So I’m no longer cool (okay, I never was), but it seems like everyone and their mother nowadays is doing bright, sparkly makeup. AKA, the look popularized in the HBO series Euphoria.
It’s a look that defies traditional beauty standards and breaks all the basic eye makeup rules. You’re supposed to look natural; the swarovski crystals are anything but. You’re supposed to stay within your lid; many of the looks on the show include glitter streaming down the cheeks, angular lines on the browbone, and rhinestones on the eyebrows. You’re supposed to stick with neutral colors; half the looks on Euphoria include neon. If you wear statement makeup, your whole face has to be done up; Jules often wears a streak of bright eyeliner with no other visible makeup.
It’s wonderfully subversive and fun, the way that makeup should be – not as a necessary evil to not appear “tired” or “unprofessional” as a woman, but a means of self-expression.
It’s important to note that, like many of youth’s beauty trends, this trend actually comes from drag culture. Take a scroll down pinterest’s drag search and you’ll see plenty of neon, glitter, rhinestones, and coloring “outside of the lines”. It’s the exact opposite of natural. Obviously, as with all drag beauty trends that go mainstream (think of contouring or baking), it’s much more muted and subtle, and it’s got its own twist. But today’s culture is very much influenced by the gay and urban communities, without really paying tribute to them.
Euphoria at least tries to do so. The show’s makeup is appropriately donned by its leading female cast members of different sexual, gender, and racial identities. This is one example where the trend doesn’t feel quite as “stolen” as other Gen-Z trends; whether or not the members of Gen-Z actually realize where this makeup draws its inspiration remains to be seen, but at the very least the show seems to.
What Euphoria does well besides representation is a use of makeup to represent the different characters.
Rue hardly ever wears makeup – but when she does, it’s a slight trace of glitter, evidence of Jules’ influence on her and slight “brightening” of her life. Jules, meanwhile, is unabashedly herself. She knows exactly who she is; and her makeup reflects that. Maddie is the same way; however, we see her without makeup in times in crisis, whereas Jules still wears hers. This symbolize Maddie’s wavering sense of self as it relates to Nate.
Cassie (except when she’s ice skating, truly embracing herself) and Lexi wear very natural makeup – symbolizing the way that they prefer to blend in and go with the flow. Kat starts out natural, too, but changes drastically as she changes her style to what can be described as almost dominatrix. This symbolizes both her taking ownership of her sexuality, but also her putting on a sort of “mask” and not being herself.
Through the different characters, the show presents makeup as both an extension of ourselves and an obscuring of ourselves, depending on the character in the situation.
And so I have two warnings if you’re wanting to copy the looks seen on the show: 1) Know what cultures the trend is coming from and 2) Be careful that you’re not using makeup to obscure yourself, but rather to extend your personality.
That being said, here’s my guide to trying the makeup yourself (on a budget, of course)!
Jules goes with actually rather simple statement colors. You’ll want eyeliner of all different colors: Colourpop has a good collection. Jules rarely wears mascara, but when she does it’s a bright orange – there’s a good collection of colored mascara here. She’s also a fan of glitter. Colourpop has glitter gel (with larger chunks of glitter like Jules sometimes uses) here, and glitter pigment (used more often by Jules) here. If you want to go more hard core on the glitter, you’ll want to get festival glitter. There’s some options here, here, and here. You can also just obviously use glitter from Michael’s (if it’s going to be on your face – I would not recommend on your lids). Hair gel, vaseline, or a product like glitter fix will work if you want it to stick better!
Maddie is all about fake lashes, jewels, cat eyes, and purple.
There’s a good purple eyeshadow palette here. She also occasionally adds another statement color – get a palette with lots of bright colors here or here (bonus: you’ll probably have enough purple from these ones, too!) You can choose whatever liquid liner you prefer, but I like the NYX eyeliner marker for wings.
For the rhinestones you’re going to want face rhinestones like the ones here. Nail or craft ones work too if they’re not too close to your actual eye. You can find a guide to the best false lashes here – not to brag but I have super long lashes so I don’t use fake ones! You will want a really good mascara though – I actually love falsies or if you’re on less of a budget, Better than Sex mascara.
Obviously this isn’t Kat’s normal look, but it’s really just an exaggerated version of it.
Kat wears more traditionally “sexy” makeup, sticking with berry or red lips, cat liner, and a smoky eye.
My favorite cheap red lipstick is the Rimmel London Kate Moss lipstick in 111. People swear by MAC’s russian red or ruby woo. I still love the NYX marker for liner, and the subtle smoky eye can be achieved through Urban Decay’s Naked Smoky palette or the cheaper Revolution version. If you want to copy her Halloween look, a good red eyeshadow palette can be found here.
Tl;dr: Wear makeup because it’s fun, not because you feel you have to. That’s what Jules would want.