Glitter tears. Latex bodysuits. Baby bangs. It's hard to say which came first, Euphoria or the unique brand of beauty it represents. But if you ask breakout star Barbie Ferreira, who plays Kat Hernandez on the hit HBO series, she'll tell you that they simply painted a picture of what her generation really looks like.
"What Euphoria did was reflect the experimental attitude that a lot of kids have these days and how they express themselves through makeup," she told me over the phone last month. "It's less about covering up and more of an extension of their personality."
Today, Ferreira is bringing that fresh approach to a massive new makeup campaign with Becca Cosmetics. "Makeup has been a hobby and passion of mine since I was a young kid going on YouTube watching Michelle Phan apply lip gloss," says the 23-year-old model and actress. "So, for me, this is extremely special."
While the brand has had numerous successful celebrity and influencer collaborations in the past, including collections with Chrissy Teigen and Jaclyn Hill, Ferreira's partnership is focused on the longterm — and one she hopes will usher in greater conversations around beauty, mental health, and representation at the cosmetics counter.
In her new role, Ferreira will star in campaigns and advertisements for the brand, as well as inform more mindful casting around body size, gender, and skin tone among her co-models, many of which are friends she met early in her career. "For years, I was part of 'inclusive' campaigns that didn't exactly put their money where their mouth is," she says. "I am so happy to have my friends, who are from all different walks of life, representing who wears makeup; it's not just women and it's not just what we're used to seeing from makeup brands, which is usually a pretty not-inclusive shade range or casting."
Ferreira will also help spread the word about Becca's new collaboration with the Jed Foundation, a mental health advocacy group. Becca donated $10,000 to the organization at the start of the year, and will be announcing more details regarding their partnership soon. “I’m so grateful to be partnering with a brand that stands for a cause, and the conversation around mental health is a really important one," Ferreira says.
Ferreira's first campaign with Becca Cosmetics will focus on the brand's new Light Shifter Brightening Concealer, which launched at the end of last month. It's a full-circle moment for the actress, who first fell in love with the brand's famous highlighters.
"I have been wearing Becca since the first time I wore makeup," says Ferreira, who adds that she had a vanity table in her bedroom before she was even allowed to wear makeup to school. "I remember having the liquid highlighter, which was my first time experimenting with that kind of glow. I overdid the highlight — I remember slathering it on my face."
Now, Ferreira takes a pared-down approach to makeup and skin care. “I travel a lot and I don't always get the opportunity to do my full routine, so I like to wear products that are good for my skin," says Ferreira, who favours multi-use makeup that contains hyaluronic acid. "I used to be all about a 10-step skin-care routine, but then I realized that it was just making my skin worse.”
What Euphoria did was reflect the experimental attitude that a lot of kids have these days and how they express themselves through makeup. It's less about covering up and more of an extension of their personality.
In the next season of Euphoria, which will return to HBO later this year, Ferreira says she expects even greater moments of self-expression from her character, including mismatched makeup and wild eyeliner shapes. "Kat experiments with makeup in a different way than the other characters; she's darker," says Ferreira, pointing to Kat's mainstay smoky eyes. "For her, makeup is not to be pretty — it's almost the opposite of that. It's how she expresses herself and finds power by saying 'F you' to what people have been telling her to wear."
It's a boundary-breaking ethos that Ferreira shares with her character and one she plans to bring to this partnership with Becca. "I totally get how makeup is liberating and a really powerful tool to express yourself," she says. "I am always pushing the line a little and seeing what I can get away with. Working with Becca has been everything I have ever wanted. I am so excited for people to see it."
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