Playing a beauty icon doesn’t require an interest in beauty… but it certainly helps. For Olivia DeJonge, who plays Priscilla Presley in this summer’s buzzy Elvis biopic, embracing her character’s signature look (high hair, a strong cat eye, overlined lips) comes with the territory. After all, it wouldn’t be a faithful depiction of “The King” without a nod to a certain famous Vegas wedding (the photos of which have graced countless Pinterest mood boards). While the cultural legacy of DeJonge's biggest role to date is enough to make anyone a beauty buff, DeJonge was one already—albeit, of the modern variety. “Honestly, I could keep talking about skincare forever,” she says towards the tail of our interview. And I believe her. Her skin glows (even over Zoom), and once we got chatting about personal style and product recommendations, she went all in.
It tracks that the relatively new star of a summer blockbuster would be concentrating more on her personal peace, than stressing about career moves right now. Following a slew of high-profile appearances, press interviews, and red carpets—Cannes, Met Gala, you know, casual stuff—DeJonge is deep in her self-care era. Whether she's talking about skincare, remodeling her kitchen, or meditating with her LED mask, Olivia DeJonge will be rested and ready—for whatever is next.
Ahead, get to know Elvis’s Olivia DeJonge, including her skincare product favorites and the beauty tips she learned from Priscilla Presley.
First, I wanted to just ask, How's your summer been? I'm sure you've been traveling a lot while promoting Elvis. How are you staying grounded?
"I mean, you know, it's been crazy. It's been a wild few months. Yeah, we've been flying around the world. I just stopped only two days ago. My last trip was to Toronto. So now, I'm just in LA. I'm enjoying the summer; I'm hanging out with friends. I'm watching films. Staying in touch with my family."
Do have any sort of wellness practice? Something you turn to when things are crazy.
"Meditation is very helpful. I do 20 minutes, transcendental. I try and do it every day. But that would be a lie if I said it. It's like maybe every second day."
Switching gears a little bit. I loved your Met Gala look — we actually covered it at Byrdie. What does it feel like going to huge red carpet events for the first time? Are you someone who loves fashion? Did you have fun with it? Or did it become a stressful thing?
"I was really stressed going into it. For me, I hadn't fully understood how fun it can be and how much of an expression of yourself fashion is. And I found a really great stylist (Chloe Hartstein) who I've been working with. We've honestly had so much fun at every fitting—it's been a blast. It's definitely gone from zero to 100, but I guess I've got a good team and have been lucky enough to wear some really nice 'fits."
You play a beauty and style icon with Priscilla Presley — her image was such a huge part of her public persona: the hair, the makeup, the iconic wedding photos. Did Priscilla's signature hair and makeup help you get into character?
"For sure. So much of getting ready in the mornings was the two to three hours that I spent in hair and makeup. So, of course, that was such a moment to decompress and step into her a little bit more. And yeah, I love that process. I took so many little tips and tricks from doing hair, and makeup. I can now do my lip liner really well. I know how to apply very big eyelashes if I must. And definitely more appreciation for hair, too. I don't know how she managed to take two hours every morning. It's nuts."
What is your lip liner trick?
"I didn't really know how to use lip liner—like, I wasn't that accustomed to it. I use the Chanel one, which is what we used in the film. So I now I use that as mine. They used a different color on the outside and then lighter on the inside, and I had never done that before. So now I do that occasionally."
What about costumes? The clothes in a Baz Luhrman film are iconic, they're always beautiful, and lush. It's kind of part of the entire vibe. Do you have a favorite moment or look from your scenes?
"The '70s Vegas outfit. That was my fave. Catherine Martin [the Elvis costume designer] is so incredible, it felt like you're stepping into another world, you know?"
Did working on a film with such a strong point of view from fashion change how you look at your own style?
"I walked away from the whole production with a whole new appreciation for style, fashion, cut, fit. The way the clothes sat, you know how they are an extension of yourself? Absolutely."
Is there anything you kept from set?
"I didn't keep anything. And I really should have tried to."
Is there anyone that you look up to in terms of beauty and style? Someone whose style you love, somebody whose haircut you've copied?
"Kate Moss. I am a huge fan of hers. Carolyn Bassette Kennedy is a huge style icon that I love. My favorite things to do is like put little put together a little collage of all those looks."
Are you into skincare?
"I'm so interested in skincare. I've tried, like, every single thing under the sun. It's ridiculous."
Oh, we have to talk more about this. So what's what got you into it? And what are you loving right now?
"My skincare routine has definitely evolved as I've gotten older. I've learned about the skin barrier and all the fancy buzzy terms that we now see on social media. I used to get really bad hormonal acne. I don't know if it's interesting, but for me, it was really bad hormonal acne, and also cystic acne. So I have gone through two really bad, maybe up to six months, periods of intense cystic acne. The first time I was medicated for it. I went on Accutane. But, the second time, I wasn't because I don't want to take Accutane anymore. So it kind of forced me to look at what I was putting on my skin and pay attention to what I was using, how I was using it, everything like that. So now I use True Botanicals. It was everywhere, and I was like, "I'm not buying it, I'm not buying it." But True Botanicals is incredible. I use that with a roller, but my special trick that I use now is the Current Body LED Facemask ($380)."
I have that too!
"It has changed the game! After two weeks, I was like, are you fucking kidding?! Even my makeup artist was like, 'what the hell is happening?' I was like, this mask is insane. I am obsessed with it. I bring it with me everywhere. Now I use the Skin Fix Barrier Repair + Moisturizer ($52). But also the True Botanicals. And I use hyaluronic acid like everybody does these days.
"I use my Current Body for 10 minutes. That's when I meditate. So it's like a 10-minute timer. So I put it on, and I meditate, and then when the light goes off, I know I've done 10 minutes. If I want to do another 10, I'll just like put it back on again, and I'll get my 20 minutes."
Wait. I love that. Meditating in your mask, that's genius. What else are you using?
"I use the Laneige lip scrub. I'm big on the Laneige. I use Aquaphor as well. Aquaphor feels amazing. Honestly, I could keep talking about skincare forever because it's my favorite thing."
I'm here for it!
"I've been using the SK-II masks ($95). I've been using them like crazy. And also, I use pimple patches. I thought they were shams. No, they really fucking work. Yeah, crazy. They work. So I take them with me, especially when I'm traveling."
Are you a morning and night skincare person? Or do you do it mostly at night? Everybody's kind of different.
"I have more of a nighttime routine. In the morning, I use moisturizer and then sunscreen for going outside. I've bought all the Supergoop pieces, so I have like five of them in my bag. I'll roll that on my face every two hours."
What is the best piece of beauty advice you have or have heard?
"Wear sunscreen. I think from growing up in Australia, my parents, thank God, taught me that. I used to hate sunscreen at the time. So yeah, sunscreen, but also don't touch your eyebrows."
One more question about skincare, and then I promise I'll stop. Do you have an ingredient you swear by?
I use the Dr. Gross AHA/BHA Wipe Pads ($88). And that's really changed the game for me, particularly when I'm on tour and I've got heaps of makeup on all the time. At the end of the day, once I've washed it off to really exfoliate my skin. I used to be on retinol as well, but that was too drying. It just wasn't working out for me.
Yeah, I've had trouble with retinol too. You really have to commit.
"Exactly. Just like I'd rather use my AHA wipes every day."
Last thing: What's something you're looking forward to in the coming year?
"I think having this movie come out, it's really exciting because we've just been on it for such a long time. I also am excited to renovate my apartment at home. That's also something non-work-related. I'm renovating my kitchen in Melbourne. So I'm very excited to do that."