The "Euphoria" Effect: What The Latest Makeup Trend Tells Us About Ourselves

If you’ve binge-watched the addictive and equally anxiety-inducing HB0 series, Euphoria, you know the editorial-esque makeup looks and iconic outfits are definitely something to note. Not only is it worth noting, but it has sparked a nation-wide trend that has spread like wildfire amongst Gen Zers. Refinery29 tackles the matter in “Euphoria Inspired Makeup is the Top NYFW Fall Beauty Trend” saying “While there's no simple equation for what defines a ‘Euphoria beauty look,’ it generally involves intense graphic liner, face decals, ornate rhinestone designs... you get the picture. It's brave, bold self-expression, with cosmetics as the catalyst.” Beyond the novelty of neon eyeliner and glitter tear drops, why and how has this trend gained so much popularity? 

The genius behind the scenes is Doniella Davy, the lead makeup artist on the show. Born and raised in Venice, California, she had early exposure to the creative scene as both of her parents were artists. After earning a degree from Pratt Institute, she continued to nurture her craft, breaking into the world of makeup on the set of A24 film, Under the Silver Lake. HBO was thoroughly impressed with her work and offered her the gig of lead makeup artist for the cast of Euphoria.

In an interview with Allure, Davy reveals that she rocks expressive makeup and bold styles daily and regularly gets approached by people asking questions. Davy says, “I'm presenting myself to the world in a way that feels authentic to myself. I don't need anyone's approval.” Davy’s own inventive and unique style has carried through in her makeup career. You can even see her style exemplified on her instagram page, where she has posted all her looks from different characters, episodes and events. 

These makeup looks are more than just a trend. Each character’s ever-changing makeup style was curated by Davy with intention, tactfully mirroring their storylines and break conventional standards of femininity, masculinity, sexuality and attractiveness. The evolution of the characters makeup from episode to episode also represents the constant emotional and physical changes people may experience. Euphoria’s diverse breadth of narratives further emulate the current realities that young adults are facing in the U.S; drug addiction, depression, lack of self confidence, feeling unloved, feeling unwanted, feeling not good enough. 

On a larger scale, we can see this trend being adapted in high fashion, influencer beauty channels, Halloween costumes and even filters on social media. So to answer my question, this fashion trend is booming in pop culture today because it’s proving that people’s appearances don’t have to fit certain criteria or be defined my social constructions. This is creating a platform for people to tell their own stories in ways that stray away from traditional cultural norms. It’s opening a gate for more awareness, acceptance and respect for individuals experiences.