There are so, so many reasons to love, respect and admire Lupita Nyong’o, but from a beauty perspective she truly makes my heart flutter. Just by being, by wearing her hair the way she wants to and rocking every color in the rainbow, she debunks so many foolish and old school beauty perceptions that still persist. For anyone still clinging to the antiquated, short-sighted mentality that short, natural hair isn’t beautiful in its own right, for anyone still uttering ignorance along the lines of “darker skinned women shouldn’t wear **insert color or style here**,” there is Lupita – striking in her beauty, confident in her character, and inspiring in her style choices.

Lupita Nyongo Makeup

For any sister with dark skin afraid to rock a red lip, or blush, or bold eyeshadow, there is Lupita to inspire you to try something new. During awards season, Lupita’s makeup artist Nick Barose created flawless, wearable, accessible beauty that allowed Lupita to shine. I reached out to ask him for his best advice for women with equally deep skin tones, and he offered sage advice.

“Best advice is to use vibrant bold colors and not be afraid because it flatters the complexion,” he says.

At the ESSENCE Black Women in Hollywood event at the Beverly Hills Hotel, Lupita received an award for “Best Breakthrough Performance” for her role as Patsey in the film “12 Years a Slave.” I had the honor of interviewing her on the red carpet on behalf of Target, and she is just stunning and eloquent and glowing. Lupita truly is lovely, as you can see even in these photos from my phone!

Afrobella Lupita Nyongo

Nick Barose shared the inspiration and “how-to” steps, so in case you wanted to recreate the look, you can! I love that he used such a variety of products, high end to low end, drugstore to department store.

For the ESSENCE Black Women in Hollywood Lupita wanted a natural yet polished look. Nick used warm colors on her, including a light plum liner on eyes, coral on cheeks to give the look of a natural flush, and soft rosy lips to give a bit of contrast with her ivory colored dress. The final look was sophisticated and elegant, yet still youthful.


STEP 1: Gently dab the YSL Top Secrets All-In-One BB Cream Skintone Corrector in Dark into skin to hydrate, soothe and add radiance. Then gently apply L’Oréal Paris True Match Naturale Mineral Foundation in Soft Sable over the foundation to give skin a flawless finish and even out skin tone.

STEP 2: Use the YSL Eyebrow Pencil in 005 Ebony sparingly to fill in and shape brows, and then brush with a clean spool brush to even out and distribute color.

STEP 3: To highlight eyes, first add a winged line above the upper lash line and beneath the lower lash line using L’Oreal Paris Infallible Silkissime Eyeliner in Plum as it’s a perfect color for daytime that plays well with darker skin tones. Gently tap Lancôme Color Design Infinité Eye Shadow in 102 Timeless Taupe above the liner onto the lid to add a more bronzy color to the eyes. Apply two coats of L’Oréal Paris Voluminous Butterfly Mascara in Blackest Black to the upper lashes.

STEP 4: Dab cheeks lightly with a cream blush first, such as Giorgio Armani Blushing Fabric in Fresh Baby Pink, to add a natural flush. On cheek bones only, dab a little bit of L’Oréal Paris Visible Lift Blush in Coral Lift to add a finished soft glow.

STEP 5: Create a polished glossy lip using L’Oréal Paris Extraordinaire by Colour Riche in 303 Rouge Allegro.

That’s a high impact, beautiful look that works across many different skin tones. Love it!

For the Academy Awards, Nick Barose used primarily Chanel, as revealed in his interview for Allure. Over at Access Hollywood, he describes it as “Liz Taylor on vacation“. I love it! According to Nick’s Instagram, the lip color was inspired by a bouquet of peach and orange roses sent to Lupita by her Oscar night hairstylist Larry Sims.

And now that Rouge Allure Luminous Intense Lip Colour in Mélodieuse is on my radar! Apparently I’ve been sleeping on Chanel lip color. You can follow Nick Barose on Twitter @NickBarose.

In MORE Lupita makeup news…during the Oscars, I believe we all caught the lip balm moment right?

Photo courtesy Clarins

Photo courtesy Clarins

Well now we know that Lupita loves Clarins Moisture Replenishing Lip Balm – and that Oscar moment led the lip balm to sell out across the country pretty much immediately!

Lupita’s future is so bright and her journey in show business is just beginning. I can’t wait to see which cosmetics brand snaps her up for a contract! I have such high hopes for her!

Which makeup look did you prefer, and which of Lupita’s looks are you most inspired to try?


Dramaqueen says:
March 6, 2014, 4:51 pm
Hi Bella! Thank you for this lovely article, and here's to hoping no other little Black girl ever gets subjected to that "Black girls can't wear ***** color ever again or ever hear that she's too dark to be pretty or that short natural hair isn't beautiful. I also hope that girls who look like Lupita are seen as exceptional beautiful especially by our men!
bella says:
March 6, 2014, 4:57 pm
AMEN to everything you said!!
Tiffany says:
March 8, 2014, 8:29 pm
Lupita is so gorgeous! Her beautiful skin just glows... I can't wait to see more from her