Remember when Queen Lana blessed as all with her presence on the soundtrack for Big Eyes? Well, maybe not, because that was otherwise one boring ass movie. But what you may remember is how the Fashion Police dragged her through the mud for the look she wore to the Golden Globes after her song got a nomination. Because, yano, unless you’re Hollywood herpes like Jennifer Lawrence that E! News has a perpetual boner over, your chances of getting a positive review are slim to none. Lana was compared to a 70’s mermaid (can someone explain to me how that’s a bad thing?) and most notably, actress and businesswoman Priscilla Presley – the woman who Elvis cuffed at 14 and wouldn’t let have a career outside of professional girlfriend.
Having always admired Queen Lana’s style, I wanted to do some more investigating into this Princess Priscilla. It seemed like once I started, I couldn’t stop. I spent hours Pinning her wedding, watching re-runs of Dallas (where she played a character named Jenna, ugh, dying), and even dying my hair black to shamelessly be her double. Most recently, I finished reading her 1985 autobiography Elvis & Me. It’s kind of funny how the book is often classified as a romance novel. I mean, there are a lot of sexytime moments where they almost bone but not quite (yeah, okay), but more than anything, I think her story just highlights how tedious relationships can be.
I had never really known much about Elvis before. I had always filed him in the same schema of Van Halen and Bruce Springsteen…like I knew they were a thing, but there was a mental block when it came to understanding the why or how. Turns out, easy E was sort of the OG Fuck Boy… cheating on Priscilla, feeding her drugs, throwing bitch fits. Shit, he even had the haircut (also can we talk about how he was in desperate need of a beard?). I could go on about how much Priscilla’s story highlights the hurt and confusion of just kind of being along for the ride when you’re in a relationship with someone pretty damn unstable, but I think Thirsty Thursday got bleak enough last week.
So, instead, I’d like to present to you something a little bit more fun and uplifting for your Cinco de Mayo — Queen P’s iconic style. Yas, honey. We’re talking beauty. Sorry if you’re not into that. Might I suggest you go over to the You Tubes and watch the Your Movie Sucks review of Unfriended and come back next week. But if you’re interested in Elvira meets mod, bae, you in the right place. While I’m still honing my teasing skills (I recommend Millionaries/Bad Girl Club’s Melissa Marie’s tutorial), I think I’ve finally adapted Priscilla’s face routine into something wearable for all occasions. Work, weddings, your court date – you name it.
Disclaimer b/c internet: I’m not a makeup artist, but I have identified as a woman for the past 21 years. So I guess that’s something. Also, I realize that not all of the products I use are cruelty free. Some of them I bought before I was vegan (I’m gross and keep stuff forever), although I am trying my best to pretty much buy exclusively from cruelty companies like NYX. I’ve hit of a roadblock when it comes to finding a foundation that’s ethical, effective, and affordable, so I’d be excited to take some suggestions down below.
- Go foundation yourself
When it comes to any type of foundation routine, I think it’s a matter of you doing you, boo. I matte finish would probably be ideal if you want to capture the mod look, and the tanner the better for really nailing down Queen P, but anything that evens things out to a flawless finish will do.
I’m still a fan of the Covergirl Outlast Stay Fabulous with the blue pump. You just have to make sure it’s blended out well or you might get some chalky dark lines. Otherwise, I really enjoy it’s nice powdery finish, especially since I’m an oily dago cat. Since we’re approaching the summer months, I also recommend anything from the Neutrogena shine control line. It uses some rice protein sorcery that keeps you hella dry. For the really face-meltingly hot days, I recommend the “half-and-half” — half BB cream, half foundation.
2) Fleek the brows
I don’t know where that hammerhead-shaped brow thing came from. Was it some bored makeup artist in the bowels of Instagram? Was it the eyebrow threader at the Walmart salon? Please, someone fill me in (no pun intended). Regardless, its predecessor, the extreme arch, seemed to be the queen of brow bone expression in Priscilla’s day.
I’m literally insane so I keep my brows tweezed down to a minimum and then adjust them with different pencils and powders according to my mood. Sometimes I’m Brooke Shields. Sometimes I’m Ru Paul. In the words of Jenna Marbles, girls are always full of surprises.
When I’m Priscilla, I like to start by using a pencil that’s on the duller side (the super sharp is more conducive for achieving the hammer look), and outlining the tops of my brows until I’ve got me a nice arch. Then I go back and color her in, but not with too heavy of a hand sine P’s were on the thinner side. After that I always like to finish things off by patting in some dark powder (I just use a dark shade from one of the six thousand neutral palettes I have laying around) and combing the sisters out with some clear ELF gel that you can get for the low-low. Mine came out a bit fuller here than I intended, but hey, this ain’t the MAC counter.
3) Do ya eyeballs
I like to start my eye shadow by priming my lids with some concealer and ELF eyelid primer (shit is literally one dolla and works as well as Urban Decay). To me this step makes all the difference in terms of pigmentation. Then it’s time to get dusting. For this look, I just combined two matte nudes (sort of a tan from the NYX Sex Bomb palette and an off-white combo from ELF’s 50 Nudes) and covered my entire lid using a flat brush. That’s the easy part. Just get her on there.
The crease part requires sightly more finesse. With the smallest blending brush you have, take a brown, taupe, or grey and go back and forth right in your crease in a windshield wiper motion. The trick here is to try to avoid getting the shadow in the outer corner of your lid (how you would do a typical smokey eye), as you’ll sort of lose the Priscilla ultra-mod aesthetic for a more Instagram hammer-brow one. I used a taupe from the original Maybelline The Nudes palette and just a touch of my brow powder just to make everything uniform. The less fallout, the better.
