By some stretch, the best looking programme on TV right now is HBO’s Euphoria. A kaleidoscope of enviable bone structure, inventive styling, and skin so glowing it made me actively annoyed when I initially tuned in, Euphoria has been cited for its sumptuous photography, and zeitgeist-defining hair and make-up. It’s also been celebrated, however, for the performances of its young cast, in particular those of two of its central actors – Zendaya, who plays against type as the smart-arse narrator Rue, and breakout star Hunter Schafer, who plays Rue’s best friend and love interest Jules, in her first acting role.
From Schafer’s scenes even in Euphoria’s very first episode, she is engaging and arresting, especially in a demanding moment playing against Jacob Elordi’s unhinged athlete Nate. Schafer wears Jules’ sci-fi Sailor Moon looks like both a second skin and a suit of armour, and – along with Alexa Demie who plays Maddy, and make-up artist Kirstin Sage Coleman – has inspired swathes of people online to try out the show’s style, which I’m going to go ahead and term “Instagram Psychedelic.”
Elsewhere, Hunter is a trans rights activist, and also a model who has appeared in campaigns for brands like Kenzo, Coach, Miu Miu, Marc Jacobs, and many more of the world’s most discerning fashion houses. With all that demand stacking up, and a confirmed second season of Euphoria on the way (the last instalment of Season 1 airs in the UK on Sky Atlantic on Tuesday the 24th of September), Hunter Schafer is almost certainly entering her imperial phase. But how does that feel? And what’s it like to be the person wearing those iconic Euphoria make-up looks? And – sorry – but do you have to cut some sort of deal with the underworld for your skin to look like that? I recently met up with Hunter in London to find out.
VICE: Hey Hunter! What’s your morning skin routine?
Hunter Schafer: I kind of only have one skincare routine. I just shower and I put on moisturiser after I shower!
It’s so in depth, I can’t believe it.
And that’s it.
What’s your nightly skin routine?
Same sort of thing. I think it depends on if I have make-up on from work – I take that shower, get it off, throw the moisturiser on. Same deal.
What’s the weirdest skin product you’ve ever used, or procedure you’ve ever had done?
Not that I’ve been conscious of using, but maybe one has fallen into my hands!
What’s the most expensive skin product or procedure you’ve ever used?
I don’t know if it’s pricey but my last hotel had really … I really liked the smell of the moisturiser. So I took it and that’s what I’ve been using. And maybe it is expensive. It could be – it’s Italian.
What does it smell like?
I can’t put a finger on it. The thing that’s coming to mind is, like, pears?
Yum. I love stuff like that because you smell yourself and you’re like, “What a delicious treat,” and then you’re like, “It’s me!”
Exactly. I’m the treat.
What was your most inconvenient zit?
Thankfully, I don’t deal with a lot of acne but every now and then, we get a little friend that pops up. I remember a few times during filming Euphoria, I got one right in the middle of my forehead. And also, I’m just really pale, so any kind of inconsistency is just gonna pop out. And we were shooting something that connected to a scene that we already shot a while ago, before I had the zit, so it was a continuity issue too.
But! The show is about teens, and it’s been praised for its relatability, so a zit––
Popping up in a matter of minutes!
What’s the best budget skin care product you use?
I mean, dentist’s chapstick! Which you know, you can just grab a handful of, have been lifesavers.
When do you let your skincare slide?
Yeah, I won’t beat myself up for falling asleep in my make-up if that’s where the night takes me. You know, if I have make-up on – I don’t usually wear it! But if I have it on and then I go out? Sure! There’s a chance I could fall asleep in it – fine!
It’s interesting that you’re not so into make-up, because obviously in Euphoria, one of the big parts of the character is make-up. Was that a bit alien to you when you started the role?
No, because I used to be more concerned with make-up, and also I think if I did wear make-up, it would not be too far from what Jules does. Because yeah, I like that Jules is interested in shapes and colour and moods, rather than just trying to be, like, pretty. And that’s how I think I would want to approach it as well.
