The Lipstick Adventures of Lupita Nyong’o
Out of every Oscars race emerges a new star that captivates both Hollywood and the fashion world in equal measure. This year’s newly minted It girl is Lupita Nyong’o, the 30-year-old Kenyan beauty who is expected to score a supporting actress nomination for her standout performance as Patsey in Twelve Years A Slave (she appears on the cover of The Hollywood Reporter today with the likes of Julia Roberts, Amy Adams, Octavia Spencer, Emma Thompson, and Oprah). It’s not just her sartorial choices that are garnering her lavish praise—the lipstick she wears on the red carpet has also become somewhat of a signature during her short time in the spotlight. Unlike other actresses who mostly go back and forth between nudes and reds, Nyong’o constantly switches it up.
Her makeup artist, Nick Barose, takes a cue from the bright, colorful shades of the seventies—sharing all his reference pictures with the starlet. “When I was growing up in Thailand, I loved flipping through my mom’s old fashion magazines. Makeup used to be so colorful and brave,” Barose says. A vintage Scavullo photo of Iman sparked the orange hue Nyong’o sported at the Hollywood Film Awards in October, an Escada ad from the eighties was his motivation for the purple metallic mouth she wore to the recent AMPAS Governors Awards, and Carol la Brie’s Vogue Italia cover was the jumping-off point for the violet lips and eyes that couldn’t be missed on the red carpet for the L.A. premiere of her latest film. Barose also borrows ideas from his favorite beauty icons. For example, Billie Holiday was the inspiration for the “not-too-in-your-face” red lip look the actress wore to the Toronto Film Festival in September, Diana Ross influenced the glossy, flesh-toned pout seen at the Sacai dinner, and at the BAFTA Los Angeles Britannia Awards, Nyong’o flaunted brown lipstick flecked with gold like a nineties Lauryn Hill. Our only question is what can’t she pull off…or rather, slick on?
On Lupita, above, clockwise from left: Tom Ford Beauty Lip Color in Wild Ginger, MAC Mineralize Rich Lipstick in Midnight Mambo, Dior DiorAddict Gloss in Cygne Noir with Sisley Ombre Glow Eyeshadow in Gold dabbed on center of lips, Jouer Hydrating Lipstick in Monique, NARS Guy Bourdin Cinematic Lipstick in Full Frontal, and Votre Vu French Kiss Moisture Rick Lipstick in Margaux.