Chappell Roan is Leading a 'Maximalism Moment' in Beauty, According to Her Makeup Artist

Makeup artist Donni Davy's gig as Chappell Roan's makeup artist all began with a casual slide into the singer's DMs. The two had first met more than a year ago at Ulta Beauty during an in-store event for Davy's brand Half Magic (of which Roan is a fan). Once Davy saw the singer was on the Coachella 2024 lineup, she reached out via DM to Roan, asking, "Can I do your makeup for Coachella for free?" Thus, their collaboration began.

As the mastermind behind the glittery tears, facial gemstones and shimmering eye shadow in HBO's "Euphoria," Davy is no novice to creating high-impact, conversation-starting, zeitgeist-worthy glam. When collaborating with Roan, however, she treaded into new territory by experimenting with drag-style makeup — a well-known source of inspiration for Roan's beauty artistry.

Chappell Roan at Coachella 2024 weekend one. Makeup by Donni Davy<p>Photo: Lucienne Nghiem/Courtesy of Half Magic</p>
Chappell Roan at Coachella 2024 weekend one. Makeup by Donni Davy

Photo: Lucienne Nghiem/Courtesy of Half Magic

"I can count on one hand how many times I've done drag makeup," Davy tells Fashionista. "For me, I consider drag makeup when you're blocking the eyebrows — or part of the eyebrows — and you're creating new cut-crease eyeshadow shapes. You're using a ton of makeup on the face and contour. To me, that's drag, and I haven't done that a lot."

But she was happy to welcome the challenge. In fact, as she puts it, "I have not felt this inspired since being on set for 'Euphoria.'"

"I wanted to take this on because I thought I could do a really cool version of drag-esque makeup for Chappell," she continues. "I love working within the parameters of a vision that's kind of coming together but needs help with the face."

As a film and TV artist, Davy was attuned to how Roan's look would translate on both the stage and big screens, especially since her "expressions are so integral to how she engages with her audience…It was like the feeling of watching 'Euphoria' on the TV in my living room but just amplified. It was a live performance and it was makeup that I created for this specific character; not just for Kaylee [Amstutz], but for her alter ego Chappell Roan."

Chappell Roan's band — <em>Eliza Petrosyan, </em>Lucy Ritter and <em>Valeria Falcón — Coachella 2024 weekend one. Makeup by Davy.</em><p>Photo: Lucienne Nghiem/Courtesy of Half Magic</p>
Chappell Roan's band — Eliza Petrosyan, Lucy Ritter and Valeria Falcón — Coachella 2024 weekend one. Makeup by Davy.

Photo: Lucienne Nghiem/Courtesy of Half Magic

Ultimately, Davy achieved two very different beauty moments for each Coachella weekend: The common thread was "loud, big and bright." That was undeniable from Roan's weekend-one makeup: a dreamy, punk-rock look complete with white face paint, glittery eye shadow, heavy graphic eyeliner, face gems outlining the undereyes and painted pink cheeks. For that, Davy was inspired by Violet Chachki, Boy George, '80s punk and Vivienne Westwood.

She also studied a mood board Roan's stylist, Genesis Webb, had sent, and played around with ideas that "are really clean" and "pop" that also suit Roan's face and expressive performance style. From there, she sketched on top of printed copies of Roan's makeup-free face to narrow down the final look. But it was hardly a one-man process: Davy emphasizes it was "super collaborative" and Roan gave her input throughout it all.

For weekend two, Davy followed the same creative process, but this time she landed on a "human-sized butterfly" beauty moment.

"For a while, I was thinking of a butterfly wing shape more on the eyes, and I was really not liking how that was going," she says. "I'm like, 'It just doesn't feel original. It doesn't feel like me.' So then I got more into the vibe of an insect. That kind of shape felt reminiscent — like the rounded eyeliner in the butterfly look — of certain patterns on butterfly wings without doing a butterfly wing eye."

