Apr 21st, 2022, 12:00 PM

Euphoric State of Mind

By Claire Schwartz
Image Credit: Unsplash/boris krupnik
How HBO's Euphoria has affected teen's fashion and makeup.

What does the TV show Euphoria mean to you? 

Is it A. about the actors?

Is it B. about drugs? 

Is it C. about the music? 

Or is it D. about fashion and beauty? 

For me, E. it's all of the above. 

How has Euphoria changed the way teens think and view the world? With the heavy reliance on social media platforms such as Instagram and TikTok, news about the television show Euphoria, written, created, and directed by Sam Levinson, traveled fast. With the help of stars such as Zendaya, Jacob Elordi, Sydney Sweeney, Hunter Schafer, and Alex Demie the show is able to thrive. It is even said to have started a beauty and fashion movement.


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Throughout two seasons the show displays controversial themes of sex, gender, addiction and depression. Heidi Bivens, the costume designer of the show, has worked tirelessly to bring the emotions and feelings to life with the use of fashion. In an interview with Interview Magazine, by Mel Ottenberg in January 2022, she stated that the show's style is a “time capsule” of how teens dress today and she uses Instagram as “a goldmine for current style references and inspiration.” The show depicts high street and mid-range clothing brands with a mix of alternative brands. Many of the outfits worn by Sydney Sweeny and Alex Demie, who portray Cassie and Maddy respectively, have become iconic and easily affordable. Every item that is seen on the show can be found online, however most of it is completely sold out.

Heidi Bivens does a great job of inclusivity within her looks. She makes her creative decisions public so teens today have access to wear the clothes seen on the show. All of the outfits are perfectly created to fit the exact personalities of each character they play. However, the show does display an unrealistic idea of what a high schooler would look like, considering a twenty-five year old is playing the role of a sixteen year old. 

The fashion is not the only thing making this show so iconic; it's also the beauty and makeup. Doniella Davy, a well known makeup artist in the fashion industry, has been widely recognized for her make-up choices throughout Euphoria. In an article with Vogue, Davy states "'Gen Z uses makeup not only to portray who they are but who they want to be that day.” The makeup is carefully tailored to match the fashion as well as the rollercoaster of emotions each character feels throughout each episode.


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Both Bivens and Davy put an emphasis on freedom of expression. They stress the importance of sharing your voice and having no fear throughout the series. For example, the actor of Jules, Hunter Shafer, who is a trans woman, uses fashion and beauty to express her femininity. Throughout the show, Schafer becomes more confident with herself and this is shown by Bivens and Davy with the use of fashion and beauty as a tool of expression.

The use of gem-studded eyebrows, neon winged eyeliner, and bright blue eyeshadow are all used for character development. Zendaya is depicted with no makeup throughout the series due to her lack of motivation and depression from her drug addiction. However, glitter tear drops are used to express her emotions when she is tripping on hallucinogens. 

None of the characters are made fun of for their fashion or makeup choices. There is no fashion judgment throughout the series, only positivity when it comes to the creative choices of each character. Each character is too focused on the drama of what is occurring around them to judge what their friends are wearing.

Viewers all over the world have adapted the "Euphoria look" into their everyday lives. Whether it is from their makeup to outfits to hair they teenage girls have immersed themselves into the show. Young teenage girls aspire to be as "fashionable" or as "beautiful" as Maddy and Cassie. It is important for coming of age shows like Euphoria to help promote self-expression because it shows young teenagers that being unquie and different is okay. Euphoria teaches people to be confident in who they are and what they want to be.