4) Do ya eyeballs some more
Once shadow has ceased, you can get into the liner. The two keys to success when it comes to wings are practice and the right tools. Personally, I sort of stretch my eyes to the side (probably not optometrist recommended but my eyeballs are so round that otherwise it would be physically impossible), draw out the wing shape, and then fill her back in. You can find a lot of good wing templates over on the Pinterest, but in this case, I opted for the wide and bold.
I reallyyyy recommend either using a gel liner with an angled brush or a liquid with a paint brush (I use the latter by NYC — two dolla). Those pens suck, honestly. Well, I can’t speak for the high-end ones, but all the drug store ones have some pretty piss poor pigmentation, even if their precision is decent. If you’re fearful of things turning wonky, it can be helpful to draw the shape with a pencil (which tend to be a little more forgiving) and then you can go back and trace it with your liquid.
One your wings are on right, draw a line coming out from underneath it. It sounds crazy, but it will actually blend in nicely with your lashes later on. Follow that up by continuing your top line out beyond your tear duct. We’ll be doing more with that later, too.
5) Bake some face cake
While my eyeliner dries, I like to do my concealer. I concentrate mostly on my under eyes since I’m a sleepy ass koala bear, and then blend it out to the rest of my face, focusing more on any other problem areas. I’m a fan of the Neutrogena 3-in-1 Concealer, mostly because it comes in a tube. Fuck your bitch ass portion control ass wands. My skin too crazy to mess around with that.
Anyways, while that hot mess dries, I go back to my eyes (sorry if my crazy chronology is confusing). I don’t have the emotional capacity to handle tightlining, which if you don’t know is when you put the liner literally right into the depths of your water line and it’s as terrible as it sounds. Instead, I just take a really sharp pencil and carefully line underneath my lash line until I’ve connected back to the liquid one I drew around my tear duct. Then I go back and very lightly trace it with some liquid. If you’re a dingus like me and decided to use a brand new liquid for this look, make sure you wipe off any excess from the applicator to maintain precision.
6) Now bring yourself millimeters from blindness
When it comes to lashes, this look requires a pretty bold hand. I started things off with a NYX volume mascara, focusing especially on my bottom set to achieve Priscilla’s doll-like gaze. Once that’s all good and Gucci you can put on your falsies. I recommend anything from Ardell’s glamour line, but if you really want to be bourgie, Lilly Lashes are pretty great if you don’t mind paying $20 a set. Dare I say it…Kylie Jenner wears them. Yes, folks. They are the Rolls Royce of synthetic baby hairs.
Fake eyelashes can be pretty traumatizing the first time you put them on. You’ll probably find yourself doing a lot of pacing, sweating, and finagling, but once you finally figure out your perfect method, you’ll find that they’re often less trouble than doing ten million coats of mascara. Just make sure the glue is a little bit tacky before you try to place them. That’s really the only universal secret.
Once they’re on, make sure they’re plenty pushed down (using the bottom of an eye shadow brush can be really helpful for this) and give them a few minutes to dry. If you notice that you can still see some of the glue, don’t hesitate to go back over them with your liquid liner. Finally, blend them with your natural lashes with a little more mascara, but be careful not to tug too hard.
7) Casually reset your bone structure
Because the Neutrogena concealer has a fair amount of sun screen in it (and because I wear 3458986 layers of it), it comes off kind of shiny, so I like to set it with some powder. I just use some shine control stuff from Covergirl. Yes, I know that’s a powder foundation and not a setting powder. No, I don’t care because I enjoy a finish with more pancake than IHOP. Then I go and dust a tanner power on top of that so that I don’t look like Lenin in his display case.
What I find particularly breathtaking about both Priscilla and Lana are their wide faces — a trait I’m pretty damn envious of. To keep from accentuating the long gauntness of my own face, I take a basic matte bronzer and go in a circular motion under my cheek bones to create a roundness instead of your regular sharp contour line. Using a smaller angled brush, I do a light bronzer line on either side of my nose to make it appear slimmer. Although I usually like to work my blush into my bronzer, I opted for the more traditional apples-only approach in a classic pink shade.
Finally, I like to finish things off with highlights. I don’t know how much that was a thing in Priscilla’s day, so I kept it toned down with a white matte shade instead of the regular gold-toned sparkly disco ball crap I usually reach for. I just placed it on the top of my cheek bones, on the bridge of my nose, and on my cupids bow to make my lips look
plumper. Then I go back into the same shade with a tiny angled brush and apply it to my brow bones and inner eyes for some additional brightness.
8) Get a mild fish allergy:
You’ve got some bold eyes. You’ve got a bold cheek. Now you need yourself a bold lip. You really don’t need a shot glass, ghost pepper seeds, or any of the horrifying rubble of the Kylie Jenner lip challenge — just a good pencil. Covergirl ones suck. L’oreal ones are alright but they’re a little too creamy. But NYX ones are the bomb. They’re nice and chalky and actually stay put all day. From there you basically just want to over-line. To prevent yourself from looking like Ronald McDonald, stick to mostly the middle parts of your bottom and especially upper lip.
To get Priscilla’s signature ultra-light lip color, I blended a NYX pencil in the shade Pale Pink and topped it with one of the nude shades of NYX’s liquid to matte lipsticks. All the rave reviews you probably heard about this stuff weren’t messing around. I scored the last tube in Ulta, and I think I’ve become a more grateful person for it. My only beef is that like with any matte lip product, it can be drying at times, so I like to throw a preventive coat of lip chap on top.
And there you have it! Love me tender, daddy.
Dig this fuckery? Talk more make-up and ex-wives with me at jennaDIAG@gmail.com.