How To Nail Euphoria-Inspired Makeup Maximalism

It’s the Euphoria effect: eyes are ablaze with colour… and glitter and rhinestones, and whatever else you can get your hands on.

This editorial originally appeared in the June 2022 issue of Gritty Pretty Magazine. Read the full issue, here.

Where Zendaya goes, the rest of the world follows. 

When her television series, Euphoria, premiered in June 2019, eyebrows were raised first at the graphic content—and then at the graphic (and graphically gorgeous) eye makeup. The defined aesthetic was a deliberate choice by the show’s makeup designer, Doniella Davy, who wanted the makeup to reflect the intensity and drama of the suburban teens’ lives. This translated into the much-buzzed-about moment when Zendaya, as Rue, wore a stunning set of glitter tears, and which, along with Maddy’s rhinestone-studded eyebrows, Kat’s kaleidoscopic eyeshadow and Jules’s neon eyeliner, became fodder for a tonne of tutorials and how-tos. Now, Euphoria-inspired eye makeup has filtered down to the runways (see: vivid eyeshadow at Valentino and Saint Laurent, embellishment at Burberry and Givenchy) and the streets. 

“Since the pandemic and lockdowns began, people have started practicing and playing with eye makeup, are more open to experimenting, and are more confident using louder colours and graphic eyeliner designs—and colour naturally makes us feel happy,” notes makeup artist Mikele Simone.

Experimentation. Colour. Capital F Fun. It’s what makeup was made for. Which is why now—yes, right now!—is the perfect time to play. Ready to go all in?

Beginner's Luck

You’re nervous. We get it. “But it’s like everything in life—you just have to do it!” says Simone. “An easy way to begin incorporating colour on the eye is to highlight the inner corners with a bright shade, and as you build up confidence, slowly start pushing the colour or shape to something bolder.” 

Blue is a flattering shade on most eye colours, and Simone reckons pink is also an easy-to-experiment-with option because it complements lots of skin tones and eye colours. And if the words “blue” and “pink” just made your stomach drop, breathe, and reach for a metallic shade, like gold or copper, which “are more neutral, not poppy, but still look fun and beautiful,” he says. 

Now, start drawing. Coloured eyeliner on the upper and/or lower waterline is simple and extremely wearable (we promise), or try tracing black pencil above your upper lash line and drawing a coloured streak alongside it. Or try ombre eyeliner with a couple of pencils: “start from the inner corner with your bright shade, and halfway across the eye switch to black, before very slightly blending the two with a small eyeliner brush,” explains Simone, who also suggests trying this technique with colours from the same family, like a light blue and a dark blue.

Need some product recommendations? We’ve got you. Below are some of our favourites:

  • Sephora Collection Retract Waterproof Eyeliner in 19 Shimmer Navy, $18 from Sephora
  • Fenty Beauty Flypencil Longwear Pencil Eyeliner in Purple Stuff, $35 from Sephora
  • Estée Lauder Double Wear 24H Waterproof Gel Eye Pencil in Bronze, $49 from Adore Beauty

Pro Level

If you’re the type of person whose fuchsia eyeliner gets as much of a workout as her blacks and browns (hello, you’re awesome), it’s time to start colouring outside the lines, too.  

Upside down cat eyeliner: Starting about three quarters of the way out from the inner corner of the eye, trace along the lower lashline and wing out to your desired length, then create a sharp corner and go back in toward the eye. “Go slightly above the crease on hooded eyes, or come back to the upper lash line for a slightly sexier look,” suggests Simone.  

Triple flick cat eyeliner: Draw your regular cat eyeliner on the upper lid, then trace two little flicks that wing outwards, under the eye. 

All-the-way-around eyeliner: Trace your pencil along your upper and lower lid, outside your lash line, “and go over it a couple of times to deposit a lot of colour,” says Simone. “You can set it with a powder eyeshadow, and fill in your waterline with either the same shade or a different shade if you’re feeling adventurous.” (We vote ‘adventurous.’)

Abstract eyeliner: Draw circles, lines and triangles, where it works best for your look (Simone’s tip: “the outer corners always pops”).  

Drawing Attention

Your own euphoric makeup kit. 

Beginner's Luck

You’re nervous. We get it. “But it’s like everything in life—you just have to do it!” says Simone. “An easy way to begin incorporating colour on the eye is to highlight the inner corners with a bright shade, and as you build up confidence, slowly start pushing the colour or shape to something bolder.” 

Blue is a flattering shade on most eye colours, and Simone reckons pink is also an easy-to-experiment-with option because it complements lots of skin tones and eye colours. And if the words “blue” and “pink” just made your stomach drop, breathe, and reach for a metallic shade, like gold or copper, which “are more neutral, not poppy, but still look fun and beautiful,” he says. 

Now, start drawing. Coloured eyeliner on the upper and/or lower waterline is simple and extremely wearable (we promise), or try tracing black pencil above your upper lash line and drawing a coloured streak alongside it. Or try ombre eyeliner with a couple of pencils: “start from the inner corner with your bright shade, and halfway across the eye switch to black, before very slightly blending the two with a small eyeliner brush,” explains Simone, who also suggests trying this technique with colours from the same family, like a light blue and a dark blue.

Need some product recommendations? We’ve got you. Below are some of our favourites:

  • Sephora Collection Retract Waterproof Eyeliner in 19 Shimmer Navy, $18 from Sephora
  • Fenty Beauty Flypencil Longwear Pencil Eyeliner in Purple Stuff, $35 from Sephora
  • Estée Lauder Double Wear 24H Waterproof Gel Eye Pencil in Bronze, $49 from Adore Beauty

Pro Level

If you’re the type of person whose fuchsia eyeliner gets as much of a workout as her blacks and browns (hello, you’re awesome), it’s time to start colouring outside the lines, too.  

Upside down cat eyeliner: Starting about three quarters of the way out from the inner corner of the eye, trace along the lower lashline and wing out to your desired length, then create a sharp corner and go back in toward the eye. “Go slightly above the crease on hooded eyes, or come back to the upper lash line for a slightly sexier look,” suggests Simone.  

Triple flick cat eyeliner: Draw your regular cat eyeliner on the upper lid, then trace two little flicks that wing outwards, under the eye. 

All-the-way-around eyeliner: Trace your pencil along your upper and lower lid, outside your lash line, “and go over it a couple of times to deposit a lot of colour,” says Simone. “You can set it with a powder eyeshadow, and fill in your waterline with either the same shade or a different shade if you’re feeling adventurous.” (We vote ‘adventurous.’)

Abstract eyeliner: Draw circles, lines and triangles, where it works best for your look (Simone’s tip: “the outer corners always pops”).  

Drawing Attention

Your own euphoric makeup kit. 

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