Euphoria makeup: saw it, loved it, tried it, learned a lesson about self-expression and growing up, was made into a meme about it, the end. The end? Not really. Lest you think Euphoria’s cultural relevance will take a hit now that it's on hiatus, take a gander at the New York Fashion Week runways. From the surprisingly obvious at Anna Sui to the obviously inspired (see: Chromat, Pyer Moss et. al), undeniably Euphoric makeup was the lynchpin at the spring 2020 shows.
It all seems to officially usher in a new philosophy to eye makeup—namely, that we care about wearing it again. And its ubiquitous presence on runways means bold colors, playful lines, and unabashed sparkle will define our faces for at least another year. My favorite NYFW interpretations took what Euphoria makeup artist Doniella Davy dreamed up for her TV teens and made them a little more adult—chunky glitter becomes a silver sheen, sharp cat eyes get an unexpected painterly twist. It all got me thinking… if the characters from Euphoria were grown up, but still just as into makeup, which runway looks would they wear?
Maddy + Christian Siriano
Left: Maddy, right: models at Christian Siriano.
After high school, Maddy dumps Nate and heads off to the notorious party school she is actually psyched about attending. She decides she’s going to take a break from serious relationships and lean into the casual thing. Senior year, Maddy starts seeing the TA for the Music of the ‘90s class she took to get an extra credit and maybe some style inspiration. The class turns out to be more Phish than phat, and over playlist-listening homework she dips her toes in magic mushrooms. By graduation, Maddy’s completely swapped out her cut-out lowriders for cotton harem pants—just as id as ever, with a little less ego. As her relationship comes to an inevitable end and her style finds a natural equilibrium, Maddy’s makeup adjusts accordingly. She keeps the sunset pastels she’s loved since she was 17, but applies them like a woman touched with a newfound sense of ennui, you know? Precisely applied rhinestones become liquid silvery accents. Her past becomes something more like a past life. At least that’s what she tells people in her yoga class, anyway.
Kat + Ulla Johnson
Left: Kat, right: a model at Ulla Johnson.
After high school, Kat moves straight to New York and starts a life of freelance writing and on-the-side modeling. All it took was clever leveraging of her Larry Stylinson fanfiction and an Instagram identity reveal for a surprising number of fashion’s elite to realize they not only grew up reading her work, but that they loved it as well. At 18, Kat starts to write witty sex-positive weekly columns for whatever media outlet that’s still around, and by the time she’s 24 she knows everyone downtown. Though she’s put her dominatrix days behind her—well, until she really, really needs that new pair of MNZ boots anyway—now that she knows she can pull off anything, why go back to nothing? After finding the froggy green shadow she loved as a teen at the bottom of her Susan Alexandra bag, Kat’s love for it rekindles. She applies it in the back of a cab on her way to a party in Brooklyn, so it’s slightly messier than she remembers, but effortlessly cool nonetheless.
Cassie + Jonathan Cohen
Left: Cassie, right: a model at Jonathan Cohen.
Wait, you knew that Cassie’s like, really, really smart, right? She was in all honors classes by sophomore year, and racked up a cool eight APs by senior year. Her classmates wrote her off early thanks to her college boyfriend and oft passed-around sex tapes—so Cassie felt righteously smug when she started wearing a navy blue Yale sweatshirt around school come December. At Yale with a fresh start, Cassie decides to stop caring what everyone else wants and focus on what she wants. She majors in biology and plans to focus her work on improving research for women’s health. While she’s traded in her Alabama Worley bra for scrubs, Cassie still likes a bold, jewel-toned eye. A color blocked cat eye is office apropos enough to wear to the hospital, yet bold enough to distract from the blue-purple undereye circles that have become inevitable. But she’ll still take being a tired adult with purpose over a confused teen with a porcelain complexion any day.
Jules + Rosie Assoulin
Left: a model at Rosie Assoulin, right: Jules.
Jules has always known who she is. Makes sense if you think about it, because you have to have a pretty good idea of who you are to walk around in full editorial makeup at 17. The things that she likes, she continues to like—terrible married men excluded. It’s important to her to experience everything first-hand. She goes to college, but keeps transferring to a new one after a year—which means that in four years, she’s lived in four different places. She studies abroad in Paris, where her Sailor Moon style gets injected with a little joie de vivre. She spends a month in Mexico eating nothing but fresh fruit and learning about traditional textile making. It’s hard to pin down where she might be next, though you can follow along on her Instagram. There, you’ll notice that, although her life is constantly changing, her makeup hasn’t much. Adult Jules loves a good free-form liner look just as much as teenage Jules did. You can be sure that when it stops feeling right, she’ll move on to something else.
Rue + Area
Left: Rue, right: a model at Area.
It takes a special kind of person to pull off glitter tears, and Rue discovers at the wee age of 17 that she is that person. Unfortunately, she also discovers around that same time that she’s addicted to drugs, and that quitting is harder than she might have thought. After high school, Rue takes a year off to do some community service and make herself helpful to others—make herself needed. It turns out to be a huge help, and after pledging a vow of sobriety, Rue begins her new, happy life. (Hey, this is fantasy, OK? I want the best for Rue and this is how we’re going to get there.) She finds solace in making art, and enrolls in a local program where she can be close to her mom and Gia. Her focus is on printmaking and, later, mixed media painting—the latter of which gets spotted by a pretty-big-deal collector and snapped up on the spot. For her artistic debut at Basel in Switzerland, Rue arrives in a black suit worn with the perfect white tee, and this makeup. Also, her long-term girlfriend. Happy endings all around.
Lexi + Mansur Gavriel
Left: models at Mansur Gavriel, right: Lexi.
Lexi wasn’t the most popular or “coolest” person at her high school, fine, but all that means is she’s destined to find her people in college. She attends a liberal arts school the farthest from California she can get—upstate New York, or maybe Maine. Immediately she realizes this is where she was meant to be the whole time. Lexi majors in art history with a minor in women’s studies, and most of her friends prefer Danskos to drugs. After graduation, she moves her collection of political-leaning tote bags to Brooklyn, where she hosts bi-monthly themed parties to make sure her female friendships don’t suffer at the hands of busy schedules. Last month’s party was a murder mystery theme—next month she’s hosting a Bob Ross painting party, complete with canvas boards and tempera paint. Instead of asking her mom to FedEx up the Bob Ross wig of her youth, Lexi takes the look to her lids—one yellow sun, one blue sky. She invited a Hinge date, and isn’t going to make the same mistake twice.
Photos via HBO and Instagram.