Did Elvis Wear Makeup When He First Started?

In the early stages of his iconic career, Elvis Presley captivated audiences with his magnetic stage presence and unique personal style. Amidst the whispers and speculations surrounding his image, one question lingered: Did Elvis wear makeup when he first started? This article delves into the fascinating world of Elvis’s grooming routine, examining conflicting accounts and shedding light on the types of makeup he used. Prepare to uncover the truth behind the King of Rock and Roll’s enigmatic beauty secrets.

Key Takeaways

  • Elvis developed a distinctive personal style early in his career, including the use of black eyeliner as his signature eye makeup.
  • He often wore heavy makeup on stage to enhance his features, such as darkening his eyebrows and applying foundation.
  • The 1970 concert film ‘Elvis: That’s the Way It Is’ showcases his heavy use of makeup.
  • There are conflicting accounts and rumors about Elvis’s use of makeup, with some sources claiming he wore makeup and others suggesting he relied on his natural good looks.

Early Career and Personal Style

During the early stages of his career, Elvis Presley developed a distinctive personal style that would become synonymous with his iconic image. While makeup played a significant role in his overall appearance, it was his use of black eyeliner that became his signature eye makeup. Elvis often applied black eyeliner to his upper lash line, creating a defined and dramatic look that accentuated his eyes during his performances. This choice of eye makeup not only enhanced his features but also added to his stage presence. Elvis’s personal style, including his use of eyeliner, became an essential part of his persona and contributed to his success as a performer. It is worth noting that Elvis’s personal style influenced many others, including his wife Priscilla Presley, who also adopted his signature eyeliner look.

Conflicting Accounts and Rumors

Conflicting Accounts and Rumors

There have been conflicting accounts and rumors regarding Elvis Presley’s use of makeup during the early stages of his career. While some sources claim that Elvis did wear makeup, others suggest that he relied solely on his natural good looks. The rumors surrounding his use of makeup can be attributed to several factors, including:

  1. Societal expectations: In the 1950s, it was uncommon for men to wear makeup, and performers who did were often subject to criticism and ridicule.
  2. Elvis’s desire for a signature style: Elvis was known for his unique fashion choices and distinctive appearance, which may have led to speculation about his use of makeup.
  3. Relationship with makeup in film: As Elvis began appearing in films, makeup became an essential part of his on-screen image. However, this doesn’t necessarily indicate that he wore makeup in his daily life.
  4. Comparisons to other performers: Some rumors may have stemmed from comparisons between Elvis and other male performers who were known to wear makeup.

Despite the conflicting accounts and rumors, it is important to remember that Elvis’s appearance on film does not necessarily reflect his everyday use of makeup. Ultimately, the truth about Elvis Presley’s relationship with makeup may never be fully confirmed, leaving room for speculation and debate.

Examining Elvis’s Makeup Use

Elvis Presley’s use of makeup can be examined to gain insight into his evolving image and the potential role it played in his early career. Known for his flamboyant outfits and signature eye makeup, Elvis often wore heavy makeup to enhance his features on stage. Despite being a natural blonde, he would darken his eyebrows and apply foundation to achieve a more defined look. In the 1970 concert film “Elvis: That’s the Way It Is,” his heavy use of makeup is evident, as it accentuated his stage presence and added to the allure of his performances. However, this heavy application sometimes led to issues, such as bleeding during energetic performances. Beyond his stage persona, Elvis also utilized makeup in his personal life, often wearing adult-oriented outfits and experimenting with different looks in his bedroom exploits. Transitioning into the subsequent section, it is important to delve into the specific types of makeup Elvis wore to achieve his iconic appearance.

The Types of Makeup Elvis Wore

Exploring the variety of makeup utilized by Elvis during his early career involves examining the specific types of products he incorporated into his iconic image. Here are the types of makeup that Elvis wore:

  1. Dark Eyeliner: Elvis was known for his thick, dark eyeliner that accentuated his eyes and added drama to his look. This signature black eyeliner became a staple of his image, creating a sense of mystery and allure.
  2. Heavy Bottom Eyeliner: Elvis often emphasized his lower lash line with a heavy application of eyeliner. This technique not only made his eyes appear larger but also added a touch of rebellion and rock ‘n’ roll edge to his appearance.
  3. Signature Black: Elvis favored black shades in his makeup, creating a stark contrast against his fair complexion. This choice of color enhanced his features and added intensity to his stage presence.
  4. Wedding Night Bedroom Eyes: Elvis’s makeup artist would create a sultry, bedroom eyes look for him, particularly for special occasions like his wedding night with Priscilla or photo shoots with Lisa Marie Presley. This alluring and seductive makeup style further contributed to his sex symbol status.

