Makeup Artist Donni Davy Explains the Intention Behind Euphoria's Iconic Beauty Looks

Euphoria makeup artist Donni Davy, who won a 2022 Emmy Award for her work on the show, told E! News how a character's beauty look can blend into the storytelling.

By Alyssa Morin Sep 07, 2022 4:00 PMTags
Watch: "Euphoria" Season 2: 18 Makeup Looks We LOVE!

We have never, ever been happier to know Donni Davy's Euphoria secrets.

There's no doubt the lead makeup artist of the hit HBO series sparked a beauty revolution on the first two seasons of the teen drama. Bright purple glitter tears, shadows with negative space hearts and face gems are a few examples of Donni's risk-taking.

In an exclusive interview with E! News, Donni, who has won two Outstanding Contemporary Makeup (Non-Prosthetic) Emmys for the series, revealed how a character's makeup look blends with the storytelling and drives character development.

In fact, Donni explained that something as classic as a red lip can hold different meanings for two contrasting characters.

"Red lipstick applied in a traditional 'lipstick' way how we often see on Lexi Howard (Maude Apatow), communicates a sort of retro, vintage-inspired energy," she described. "Even though it's bold, it's also 'in the box' and can give preppy glam."

Barbie Ferreira's Fabulous Euphoria Looks

Donni added, "On Euphoria, Lexi's power lip shade is a classic neutral bright red, but as the second season progresses, we see her dabbling in super vampy darker reds, signaling her personal growth and evolution out of her comfort zone."

Barbie Ferreira, who appeared on the first two seasons of Euphoria as Kat Hernandez, used makeup as an armor, according to Donni.

"Kat wears less retro, classic shades of red and switches it up a lot between stains, glosses and darker lip liners," Donni said, comparing how Kat and Lexi wear the same lip color in dramatically different ways. "Even throughout season two, Kat is still really figuring out her makeup vibe and experimenting with a wide variety of looks."

As she put it, "In season one, her very first makeup moment where she struts down the hallway, debuting her new look, included a bright candy-apple red gloss. Red came to mind as a 'dabbling with makeup for the first time, but in a really confident way.'"


Donni, who frequently shares behind-the-scenes Instagram posts about the show's makeup, noted that many cast members also offer suggestions on their characters' looks.

Along with Barbie and Maude's input, Donni revealed that Alexa Demie (who plays Maddy Perez) "took the lead on her own makeup designs."

"She came into the makeup trailer with established and well-thought out ideas for her looks, with her own character back stories," Donni wrote on Jan. 10. "(Makeup artist) Alexandra French collaborated w/ Alexa to bring her ideas to life, picking out colors and textures in a more understated palette this season than we're used to seeing on Maddy."

Of course, the electrifying beauty looks on both seasons of the show have captured audiences to much delight. Not only has Euphoria makeup taken over social media trends, but Donni's creativeness has earned her recognition in Hollywood.

Half Magic Beauty

"Thank you @televisionacad so freakin much for this honor and recognition for best contemporary makeup this year!" Donni wrote on Sept. 5, gushing over her 2022 Emmy win on Instagram. "This means the world to us."

She continued, "Thank you Mom, Dad, sis, husband and friends for encouraging me in my career, understanding why I work so much and showing me so much love. I'm so lucky to have you all in my life, and I love making you all proud. Thank you to my little baby boy for keeping me company in my belly during season 2."

The 2022 Emmy Awards will air on NBC and stream live for the first time on Peacock on Sept. 12 at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT.

(E!, NBC and Peacock are all part of the NBCUniversal family.)


The 75th Emmy Awards will now air Monday, Jan. 15, 2024 on Fox.