Whether “Running Up That Hill” is the soundtrack of your summer or you’ve just finished binge-watching season four, it’s hard to deny that the twisty sci-fi thriller vibe of Stranger Things is more than just a show — it’s a whole mood. But, with season five (which, sorry fans, will be the show’s final season) likely not coming our way until next year at the earliest, how can we immerse ourselves in the Stranger Things fandom?
Toronto makeup artist Pouja Thamotharan (@blendsbypouja on TikTok) has some ideas. As you can see below, Pouja’s Stranger Things-inspired makeup tutorial (which you can also find on Slice.ca’s TikTok) is appropriately bold, gorgeous and just a touch spine-tingling.
@slicedotca Running Up That Hill (To Try Out This Look ⚡️) @blendsbypouja #strangerthingsmakeup #strangerthings4 #theupsidedown #strangerthings ♬ Stranger things theme song – uɐɟ sƃuᴉɥʇ ɹǝƃuɐɹʇs
Read on to learn more about how you can recreate Pouja’s look — and get inspired to showcase your own artistry and creativity through the medium of makeup.
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Makeup is a modern art form
For Pouja, who is a self-taught makeup artist, designing looks based on pop-culture moments is a powerful form of expression.
“I love creating makeup looks inspired by pop culture and TV shows mainly because it allows me to form my own perceptions and thoughts, with some background knowledge as to what I may want to create,” Pouja tells us. “Symbolism is huge for me, as I like taking major items, quotes or scenes from movies and TV shows and drawing them on my face.”
This pop-culture inspiration — combined with being an OG fan of the show (Pouja has been watching since season one dropped in 2016) — led to the incredible look, which called back to season four’s first-look poster.
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How to create this ‘Stranger Things’-inspired makeup look
Once she knew where she wanted to take the look (which took about three hours to create), Pouja took the following steps:
- Start with a base. While the drama of the look centres on the eyes, Pouja started the look with a light base of foundation “to give myself a smooth canvas to work on.”
- The eyes have it. Once her base was complete, Pouja turned to the eyes. “I then began working on my eyes since they were the easiest to get out of the way,” she explains. “I then began adding the highlights to my eyes using a white eyeliner.”
- Outline. Then, it was time to outline. “Outlining is a major step in creating highlights and shadows on the face, as it provides for an easy way to map out exactly what’s in your head.”
- Embrace the shadows. With the outline completed, Pouja then “began filling in the sparse areas and creating shadows with a darker shade.”
- Get show specific. To make the look distinctly Stranger Things, Pouja then “added the bleeding nose that Eleven from the show has (huge symbolism here).”
- Final touches. Green contacts added “a little bit of contrast and voila, the look was done.”
The key to the look? “Definitely focus the most attention on highlighting and shadowing, as this is what takes a look from a five to a 10,” Pouja shares. “This doesn’t have to be neat at all, but do not skip out on this step!”
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Here are the products that Pouja used for this look:
- Palette: Morphe James Charles Palette
- Liners: Gavissi Beauty Cake Liners
- Foundation: Rare Beauty Liquid Touch Foundation
- Brow gel: Benefit Cosmetics
- Gloss: NYX Cosmetics Butter Gloss in Red Velvet
- Lashes: Kiss Lashes in Pompadour
- Eyeliner: Vasanti Cosmetics Eyeliner in Violet Rays
- Powder: Sephora Collection Baked Powder
Feeling inspired to create your own looks inspired by your fave shows and movies? Pouja offers some words of encouragement:
“These looks take so much time, practice and energy, so the more you practice doing creative looks, the better,” Pouja says. “Also, brainstorming about what you want to put on your face and even drawing it out on paper first is a huge thing that helped me.”