Get ready for the makeup on The Idol to take center stage.
Sam Levinson‘s much anticipated (and controversial) HBO series explores the complicated relationship between an aspiring, troubled pop star (Lily-Rose Depp) and a slimy cult leader (Abel “The Weeknd” Tesfaye). And with an array of glamorous costumes, bold beauty looks and a dark, twisted storyline, the music drama is being lauded as a more risqué version of Euphoria.
And while Sam recently confirmed there is, in fact, a Euphoria cameo, there’s another connection. Makeup department head Kirsten Coleman exclusively told E! News how the teen drama’s electrifying looks inspired the beauty styles for The Idol.
“There is a heavy Euphoria influence,” Kirsten, who also worked on season one of the HBO series, revealed. “There’s glitter, there’s geometric line work, there’s a lot of those details that we’ve seen in certain parts of Euphoria.”
According to the Emmy-winning makeup artist, Lily’s character Jocelyn mimics the vibe of Euphoria the most, especially when she’s in pop star mode.
For one, Jocelyn uses makeup as armor and is able to mask who she really is, as she hides behind dagger-sharp liner and fake lashes. Moreover, makeup also allows her to transform into someone else completely, giving her the confidence she needs to emulate a larger-than-life persona when she’s performing.
“When we meet Jocelyn, Euphoria and that world of makeup have already been happening,” Kirsten explained. “She’s doing what’s current and what’s expected of her, so there’s definitely ties in there.”
Putting it more succinctly, she added, “It’s art emulating life.”
The way Jocelyn is face-painting is reflective of the trends currently taking TikTok and Instagram by storm.
“It’s this cycle that’s going on,” Kirsten said. “And that’s what inspired me with Euphoria. We were looking on Instagram and at that time, it was more about art and less about beauty—people painting their faces and doing optical illusions. It is part of our culture now, so that is exactly why you would see it on TV and film.”
But don’t expect every beauty look to reference the teen series.
“I wanted to approach the show differently because there’s a little bit more of a classic nature to the beauty of the show,” Kirsten noted of The Idol. “These are adults, we’re not in high school, so there are all these different walks of the music industry and entertainment industry.”
There is also a delicate nature to many of the makeup styles in The Idol, so don’t expect to see just glitter and gems.
“It’s the subtleness of bringing out the emotions of what the character’s feeling or reflecting what’s happening,” Kirsten said of the subdued looks featured throughout the show. “There are these subtle things that happen to Jocelyn and she’s slowly changing how she presents herself and I think that subliminal emotional effect will get through to the audience.”
The Idol premieres June 4 on HBO and will be available to stream on Max.
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