A Little Bit Retro, But Very Much Lupita
It’s been less than a year since makeup artist Nick Barose started working with Lupita Nyong’o, but he’s dolled her up for countless events (seriously, we tried to count, but got tired and gave up). That’s what happens when your client goes from being an unknown ingenue to an Oscar-winning international fashion icon in just eight months. And yet we still always look forward to seeing what Nick and Lupita come up with next, because unlike so many other A-listers who love to play it safe with a signature makeup look, this duo never fails to throw a surprise or two into the mix.
For tonight’s Met Ball, the twist comes in the form of metallic purple eye shadow—a playful contrast to Nyong’o’s green Prada gown and new raisin-colored strands. “The dress has a Josephine Baker vibe to it, and she’s wearing a headband that’s very dramatic, so I didn’t want the makeup to be too strong,” explains Barose. Here, the scoop.
The inspiration: “I’ve been looking at a lot of old photos from the 1920s to the 1950s, but I didn’t want to give her a specific period look. Her eyebrows have a classic, Grace Kelly kind of shape, and the smoky eyes look like they could be from the twenties or thirties—but the color is very seventies. So it’s a bunch of stuff I collaged together.”
The process: “I saw Lupita this weekend in D.C., so I showed her the kind of colors I wanted to use, but we’re both very laid-back about it. I show her so many ideas, but there are so many elements that play into [the look] that it’s good not to get so married to the one idea in your head. It’s good to go with the flow because it’s never going to turn out exactly how you picture it. For example, I came up with the lip color at the last minute.”
The look:“I did purple smoky eyes to contrast with the green dress. I didn’t want it to be matchy-matchy. On her cheeks, I used sheer powder blush in fuchsia. With dark skin, you can wear something bright and blend it down. It still pops, you just have to use a light hand. And on the lips I did a bronzy, berry-toned lipstick. Green is such a strong color that the lips can’t be too red, because then it competes. Same thing with purple—on dark complexions it really blends in well. Bronze would just disappear, so purple was the better option for something dramatic but not too loud. Especially because tonight it’s about the outfit.”