty YouTuber. “I started as Manny MUA in drag. I did a makeup look for Halloween,” he told Glamour in 2018. “I had such an amazing experience, and that’s kind of what kicked it off for me. Being able to be expressive with makeup was everything.”
Giving consumers the freedom and ample tools to express themselves with Life’s a Drag Facelift wasn’t just a strategic business decision. For Gutierrez, it’s a personal testament to his identity. “Makeup for me is the purest form of expressing who I am,” he says. “It allows me to express my art and vision in any way I choose, and that to me is sharing my queer experience.”
In a way, the physical growth of Gutierrez’s Life’s a Drag palette calls back to his inner growth, particularly when it came to his sexuality. Gutierrez previously told Elite Daily he had trouble embracing his “inner self” at the start of his career. “Growing up in a religious household, it was just kind of hard for me," he said. "My parents didn’t really understand me, so I was always kind of fighting this internal battle." In honor of Pride Month and in support of the LGBTQ+ community, a portion of all proceeds from the Life’s a Drag Facelift palette will be donated to the Human Rights Campaign.
Lest anyone stunt their own growth when it comes to beauty, Gutierrez emphasizes the importance of caring less about the beauty “trend” of the moment (to glam or not to glam?), instead prioritizing what makes them you good. “For me, personally, I’m going to continue to do makeup the way I feel the most confident.”
Shop the Lunar Beauty Life’s a Drag Facelift Palette below:
We only include products that have been independently selected by Elite Daily's editorial team. However, we may receive a portion of sales if you purchase a product through a link in this article.