Whoever decided May and June primetime for nuptials was a marketing genius—though a fair amount of credit is probably due to the brides who decided they just weren’t into the whole “winter wonderland” schtick. Either way, happy wedding season, folks! Let’s talk about some famous brides, because that’s generally a topic the betrothed and non-betrothed can get excited about equally.
Bridal beauty isn’t necessarily avant-garde—nor does it need to be. The whole premise behind the wedding day look is that you want to look like your ideal version of yourself. Still, a little oomph over your everyday moisturizer, concealer, mascara combo is probably in order, just to make everything feel oh-so- very Special Day. In which case, an inspo picture or two can only help matters. This week’s (there will be more…): Priscilla Presley in her 1967 wedding to the King. Story goes, Elvis first saw 14-year old Priscilla Ann Wagner when he was stationed in Germany and she was living at an Air Force Base. When discharged, the two resorted to communicating through letters. Fast forward a bit (we’re leaving a lot out because we guess you want to get to the beauty aspect), Elvis asked Priscilla’s parents to let her move to Memphis where she would finish school. They got married in Vegas when she was 21.
The look was prime 1967—cut crease, kitten lashes, and a dramatic cat eye without going too drag. Still, it’s surprisingly wearable, says makeup artist Carolina Dali, who we consulted to update the technique for modern day brides. The only thing that dates it is the lip liner and heavily stenciled brows, to which there is a compromise. To channel the Queen to Elvis’ King, Carolina breaks it down in more detail:
Make no mistake, this is not no-makeup makeup. And every once and a while, it’s nice to make a change from the norm. First step: liner. Because of the precision needed to get into the inner corner of the eye, gel wont work here. Carolina’s go-to is Tom Ford’s Eye Defining Liquid Liner Pen in Deeper. It’s dual-ended, with a more traditional brush tip brush on one side, and a micro felt-tipped brush on the other—perfect for getting in the inner corner and perfecting simple details. “It’s super black, and it really stays on,” Carolina says. “That super-skinny tip is going to be able to give you the control to get into the inner corner of the eyes without it looking too thick. You want the line on the inner corner to be very thin—it will gradually become thicker about one-third of the eye in.” The eyeliner is softened by the lashes—think big and bushy. For Priscilla’s eyes, go for a strip of false lashes like Esquido’s Voila Lash Mink False Eyelashes, but keep the lashes minimal on the bottom. Priscilla’s volume comes from shadow applied on the lower lash line. Take a cool-brown eyeshadow, like Charlotte Tilbury’s The Rock Chick Luxury Palette, and an angled brush to softly sweep a line on the bottom of your eye. The shade on the upper-right-hand corner, Enhance, is great for the lower lash line. Priscilla’s bottom liner extends outward and softly fades away creating the look of a shadow cast from her lashes. Marilyn Monroe was also another fan of doing this, and it’s a good trick for when you really want to get the ’60s-sex-kitten point across. On the actual lid though, just a sheer wash of a light taupe. The shade Prime (upper left hand of the quad) does the trick. It’s just the slightest bit of shimmery—not necessarily sparkly—to keep the Vegas theme contemporary.
Priscilla’s brows are likely penciled in and arched, though we’re not going to do that to you on your wedding day. Instead, to update the brows while still in the realm of Mrs. Presley, Carolina suggests going full, but not blocky or strict. “I would recommend Bobbi Brown Brow Kit in Saddle/Mahogany 2. It’s a powder formula, looks more natural, and blends better than a pencil. Using the Chanel #12 Angled Brow Brush, I apply the lighter brow powder to give the brows a fuller effect, followed with the darker shade to fill in any gaps where there’s missing hair. Set the brows with a light sweep of Marc Jacobs Beauty Brow Tamer Grooming Gel,” Carolina says.
Then, go nude on the lips. Priscilla’s are the a classic ‘60s pale shade, but with a little more color than your full-on foundation lips. Lighter the better though, but stay within the range of not-too-pink, not-too-beige. Tom Ford Lip Color in Blush Nude layered over a a full application of Votre Vu’s Drawmatic Lip Liner in Naked is the way to go.
“Because the focus is on the eyes, I would keep the skin as clean and minimal as possible,” Carolina says. A lightweight but radiant foundation, such as Giorgio Armani’s Luminous Silk Foundation, still feels like your skin but gives it a porcelain-finish. And because there’s so much going on the eyes, no blush, no bronzer. Spritz on the vintage Guerlain Shalimar—and sure, you can walk down the aisle to “Can’t Help Falling In Love,” but you’re much more of an unexpected “She Wears My Ring” bride anyway.