If you haven’t heard about HBO’s new show, Euphoria, you’ve been living under a rock. From talking about the length of an Evian bottle (once you watch it, you’ll understand the reference) to body-shaming teenage girls, Euphoria delves into the reality of being a teenager in today’s world. Parents of younger teens may hesitate to expose their kids to a show like this, yet it reflects many scenarios teens will experience or are currently dealing with. Personally, I’ve found that the only Hispanic character, Maddy Perez, has served as a role model for me (in terms of self-confidence) — especially because of her eccentric make-up looks and her outlandish style.
Not to feed into the stereotype that all Latinas wear hoop earrings, have acrylic nails or elaborate eyeshadow, but many of us like to look “good.” As I write this article, I’m wearing purple eyeshadow, struggling to type with my white, flamed nails and wearing my tiny hoop earrings. However, women of all races/ethnicities attribute our desire to look good either to having low self-esteem or wanting to dress up for a man.
Now, as I stifle my hands from clapping back at those people, I want to make it clear that it takes a high level of confidence to strut in a studded eyeshadow look. I have never worn makeup for others — I wear makeup that expresses my boss girl energy. Being a Hispanic woman at a predominantly white (non-Hispanic) university, I know there’s a certain idea of how a Latina should be. As a result, I decided to take on this challenge of wearing extravagant eyeshadow to mimic Maddy.
Day One: Drowning Mermaid
The first day of this challenge, was indeed a challenge. Not only was my makeup quite horrifying, but so was my outfit. Nevertheless, I persisted and went to school looking like Ariel, the Little Mermaid who had one too many drinks. As I walked through campus in my aqua-green eyeshadow, I felt the constant stares. I looked like I had class at 9:30 and would be in a club by 10. I began feeling self-conscious and chose to walk through Turlington Plaza with my sunglasses on.
Then, I remembered why I started this challenge: to show that wearing makeup doesn’t give someone confidence. It shows that they had it all along.
I went to Metro Diner (10/10 would definitely recommend), met the love of my life (the sixth one this week) and felt the best I had felt in days. This wasn’t because I “hid behind makeup” but because I wore my aqua eyeshadow with pride.
If you’re looking to copy this look or make it better, I used the Morphe Jaclyn Hill Palette. One thing I learned as the week progressed is that false eyelashes make a big difference. Below, I’ve included a guide of which colors I used from the palette. In terms of blending, blend your eyeshadow until your arm falls off. The orange shade (4) is very pigmented — use a light hand with this shade. The aqua shades (5 and 6) are also a bit difficult to blend into the crease, but build the shade over time. If I could do something differently, I would’ve added lashes and a cut-crease.
Overall, as the day progressed, so did my confidence.
Day Two: Pretty in Pearls
This day was by far my most eventful and my best makeup day. The stars aligned, and my makeup skills ignited. This look was directly taken from Euphoria and was one of the most unorthodox. Before I officially began my Euphoria week, I dabbled in the pearl eyeliner design. It was so flamboyant yet classy.
To get the right pearls, head to your local Michael’s and purchase a pearl set with different sizes. You’ll also need eyelash glue for sticking the pearls to your eyelids. Also, any neutral color to wash over your crease will do just fine. Personally, for my crease shade, I used the Physician’s Formula Butter Bronzer in Light Bronzer.
After that, it’ll only take about an hour to recreate this look. Yes, you read that right: an hour or maybe even two. I woke up two hours before my regular wake-up time to have enough time for these looks. I felt so confident in this look. As I walked through campus, I could hear Lizzo’s “Truth Hurts” playing in my head. Everything was going great, and I lost count of how many girls complimented me.
However, this changed after I left for dinner with three of my friends. We went out to support Gator ADAA at BJ’s Brewhouse, and as we were sitting, one of my friends noticed my makeup. This is where things get tricky. I felt his constant judgement of my eye look. He continuously made jokes that “if any guy were to see [me], he’d probably run the other way.”
First off, if a man feels intimidated by my makeup, I’ll turn the other way myself. Secondly, the only individuals who seemed to have a “problem” with my eye looks were guys. Not one girl said anything mean or offensive about my makeup (although some did stare). Yet, when it came time to guys, they felt threatened by my turquoise eyeshadow or my flammable cut-crease. I cried when I got home.
On the exterior I put up a brave face, but deep down his words hurt. Not because I feared the “You’ll be single forever” idea he had hinted at, but that he thought I went through all this to impress a guy. Needless to say, he and I have not spoken since.
