Drag queen Kim Chi talks Korean pride and her ‘full circle’ moment with her queer POC makeup line

Kim Chi Chic Beauty
  • “RuPaul’s Drag Race” star Kim Chi has a makeup line, “KimChi Chic Beauty,” which is now available at over 130 CVS stores nationwide.
  • Kim Chi bought her first eyeliner and brush set at CVS and describes her makeup line’s launch at the drugstore chain as coming “full circle.”
  • Her experiences growing up as a Korean American in a “small and predominantly white town in Michigan” taught her to embrace her individuality and recognize the importance of diversity and representation.

“RuPaul’s Drag Race” star Kim Chi’s makeup line “KimChi Chic Beauty” is now available at over 130 CVS locations across the U.S.

The prominent Korean American drag queen, whose real name is Shin Sang-young, shared the news last month on her Twitter account, expressing gratitude to her fans and her excitement over seeing her line at the national drugstore chain.

“I couldn’t possibly imagine we’d grow this big,” she wrote. “Thank you so much to everyone who believes in and loves our brand!!! It truly means a lot! Didn’t think you’d ever see a poc queer brand at CVS did ya!”

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In an interview with NextShark, Kim Chi, 34, discusses the moment she first heard about the CVS launch: “I froze and I didn’t know how to react. I never thought I’d ever see myself in CVS but also it felt full circle because CVS is where I bought my brush set and eyeliner when I first started! I still use those brushes to this day!”

Kimchi Makeup

As a Korean American, Kim Chi adds that Korean culture has had a big influence on her life and everything that she does.

“From work ethic to respecting my elders to sharing jeong [a positive feeling of loyalty and connection to other people] with people around me, I couldn’t possibly be more proud and happy to be born as a Korean,” she says.

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Kim Chi says that her role on “RuPaul’s Drag Race” Season 8 brought her presence to South Korea, where Koreans were able to get positive exposure to the world of drag. She explains that since most people there do not get the chance to watch drag performances in person, the show provided Koreans informative insight into drag culture.

“Aside from the local queer people who follow the scene there, I think I’m probably the most well-known drag queen in Korea just because ‘Drag Race’ was on Netflix. Most people who don’t go to shows in Korea, that was their only exposure to the world of drag!” she says.

Kim Chi, who briefly lived in South Korea as a child before moving to Michigan, also shares how her experiences growing up “as a POC person in a small and predominantly white town in Michigan” taught her the importance of embracing her uniqueness and individuality.

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“[It] was an isolating experience. Looking back now, all the things I hated about myself are also the things that made me special,” she says. “I just wish I could’ve realized it back then. It also made me aware of how important diversity and representation is for our future generation.”

When asked what makes her line different from others, Kim Chi mentions her beauty line embraces inclusion while providing the products at an affordable price, making it available to use for people of all backgrounds.

“It’s a queer POC-owned brand that is all about inclusion and cruelty-free at an affordable price point,” Kim says. “I don’t think y’all have ever seen a line like this!”

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Since last appearing in “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” Kim Chi has been “working nonstop” spending her time touring around the world, being in a Super Bowl commercial and launching KimChi Chic Beauty.

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