Photo:Courtesy of A24
According to TikTok, "for the girls, by the girls," is one of the best ways filmmaker Sofia Coppola’s aesthetic can be described and I whole-heartedly agree. Her most recent biographical drama, Priscilla is not different Based on the 1965 memoir Elvis and Me by Priscilla Presley and Sandra Harmon, the film follows the life of Presley (portrayed by newcomer Cailee Spaeny) and her relationship with Elvis Presley (played by Euphoria star Jacob Elordi). Told from 1959 to 1972, the story captures to evolution of Priscilla Presley’s (né Beaulieu) journey from love-lorn school girl to style icon with the help of sky-high hair, plush lashes, and eye-catching winged eyeliner.
In that same vane, A24 teamed up with Half Magic, the makeup brand from Euphoria’s head makeup artist Donni Davy to create a limited edition Priscilla Makeup Set with special tools to help us recreate the latter. I tapped Davy for her biggest tips and tricks on how to recreate the iconic ’60s and ’70s makeup looks that helped secure Presley’s status as a 20th century style icon. Cleary, her legacy is as influential then as it is now. If you’re feeling inspired to try your hand at Presley’s bold and beautiful eye makeup, read on!
Capturing the Priscilla Look
Photo:Courtesy of A24
Cut creases and winged eyeliner are staples for a number of Priscilla Presley’s most recognizable eye makeup looks. Do you have any tips and tricks on how to re-create them?
While I generally associate cut creases with the 1960s, it’s not the first thing that comes to mind when I think of Priscilla’s makeup based on the photos I’ve seen of her. What really stands out to me about her 1960s look is the bold way she wore her eyeliner. She did double wings, inverted wings on her inner corners, and straight up outlined her whole eye in black eyeliner. She wore a generous amount of black eye shadow and liner at Elvis’s request, which actually made for a pretty intense eye look rather than the typical wide-eyed babydoll 1960s look with the big cut crease.
To do a cut crease is to create a new crease line for your eyelid. All you need is black or brown eyeliner in whichever format you are the most comfortable working with pencil, cream, liquid, or my favorite, a felt tip pen like Half Magic’s award-winning Magic Flik Calligraphy Eyeliner Pen, which is included in our Limited Edition Priscilla Makeup Set. You’re going to draw a curved line above your natural crease line.
The degree of curvature that you choose is based on personal preference. The outer tail of Priscilla’s cut crease line extends toward the tail of her eyebrow, which gives a lifted, seductive, and feline effect. Now look at Twiggy. The outer tail of her cut crease line extends toward the outer corner of her eye, which gives her more of a wide-eyed baby doll, demure look. So, it’s all about the vibe you want to channel and what you want your makeup to say!
What are some of the biggest mistakes you see with modern-day takes on 1960s makeup looks?
I don’t see any mistakes. I live for modern takes on 1960s glam and I slurp it up every time I see it.
Photo:Courtesy of A24
In what ways do you believe Priscilla’s marriage to Elvis had an influence on her style?
If what I saw in the movie really happened, Elvis groomed Priscilla from a young age to be his ideal woman. He influenced Priscilla’s style in every way possible—from deciding that her signature color was to be blue to deciding that she would avoid wearing prints and anything not formfitting, and even suggesting that she dye her hair black and wear more makeup to “bring out her eyes.”
Priscilla stayed devoted to Elvis even though he was at times cruel to her, pursued relationships with other women, and didn’t respect her needs within their marriage. Coppola’s film depicts Priscilla transforming from plain to hyper-glam to fit in with Elvis’s lifestyle and hold his ongoing attention. In the film, when she develops the strength to leave her marriage, Priscilla transitions back to her natural hair color and is shown wearing much less eye makeup.
All of the different ways she wore her eyeliner makes me think she really added her own flair, experimentation and sense of ownership to her look, even if it initially stemmed from Elvis’s desire for how she should look.
Do you have any personal favorite makeup looks from Priscilla over the years?
I love the double wing with inner-wing detail and the light-pink lipstick that she wore for her wedding with Elvis. The double-wing profile is so stunning—fierce but delicate.
Half Magic x Priscilla
Photo:Courtesy of Half Magic
If you missed Half Magic’s limited-edition, best-selling Priscilla Makeup Set by a few days (it practically flew off the shelves following the release of the hit film), you’re in luck—all three of its items can be purchased separately. If your goal is to pull of a bold wing, try using Half Magic’s Magic Flik Eyeliner with the help of the Wing Magician Silicone Guide. Finish off your eye look by sweeping Half Magic’s Eyelectric Extreme Lengthening Mascara across the lashes; focusing on building volume. While you may not have the ridiculously aesthetic packaging of the original set in your possession, but you’ll have everything you need.
It’s time to level up your eye makeup game. Half Magic’s award-winging eyeliner is an ultra-bold calligraphy eyeliner pen featuring a uniquely shaped paddle tip that follows the shape of your lash line for quick and easy one-flick wings. It also happens to be waterproof, smudge-proof, and lasts for up to 12 hours.
Throughout the ’60s and ’70s, Priscilla loved long, luscious eyelashes. This tubing mascara delivers extreme length and volume using a formula clinically tested to stay in place. Rest easy in the knowledge that you won’t have to suffer through pesky flakes or raccoon eyes with all-day wear.
Would you believe me if I told you that even Beauty Editors struggle to create a perfect wing every now and then? If you can relate, add Half Magic’s Wing Magician Silicone Guide to your routine. The reusable silicone tool helps your draw perfectly crisp, mistake-proof wings while also doubling as a mascara and shadow shield.
More Products for Priscilla-Inspired Looks
With Elvis’ encouragement (or, according to Priscilla’s accounts, instruction), she began wearing bold, graphic wings with the help of liquid eyeliners. This one by Danessa Myricks Beauty has an optimized paintbrush tip for easy application and maximum control.
If you’ve watched Priscilla, there’s a good chance you picked up on how much black eye shadow the real Priscilla Presley wore during her 20s. Modernize some of her most iconic eye makeup looks with the help of this light-catching, pressed powder eye shadow by MAC Cosmetics.
Sometimes, layering mascara is the best way to achieve length and volume on natural lashes. Try applying a couple swipes of Hourglass’ Unlocked Instant Extensions Lengthening Mascara to Half Magic’s to pull off Presley’s signature eye look without reaching for falsies.
If it’s drama you’re after, apply individual eyelashes for va-va-voom. Kasha Lashes’ Individual Flare Eyelashes are set on an ultra-thin comfort band that allows them to blend in seamlessly with the lash line. It’s the perfect way to play with length without sacrificing comfort or mascara.