<p>Photos: Lucienne Nghiem/Courtesy of Half Magic</p>

Photos: Lucienne Nghiem/Courtesy of Half Magic

The singer stepped onto the stage with hot-pink liner brows, shimmery pink eyeshadow, insect-like eyeliner and sparkling face gems. Roan's band was also an integral part of the fantasy: For weekend two, they served as the "club kid butterflies" to Roan's "queen butterfly."

Accomplishing such high-effect looks was only part of the equation — there was also the matter of making sure they withstood wear, tear and sweat throughout Roan's set. According to Davy, the key is to pack on "a ton of makeup" that is "super pigmented" so it doesn't require lots of layering.

"What you want to do is prepare the skin with skin care that has zero oil in it, because it's going to make things slip and slide," she says. "So use an oil-free moisturizer, then a super grippy primer, but just a tiny bit of it." Once she "buffed in" the makeup, she locked it in by double layering Patrick Starrr's One/Size Mattifying Waterproof Setting Spray with Half Magic's Dew Lock Hydrating Setting Spray "to give back a little bit of sheen."

As different as they were, Roan's Coachella looks both reflect the singer's overall makeup aesthetic: "Drag-inspired, campy, kitschy — it's all about not giving a shit and just doing what she thinks is fun. It's not overthinking it. She just wants to do what will bring her joy, what inspires her and she wants to be an example in that way."

Chappell Roan at Coachella 2024 weekend two. Makeup by Davy.<p>Photo: Lucienne Nghiem/Courtesy of Half Magic</p>
Chappell Roan at Coachella 2024 weekend two. Makeup by Davy.

Photo: Lucienne Nghiem/Courtesy of Half Magic

"I think that she's bringing to the table this makeup maximalism moment, and I think the more she really leans into that and does it in an elevated way it's going to be monumental to her rise in her career," Davy continues. "The more thought she continues to put into her makeup, hair and outfits, it's only going to make her audience go wilder for her… I think she's really making pop music really good again. She could really have an effect on culture as she grows in bringing playful, wild makeup back into the mainstream."

Davy likens Roan's penchant for maximalist makeup to that of an "early Lady Gaga" and "playful, campy bits of Katy Perry." Still, Roan is "going much harder and more theatrical with her makeup than Katy and Gaga did."

The artist hopes the more Roan continues to take the unconventional beauty route, the more she can be a "role model" for "other young artists, actors or people in the spotlight to show up and experiment if that's what they want to do. I hope [Roan's makeup] inspires people to wear glitter, rhinestones or color or even just switch out their black winged liner for a green winged liner. I hope it inspires people to be more playful. I think that is so life-changing when you're able to finally start not caring about what people might say."

Perhaps that's why Roan and Davy have had such a seamless collaboration: their shared "not giving a shit" beauty philosophy. She abhors abiding by trends (ironic given how long "Euphoria" dominated the beauty trend cycle) and the only rule she follows is to not follow the rules.

<p>Photos: Lucienne Nghiem/Courtesy of Half Magic</p>

Photos: Lucienne Nghiem/Courtesy of Half Magic

"You can do whatever you want, whenever you want," she says. "In fact, when you start doing that, things open up in your life."

On that note, the question remaining is: What does the future holds for the Roan-and-Davy dynamic duo? Most recently, Davy did Roan's maximalist glam for her Paper cover revealed this week. Throughout the accompanying photoshoot, makeup looks ranged from goth glam to icy eyelashes.

But what the people truly want is a more permanent team-up (dare we say, the Law Roach and Zendaya of the beauty world?), perhaps solidified by Davy doing Roan's 2024 Gov Ball performance makeup? We sure hope so — and so does Davy. (Roan, you know what to do from here.)

While she can't definitively say what beauty looks are in store — sorry to anyone trying to plan their glam ahead of time! — Davy does know she wouldn't hold back and would make it "super cool."

"I mean, anything is possible," she teases. "It would definitely be glitter, bright colors and experimenting with looks that she's wanted to do but hasn't done yet…I'd want [Roan and the band] to look elevated and on-theme but in a really cool, graphic way."

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