When it comes to perfecting the art of makeup, very few can compare to the artistry and precision that comes from RuPaul’s Drag Race season ten finalist, Eureka O’Hara. Just a quick scan through the Tennessee darling’s Instagram, and you’ll know instantly that this queen truly knows how to craft a winged eyeliner that’s almost as bold and fierce as herself. And how could we ever expect anything less from the queen who created some of the most memorable looks in Drag Race Herstory?
As one of Drag Race’s most body-positive queens, it almost seems like Eureka was born with the charisma and swagger that you’d expect from a drag superstar. But, the confidence and tough skin that the self-titled Elephant Queen possesses was not easy for her to find:
“It is most certainly easier said than done when it comes to body positivity, even for myself,” Eureka tells COOLS. “You know, we all struggle. And everyday is a new fight for yourself. The secret literally is to never fool yourself into thinking that you’re okay. You’re never okay, there’s always a problem, there’s always something, but it’s all about how you address it and how you choose to lead your life with it.”
“There might be things that you don’t like about yourself, or you feel like something about yourself keeps getting picked at by others, but it’s how you get your mind to deal with that day or those issues,” she further explains. “You just have to remind yourself daily: ‘I am beautiful, I am worthy.’ You can do this, you just have to force yourself to get up and do it. What I do when I wake up in the morning and I feel like I can’t go anywhere is that I force myself to get up, get in the shower, and get dressed and get myself together. Because once you do that you already feel better.”
After years of establishing herself as the drag queen to watch during her humble beginnings in Tennessee, Eureka is now undeniably one of the most successful queens to come out of RuPaul’s beloved reality television competition. And this catapult to success didn’t just happen out of sheer luck — unless you consider “luck” being diligent work around the clock. For her long-running stint on the show, Eureka concocted her own extravagant designs for strutting (and stunning) down the runway, (yes, even that stunning from her voluminous hair down to her 6-inch stilettos.
“There were a couple of things that weren’t really my choice or decisions, as far as designs, but for the most part everything was designed by me and I assisted in making them,” she says. “A lot of it was physically sewn by stitchers, and I designed the looks and they would stitch it for me. And then I really lead with jewelry design and hair.”
FYI: Eureka’s favorite look of the season was also one of her most memorable: “I loved creating the Martian Eleganza of season ten, because it was Gina and the only space hair loaf.”
Like many of us, Eureka’s love for a glamorous lifestyle filled with makeup and haute couture fuels her fire. “It’s the hair, the makeup, and the glamour,” she says. “That’s what pushes me. It just makes you feel like this whole creature, like you have a mask on.”
We know what you’re truly here for — to find out how Eureka creates her fabulously magnetic stage persona, of course. Well, while we can’t unveil all of the drag star’s secrets, we do have quite a few tips, tricks, and words of beautiful wisdom from Eureka’s mouth herself.
Her go-to makeup hack? One of the stickiest tricks in the book: tape. “I use scotch tape next to my eye line to make my black liner straight when doing winged liner.” And in case you were wondering, liquid liner paired with lashes are her two major beauty product addictions. “That takes you from Raccoon to Fish,” she says. We don’t exactly know what she means by fish, but we can only assume that it’s the look we all strive to have (& the one Eureka has perfected).
When it comes to fashion, Eureka turns to some of the biggest game-changers of the scene for some inspiration — think the vibrancy of Queen Latifah, the sharp sophistication of Thierry Mugler, and your local “city dump” wrapped into one. But, she never lets the clothes wear her, and always adds a spike of her signature androgyny to anything she wears. Why else would her styling motto be, “Stay on brand and never be afraid!”
“Fashion’s all about, just for me, blurring gender lines for day-to-day looks,” she says. “Even with drag, I think it’s all about not being afraid about who should wear what in regards to gender, wear whatever you put together to make yourself look and feel fierce. I wear a lot of female garments even out of drag, like women’s pants, smocks, throw cardigans, necklaces, whatever I want. Sometimes flats, whatever I feel like to add more fun to it. My style is definitely all over the place — I’m either laundromat-chic with basketball shorts and slides, or downtown-retro: Calvin Klein 1983 high-rise boyfriend cut jeans and a random shirt with a throw or scarf, and then a swag cardigan with too much accessories, some glasses, and slicked back hair. It’s one or the other.”
The glitz and the glamour is all fun and games, but at the end of the day Eureka knows that she has hoards of fans looking up to her. And as a duty to them, she delves beyond the shallow end of lipstick and foundations to chant her true message: loving yourself without the makeup.
“No matter your shape, your size, or anything in your life, you can be happy with body positivity,” she says. “I think it’s the biggest thing to focus on. Also, take control of your own life. No one else is going to do it for you, and not taking care of your life or the direction you’re going in is just lazy. Don’t be known as a lazy person, be lazy about everything else except when it comes to yourself. Put effort in for you, girl, and be lazy for your mama’s lawn work.”