The Euphoria Effect

Drug addiction. Sexual abuse. Accidental pregnancy. Body dysmorphia. All covered up by glitter stickers and stars?

The show Euphoria aims to tackle hardcore issues to depict a realistic representation of youth in small town theatre. But is it solely the powers of Zendaya, leading a cast of eccentric characters, that makes the show a visual masterpiece?

Introducing make-up artist Doniella Davy who not only allowed characters in the show to flourish through oppression, but also sparked a Gen Z movement of alternative eyeshadow looks. Many of which are mimicked by thousands of teens today (including myself and my friends). By merging teen reality with escapist fantasy, she was able to create bold and daring make up art to portray how brave you can be no matter what your going through.

From Sydney Sweeney’s sweet green glitter look forming a triangular shape around her eyes to the satanical drip of red and upside-down crosses hanging from Barbie Ferreira’s eyelashes. These unique looks aim to not only shock audiences but also to tackle issues such as fat shaming and relationship toxicity with a newfound confidence.

Alongside Alexa Demie, with gems that compliment her character’s cool chic and fiery attitude towards abuse, these looks enhance the eyes to radiate a passion for being uniquely yourself.

Or perhaps what really makes these eye looks stand out is the rebellious nature of the eyeshadow refusing to restrict itself within the eyelid shape.

Take Zendaya’s iconic end appearance, with a mesh of purple glitter and silver stars, creating a waterfall of technicolour to disclose her character’s drug relapse. The glitter tears pour out of the eye, suggesting that crying is an art, an act of beauty even.

And finally, the golden streaks and leaves surrounding Hunter Schafer’s angel eye look, captures the essence of her character’s glory as an LGBTQ+ representative of the show. Upon asking my friend Rommi Kang how he felt whilst recreating this look, he expressed that:
“Honestly, it made me feel good about myself, which is a rarity. In a way it empowered me, it made me feel hot, sexy and beautiful, which is amazing for someone part of the LGBT community. We constantly witness a lot of transgression towards us, which tends to put us down, but doing something like this allows us to empower ourselves and break societal boundaries”

This seems to suggest that whilst make-up doesn’t make our all insecurities go away, it certainly embraces who we really are. By dragging all the attention away from what we don’t want to people to focus on, it allows for people to solely appreciate our art and true form.

However, that’s not to say that makeup is all smoke and mirrors. None of the characters of Euphoria (bar the Jacobs family) hide who they truly are behind a make up brush. In fact, scenes where the characters are completely bare faced are the most effective at exposing how vulnerable they are to harsh societal effects. Doniella Davy’s creativity is used as tool to breakthrough expectation and allows the audience to judge a character’s kindness or bravery rather than their looks or popularity.

It’s no wonder why many of us today strive to do the same thing, with incredible new eye looks created every day. Being hyped up by friends and social media for it helps us celebrate the amazing ways we can be kind to ourselves, even whilst dealing with insecurities and discrimination.

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