2020 was, for the most part, dull and lacking sparkle, but there were currents in the cake, and one of them was certified Welsh national sweetheart, @itstayce. From iconic soundbites – ‘the cheek, the nerve, the gall, the audacity and the gumption’ – to killer looks that we won’t be forgetting anytime soon, Tayce gave us the glamour, the laughs, and the mood booster that we all needed and craved.
But the (drag) race isn’t over! We spoke to Tayce about everything from childhood pets to beauty icons, and if this doesn’t give you a serious endorphin release, you need to watch more Drag Race UK.
What does Pride mean to you?
“Pride to me means getting up, having a glass, shaking your ass. Getting out there, loving your neighbours, your cat, your dog. Being your true self, letting your freak flag fly, being loud and proud and not giving up. You know what I mean?”
How will you be celebrating Pride this year?
“I will be loving myself, loving my family and friends. Going out, having a bev, and looking as gorgeous as ever. I will be having a good time with my friends and making sure we’re all together and safe.”
If you could give your younger self one piece of advice, what would it be?
“Big question! I would say to be the most confident version of you that you can in the face of adversity. I have the odd few people trying to harass me, calling me names, assorts of things but it’s never really phased me, it’s all water off the duck’s back. But I know when I was a kid, I would have gone inside my shell but now I don’t give a f**k so I would want to give that same confidence to little Tayce.”
What did you want to be when you were younger?
“I wanted to be a herpetologist, a reptile scientist. I used to own like eight snakes, praying mantis’, chameleons, and geckos. I was a geek, and I would go to the library and read up on them. So, I was like I’m going to be herpetologist when I’m older but then I got into drag.”
What is your first beauty memory?
“I can’t remember a makeup memory, but I remember that my grandma had this box full brooches and pins. I remember the time Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella came out with Whitney Houston and Brandy, and there was this gorgeous outfit that the Fairy Godmother wore. It was a big gown with brooches all over and I was like, ‘I’m going to make that!’ So, I took one of my grandma’s curtains and put brooches all over it. It looked like s**t but I felt amazing. Did I look amazing? Probably not, but it’s a feeling not a look.”
When did you start creating your drag looks?
“Forever honestly! There are pictures of me at six years old sashaying round with a scarf around my waist, a skirt made of scarves, a feather bower, and miniskirts. I used to get up on a chair on New Year’s Eve and I would be like, ‘mum, dad, listen to this!’ and sing Moulin Rouge, which was my first CD ever. So, I was always playing in drag and dressing up and it’s all come to this moment! I’ve been seriously doing drag for about four years, but I think I’ve been doing drag since I sashayed out of my mum’s foof.”
Who is your beauty icon?
“Naomi Campbell. No question, she’s the one.”
What has been your most surreal career moment so far?
“Doing a perfume ad for Jean Paul Gaultier. Like being the b***h holding the big bottle in the advert was just crazy! When you see that stuff when you’re younger you’re like, ‘omg wow!’ But to actually get up there and be one of the main people in there, you’re like, ‘omg this is gaggy s**t.'”
What’s your ultimate beauty tip?
“Find your favourite primers and mix them together because it changes the game. I believe that beauty starts with the foundations. You can’t build a house with some sand; do you know what I mean? The face has got to be right; it’s got to be set; it’s got to be there. So, get your best primers, whack them together, make your own concoction and you’ll be golden.”
Tell us about your experience on Drag Race UK
“It’s alright! Shake, rattle, and roll, get up, get down, left, right and back round the hill again. No, it was a really good time, it was amazing. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life because it was so draining mentally, physically, emotionally. And you’re under constant 24-hour surveillance, you’re never left on your own unless you’re locked inside your hotel room. But it helped me be more humble because I went into it being told that I was this amazing queen and that I was perfect, but it breaks you down a little bit and you realise you’re not good at everything that’s handed to you. But you try your best and that’s all you can do. And I’m happy with what I did and look where I am now!”
What did you learn from your time on the show?
“I learnt humility, humbleness, grace, decorum.”
What are your career goals for the future?
“Walk for Mugler and walk in the Savage Fenty show. They are on my list, and I will be very happy when I WILL be walking for Mugler and Rhianna.”