The hyper-gorgeous Palestinian-American hair designer, makeup artist and drag queen Eva Laurent is working with a growing number of stars in the scene… all while becoming a rising star herself! [Cover photo: Bryan Clavel]
Thotyssey: Hello Eva! Thanks so much for chatting with us today! How is Pride Month treating you so far?
Eva Laurent: You know, Pride month is one of my favorite times of the year. I love seeing people being their authentic LGBTQ+ self . And I especially love seeing the ones that might not be so comfortable with themselves throughout the year at least have a moment to feel themselves, with hopes of that comfort growing more and more.
Besides being a queen, you’re also a makeup artist and hair / wig stylist. Do people book you for Pride looks?
Yes! People are looking more and more to embrace Pride and live it up. After the tough year we just had, people are ready to have a great time. Rainbows everywhere, and I’m here for it!
Both the entertainment and beauty industries suffered during 2020, but you’ve had at least one high profile hair client during that time: Kandy Muse, who of course is enjoying her Drag Race S13 fame! How did you like working with her?
I look at every body that I work with as a client that wants to feel beautiful, whether they’ve been on Drag Race, work at the bodega, or have millions of followers. I actually just did a unit for another “13” queen, Denali, for a Beyonce mashup she did with Lala Ri. Such a sweetheart, and so appreciative. Honestly, I’ll always make sure the experience will be great… as long as that check clears!
Heard! Speaking of Drag Race… whose team are you gonna be on for All-Stars 6?
Oh, that’s a tough one! They are all so good! As of now, I think I’m team Trinity K. Bonet and Team Ginger; I found them both very entertaining on there respective seasons. Oh, and of course The New York queen Jan! I feel like she’s gonna give it.
You are a Palestinian American. Where were you born?
I was actually the first in my entire family to be born in the States; my parents and my older siblings were all born and raised there. So I definitely grew up with the culture very much in our day-to-day home lives.
As we’re talking, it’s just being announced that Benjamin Netanyahu has been voted out as Israeli Prime Minister! That’s a very significant development in regards to the conflict that’s happening there right now.
He was definitely a strong force in the bombard of Gaza in recent times that killed, injured, and left thousands of the Palestinian people homeless… along with a plethora of other to continued events to suffocate, silence and destroy the Palestinian people, which is so beyond sad. Even sadder that it’s not being addressed as the genocide that it is. But I can tell you, as someone standing here with Palestinian-blood running through my veins: no adversity can keep us down. We some strong people, and can’t be kept silent!
So how did you ultimately get into both beauty and drag?
The whole package, along with hair, makeup and wardrobe, has always drawn me in. So after getting into hair, I did drag for Halloween for the first time… and was able to create the illusion on myself instead of a client. And Honey, the queen inside me was living! So I continued to do drag on Halloween or different events, until in 2019 when I decided to really create my character… that’s when Eva Laurent was born.
Did you face any adversity about that path, and generally living a queer lifestyle?
I don’t think I’ve come across [a lot of that], to be honest. I surround myself with forward-thinking, positive people. And I’m extremely fortunate to live in a city like New York, where everything goes. If I ever come across someone who clearly just doesn’t understand drag, I take that as a time to educate them. It’s 2021… you should be educated! If I come across someone that’s uneducated, it’s because they maybe have never met a drag queen. If I leave a good impression and teach them, they will walk away educated and having a positive experience with someone they may have once judged [negatively].
What is the Eva Laurent Experience like now, for anyone who maybe hasn’t seen you perform yet?
We love an experience! Eva is a rich beauty queen: she’s sultry, she’s strong, and she’s always gonna give you body. Well… at least in my head I’m all these things! Depends on who you ask!
Oh girl, everyone agrees! On Monday, you and your sis Syrenn Nara return to Crystal Lake in Brooklyn for your show “All Cap.” And this time, you two are bringing along guest stars Roqué, The CoverGworls and Brooklyn Nite!
“All Cap” is our new lil’ show! Me and Syrenn are both Capricorns, hence All Cap. But also, us in drag is fully a lie because we’re just two giant men in wigs, lol! After doing a weekly Instagram Live during quarantine, we decided to just have a fun dinner show.
Crystal Lake is a restaurant and bar with amazing food and drinks. So you come hang out, have dinner and get drunk with your friends, as Syrenn and I just give you a fun show. We have a segment in between numbers where we have a sit down and just talk about different topics and are our super silly, dumb selves, lol! I hope the show takes off, but if not we have had a great time putting it together.
Anything else coming up for you, or any closing words?
You never know what’s around the corner for Eva… I’m always up to something. Drag for me is my art; I put no pressures on it. I want to always enjoy drag, and never feel It being a chore.
Also: Free Palestine. It’s not just a hashtag… it’s an oppression that needs help from the world.
And the whole world is watching now. Which brings us to the theme of the season, lastly… what does Pride mean to you, and how will you celebrate?
Wow… Pride means everything. Pride is way more than a month or season or parade– Pride to me is the actual word “pride.” LGBTQ+ people were are taught shame from a young age, where we live in the shadows and hide who we really are. That makes us stronger than anyone will ever know. And as we progress into our true selves, we create a sense of pride… that’s why we shine so bright. So I say, we are Pride, and live that every day.
But during Pride season, I will definitely be swishing my gay self through the parties, and just celebrating our community a lil’ more–supporting gay businesses, and gay spaces.
Happy Pride, Eva!