Euphoria is back in all its glam and gory glory. The HBO show continues its chokehold on Gen Z with its thrilling storylines, completely impractical but iconic outfits, and throngs of beloved actors and actresses keeping viewers on their toes.
Hair and makeup have always taken centre stage in our conversations about Euphoria; #euphoriamakeup on TikTok has 867 million views and counting. Season 1's beauty styling proved to be a major hit — glitter, OTT eyeshadow, and block graphic colours took over our social media feeds and runways — and while it would've been easy enough to continue a formula that was proven to work, Euphoria's makeup designer Doniella Davy decided to shake things up for Season 2.
The Los Angeles-based artist has mirrored the darker, grimier, and moodier tones of the new season. She's gone easy on the glitter and instead, let subtle glam and refined-yet-experimental looks define the season.
"Season two is like season one’s more introverted sister," she wrote on Instagram. "There’s a steady ‘quiet’ to her, until she’s suddenly loud. She has her full glam moments but then switches to super minimalism. She loves her dewy skin, and going foundation free. She experiments with all different takes on winged liner from classic to modern to… something more free-form. She loves bright colour, but only when she’s really feeling bold. She’s elusive with her sparkle and prefers a softer version of twinkling Euphoria glam."
The restraint exhibited by Davy is on par with the rawness of season two; the switch from digital to grainier 35mm Kodak Ektachrome film underscores cracks in the characters.
Glitter and rhinestones aren't entirely absent from Season 2 — but each of the mini stones (or "tiny rhinies" as Davy says) is used carefully and with intention. In the first episode of the season, we see Cassie's (Sydney Sweeney) bare skin, pinky-peach smoked-out winged eyeshadow, flushed cheeks and smudged lips coupled with six or seven rhinestones per eyelid — "[her] eyes are framed by this delicate, like innocent, twinkle," says Davy.
This youthfulness is also seen in Kat's (Barbie Ferreira) character. "Instead of taking the gothxgrungexfairy-inspired direction that I had imagined, Euphoria's creator/director/writer and the all-around visionary Sam Levinson challenged me to bring a playful freshness to Kat’s makeup," Davy wrote on Instagram. "You’ll see that many of her looks involve a super clean lower lash line and bright colours."
And that's exactly what's rolling on TikTok. Bold, two-toned, '80s-inspired eyeshadow is matched with a fresh base — a nod to how Davy views Kat as being new to makeup and in the midst of figuring out her identity.
But the character that has stolen the TikTok spotlight is Maddy (Alexa Demie). Entering Season Two in a skintight cut-out black mini dress and a dark '90s makeup glam moment, Maddy's evolved look brings out her dark side.
A big change this season is that Demie herself has been heavily involved in the makeup design process for her character. "She came into the makeup trailer with established and well-thought-out ideas for her looks, with her own character backstories," explains Davy.
Paired with a swipe of sparkly silver eyeshadow, the statement wing has been making the TikTok rounds. But fans are realising that sultry bottom waterline eyeliner completes the look. "The fact you immediately looked like her once you added the bottom eyeliner," read one Tiktok comment on a recreation video.
Euphoria has been groundbreaking for a multitude of reasons, one of which is the artistry and storytelling behind its beauty choices. Its cultural relevance continues to climb. Makeup in the pandemic era is evolving, and Euphoria is here to help lead the way.