Exclusive: Euphoria's Makeup Artist Breaks Down the Show's Top 4 Makeup Looks

HBO's latest runaway hit series Euphoria feels much less a TV show and much more a culturally charged experience. The characters and their trippy pathways of trials and tribulations aren't something you passively watch. Rather, they punch you in the stomach with brutality, poignancy, and breathtaking cinematic visuals. The effect? Truly transportiveand deliciously addictivetelevision.

The characters are strong, the production is strong, even the soundtrack is strong, but it's the achiness emanating in between the lines that instigates the soul-twisting reaction everyone can't stop talking about. A Crayola-colored fusion that melts the raw dramas of teenage-dom with whimsical touches of fantasy, escapism, and lots (and lots) of glitter. It was the show's lead makeup artist Doniella Davy's job to convey all that and more on the canvas complexions of the cast's four leading ladies: Rue (Zendaya), Jules (Hunter Shafer), Kat (Barbie Ferreira), and Maddy (Alexa Demie).

Wildly successful, the series plays host to a non-stop current of gape-worthy beauty and makeup moments that are so good they almost distract from the show's harrowing plotlines. Euphoria might not be easy to stomach, per se, but we've never so hungrily consumed the zoom-worthy shots of crystal-studded eyelids, neon-washed brow bones, or lacquered and glitter-crusted lips. Yep, beauty can be soul-shaking, and Euphoria is A+ proof. 

In honor of the show's season one finale (airing today!), we asked Davy to choose her four favorite makeup moments, starring Rue, Jules, Kat, and Maddy, alongside each look's inspiration and step-by-step instruction. Oh, and you need not be intimidated, because she's also serving up tips along the way as to how to make each look a bit more wearable. Just in case, you know, carnivals and house parties dizzied with marijuana and dripping with Molly aren't on your upcoming social agenda. Keep scrolling! Here, Davy breaks down the show's top four makeup looks—and for those who haven't watched, tread carefully! Some spoilers lie ahead.

Rue's Glitter-Tear Carnival Look, Episode 4


(Image credit: Courtesy of HBO)


(Image credit: Courtesy of HBO)

"This look was a collaboration between me and our creator, Sam [Levinson], who wanted Rue's look for the carnival to involve triangles under her eyes, or was it glitter under her eyes? One or the other… It’s all a blur!" Davy laughs.

"Anyway, the thinking behind this was for Rue's look to emote a melancholy feeling, but to still use the reflective texture of glitter, that would catch light in certain angles and kind of disappear in other angles. In the previous episode (three), Rue really goes through it emotionally, breaking down at Fezco's door after kissing Jules. It was important to me to bring some of that emotion into her carnival look for the purpose of staying true to her story line." 

Step 1: A Wash of Burgundy on the Lids

Step 2: Waterproof Eyeliner & Mascara

Step 3: Gold Glitter

Step 4: A Sheer Application of the Foundation

Step 5: Cream Blush

Step 6: Finishing Touches of Highlighter , Brows, & Chapstick

Tip: How to Make It More Wearable

To make this look more wearable, Davy suggests making the triangles smaller, or simply lining the lower lash line with glitter and forgoing the triangles altogether.

Jules's Tricolor Neon Eyelids, Episode 2


(Image credit: Courtesy of HBO)


(Image credit: Courtesy of HBO)

"This is one of Jules's more optimistic and playful looks that challenges glamorous makeup norms by taking a glam shape of eye shadow but infusing it with unexpected colors," Davy explains to us. "Plus, pairing it with a bare face gives it a less femme vibe. At this point in the script, Jules is happily texting with Tyler, and her relationship with Rue is just blossoming."

Step 1: Neon Green Liner

Step 2: Neon Shadow

Step 3: Black Mascara

Step 4: Creamy Peach Blush + Freckles

Step 5: Foundation & Nude Lip (Optional)

Tip: How to Make It More Wearable

If neon feels a bit too bold for you, Davy says you can take the vibe of this look down a notch by making the overall shape and reach of the eye shadow smaller, not taking the red color as far inward, or by switching the shades of neon for subtle pastel versions of the same hues. 

Kat's Alien-Green Eye Shadow, Episode 4


(Image credit: @donni.davy)


(Image credit: Courtesy of HBO)

"Green is one of Kat's makeup power colors, and I wanted to use a bright froggy/alien green color block on her for this," says Davy. "Instead of a blended look, I wanted to keep it all crisp because I knew there would be a lot of dark shadows during the carnival footage. To keep things relatively unpolished and feeling real, I chose to blur her lips with a tint."

Step 1: Apply Your Greens

Step 2: Lots of Black Liner, Mascara, & Brow Gel

Step 3: Burgundy, Bee-Stung Lipstick

Tip: How to Make It More Wearable

"I think this look is totally wearable, but you could experiment with making the shape of the green a little smaller to just occupy the lower lid," confirms Davy.

Maddy's Crystal-Studded Purple-Blue Liner, Episode 4


(Image credit: @donni.davy)


(Image credit: Courtesy of HBO)

"This look had to be sharp as a knife to cut through all the bullshit that Nate put Maddy through at the carnival," says Davy. "It also had to match her outfit and be visible in the shadows of the carnival. Lining her purple wings with tapered iridescent rhinestones was how this was achieved."

Step 1: Perfect Your Wing

Step 2: Apply Your Rhinestones

Step 3: Glitter, Nude Lips, & Brows

Step 4: Fluttery Falsies

Tip: How to Make It More Wearable

Aside from Maddy's glittery lips, which Davy says are actually pretty uncomfortable to wear, she feels this look is super wearable. She recommends experimenting with different colors of liner beneath the rhinestones or forgoing the rhinestones altogether if you don't want quite that much sparkle.

Up next: Hunter Schafer Is the 2019 Breakout Star We Didn't See Coming

Beauty Director

Erin has been writing a mix of beauty and wellness content for Who What Wear for over four years. Prior to that, she spent two and half years writing for Byrdie. She now calls Santa Monica home but grew up in Minnetonka, Minnesota, and studied writing, rhetoric, and communication at University of Wisconsin, La Crosse. She studied abroad in Galway, Ireland, and spent a summer in L.A. interning with the Byrdie and Who What Wear family. After graduating from UW, she spent one year in San Francisco, where she worked as a writer for Pottery Barn Kids and PBteen before moving down to L.A. to begin her career as a beauty editor. She considers her day-to-day beauty aesthetic very low-maintenance and relies on staples like clear brow serum (from Kimiko!), Lawless's Lip Plumping Mask in Cherry Vanilla, and an eyelash curler. For special occasions or days when she's taking more meetings or has an event, she'll wear anything and everything from Charlotte Tilbury (the foundations are game-changing), some shimmer on her lids (Stila and Róen do it best), and a few coats of the best mascara-type product on earth, Surratt's Noir Lash Tint.