This may have been the most emotionally draining day, but I enjoyed the stares. There’s a meme that had been circling around about how Kanye doesn’t look away when you’re staring at him. To be frankly honest, if I sense you staring at me, I will stare right back at you until you either smile or look away. So, for the two girls I stared at intensely on the 33, next time don’t chuckle at someone with my type of strength (sashay away, darling).
Day Three: Orange and Grape Juice
The inspiration behind this look came from my love of orange juice and the color purple. I decided to go for something vibrant on this long, tedious Wednesday. To commemorate my ingenuity, I named this masterpiece: “Orange Juice by Day, and Grape Juice by Night.” I used ColourPop’s Yes Please Palette in conjunction with the Morphe Jaclyn Hill Palette to create this work of art. For the top part of the eye, I solely used the Yes Please palette. The only shade I used in the JH Morphe Palette was the purple shade for my lower lash line. First, I grabbed shade 1, then I added shade 2 little by little to build up a natural shadow. Next, I began mixing shades 3 and 4 for a splash of vibrance. Finally, I packed on (just like the freshman fifteen) the sixth shade to make it glitter. Oh, and not to forget the smudging of the purple shimmer shade.
Here’s a palette breakdown:
Overall, I received several compliments from (you guessed it) other girls. They’d tell me how well I did my eyeshadow or how pretty I looked.
Now here’s the thing, if you don’t like someone, don’t kiss their butt. I was sitting, waiting for my chariot (i.e. bus 33) to pick me up and saw an old classmate of mine who oftentimes ignores me. I don’t want to sound too cocky, but I always act 100% unapologetically like myself. This girl knows we don’t get along, and as we wait, she compliments my eyeshadow. I genuinely believed that the compliments from complete strangers were sincere, yet hers felt like a backhand slap. This day of the challenge taught me that compliments don’t validate your own beauty — that’s something only you can do.
Day Four: Fire AF
The fourth day came around, and I felt discouraged. As I sat trying to come up with a look, I realized the magnitude of the female mind. I followed a RawBeauty Kristi tutorial. The only things I did differently were adjusting the shades to a higher part of the eye and not adding eyeliner.
The inspiration for this look stemmed from one of the only Hispanic superheroes named “Firebird.” This superhero is known for her strength and her pyrokinetic capabilities. It took me so long to achieve the look that I missed my bus and my class later on. This didn’t matter because I looked good.
This look drew attention to my eyes like none of the ones before. It was early in the day, and here I was with a cut crease. I had never worn a cut-crease before, and I loved how detailed it looked. I forgot to take pictures (just like how I forgot about class), but the few I took show my awkward faces and my gorgeous eyeshadow.
Not to forget, in terms of those around me, with this look, I only received compliments.
Day Five: Barney at a Rave
This look was inspired from what I believed Barney the Dinosaur would wear to a rave. On my last day, I didn’t want to wear anything too crazy, mainly because my eyelids were swollen and covered in eyelash glue. After letting them rest, I got to work. To achieve this look, all you need to do is use your Morphe Jaclyn Hill Palette and follow the pictorial linked in the article from Pinterest. This is an extremely simple eyeshadow look, just remember to blend the darker crease colors into the lid shade.
On this day, I felt that a lot of guys stared at me. At first, I thought to myself, “man, do I still got it,” but then I saw them looking directly at my eyeshadow. It was weird to me that eventually girls began accepting it and appreciating the artistry behind my makeup, but men felt threatened and uncomfortable from any trace of makeup.
I had to attend a meeting for an internship next semester. I wore the makeup look, and immediately everyone in the group-interview stared at me. Rest assured, I stared back at them and proceeded to introduce myself, acrylics and all. One thing my mom taught me, (which I’ll teach y’all), is that you are never, under any circumstances, worth less than anyone around you. People around me, when they see me in my crazy makeup, create assumptions about me that are utterly wrong. I wear makeup for my mental health, self-expression and to demonstrate to the world how good I’m feeling.
If this week taught me anything about confidence, it’s that confidence should never be correlated with any material item. Throughout the years, women who wear heavy makeup have been looked down upon by society because of their perceived low self-esteem. Yet, I want people to understand that women wear makeup for themselves. To the ones, like Maddy and myself, who like wearing false eyelashes or pearls to school: wear makeup that demonstrates your confidence from within. There’s a scene in Euphoria that focuses on Maddy’s beauty pageant success. In the scene, Maddy wins not because she’s the ‘prettiest’ but because she exuded confidence. Stepping into her shoes this week has inspired me to wear what I want no matter what others will think of me.
It was a difficult process, but I’m glad I experienced this freshman year and learned that the best thing I can be is a confident Latina Gator who can rock a pearl wing.