Lupita Nyong'o's Makeup Artist On Her Rule-Breaking Look

Lupita Nyong'o's Makeup Artist On Her Rule-Breaking Look
Jason Merritt/Getty Images for CW

Kenyan-raised and Yale-educated actress Lupita Nyong'o’s making her American film debut in 12 Years as a Slave this Friday—alongside Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender, and Brad Pitt—but she’s already mastered the art of standing out on the red carpet. Inspired by the pink and purple shades in her Miu Miu dress, she stepped out with bright lips, eyes—even nails—for Monday’s Los Angeles premiere, proving there are no limits to a colorful beauty look when done right. Makeup artist Nick Barose’s tricks to pulling it off, above.

  • 1 of 8

    “You want to brighten a deep skintone without lightening it,” Barose says, so he reached for two different shades of M.A.C.’s Pro Longwear Foundation ($31), a trick that produces a glowing effect. “Apply the lighter shade in the center of your face and the darker shade on the outside, then blend,” he says.

  • 2 of 8

    After foundation, but before blush, Barose dusted Nyong'o’s skin with Jouer’s Essential Face Mattifier ($26) to cut down on shine and set the foundation, without masking the skin.

  • 3 of 8

    “When you create a bright eye and lip you want your cheek to have a little color, but not look heavy,” Barose says. He used Jouer’s Cheek Tint ($20) in Dahlia, applied with a BeautyBlender Sponge ($20): “It looks natural and doesn’t have any shimmer.”

  • 4 of 8

    To get the winged-out shape, Barose applied Dolce & Gabbana’s Glam Liner Intense Liquid Eyeliner ($34) in Black Intense to Nyong'o’s top lashline, drawing the color up towards the outside of the actress’ brows. He added Estee Lauder’s Double Wear Stay In Place Eye Pencil ($22) to the actress’ waterline, concentrating the color on the outer half of her eyes.

  • 5 of 8

    Once Barose had the cat eye outline, he reached for M.A.C.’s Antonio Lopez 6 Eyes Palette ($44) in Violet, painting the black hue on the outer half of Nyong'o’s lid and the purple hue on the inner half. Maintain the cat eye shape and gently blend the two colors in the center, then wrap the purple around the bottom lashline with clean, thin brush.

  • 6 of 8

    You don’t want a dramatic lash when you’re wearing a colorful eye, Barose says, but you do want definition. “Choose a lengthening mascara, not thickening!” Try Maybelline’s Define A Lash Mascara ($8).

  • 7 of 8

    Barose lined Nyong'o’s pout with a pencil the same shade as her lips, then applied Nars x Guy Bourdin’s just-released Lipstick ($26) in Full Frontal directly from the tube. “Then add a second coat with a lip brush for more color,” he says.

  • 8 of 8

    The final touch? Tom Ford’s Nail Lacquer ($32) in African Violet. “Matching your lips and nails is very cool right now,” Barose says. We agree!

EXPLORE: Nars x Guy Bourdin Full Frontal, Jouer, M.A.C., beautyBlender, Dolce & Gabbana, Estee Lauder, Maybelline, Nars, Tom Ford, Get the Look, Celebrity Beauty


See More Stories