Hannah Joffray AKA Visqueen speaks in spirited sentences and exclamation points, which may or may not be common for native New Orleanians.
“I moved here with my dad when I was six,” she said. “I’ve developed so many creative avenues for myself while here— I designed all the spirit squad t-shirts and banners during high school, I was in a band and studied graphic design when I went to college at Loyola, and now I work in costume departments for TV shows during the day and do drag by night!”
Joffray had friends who were drag queens and was known in the scene for helping create party promos for events like Mardi Gras and Halloween. “We decided that making promotional material for their parties and also DJing would be a fun way to include me, so I created this Paris Hilton-esque psuedo-DJ personality, and eventually I started performing alongside them. It was all a really silly and fun time.”
In her early drag days, she got all of her bits and baubles at a local theater makeup store called Vieux Carre located on Maple Street Uptown. ”I think the basic theatre makeup brands like Mehron are good for beginners because they’re reminiscent of face paint and aren’t as intimidating as all the crazy branding and buzzwords that come along with commercial makeup, just very straight forward.”
Influenced by queens like Juku in Brooklyn (@harajukubk) and Björk’s tourmate Hungry (@isshehungry), she admits her relationship to makeup is a funny one. Somehow, she knows all the tricks of the trade.
“It’s really all or nothing for me in the sense that I never wear makeup when I’m not doing drag, with the exception of some mascara or a winged eye line, ” Joffray said. “My favorite eyeliner lately is Tarte’s Tarteist Double Take Eyeliner. My drag makeup collection consists of a lot of Urban Decay products because they’ve got great matte products that look good on camera. Lately, I’ve been obsessed with Lady Gaga’s makeup brand Haus Laboratories, especially the liquid eyeshadow. The most annoying thing that could happen in the middle of your makeup routine is having eyeshadow fallout smudge in your foundation, and this liquid eyeshadow dries up and you can blend it without worrying about fallout.”
Non-drag makeup enthusiasts often pick up tips from mainstream queens on shows like “RuPaul’s Drag Race.” One popular trick is to utilize glue sticks to tame and/or hide eyebrow hairs. Joffray has another method. “My eyebrow trick is to just shave those pesky things off—- who needs them anyway?!”
While this author is a native to the Northeast, the idea of wearing a full face of make up in the swampy New Orleans humidity is terrifying. But Visqueen, who says her favorite local queen is Apostrophe (@apostrophe_period) insists Mehron’s Skin Prep Pro is “magic.” “It’s a miracle how well it leaves my makeup looking unscathed by the end of the night,” she says.
Visqueen will tell you that skincare is very important. “No one’s skin is built to withstand the harshness that drag makeup brings! If you don’t want to dive into the expensive money pool that is the world of skincare, finding a simple cleanser and a good moisturizer to end the night should be everyone’s priority… also, as time-consuming and daunting as it may feel, you should always take the time to wash all that makeup off before you go to bed, no matter how tired or twisted you are at the end of the night!”
Follow Visqueen on Instagram @itsvisqueen. Catch her live at MISC4MISC Friday, Nov. 15 at Oz (, 800 Bourbon St.reet) and on Dec. 21 in her drag wrestling show, called Choke Hole. For information on Choke Hole, visit chokehole.com.
Fierce face serving courtesy of Visqueen