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.
“Being a film and TV artist, I don’t just do a look and then it gets photographed. I do a look and then it has to last and survive in the elements,” Davy says, explaining how the pivot to product development tapped that same exacting eye for formulation. Opening up a tube of lipstick or eye gloss always starts with an interrogation, she explains: “Do I get one swipe of delicious color? Do I have to build it up? What about the blending time; the transfer?”
As a result, GlitterPill—in shades like Neptune Daddy (electric teal) and Goblin (lime green)—glides with quick-drying precision, sidestepping the fallout of a dusted-on formula. The LipTrik Kit is also designed to stay put. The two-part set includes a double-ended liner and a soft-focus lip cream called Mouth Cloud. While there are only two versions—fuchsia Angel Rave and the ’90s-inspired Magic Brownie—there’s room for numerous permutations.
That much is clear in the campaign makeup. A flurry of rhinestones decorates Jeremy O. Harris’s disco eye makeup, offset by a neutral lip. A mullet-haired model wears a painterly blend of coral and cornflower blue. Hot pink lipstick and jeweled eyeliner define a white-haired woman’s face—proof that one need not check the Gen Z box.
As for Davy’s personal prescription, it’s that architectural shimmer can be a grown-up neutral, even for a minimalist. I left the Half Magic trailer that day wearing Davy’s lime green cat eye, softened by a delicate wash of silver glitter. A few days later, I turned up to a pop-up jazz club with a rose-gold spike glued underneath each iris—harlequin by way of Hunter Schafer. “I wanted it to be super inviting,” Davy says of the user-friendly formulas. (The Half Magic tools, including angled tweezers to assist with jewel application, help foster that ease.) It’s all designed to be dialed up or remixed, in keeping with an aesthetic that leaves room for art-school whimsy and emotional overflow. However the mood strikes.
Half Magic Chromaddiction Matte Eye Pigment in We Are Aliens
Half Magic Chromaddiction Shimmer Eye Pigment in Main Character
Half Magic Solid Neon Face Gems
Half Magic Iridescent Sparkle Face Gems
Half Magic GlitterPill in Neptune Daddy
Half Magic GlitterPill in Microcosm
Half Magic LipTrik Kit in Magic Brownie
Half Magic Light Trip Duochrome Glow Powder in Spiritually Complex
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