Splayed cozily across a cream-colored leather sofa in the lofty penthouse of a Downtown L.A. skyscraper, Euphoria star Barbie Ferreira is minutes from making her debut as Becca Cosmetics’s new spokesperson. The brand’s influencer-studded L.A. launch party is being set up around the corner, though the actress-turned-beauty-icon is so relaxed (currently barefoot, actually) that any nerves are undetectable. Boasting midnight-black bangs, a razor-sharp cat eye, and a skin-tight ebony two-piece, Ferreira might look like the lovechild of Joan Jett and Morticia Addams—or like an evil mermaid—if it weren’t for her ear-to-ear smile. “Come sit down,” the 23-year-old says in her unique raspy timbre, greeting me with a warm hug, all lashes and extroversion.
Just this week, Becca announced Ferreira as their first-ever spokesperson—a press release that caused me to gleefully double-take as soon as it hit my inbox. The brand has partnered with public figures in the past, notably with Chrissy Teigen and Jaclyn Hill, but this deal with Ferreira is bigger and longer-term. Ferreira hopes that it brings a fresher, more inclusive perspective to the beauty conversation—in Becca’s marketing campaigns, imagery, product formulation, and beyond. More body types, more skin tones, more genders. Ferreira will have a say in much of Becca’s branding for the foreseeable future. “It's my actual dream to collaborate on this level with a makeup brand,” says the actress, who had early dreams of becoming a makeup artist and worked alongside Euphoria’s beauty team to create her character Kat’s bold, sultry looks. (She recently promised that in the show’s Season 2, we can expect even wilder styles—mismatched makeup, offbeat eye makeup shapes. "Kat experiments with makeup in a different way than the other characters; she's darker," Ferreira said. "For her, makeup is not to be pretty. … [She] finds power by saying 'F you' to what people have been telling her to wear.")
Today’s L.A. launch party is to celebrate Ferreira’s first product campaign with Becca—their new Light Shifter Brightening Concealer ($28), which Ferreira describes as “juicy” and “not too cakey.” Before all the festivities, we got to sit down with Ferreira to chat all things beauty—from her favorite ways to play with makeup, to how her beauty vibe has changed since Euphoria, to the “weird” trends she thinks are here to stay. Read on for our conversation.
If someone wants to try a Euphoria makeup vibe but doesn't know where to start, what advice would you give them?
"I think the thing that makes eye makeup seem very complex is getting all the different brushes and products right. So if you're starting out, try using one really fluffy eyeshadow brush and do a glittery wash over your eye. I mean, that's what I do most of the time. It can be pink, it can be blue, any color you want, but whatever it is, if you do like a light, fluffy dusting, then you can kind of get yourself there without having to know too much about the technical stuff."
I've read that Euphoria changed the way you do your own makeup—what are some ways you incorporate Euphoria inspiration into your everyday looks?
"Yeah after shooting Euphoria, I started doing colorful looks again, even when I wasn’t shooting. I got to kind of explore the way I did when I was younger, when I would wear all these extreme looks to school. Because back when I was modeling, I didn't really want to wear makeup every day because it felt like work. I went from having a whole table of makeup to just one little bag. But finally I was like, this can't be it. I need more. Because with Euphoria it became more of a creative collaboration thing. So I finally started playing with fun colors again.
My favorite thing to do when I want a splash of Euphoria but keeping it more natural is, well, first I do a little bit of Becca Light Shifter under my eye, because I’m not really big on cakey concealer every day, just something that’s really bright and juicy and that just pops. And a little under-eye primer. That's actually helped me so much because my eyes are kind of wrinkly. Well, not wrinkly, but crease-y. I don’t want people to come for me like, bitch, you're 23. So not wrinkles—creases! So then I’ll do mascara and all that. But what I like to do is just put a little bit of a color in the inner corners. Like a blue or a hot pink. "
Like mermaid tears? I think that’s what they’re calling that.
"Oh, I didn't know that! That’s so cute. I feel like sparkles in the inner eye has been such a makeup staple, but I do a matte one most of the time. I do like a really bright blue and stamp it with my finger. Then I’ll blend it down just a little."
That’s such an easy way to make your makeup look sort of edgy and fashion-forward. Like it takes two seconds but suddenly you’re like, “Oh damn, this girl has perspective.”
"Yes, exactly, like, ooh, she’s got an artistic touch to her."
