Plus, why she did it in the first place.
It was around 7 pm on People and Entertainment Weekly's Emmys red carpet live stream when something caught nearly everyone's attention. In a sea of celebrities wearing designer gowns chatting away with the TV industry's biggest names, there was also, to the entire Internet's surprise, a green goblin parading around the crowded carpet. Though shocking at first, once we found out it was Princess Poppy from Season 15 of RuPaul's Drag Race, it transcended absurdity to plain, pure genius.
Those familiar with the self-described "queen you forgot about on RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 15" knew as soon as they saw a drag goblin, it had to be her, and it had to be deeper than meets the prosthetic nose…I mean eye.
After her busy night going viral, Princess Poppy told Byrdie every detail that went into the glam process, including how you could emulate the troll of the Emmys.
Being that it was her first Emmys, Poppy was "either going to go big or go home," especially since her invite wasn't guaranteed in the future. But the look also came with a message.
Poppy tells Byrdie that "this look is to remind myself to not take the standards of beauty so seriously." Plus, even more so, critiquing the standards of beauty imposed on her since gaining a following on the Emmy Award-winning TV show.
"The concept of being a public figure is absurd, but more absurd than that is the immense amounts of pressure on people, mostly women, to retain an unrealistic level of 'youth and physical attractiveness.' I know many people that go to great lengths to rid themselves of their wrinkles or their self-perceived flaws—myself included—but I thought f**k that. I want to accentuate my wrinkles and flaws so much that the people in the parking lot can see them."
So, she got to work knowing she "wanted to literally and figuratively troll the Emmys." Also, by effect, trolling everyone at the ceremony, including her RPDR sisters, who Poppy says were "confused and mostly disgusted." However, her favorite reaction came from Jennifer Coolidge "questioning her reality for a second."
The Glam Process
Just looking at the photos of Poppy—with every inch of her skin painted green, nose and ears larger than her face, faux warts placed across her body, and an opulent green dress fit for goblin monarchy—we knew it had to take a minute to get ready. Little did we know, the internet sensation had to wake up "at 7 am and left the hotel at 1 pm" to hit the red carpet.
Bright and early, they "started out with contacts and the bald cap," which all-in-all took almost an hour. After "five minutes of looking at myself in the mirror imagining what I'd look like bald," makeup artist Gabe Acero got to work on the rest of the prosthetics.
Over the next two hours, they applied her new skin "piece by piece and wart by wart" until every part of her body was troll perfection. To do this, Acero said he used stage-grade adhesive products like Telesis and Blue Marble SELR Spray ($17) to secure the prosthetic skins he got from RBFX—an entertainment industry staple for molds and prosthetics. Acero used their "monster" and "hag" shaped foam latex prosthetics to create her new skin.
Once every wart was wilted onto her body and the ears attached sky high, Acero painted it green with a combination of body paint and airbrushing. Acero custom-mixed watercolor body paints with alcohol paints to get the signature finish. Then, for the face, Acero reached for creme makeup products from Ben Nye, focusing these mostly around her eyes and mouth.
Of course, who could forget about her ultra-receding hairline? On the back of her head and on the crown, Acero laid hair harvested from a yak with Spirit Gum ($22) adhesive to give that decaying but still beautiful mane, which was added right as she was corseting up her dress and gluing on her ultra-long slime-green nails.
The dress—designed by Byrncostume and partly conceptualized by Jonah Andre—featured an off-the-shoulder design, pleats across the entire gown, a long trailing train, and a leg-baring silhouette in a perfectly color-matched green to her skin. Almost appearing as if the entire gown was just an extension of her body. A custom bag by LISH, jewelry by Kyle Bowers, and corseting by Prismatic Costumes finished the look, and then she was ready to break the Internet.
After the show, the de-drag process was just as intense—taking around two hours to complete. Not to mention "about an hour of scrolling on Instagram laughing at myself." Which sounds like something we could all benefit from.
Read the original article on Byrdie.