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Everyone has a unique relationship with makeup. Hunter Schafer, the 21-year-old star of Euphoria, approaches the creation of looks like an art project. Her face is the canvas, and the final product is a highly imaginative work of self-expression.
As Jules, Schafer has inspired fans to draw abstract, cloud-like swirls around their eyes. Off screen, the actress, model, LGBQT+ activist, and artist has brought glitter unibrows to the red carpet. And most recently, she's been experimenting with temporary face tattoos while quarantining at home (more on that later).
Even Schafer's Zoom outfits look like they came straight from the MoMA. I know so because I was greeted by the actress wearing a sculptural white Yohji Yamamoto piece when I hop on a call to chat with the Shiseido global ambassador about her new campaign for the brand's SYNCHRO Radiant Lifting Foundation.
"It's a fun tentacle look," she says of the piece she picked out with legendary stylist Law Roach. "I was like, 'what's going to work for Zoom that's activating the top half of my body' and when I tried this on, I knew it was the one."
With Jules's special episode she co-wrote with Euphoria creator Sam Levinson having just aired, keep reading to hear how Schafer's relationship with makeup has evolved since the show's first season, and how she's been using makeup to stay grounded throughout the coronavirus pandemic.
What drew you to working with Shiseido?
In the context of the beauty world, I feel like Shiseido in particular has such a special vantage point of how to wear and play with makeup in a way that feels artistic and true to you. Since partnering with them and being able to play with so many of their products, my relationship with makeup has evolved in a lot of ways. Their tools have really allowed me to have fun experimenting with different makeup looks and forms of application.
What has your makeup routine been like during the pandemic?
A lot of days I haven't gotten up from bed and haven't done much. On other days, I've been putting makeup on because I really do miss the process of getting ready to go to an event or out for the night, and the thought and effort that goes into a look you feel really excited about. I've been playing on my own just for fun with no intention of anyone really seeing it, and just really experimenting with makeup and different looks. That's been really sweet and it really reminds me of how I interacted with makeup when I was younger and just alone in my room.
What's one product you keep reaching for?
Because a lot of it is more at home vibes, things that feel lighter or easier to wear have also felt really good, which is why I'm really excited about the Radiant Lifting Foundation. I'm wearing it right now and it feels like I'm wearing nothing. It's the perfect canvas to do your thing with makeup.
What types of looks have you been trying?
Last year, particularly what I was doing with Donni and Euphoria, we were into a lot of abstract shapes and colors combinations. More recently, I've been playing with looks that use more clear images or objective things. Most recently I did an Instagram post where I had drawn on these face tattoos. One was a symbol for my trans community that I really love and the other was a sword. I used the MicroLiner Ink Eyeliner from Shiseido. It was a lot of fun to half commit to something resembling a face tattoo without actually getting a face tattoo.
What else have you been doing to stay grounded and sane during this tumultuous time?
I think as far as staying sane, work is a major pillar in my well-being. I call it work, but a lot of the work that I do doesn't really feel like work in that it is just painting in my room, working on an art project, or writing. Making sure I'm putting my energy into something has been really important and not just letting things sit inside and fester. Even in regards to beauty, I've been playing a lot in my free time which has been really good and I think made me feel slightly more sane.
What is the first beauty product you feel in love with?
All of my first makeup experiences were stuff I stole from sister, so I think mascara the first thing I stole and used from her, and I was really excited about that.
In the first season of Euphoria, the makeup looks were part of the storytelling. How is this different in the two special episodes?
In regards to the beauty aspect, what I think is really special about these episodes is that they're softer. They show a different facet of Euphoria in that they're slowed down. The frequency of season one was jumping around everywhere, really colorful, and we were doing a bunch of makeup looks and parties. These episodes are really just sitting with the characters that are being focused on. They're in their bedrooms or somewhere where they're not all dressed up. The makeup Euphoria might be known for in season one might not be as prevalent in these episodes, but there's something special about seeing a more raw and exposed side to the characters.
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.