Every time Sunday comes around we’re overcome with sadness, knowing it’s not a Euphoria Sunday — and worse yet, another one isn’t coming until 2024. However, we fill the void the best we can, following along with the characters’ real-life counterparts. Sydney Sweeney, who plays Cassie on the show, for one, has never been busier. She’s recently wrapped filming on National Anthem (which also includes Halsey and Simon Rex among the cast), the film for which she dyed her hair red, and has subsequently returned to her signature blonde. Last Sunday, she walked the red carpet at the Vanity Fair Oscar Party in Los Angeles, then immediately took a red-eye to be in New York to speak with NYLON about all things beauty and her new partnership with Laneige. It seems there’s no rest for Sweeney.
If at least one thing is settled, that’s her current skin care routine. Despite struggling with cystic acne from a young age, she says her beauty routines have been transformed, “pretty much in the last two or three years,” owing her progress to “the help of different makeup artists I've been working with on sets and having more knowledge than I ever had access to before.” Unlike Euphoria’s Cassie, who famously has an extensive head-to-toe preening routine that takes three hours before high school classes start, Sweeney sticks to just a few key skin care products that don’t irritate her skin, and hardly wears makeup if she’s not working. When asked if she had beauty philosophy in her own life, Sweeney replies simply: “Less is more.”
Below, Sweeney talks to NYLON about figuring out what works for her skin, her new partnership with Laneige, and the best makeup tip she ever learned on set.
Did you always like beauty growing up?
I did not. I wasn't allowed to use makeup until I was about 13 years old, and then I was only allowed to use powder. I didn't know much about skincare either — I think my mom started having me wash my face when I got acne at a really young age.
How would you say your teenage beauty routine compared to that of your Euphoria character, Cassie?
In high school I was just trying my best. I didn't use a lot of tools. Until recently, it was a lot of random products. I have cystic acne and I have a tendency to pick. I would make myself bleed and leave terrible, terrible marks. I remember going to the bathroom at lunch time and seeing what my face looked like with makeup on over the acne after I picked it, so then I legit started going to school with Band-aids on my face. I would try and put my makeup over them thinking that was less noticeable than the actual markings.
When did skin care start to make sense for you?
In the last two or three years. A lot came with the help of different makeup artists I've been working with on sets and having more knowledge than I ever had access to before. I've had time, especially during quarantine, to learn my skin and let it breathe and actually try out products. That's when I got really obsessed with Laneige. Even Donni [Davy, Euphoria head makeup artist] was like, "What are you doing different to your face?"
What’s your skin care routine like now?
Literally my number one thing — I will preach it — is always, always wash your face. It’s for acne, aging, everything. I mean, I'm not a doctor or anything, but I know if you sleep with your makeup on, that’s not good for your skin. I use the Laneige Cream Skin Milk Oil Cleanser, then I put on their Blue Hyaluronic Serum, and then the Water Bank Cream Moisturizer. At night I also will use their Sleeping Mask, and then the Lip Sleeping Mask, as well.
Do you wear makeup day-to-day?
What was your favorite makeup look from Euphoria?
It’s from season one. I really loved the ice skating look when they put jewels all over my face. It was so beautiful.
Does being on a show with so much fun makeup make you want to try it in your own time?
I used to be very nervous to try new things, and through the show, I've definitely felt more comfortable experimenting with different eye shadow colors and eyeliner shapes, and lipsticks. It's put me out of my comfort zone in a good way. There're days where, if I have nothing to do, I'll just draw all over in my face and see what happens.
Do you ever send a picture to Donni? Ask if she approves?
I usually send it to Maude. I’ll be like, “Maude, what do you think?” And she'll be confused, like, “What are you doing?”
Is there a particular beauty tip you picked up on set that you started using in your life?
It was the Armani Luminous Silk Foundation. I tried so many different foundations for years. I don't really know why, but when I'd put foundation on my face it would start to separate. Donni showed it to me on Euphoria, then my makeup artist, Mel [Melissa Hernandez], started using it on me for carpets and it's amazing.
You no longer have the strawberry blonde hair. When did that change?
I actually was red for a really long time and no one knew it because I was hiding my hair, and then all of a sudden I saw everyone going red. I thought, everyone's going to think that I'm following this trend! It was for a role that I just finished, for National Anthem. I also cut bangs and had big curly hair with the red. But once I wrapped that, I was done with her. I wanted to go back to blonde. It was actually closer to my natural hair color, which is brunette, mixed with a little red, and then towards the summer I get this really beautiful blonde shine. Growing up, my mom loved my hair color. She was so mad at me when I colored it blonde for the first time.
What do you do for your nails?
I've been working with Zola [Ganzorigt] — she's my nail aesthetician — for almost a year now, and I love her. We create a lot of fun nail looks together. These are my natural nails and I will say she takes amazing care of them, because I think anyone else would make my nails fall off because I’ve been getting them done every two to three days. It’s usually for different events. I truly believe nails are like an accessory, so if there's a different outfit there are different nails.
Are there any beauty trends right now that you’d still like to try?
I don't really know what the trends are right now! I don't go on social media a lot. I'll look at old Hollywood photos and references and kind of take inspiration from that. Anything from the forties and fifties.
How long have you been trying to stay off social media?
It’s recent. I actually just don't have time right now. If I get sucked in then I lose track of everything else I need to do. I’m trying to stay focused.
Is there anything else you try to do take care of yourself?
I drink a lot of water — that’s like all I drink. But, I'm still trying to work on self care and take time for myself. I’m not there yet. So when anyone’s like, what do you do for wellness? I'm like, oh, I don't do it yet.