What’s the most outlandish piece of clothing you’ve ever bought?
I bought a head harness. It goes around, over your nose, and then around to the sides of your mouth. I think I wore it for a photoshoot that I creative directed back in New York, but that’s the only context I’ve worn it in. That’s not that outlandish! I don’t wanna make sex-centric stuff seem like it’s ‘out there,’ but yeah, I don’t see a lot of people wearing head harnesses out and about!
What’s the most expensive thing you’ve ever worn?
Usually, if I’m on a photoshoot and they have borrowed jewellery that’s really nice, there will literally just be six massive dudes in suits there to protect the jewellery. And I’ve been on a few shoots where that’s been the case. So I imagine that!
I bet that makes it kind of an intimidating vibe
Yeah, just a little! It’s not uncommon to lose an earring on set but you cannot – they’re not gonna let you off set.
What’s been your most High Fashun experience?
Walking Rick Owens will always have a warm place in my heart, because all of his clothes exist in this space between fashion and art that’s really yummy.
What did they have you wear?
I was in a coat with bat wings that I tried to accentuate with my walk so that they bounced when I walked. And then I had a giant crown on, and there was a burning witch totem in the middle of the runway, so it felt like a seance. It was wonderful.
What’s your favourite shoot you’ve done?
Probably my Dazed cover with Mario Sorrenti and Rick Owens clothes – as you can tell I’m a Rick Owens fan.
Did you get much say in the art direction of that?
No, I think I knew coming into it that it was a Rick Owens special, and I was really happy about that. And then also my PAPER mag digital covers were a lot of fun, and I loved the way they turned out as far as shooting vines out of my hands, I wish that was a thing I could really do.
I feel like PAPER always has really interesting concepts for those digital covers.
They go off.
Have you ever done a shoot with a funny or weird concept?
Oh yeah! The Kenzo campaign I did not too long ago actually. For the video portion, it was very improv-y – it was supposed to be chaotic, like that’s the energy of the video. But they were like screaming at us like, “OK, you’re on a boat! And you’re in the middle of the sea! And you’re protecting this box of lemons! And you can NOT let the lemons fall! And if the lemons fall, it’s the end of the fucking world!” So we’re on this make-believe boat like rocking and screaming and there’s like wind. It’s only a few flashes of it in the actual campaign but it was kind of exhilarating.
And there was another one where we were doing a make-believe aeroplane, and they asked one of the models to act like she can’t find her mom, and she’s like a six-year-old, and then the plane starts crashing. It was so intense. And she was like, screaming in these rows of chairs – and then I come in and I’m a doctor. Someone starts having a heart attack. I don’t know. It was wild.
What do you wear when you’re by yourself chilling?
Like, a hoodie and underwear.
What’s been your biggest fashion disaster?
I mean back when I was a lot younger, yeah. I used to wear really tight tops, and then really baggy basketball shorts together, because I liked the silhouette. In retrospect, I think I was trying to mimic a dress, but it looked awful. But I think it’s cute that I was trying to mimic that shape!
What’s your holy grail Only Celebs Know make-up tip?
Maybe they’ve used special tricks on me, but I wouldn’t know when they did, and when to ask! I wish I could tell you one!
What’s the most bizarre thing a make-up artist has done to you?
I think maybe – it wasn’t that wild – but when I walked Matty Bovan, we had giant blue squares on our faces, like smack dab in the middle of our faces. That was fun, and something I had never had on my face before! I think that’s the one.
And then finally a Euphoria bonus question: Which of Jules’ looks did you like best?
I’m pretty sure the club sequence, and I would say wearing the spikes in the fantasy sequence where we killed Nate is probably the most disorienting just because they reflect light.
Euphoria airs on Tuesdays at 10:10pm on Sky Atlantic and NOW TV. The full Box Set is available to stream now with a NOW TV Entertainment Pass, for £8.99.