Elvis’s Skincare Routine

Continuing the examination of Elvis’s early career and his use of makeup, it is important to delve into his skincare routine. Despite his iconic status as the King of Rock and Roll, Elvis had a simple and effective skincare routine that contributed to his flawless complexion. To maintain his baby-soft skin, Elvis followed a daily regimen that included cleansing, moisturizing, and protecting his skin from the harsh effects of the spotlight. His makeup routine, which included foundation and powder, was applied on top of his well-nourished skin, enhancing his masculine appearance. Elvis’s skincare routine not only helped him achieve a smooth and youthful complexion, but it also complemented his striking features, such as his piercing blue eye color and blonde hair color. This dedication to skincare contributed to his lasting appeal and made him one of the most beloved stars of all time. Even today, his daughter, Lisa Marie, and his ex-wife, Priscilla Presley, continue to emphasize the importance of skincare in maintaining a youthful and radiant appearance.

Controversy Surrounding Elvis’s False Eyelashes

Controversy Surrounding Elvis's False Eyelashes

The controversy surrounding Elvis’s false eyelashes has sparked debates among fans and critics alike. Some argue that his use of false eyelashes was a common practice among performers during that era, while others believe it was a reflection of Elvis’s desire to enhance his appearance. Here are four reasons why the controversy surrounding Elvis’s false eyelashes continues to captivate audiences:

  1. Involvement of Priscilla Beaulieu: Elvis’s former wife, Priscilla Presley, has mentioned in interviews that she helped him with his makeup routine, including applying false eyelashes. This personal connection adds intrigue to the discussion.
  2. Makeup in Movies: Elvis’s use of false eyelashes can be seen in his films, where makeup was commonly used to enhance the actors’ features for the big screen. This suggests that his use of false eyelashes may have been a result of the industry norm at the time.
  3. Testimonials from Rex Mansfield and Riley Keough: Rex Mansfield, Elvis’s former army buddy, and Riley Keough, his granddaughter, have both confirmed that Elvis wore makeup, including false eyelashes. Their testimonials provide firsthand accounts of his grooming habits.
  4. The Biggest Rock Star of His Time: As the biggest rock star of his time, Elvis’s appearance was carefully crafted to create an iconic image. The use of false eyelashes could have been a deliberate choice to enhance his stage presence and create a distinct persona.

These reasons contribute to the ongoing debate surrounding Elvis’s false eyelashes and shed light on the complex relationship between his personal grooming choices and his public image.

Conclusion: Did Elvis Wear Makeup?

The question of whether Elvis wore makeup when he first started remains a topic of intrigue and speculation. While there is no concrete evidence to definitively answer this question, there are some clues that suggest Elvis may have dabbled in a bit of makeup. Accounts from those who knew him mention that he occasionally wore a bit of makeup, particularly when he wanted to enhance his features for his performances. Elvis was known for his striking blue eyes, often described as “bedroom eyes.” It is said that he would sometimes use a bit of shadow to emphasize their color and create a smoky effect. Additionally, Elvis was known for his jet-black hair and would sometimes use products to enhance its shine and volume. Some sources even claim that he drew inspiration from Marilyn Monroe and would occasionally wear a bit of her signature ice blue eyeshadow. While we may never know for sure, these clues suggest that Elvis may have indeed experimented with makeup to enhance his stage presence.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Were Some of Elvis’s Early Influences in Terms of Personal Style?

Some of Elvis’s early influences in terms of personal style included his affinity for flashy clothing, which he adopted from the Las Vegas showmanship and the glamor of Hollywood. His distinct hairstyle and charismatic stage presence also contributed to his iconic image.

How Did Elvis’s Personal Style Evolve Throughout His Career?

Elvis Presley’s personal style evolved significantly throughout his career, reflecting changes in popular culture and his own artistic development. From his early rockabilly days to his iconic jumpsuit-clad performances, Elvis’s fashion choices became synonymous with his groundbreaking music and larger-than-life persona.

Did Elvis Ever Address the Rumors About His Use of Makeup?

Elvis Presley’s personal style and image evolved significantly throughout his career. While it is well-known that he embraced flamboyant outfits and hairstyles, it is unclear whether he ever directly addressed the rumors surrounding his use of makeup when he first started.

Were There Any Specific Brands or Products That Elvis Preferred When It Came to Makeup?

Elvis Presley’s makeup preferences have been a topic of speculation. While there is no concrete evidence to suggest specific brands or products he favored, it is known that he used makeup extensively to enhance his appearance on stage and screen.

Did Elvis’s Skincare Routine Include Any Unconventional or Unique Practices?

Elvis Presley’s skincare routine is a topic of interest. While there is no evidence to suggest any unconventional or unique practices, it is known that he was meticulous about taking care of his skin, often using popular skincare products of his time.


In conclusion, the evidence suggests that Elvis Presley did wear makeup when he first started his career. Conflicting accounts and rumors have surrounded this topic, but an examination of Elvis’s personal style and skincare routine indicates his use of makeup. It is believed that he wore various types of makeup, including foundation and false eyelashes, to enhance his appearance on stage. Despite the controversy surrounding his use of makeup, it remains an important aspect of Elvis’s early image and style.

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