For example: The Long Island mansion that became Tern Haven, the ancestral home of the antagonistic Pierce family, was already pretty much perfect, right down to the candle-powered chandelier that hung over the dining table where most of the episode’s action unfolds. But Carter and his team had to spend some time “settling things down,” swapping out a few eye-catching design elements.
“There’s always risk with these really opulent interiors, that they draw attention to themselves or become a caricature or design porn,” Carter said, adding that as a former actor himself, he always ensures the cast is the center of attention. At the same time, some luxury is always needed: “We want to make sure it feels like billionaires inhabit these spaces, not just millionaires.”
All That Glitters
The moody makeup of Euphoria
In the third episode of HBO’s transgressive teen drama Euphoria, a lunchroom conversation turns to selfies. They should look “classy, but not too arty,” Jules (an incandescent Hunter Schafer) tells her best friend, Rue (Zendaya). “Like I took them with very little thought or effort, but could also be in fucking MoMA.” Jules is talking about nudes—common currency for a generation navigating sex in the smartphone era—but she could be describing her makeup: dabs of yellow along her arches, with a neon red stripe beneath each lower lash. It’s Kandinsky by way of Sephora.
Euphoria’s parade of looks—crystal-embellished cat eyes, shadow in polychrome pastels, psychedelic glitter tears—is more than visual stimulation. It’s a call to action, reverberating across the runways and prompting online homages. Mindy Kaling spoke for just about everyone when she tweeted, “Be honest, can I pull off Euphoria eye makeup.”
Doniella Davy, the series’s 31-year-old makeup department head, thinks so. “This isn’t about glam. It’s about expression and telling the story,” she says, describing writer-director Sam Levinson’s “real passion for makeup” as a creative outlet. It’s also a finely etched tool for character study. Jules, an ethereal trans girl, wears vivid smudges or delicate line work. For Rue, a quasi-recovering addict partial to hoodies, melancholic glitter is her against-type party accessory. “It’s beautiful, it’s sad, it’s complicated,” says Davy.
Production for season two was set for mid-March when the pandemic put the world on pause. New Euphoria makeup looks have instead turned up on Davy’s Instagram, a rare public turn instigated by quarantine. “I’m the guinea pig to this whole experiment,” Davy says of her dip into sparkles and candy tones. The lesson of Euphoria comes full circle: “It’s gotten me to come out of my shell.”
Between the Lines
The ingenious scripts of Better Call Saul