Well speaking of things that have changed since your modeling days, I think my friends and I first came to know you when you did that Urban Outfitters Class of 2017 campaign…
"Yes! With Sage [Adams]. And Hari [Nef]. That was so cute."
Yeah! I died over that campaign, it was so cool. And it wasn't that long ago, but it feels like it was. And your life has changed so much since then. When you look back, what are some of the beauty choices you made then that are totally different from what you do now?
"I used to use a lot of oil on my skin. At the time, I don't know why I thought like lathering oil on my oily skin seemed like a good idea. So I’ve definitely stopped that."
Oh my god. SAME. That was a time when people were first starting to understand that natural oils were a thing, so we just suffocated our skin in coconut oil, which was so bad.
"Yeah like, giant globs of rosehip oil on my face. Thick-ass olive oils on my face. I mean it works for some people who have dry skin. It just wasn't working for me. So I was doing that, and I had a lot of whiteheads and weird things under my skin. Just weird texture."
That was just the vibe then. We all did it.
"And then for makeup, I think at the time I was traveling a lot for modeling, but now I spend most of my time in L.A. because I shoot here for months on end. So I have a whole glam room situation happening with a little closet, and a little table with a whole Amazon Prime light-up mirror setup with my little brushes. I think that changes everything—having an organized setup. But I also travel now with this large professional makeup organizer. It has the brush hoops on one end and then a giant compartment with little cubes in it. I just kind of upgraded."
"Oh yeah, I'm a maximalist. I am not a minimalist girl. No no no. I always do too much."
I love that. So how would you describe your current beauty vibe in, let's say, one or two words? Ha, I feel like this is a question you’d find in an old issue of Seventeen magazine—“How regular girls describe their style in three words.”
"Oh my god I was always in those magazines modeling 'pear-shaped jeans.' [Laughs]
Oh wow, I remember those articles. “Find the right jeans for your body type!” And then there were only like three shapes: apple, pear, and hourglass.
"Exactly. I was ALWAYS pear shaped."
"Okay, so beauty vibe in two words... I would say, 'juicy.' And I would say 'lashes.'"
What are some of your personal favorite beauty looks you've worn over this exciting past year?
What's the best piece of beauty advice you've gotten recently and from whom?
"Oh, using different foundation colors on different parts of your face. That’s what my makeup artist always does, and it’s so simple, but like, some parts of your face are lighter and some are darker, so your foundation should be too."
In what ways do you hope to see the beauty industry change over the next decade?
"In marketing. Just having not the 'typical people' everywhere, you know? Makeup is such a broad industry now, and beauty culture is for everyone. I think that's already happening. So I hope to see more of it. And that's what I'm trying to do with Becca. We’re having a bunch of my friends do this campaign—different genders, different sizes, skin tones, all of that. I just think that marketing and advertising for makeup has been very limited in a lot of ways.
I totally agree.
"Yeah, it’s really a dream. I love makeup. It’s something that I've been playing with forever. I used to want to be a makeup artist. If acting never worked out, I wanted to make spooky looks on people, but also glam looks. All of it. So it's my actual dream to collaborate on this level with a makeup brand. And Becca makes such iconic, high-quality products. I gave my mom a couple Light Shifters, and she sent me a picture, and she was glowing. I have never seen my mother glow. I gave her a bunch of things, and she was like, oh my god. Because she’s not really good at doing makeup, but she was able to do it really well because Becca’s products are easy and accessible. I’ve been using the Moonstone pressed highlight forever. I feel like when people first found out about highlighter, it was Becca. And I don’t think anyone else compares to it."
"Juice! That’s exactly how I wanna look. I used to overdo my highlight so much, and I still stand by it."
Same. I saw a beauty editor on Instagram say that the overly highlighted nose tip is going to be the overplucked brows of the 2010s, like it’s going to be outdated soon. But I was like, nah.
"Yeah, I actually don’t think that at all. The kids are the future, I’m on the Tik Toks, and the kids love that stuff. I think an added component is that the kids—okay, not kids, but young people on the internet—are putting blush on their nose. And then highlight. It won’t go away. It’s so cute."
What are some of your beauty and wellness resolutions for 2020?
"Uh… I'm trying to cook more? For wellness. Just, trying to be a better person and not Postmates everything? That’s my goal. And for beauty, I think I’ve just been on this wave of trying a lot of new things out, especially with my hair. And makeup. So I just want to continue that. Having fun has been really cool for me.
Yeah, absolutely. Just not caring about what’s mainstream.
"Yeah, no. I’m trying to do the exact opposite of that."