What a week to be director extraordinare Ava DuVernay! Last Sunday, she attended the Golden Globes looking resplendent in a navy Zac Posen dress. This week wooshed by with a blur of interviews and thinkpieces in the wake of the awards announcements. Ava was nominated for Best Director at the Golden Globes. She was denied the nomination at the Academy Awards, a move many are describing as a missed opportunity and an ignorant oversight on their part. There’s real outrage in the media and on Twitter, where the hilarious hashtag #OscarsSoWhite trended. This week ended with Ava in Selma, marching to commemorate Martin Luther King day with the stars of her celebrated film.
There is so much to respect, love and admire in Ava DuVernay. She took the reins and reinvented her career. She’s breaking down all sorts of barriers, for filmmakers of color, for women in film, for creative bosses with their own big dreams and crazy ideas. In the midst of all of that, she remains positive and progressive.
Happy Birthday, Dr. King. An Oscar gift for you. To SELMA cast + crew led by our miracle David Oyelowo! To Common + Legend! Kudos! March on!
— Ava DuVernay (@AVAETC) January 15, 2015
I love her spirit and I can’t wait to see what’s next for her career – her future is SO bright! One of the things I really loved about last week, seeing Ava walk the red carpet for the Golden Globes, was the significance of it all. As a woman of color, a woman who’s nominated for her work in directing such a historically significant film, a woman who wears her locs with pride, like the queen that she is – Ava makes me feel so proud and so inspired on so many levels!
So of course, Afrobella at its core is about beauty and style – I had to celebrate that moment by getting the full details on her look from head to toe. My dear friend Felicia Leatherwood has been doing Ava’s hair during awards season – fun fact, I introduced these fabulous ladies to each other at the Target dinner during the Essence Black Women in Hollywood event and it’s been on and poppin ever since. Felicia is a genius with natural hair and she makes Ava’s locs look SO resplendent. I got her to break down the Golden Globes style for me, and it gives a little insight as to how the process works, for my bellas behind the scenes who would love to work as a stylist or makeup artist on this level:
“The inspiration always depends on how the fashion stylist styles her. So it is a collaboration of clothes, make-up and hair. We put her look together based on the what she is wearing, i.e, colors, length, neckline, style, etc. and Ava has amazing cheek bones and sultry eyes, so I like giving her hairstyles that accentuate her beautiful face and bring a classic maturity to her style.”
I had to get the full product breakdown from Felicia. Here’s what she’s using on Ava’s beautiful locs!
“I shampooed and conditioned her hair with EDEN Bodyworks Jojoba Monoi, twisted hair with Ampro Protein Styling Gel…smoothed her edges with African Pride Olive Miracle Silky Smooth Edges Pomade and finished hair with Phyto Specific Paris Baobab Oil Botanical Blend along with lots and lots of hairpins!”
I LOVE EDEN Bodyworks, that Jojoba Monoi works wonderfully for loose natural hair and for locs, and I’m really feeling that Phyto oil right now, it’s light and so moisturizing!
And now…THE MAKEUP!
I was also able to get an exclusive interview with NARS International Lead Makeup Stylist Uzo, who created the look for Ava. Uzo broke down the look with specific products to help us all get the look!
Afrobella – Ava looked amazing at the Golden Globes! What was the inspiration behind the look?
Uzo: The inspiration was Ava. Then her bold hairstyle and architectural, column gown by Zac Posen.
Ava’s natural locs twisted into an unique bun shape for this red carpet appearance is such a huge statement already but demanded make-up that was modern, chic and ethereal to balance the overall look.
Afrobella – Ava is a director who’s getting major acclaim for her look and style – it’s a refreshing exception on so many levels! Is it different doing makeup for a director on the red carpet as versus an actress?
Uzo – No. There is no difference doing make-up on a director. The same rules apply. You must always create a look that is flattering, unique and enhances natural beauty but at the same time keeping in mind that make-up must be suitable for high-definition television and can withstand the flash and glare of paparazzi cameras.
Afrobella – Talk me through the look – I noticed you went for a classic bold smoky eye (In navy? Do my eyes deceive me?) and a nude lip. Can you share what products you used?
Uzo – Great make-up begins with great skin. Ava has beautiful skin and I wanted her skin to look out-of- this-world luminous and even-toned. I applied a small amount of NARS All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation in Tahoe to her skin and NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in Ginger underneath eyes and tiny blemishes and blended to a fresh finish with fingertips. Loose powder was lightly brushed over T-zone.
– I wanted a modern palette that worked with her beautiful caramel skin rather than trying to match her make-up to her gown.
-Rich velvety, shimmery chocolatey NARS single eyeshadow in Fez was swept on her eyelids and deepened with a matte brown single shadow in Bengali. Eyes were lined with NARS long-wear eyeliner in Via Veneto and very delicate mink eyelashes were added for additional drama.
-Soft wash of pinky-peach NARS Dual Intensity blush in Panic along the cheekbones and a nude lip Audacious lipstick in Raquel completed the look.
Afrobella – Many of my readers are women of color who lament the difficulty of finding a perfect nude lip for their skin tone. What are your best tips for finding the perfect nude lipstick, regardless of your shade of beautiful?
Uzo – The secret behind the perfect nude lip for deeper complexions is to add warmth to the color to prevent it from looking ashy or worse yet, looking like concealer on the lips. This can be achieved by adding a peachy lipgloss over the nude lipstick or using a lipliner that has peach or mahogany undertones.
On Ava, I used a lip liner with peach undertones (NARS Velvet Lipliner in Anse Soleil) to fill in her entire lip before applying the NARS Audacious lipstick in Raquel and topped of with a peachy gloss ( NARS Larger Than Life lipgloss in Odalisque).
Thanks to Felicia and Uzo for the full hair and makeup breakdown. I can’t wait to see what Ava wears to the Oscars!
Keep on making big moves and making us proud, Ava!