They’re coloring themselves happy.
With spring in full bloom and summer on the horizon, makeup lovers in New York City are shaking off their cold-weather blues and bringing on the color.
Lots and lots of color.
Think bold and bright hues such as neon green, hot pink, electric blue and DayGlo orange.
But Gen Z’ers and millennials say the pumped-up primping isn’t for shock value — it’s for their mental health.
“It’s dopamine makeup,” Susan Angel, 31, a TV production set designer from East Harlem, explained to The Post. “It’s all about boosting your mood, shifting your negative thoughts and having fun expressing yourself through makeup.”
Thousands of women are posting the eye-catching trend under the TikTok hashtag #DopamineMakeup, which has amassed more than a half-million views. The gutsy glam is thought to provide a jolt of the “feel-good” hormone, which invokes a sense of pleasure and satisfaction in the brain.
There might be something to it. A June 2020 Quinnipiac University study that looked at YouTube beauty influencers and self-esteem found that makeup has “participants who are internally motivated to
use makeup and/or have a strong sense of mastery, bodily agency, and relatedness to their subscribers viewed cosmetic use as having positive effects on self-esteem.”
Decking out her face with whimsical pizzazz came as a creative outlet for Angel, who first attempted the dopamine look in December 2022, as her now-late mother battled cancer. And last month, the brunette reprised the polychromatic look again, timed to the three-year anniversary of her father’s April 2020 death to COVID-19.
She tells The Post that artfully sprucing up gives her a surge of cheer.
“The dopamine glam is more than makeup. It’s therapeutic,” said Angel, who uses splashy eye shadows, eyeliners and lipsticks from brands such as NYX, Fenty Beauty and Tarte.
“When I’m experimenting with these bright colors,” she said, “I feel like my parents, who were really positive and uplifting people, are here with me.”
And as with the viral #ChromeMakeup mania, which saw daredevil divas adorning their faces with 3D hot glue gun designs, in the dopamine makeup trend, anything goes.
The glee-inducing style was first coined in spring 2022 by celebrity makeup artist Sir John — who’s masterfully preened the likes of Margot Robbie, Zendaya and Beyoncé.
And much like the fashion-forward #DopamineDressing fad, a post-COVID movement that inspired folks to find happiness through vibrantly over-the-top outfits, Sir John tells The Post that his cosmetics craze is, too, meant to ignite a psychological spark of joy and self-expression.
“Humans have a really strong emotional connection to color. It’s primal,” said John, a native of Buffalo. “Dopamine glam is all about finding yourself in the small pockets and moments and choices you [make] as you get ready.
“Color can spice things up,” he added. “It can bring a little drama to an otherwise mundane day.”
Incorporating striking shades into everyday looks, he said, can facilitate stress relief and comfort.
“Adding pops of color, painting your nails neon or using a Kelly green liner, is a small [way] to show up for yourself.”
And for apprehensive newcomers to the trend, who fear the extravagant glam might take them too far out of their comfort zones, the A-list cosmetologist advises starting with the basics.
“Tinted eyeliner is the best way [to begin embracing color]. Buy as many color pencils as you can,” said John, a creative director for L’Oréal Paris. “Also, don’t be afraid of a statement lip — try orange or magenta.”
“Use colors that make you happy.”
In February, Manhattan-based beauty tastemaker Rene Rossman dolled herself up to look “happy” rather than “pretty” while grappling with a bout of seasonal depression.
“I can literally trick my brain into feeling good by making myself look good,” Rossman, 25, a cosmetic production developer from Kips Bay, told The Post.
She shared her inaugural dopamine plume with her 2,000 TikTok followers just before Valentine’s Day.
“If I’m feeling down, I can apply cool makeup, and I’m pushed into a creative headspace,” Rossman said, adding that she often gets the job done with duochrome eye shadows, neon pigments, holographic glitters and baby pink blushes.
“Doing my makeup is my favorite part of the day,” she said. “So the brighter and more fun I can make it, the happier I am.”