Long before the Euphoria makeup trends were all anyone could talk about, Barbie Ferreira was fascinated by makeup — a passion she's had since she was 7 years old. Soon after that, as she began building her personal collection of makeup, Ferreira was drawn to highlighters, specifically those from BECCA Cosmetics, a known for its extremely pigmented Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed Highlighters. "I went through a very, very strong highlight phase and still do, to this day, love a dewy look," she tells Elite Daily. "In all honesty, throughout my whole life, my highlighters were always BECCA."
Consider it fate, then, that Ferreira was named the face of BECCA Cosmetics in January 2020 and has most recently partnered with the brand as part of its Zero Collection, consisting of the Zero No Pigment Foundation ($36, BECCA Cosmetics) and the Zero No Pigment Glass Highlighter For Face + Skin ($24, BECCA Cosmetics). True to form, Ferreira says there's one product in particular she'd keep if she could only hold onto only one. "The Highlighter and Lip Duo is just my favorite thing in the world. If I need a little glow, if I need a little something, a little gloss — it's just all-in-one and my perfect product," she says. "I think anything that's a clear, shiny, kind of glass-skin look is my favorite."
Ferreira quickly became a household name at 16 when she modeled for American Apparel in 2013 after sending photos of herself to the clothing brand. She made headlines again for her un-retouched photos from a later campaign with Aerie in 2016. Her most popular gig to date, however, was playing Euphoria's Kat Hernandez, a shy, self-conscious teenager who experiences a sexual awakening on screen — and complete shift in confidence — as she moonlights as a dominatrix cam-girl.
Makeup-wise, Kat does a 180, going from "a bit of old eyeliner" to full-on dark, goth glam, complete with matching harnesses. "As much as I can relate to that, I also like things that are more colorful," Ferreira says of her IRL makeup style. "I definitely explore more colors, without being as specific as Kat's look] is in Season 1."
Kat served zero shortage of ~lewks~ in the show, thanks to famed makeup artists Doniella Davy and Kirsten Coleman. There was the striking neon green eye look, with black liner smudged across her lower lash line. Dark blue and green shadows swirled together, with a hint of shimmer for dimension. Another fan-favorite included Kat's sharp, graphic black-and-red eye look with upside-down crosses descending from her eyes. Ferreira says these looks were but final iterations in a full evolution of makeup ideas. "I think that was the cool thing: where the makeup started when we were just doing tests and then how it ended."
If you remember Kat's show makeup, you'll also remember Alexa Demie's character, Maddy's. Her feminine, jeweled-dotted beats immediately spilled over into inspiration for Halloween costumes, countless tutorials, and even runway looks. Maddy basically invented rhinestones. Though on opposite ends of the makeup spectrum, both Kat and Maddy are alike in that their makeup styles scream "extra." Ferreira says she and Demie share that same vibe IRL.
"Alexa and I like dramatic makeup. I remember I would just go to a get-together when we were all shooting, and ... I would do a really crazy red look for the Valentine's Day party or something like that," she says. "So [we] definitely vibe on the glamour of makeup. She loves to put the jewels on her face, and I just like really bright, blocky makeup, taking cues from movies in the '90s and early 2000s."
Quarantine, however, means less color blocking and more skin-saving. Apart from her lash extensions, the 23-year-old is taking a more stripped-down approach to her makeup, using only a bit of BECCA Zero No Pigment Foundation, some highlighter, and a lip balm most days. "Unless I'm doing a look just for myself and either doing a clown look on purpose or something fun, like an alien look, I've just been avoiding makeup that is pigmented and avoiding anything that needs layers," she says.
Just as Kat navigates through a coming of age with regard to sexuality, self-esteem, and confidence in Euphoria, so did Ferreira IRL, who notes she is "nowhere near perfect." "I think I started really just coming out of my shell almost around the same time as Kat," she says. Kat's journey to confidence in Season 1 is notably different than Ferreira's own, which had more to do with vulnerability and opening up to others.
Ferreira says Kat's road to self-acceptance and learning from her mistakes in are parts of life she's still very much maneuvering through every single day. "I think that the greatest myth is that confidence is an end destination, that you get it and then that's it — but it's so hard," she says. "Every day is a different struggle."