Hunter Schafer Is Experimenting With Makeup And Listening To Screamo In Quarantine
The actress opens up about working with Shiseido, feeling beautiful, and plotting ‘Euphoria’ season 2.
Hunter Schafer is a 22-year-old model and Hollywood sensation with a starring role on the hit HBO show Euphoria. Her special episode, which she co-wrote with director Sam Levinson, airs today and spotlights her character Jules through her very tumultuous 2020.
But first and foremost, Schafer is an artist, and this shines through everything she does. “I really like to approach makeup as if it were an art project or something that could exist in my sketchbook,” she explains over Zoom. She’s even wearing what could be considered a work of art: a Yohji Yamamoto blouse with abstract adornments that frame her face, picked out by legendary stylist Luxury Law. The outfit, the makeup, and her partnership with Shiseido all align with her vision of the world—full of curved lines, like the doodles from her sketchbook jumped off the page. “In the beauty space, Shiseido has their finger on an artistic perspective with makeup that I really appreciate,” she explains. “It’s a really good fit.”
Speaking of good fits, Schafer opens up about the other matching puzzle pieces in her life: Screamo music, Tilda Swinton, and working to evolve the Euphoria beauty aesthetic in season 2.
As the new face of the Shiseido Radiant Lifting Foundation, tell me what you love about the product.
It honestly feels like I’m wearing nothing, which is wonderful. And somehow, despite the feeling of wearing nothing, it also feels like there’s a bit of a glow, and the light is bending and reflecting in a way that makes me feel really good. I also feel like my face is still coming through, because there’s a perception around foundation that’s the idea of covering up. I really like to try and let as much show through as I can whilst also creating a really nice palette to do whatever I’m going to do on top of it.
What’s your beauty routine been like in quarantine?
The spectrum has gotten broader in a sense because there are days where I do not leave my bed and I do not do anything. And then there are other days. I feel like a lot of my friends and I have been taking the opportunity to do something that resembles what we did in high school or in our teenage days, when we were first experimenting with makeup and did it alone in our bedrooms—just for ourselves and no one was even going to see it. I’ve been doing that a lot, which I’ve been having fun with because it really feels like it’s just for me, which I think is how makeup should be approached. I’ve been having fun with it and finding what feels good for the days when I feel like being a little more glammed up. I miss getting ready for an event or going out at night or something. There’s something really fun about the process of getting ready, so still trying to replicate that with makeup has been really fun.
Do you have a going out routine? Special playlist or rituals?
I have to say my beauty routine is very, very simple. It’s literally just shower and put on moisturizer, and I use Shiseido Essential Energy Moisturizing Cream. I live by it. I use it like three times a day. It’s amazing. Those are the only really solid aspects of my beauty routine. I always have music on and if I’m getting ready for something where I want to feel like a bad bitch or feel like I’m on myself, I have a couple of playlists for that mood. Or if I’m with a friend, I usually let my friends take over because I can’t say I’m the best at exploring or finding new music. I can largely attribute my taste to just having friends with good taste.
You’re also an artist and love to draw. Is there a piece you made that you turned into a beauty look?
I think I definitely channeled [art] into my collaboration with Doni [Doniella Davy, Euphoria’s lead makeup artist] on building Jules. Jules is more artistic, like kind of abstract looks. Recently, I played with this really thin eyeliner, the microliner ink from Shiseido, and I drew this symbol from my community that I really love on one side of my eye and like a sword on the other eye. And both of those are things I like to draw. They end up in my sketchbook a lot of the time. It was really cool to be able to approach my face with the sense of like, ‘Oh, it’s just using a regular ink pen.’ It almost felt like I had face tattoos with the subtracted commitment of actually having someone tattoo my face.
Who are your favorite beauty influences, past or present?
I always say Kelsey Lu because I found out about her in high school and I just thought she was the coolest. She has a lot of fun as far as colors go. It’s the same thing with Tilda Swinton. I mean, the beauty, fashion, everything—I’m like, I want to be her. There’s this rapper, BbyMutha, she’s awesome and I love what she does with makeup as well.
Euphoria ushered in this new wave of beauty, best exemplified by the rhinestones and color that now fill For You pages. Are you and Doniella raising the bar for season 2? Have you talked about what’s next at all?
I think there’s maybe a sense of pressure to do that. I think the interesting thing with sequences or a season jumping into another season is the idea of having to top yourself or level up. We’ve been doing our best to avoid that pressure because whatever we did in the first season worked, in a lot of ways. We’re just trying to remember to stay true to the characters and stay true to the wavelength of the show rather than trying to create the next Tiktok trend or something.
Do you ever look at your co-stars’ makeup [Alexa Demie as Madi, Barbie Ferreira as Kat, Zendaya as Rue, and Sydney Sweeney as Cassie] and personally identify with their beauty looks more than Jules? Or are you Jule through and through?
Jules is definitely the most like me and I really put a lot of myself into the collaboration I did with Doni. When we first started filming season 1, I was still kind of in my colors and like, Oh my gosh, I have access to all these fun clothes [but] I think I’ve been a little goth lately. I’ve been wearing a lot of black and I’ve gotten into screamo recently. That’s like, happening. It’s had an effect on me.
In that regard, there’s a part of me that’s maybe a little bit jealous of Kat’s makeup and that she inhabits a bit more of a goth beauty world, which I love. To be honest, what I want to channel and be changes every single day.
With your special episode release and season 2 on the way, are we going to see some character growth through the makeup looks of Jules?
Yeah. We’ve talked about it a lot. We’ve always been attentive to how the makeup services a scene or reflects a scene or amplifies a certain aspect of a scene and where the character is at and what the character is feeling. Where season 1 left off is repositioning Jules for season 2 in a new place now that a lot of big things have just happened. I think there will be a bit of an evolution and some new vibes and aesthetics coming from Jules.
When do you personally feel you’re most beautiful?
I think I feel the most beautiful when I feel like myself. That sounds corny, but it’s true. When I feel like one and in unison between how I’m feeling on the inside—which is ever-changing and always evolving—and how I look on the outside is a really special feeling. It’s a feeling I’m particularly attuned to and that if that’s not matching up, I know something’s off.
That feels really important to me and there’s almost a sense of euphoria when those things do harmonize. Also, when it’s someone who’s been formerly pretty insecure, it’s taken a lot of work for me to be comfortable with my face and how I look. I’ve grown to really like how I look now. So letting that shine through always feels really important and is a part of how I feel beautiful, because my face is what makes me unique and that’s beautiful to me.