Doniella Davy is no stranger to the world of film and television makeup, having worked on movies like Moonlight (2016) and Under The Silver Lake (2018). But she is best known for creating headline-grabbing beauty looks on the hit HBO show Euphoria, which earned her an Emmy in 2020 for Outstanding Contemporary Makeup and spawned one of the biggest beauty trends that shook the TikTok-sphere.
Davy, who is best known in industry circles as Donni, is now fulfilling every Euphoria and rhinestone-loving fan fantasy with the recent debut of Half Magic Beauty – a culmination of a decade’s worth of experience that brings the fantastical power of glitter to everyday life. The brand is currently selling via its website.
According to Davy, the name Half Magic carries dual meanings – the first being how “makeup is half the magic, the person wearing it is the other half”, while the other is how the brand acts as the “bridge between fantastical makeup and everyday life.”
Surprisingly, venturing into the beauty business was something Davy did not plan. She studied Art and Photography at New York’s Pratt Institute and interned at art galleries in Brooklyn prior to getting into the makeup scene. It wasn’t till a friend’s mother suggested she try dabbling with cosmetics that she decided to make the jump.
“It wasn’t a premeditated thing. I just thought it sounded really interesting and I just went for it,” she shared over a video call with FEMALE recently – her first interview with a fashion and beauty magazine in Singapore – while on a production set in Los Angeles. “That sensibility of picking up on details and looking at a person and getting information on who they are has really helped me.” added Davy.
Davy was all hands on deck when it came to the brand. “I really wanted to do it and do it right, not just put my name on a makeup palette. I’m a working makeup artist with a makeup brand, so I wanted to be deeply involved in it, not just choosing colours and putting my name on it.”
It was the success of Euphoria and the slew of Instagram DMs she had received enquiring about the makeup after the show aired in 2019 that paved the way for Half Magic Beauty. Davy revealed that while there were opportunities for her to collaborate with existing brands prior to the show, she was hesitant.
“I figured that if there is this opportunity for me to do (my own) makeup line, I want to start from scratch, build it from the bottom up and make it exactly how I envisioned it,” she added. After much discussion with producers at A24 – the film house that produced Euphoria – Half Magic Beauty finally came to fruition. Today, the brand is a subsidiary of Rules Beauty which is A24’s portfolio company focusing on beauty.
“I would love to see people who think they can’t really wear colour and glitter to start using Half Magic on themselves and sort of become seduced by it,” shared Davy. “I think it’s one of my biggest secret goals.”
Ahead, the beauty maven shared how she’s bringing a new perspective to the scene.