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Exclusive: The Best of Lupita Nyong'O's Red Carpet Looks + Tips from Her Makeup Artist

  • Exclusive: The Best of Lupita Nyong'O's Red Carpet Looks + Tips from Her Makeup Artist
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    13 slides
  • Lupita Nyong'o Red Dress
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    The Golden Globes

    “Modern day Nefertiti,” is how Barose describes Nyong'o's show-stopping look at the Golden Globes. Her red Ralph Lauren gown called for “elongated black liquid liner, a sepia red mouth, and gilded gold eyes,” he told us. He used Chanel’s Liquid Liner ($34) and Rouge Allure Lipstick ($34) in Pirate, then dabbed the brand’s Illusion d'Ombre ($36) in Vision onto the actress’ eyes.

  • Lupita Nyong'o Cream Strapless Dress
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    Photo: Theo Wargo/Getty Images for IFP
    The Independent Film Awards

    Barose knew exactly what he needed for the dark, inky lip he planned for the Independent Film Awards—and fought to get it. “M.A.C.’s HauteCore Lipstick ($16) was sold out everywhere, so I had to beg their PR to express ship it to me for the event,” he told us. “Black lipstick doesn't have to look harsh or gothic, this is more like a leading lady in a black and white movie.”

  • Lupita Nyong'o Black and Cream Dress
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    Photo: Jason Merrit/Getty Images
    The British Academy of Film and Television Awards

    Nyong'o’s “golden metallic lip” came about by happenstance for the BAFTA Awards. “A Lauryn Hill song came on the radio that reminded me of the lipsticks she used to wear,” Barose says. “A golden lip on dark skin just looks so stunning.” He channeled the singer by applying Dior’s DiorAddict Gloss ($30) in Cygne Noir to the Nyong'o’s pout, then patted Sisley Paris’ Phyto Ombre Glow Eyeshadow ($52) in Amber on the center of the actress’ lips with his finger.

  • Lupita Nyong'o Blue Floral Dress
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    Photo: C Flanigan/Getty Images
    The SAG Awards

    “I wanted to do something whimsical to go with the flowers on Lupita’s dress,” Barose says about her turquoise Gucci gown. He reached for Chanel’s Eyeshadow Quad ($59) in Fascination for a “butterfly-inspired” eye and the brand’s Rouge Allure ($34) in Passion for a pink pout.

  • Lupita Nyong'o Pink Cutout Dress
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    The GQ Men of the Year Party

    “Lupita can wear a lot of bold, strong colors because they pop against her gorgeous skinBarose says. At the GQ Men of the Year party, he selected Armani Lip Maestro ($33) in No. 504 Ecstasy for Nyong'o’s pout. "It’s a mix of red and blue, so it turns a gorgeous fuchsia on her skin,” he says. 

  • Lupita Nyong'o Beige Dress
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    Photo: JB Lacroix/WireImage
    The Hollywood Reporter's Nominee Party

    “I wanted to do something sexy and a little femme fatale with her makeup here,” Barose says about the above look. “So I used Iman’s Luxury Moisturizing Lipstick ($10) in Wild Thing to give her lips a pop of color and Clarins’ Eye Quartet ($42) in Odyssey.”

  • Lupita Nyong'o Yellow Dress
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    Photo: Steve Granitz/WireImage
    The Hollywood Film Awards

    “Lupita’s gorgeous citron-yellow gown called for something warm and bold,” Barose told us, so he reached for Tom Ford’s Lip Color ($49) in Wild Ginger and Sisley Paris’ Phyto Ombré Glow ($52) in Amber. “Gold enhances darker skin tones and an orange lip color is dramatic, but so much more fun than red,” Barose says. 

  • Lupita Nyong'o Floral Lilac Dress
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    Photo: Steve Granitz/WireImage
    An Oscars Nominee Luncheon

    “I wanted to enhance Lupita’s fresh, ingenue quality with pink cheeks and lips—plus a simple flick of black liquid liner to get a modern day Audrey Hepburn feeling,” Barose says. He applied Votre Vu’s Vu-On Rouge Color Accent ($29) in Ma Cherry to the actress’ lips and cheeks, then reached for Dolce & Gabbana’s Glam Liner($45) in Intense Black.

  • Lupita Nyong'o tan Dress
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    Photo: Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic
    The Producers Guild Awards

    For the Producers Guild Awards, Barose created a “luxe,‘70s glam” makeup look with a “burgundy plum lipstick and soft, smoky eyes.” He reached for Tom Ford’s Lipstick ($49) in Black Orchid for the former and Jouer’s Crème Eyeshadow Crayon ($24) in Baroque and Abstract. “I applied the shimmery champagne tone in the inner corners and the pewter black on the outer corners,” he says.

  • Lupita Nyong'o White and Black Jacket
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    The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' Governors Awards

    Barose achieved Nyong'o’s bold purple pout by patting M.A.C.’s Eyeshadow ($15) in Vibrant Grape over the brand’s Mineralize Rich Lipstick ($22) in Midnight Mambo. Don’t be scared to try it at home: “Just dab the powder in the center of your lips with your finger,” he says. 

  • Lupita Nyong'o White Dress
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    Photo: David Livingston/Getty Images
    The Critics' Choice Movie Awards

    “This white dress made Lupita look like a pearl goddess,” Barose says about Nyong'o’s look at the Critics’ Choice Awards. He kept the frosty feeling going with Chanel’s Illusion d'Ombre ($36) in Fantasme and added a light, lavender pout with M.A.C.’s Lip Glass ($15) in Love Child.

  • Lupita Nyong'o Beige Dress and Hairclip
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    Photo: Tibrina Hobson/WireImage
    Entertainment Weekly's SAG Awards Pre-Party

    The inspiration behind Nyong'o’s SAG awards pre-party look? “A young ‘60s princess on her summer vacation,” Barose told us. So he created “fresh papaya stained lips” using Armani Lip Maestro ($33) No. 303; a “shimmering bronze eye” with Tarte’s Beauty & the Box Eyeshadow Quad ($22) in Brewed Awakening; and a “deep orange flush” with Dolce & Gabbana The Blush ($45) in Sole. 

  • Lupita Nyong'o Blue Watercolor Dress
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    Photo: Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic
    DuJour Magazine Party

    “Fresh, understated glam” was the motivation behind Barose’s handywork at the DuJour magazine party in Los Angeles. That included a mauve pink gloss (Dolce Gabbana UltraShine Gloss ($30) in Candy) and a thick, full lash (Koh Gen Do’s Long Lash Treatment Mascara ($36) in Black). 

Why does it always seem like “It Girls” come out of nowhere? In the case of Lupita Nyong'o—fashion’s latest darling and Hollywood’s reigning golden girl—it actually rings true. Born in Mexico, raised in Kenya, and educated at Yale, she’s a new Tinsletown arrival. Her breakout performance in 12 Years a Slave was also her American film debut—and only her third credit as a professional actress! Natural talent aside, she’s taken advantage of every second of the film’s press tour, gaining attention and respect by pairing her jaw-dropping statement frocks with even bolder makeup.

Of course, her red carpet identity has been a group effort. We’re talking about makeup artist Nick Barose, who’s been giving Nyong'o rule-breaking, unapologetically bold beauty looks every step of the way. In anticipation of the Oscars this Sunday (she’s nominated for Best Actress in a Supporting Role) we chatted with Barose for all the details of her best looks—expect the inspiration, products, and plenty of tip and tricks—above. Long live queen Lupita!

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