Sorry Euphoria, But Kesha Did the Glitter Eye First

Photography by Matt Kent/WireImage

Long live smeared sparkles.

Natalie Michie

Date January 11, 2022

It was a simpler time in 2010. Sure, we had swine flu, but the concept of a pandemic like COVID-19 would have seemed like a far fetched reality. And besides, some of us had twee looks to recreate and Tumblr blogs to run. In this pre-Vine era, “Tik Tok” was the name of your favourite Kesha song — not a social media app. Over a decade later (yes, 2010 was 12 years ago), we’ve waved goodbye to skinny jeans and side parts and traded in Gossip Girl for Euphoria.

A decidedly darker take on the lives of high school students, the HBO series is back for its highly anticipated second season. Set at a Project X-level house party, the Euphoria girls return to their fullest forms, bringing fashionable chaos to every scene. But as we follow Rue and the students of East Highland High, we can’t help but trace the show’s makeup legacy back to the 2010s.

Photography courtesy of Eddy Chen/HBO

In season one, audiences were swooned by the use of chunky glitter and neon liner. The show’s influence on makeup art is undeniable, forever inspiring creators’ takes on rhinestone-adorned lids and sparkling under eyes. And though Euphoria brought the glitter tears aesthetic into mainstream consciousness in recent years, the trend was openly embraced by 2010s music legend Kesha.

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Zendaya Euphoria Season 1
Photography courtesy of Eddy Chen/HBO

A decade ago, the star’s influence on the pop-music scene could not be overstated. After her debut single “Tik Tok” had commercial success in 2010, Kesha remained a staple in the pop culture zeitgeist for years to come.

During her years of mainstream fame, Kesha embraced an aesthetic of glammed-up messiness. Enter glitter tears. The singer was known to sport smeared sparkles at every performance, public event and red carpet she graced. The 2010s grungy glitter era was short-lived, but thanks to Euphoria and other 2010s trend revivals, it’s coming back.

kesha glitter eye makeup look
Photography by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images.

With the return of 2014 Tumblr era fashion and the widespread embrace of maximalist personal style, adventurous makeup looks are having the chance to shine (pun intended). TikTok trend forecaster @thedigifairy predicts that the “sleep-deprived glitter eyes” trend will be making a comeback this year.

After popularizing the glitter eye makeup aesthetic in 2019, Euphoria set a precedent for over-the-top eyeshadow and eyeliner. But in season two, we’re seeing a reimagined take on the stylized makeup that the dark fantasy series has become known for.

Barbie Ferreira
Photography courtesy of Eddy Chen/HBO

In an interview for FASHION’s March 2022 issue, Euphoria makeup designer Doniella Davy shared that this season, the girls’ makeup will be decidedly more toned down and mature.

“I’m still working with a lot of reflective textures,” she said. “It’s about swapping out brights and big pieces of glitter for more refined colours and textures. Of course, I still snuck in one or two neon moments for fun.”

While season one gave us ethereal-style makeup with bright colours and free-flowing glitter tears, it’s clear season two is intentionally more polished to reflect the characters’ development. In episode one, for instance, Maddy (Alexa Demie) sports an ultra-sharp eyeliner look that mirrors her badass (admittedly terrifying) personality.

Alexa Demie
Photography courtesy of Eddy Chen/HBO

While the refined looks from the second season of Euphoria are bound to inspire more makeup trends, it seems grungy glitter tears are here to stay. And TBH, I’m not mad at the idea of using sparkles to cover my dark circles.

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