When the American teen drama Euphoria hit screens in 2019, its instant impact on the world of make-up and fashion was unmissable. It was the biggest beauty trend at the New York fashion week at the time. While the plot and pace of the story, which follows the lives of high school students struggling with drugs, love and social media as they come of age, might have made the audience sit on the fence, the make-up for the show, created by Doniella Davy, has only found more love and admiration over the years. And with the new season of the show having wrapped up recently, its looks are trending across social media, especially Instagram and TikTok.
“Euphoria is a show that inspires (you) to push the bar. Since it came out, so many artists have also been inspired to experiment with stickers, colours and glitter,” says celebrity hair and make-up artist Arti Nayar. “The make-up trends are very much for Gen Z and are even inspired by what’s trending on social media.”
The show’s characters, she adds, are youngsters who know their bodies well, “they are sexy and they own their sexuality and are not ashamed”. And all this reflects in the make-up. “Make-up is one of the main aspects of the show that helps us differentiate one character from another. It’s an extension of the characters themselves and a direct reflection of what they are experiencing,” says Mumbai-based make-up artist Tanya Shrishrimal.
The artists decode the looks of the lead characters of the show.
“Today everyone is influenced by social media and are all about exterior acceptance, just like Maddy. She wants to look hot but has a soft side too. To do a Maddy look, you should have your hair and your make-up done, as she doesn’t settle for either/or,” says Nayar. She is all about the eyes, with exaggerated eye make-up.
To get Maddy’s looks, focus on liners. You can create sharp dual-winged liners and sometimes add a bit of colour. Her signature would be diamantés and pearls around the eyes, each carefully placed, suggests Nayar. “Maddy’s eyeliner is as sharp as her insults. You can use cool-tone glitter and eyeshadow, and black rhinestones to embellish your winged liner, all of which also makes her character look strong, bold and fearless,” says Shrishrimal. Use lots of mascara and heavy lashes for the eyes. The eyebrows are light and brushed. Since the focus is on the eyes, do minimal but dewy base make-up.
Her lips are either glossy or nudes and brown tones from the 1990s and Y2K era.
“She has a very old-world charm. She likes doe-eyed looks and her hair is well done, and often retro. She doesn’t miss her skincare routine, so the skin is always bright and natural. She curls her hair too and adds oomph with lashes,” points out Nayar.
For Cassie’s look, all you need are soft eyeshadows in blues, light pink, orange or purple. Always use mascara. You could also work on your lower lashes, Twiggy style. Nayar considers her doe-eyed look with a bouffant from season 2 an iconic Cassie look.
“Cassie’s make-up is very feminine as it consists of colours that match her outfits, paired with rhinestones and soft shimmers on her eyes. It makes her character look delicate and girly,” says Shrishrimal.
“Jules uses bright shimmers or glitters with graphic eyeliner patterns and shapes. Her eyes often have the boldest mix of colours. The base is minimal, and she shows freckles, and sticks to pink, peach lips,” says Shrishrimal.
Nayar believes Jules is experimental with diamantés, a mix of blues and reds, and stickers. The hair is pretty simple; the eyes, bold. “Jules doesn’t shy away. Sometimes, her experiments are scary but she is kind, and loves love. All of this shows in her bold make-up. Face stickers in all shapes would be Jules’ signature. The eye colour is mostly loud; even if it needs to be defined, she will draw a white liner on a yellow eyeshadow. Her signature would be some graphic element around the eyes,” explains Nayar.
Jules’ make-up serves as a reflection of her mental state, says Shrishrimal. “It starts off bright and girly and gets darker as the season progresses. It consists of mainly colourful graphic eyeliners and glitter with blocked eyebrows, which makes her character look strong, unbothered, free-spirited. ”
“Rue is a mess. She wears no make-up unless she’s going to a party. There is so much stuff happening in her life that she would rather deal with her emotions. She uses stickers sometimes, or kohl-smudged smokey eye with a bit of glitter,” says Nayar. One of her iconic looks is smokey eyes and glitter on the eye bags that looks like glitter tears.
“Kat’s make-up makes her look distinctive as it consists of bright or bold eyeshadows like green and yellow,” says Shrishrimal. She is sometimes seen with a red lip with a dark line, or a red eyeshadow with pulled liner, and gothic eyes.
“She finds a way to make her feel sexy and bold and own the body she is living in as she knows she looks different from the rest. Even her hair is a short cute bob. She is goth and girly. Add a choker to complete your look,” suggests Nayar.
Dhara Vora Sabhnani is a Mumbai-based journalist.