Making Up Lupita Nyong’O

Last October I had the pleasure of working with a very special newcomer- Lupita Nyong’O, who was in London for the press and screening of Steve McQueen‘s much anticipated ‘12 Years A Slave‘ starring Chiwetel Ejiofor.

I was thrilled when I got confirmed as I rarely get to make-up someone with Lupita’s skintone for the red carpet. The chance to be able to do something glamorous (rather than editorial which is usually more conceptual or ‘urban’) using my favourite new products was a fabulous opportunity.

I ensured that her skin was moisturised but not oily. This is particularly important for darker skins that are being photographed with flash. Flash isn’t a friend to dark skin, it can turn a perfect application of healthy, glowing make-up into an appearance of simply being greasy.

Having said that, I don’t mind a little shine, there has been a tendency for many women of colour to overdo the powdering for fear of the shine, but personally, I find it old-fashioned and a little ageing. Skin can look a little ‘dead-looking’ when velvety matte, especially in real life and under the crude light of red carpet shots.


I applied two shades of Mac Studio Fix with a sponge, starting at the centre and around the eyes with NW48 (lighter, more orange with neutralizes grey/ash) and finished around the edges of the face in the darker NW58.

You may also like to see best nose hair trimmers 2020.


Lupita Nyong’O


Then I powdered, using Bobbi Brown‘s Loose Finishing Powder in Basic Brown with a brush (and again just before she went out).



Next up was Nars Blush in Exhibit A, and I love to put rich terracotta tones back into dark skin, plus it’s very complimentary with the Red/Coral-toned lipstick.


Lupita Nyomg’O


Now for the eyes…  Illusion D’Ombres by Chanel are one of the greatest innovations in eye shadows in years-and I mean that. They act like a cream, look like a powder, and are so easy to use that they make everyone look like a pro! I love to use them with my fingers. Lupita wears Apparition here.


Lupita Nyong’O


Lupita loves colour and she requested a ‘coral-y red’. I love this Nars Semi Matte Lipstick in Heatwave.

Lupita Nyongo’s make-up artist

How to get LHow to get Lupita Nyong’O’s make-up look

Final Touches

I often use individual eyelashes on the red carpet, they are not so difficult to use and are often found cheaply at chemists/drugstores- but remember to get a dark glue as the white can often be detected. Duo have the best ones.

Eyelash curlers also make a HUGE difference to eyelashes.

Mustn’t forget mascara!

My favourite at present is Rimmel London Lash Accelorator in Black.

And for shine control, better to keep blotting papers with you rather than powder alone. This will help avoid a chalky-looking build-up.

Chanel have a gorgeous blotting paper compact with a mirror, but you can get them in chemists/drugstores everywhere these days.

So that’s the Lupita lowdown from London, Hope you enjoy giving it a try…