It took off like a match to bone-dry underbrush. When Euphoria debuted on HBO in the summer of 2019, the beauty landscape was dominated by the fashion establishment’s no-makeup makeup and the Kardashian school of paint-by-numbers. But what appeared onscreen during those early season 1 episodes—squiggles of candy-bright eyeliner, rhinestones marching along eyebrows, fiercely drawn cat eyes of teen angst—soon made the phrase “Euphoria makeup” tumble out of everyone’s mouth. Instagram personalities faithfully recreated the looks. Makeup artists backstage at runway shows cited the series as inspiration. Donni Davy, Euphoria’s makeup department head, found herself with legions of new followers. “I’m continuing to see the full-circle effect of Gen Z doing their own interpretations of Euphoria makeup, which of course originally came from much of Gen Z,” she told me in mid-2020, a few months before winning an Emmy for her work.
That cyclical relationship—flames fanning flames—goes a step further today, with the launch of the makeup brand Half Magic. A brainchild of Davy and the Euphoria creative team, with support from A24 (the Midas-touch studio that produces the show), the line is more than a ready-made toolkit for experimentation. It’s a spin-off series that’s landing not on TV but directly in hand, with main-character energy suffused into every tube of longwear glitter.
“I’ve been fantasizing about, like, ‘If only this existed,’” Davy says on a recent afternoon in New York, her sparkly chartreuse lids catching the light. Ordinarily based in Los Angeles, where she welcomed a baby boy in December shortly after wrapping Euphoria’s second season, the 33-year-old has set up shop in the Half Magic makeup trailer for an early glimpse of the products. It’s a focused lineup, but engineered to stimulate the magpie part of one’s brain. There are holographic face powders in rose gold and iridescent purple. Tiny face jewels come in punkish metallic cones (which sold out within minutes) or neon studs. Davy swipes the eight Chromaddiction eye paints across her hand, demonstrating how they can amplify one another: the shimmery lilac Spirit Guide layered over matte Sky Juice, say, for a duochrome effect.