At the beginning of
Lupita Nyong’o’s career, when she was working as an assistant in the fashion industry, her boss asked her what she planned to wear to an important meeting. “I said I had a red dress and she looked at me like, Ahhhh!,” the actress told . “She encouraged me to wear muter colors, so I ended up purchasing all these black and navy items that just weren’t me.” Refinery29
Fast forward a few years and no one would dare steer the Academy Award-winning actress, who is set to
produce and act in the film adaptation of Trevor Noah’s autobiography , away from being bold. In fact, Nyong’o has become known for her risk-taking makeup and fashion choices. If she’s on a red carpet, you can bet it won’t be boring. Born A Crime
Given that the star has rocked pretty much every trend — from
sculptural hair inspired by Nina Simone to futuristic blue lipstick — it might seem like her tastes are all over the map, but look closely and you’ll find there are a few tried-and-true techniques she always falls back on. In honor of her birthday today, we’re rounding up the five styles Nyong’o always goes back to.
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1. Colored Eye Strobing
Late last year, we noticed celebs were taking to
inner-corner strobing, using fun colors like pink, gold, or orange. Nyong’o and her longtime makeup artist Nick Barose are clearly fans of the trend; she’s stepped out on the red carpet on multiple occasions with a hit of blue on the inner corners of her eyes.
She doesn’t stop there, though. Nyong’o’s been known to apply color not just on her inner corners, but up onto the inner-third of her eye, too. The technique instantly brightens her face and adds personality without overwhelming the whole look.
1. Matchy-Matchy Eyeshadow
The star often matches her eyeshadow to her outfit for a chic monochromatic moment. Here, she complemented her bright-green gown with an emerald smoky eye.
Sheer layers of plum and pink shadow tie in to Nyongo’s gorgeous purple dress and amethyst earrings.
4. Metallic Lipstick
Nyong’o doesn’t limit herself to the eyes, though — she experiments with different lip textures in wild shades on the regular. But metallics, it seems, are her favorite. Here, she lets her fuchsia lips do the talking by keeping the rest of her makeup minimal.
Photo: Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic.
There’s no better time to wear shiny blue lipstick than the
Star Wars premiere, right? “Nick Barose and I had fantasized about this blue lipstick; it was kind of a dream goal at some point to wear it,” Nyong’o told . Refinery29
4. Hair Accessories
It was the accessory talked about ’round the beauty world after Nyong’o won the Oscar in 2014 wearing the dainty gold headband.
Her go-to hairstylist Vernon François calls this wire-wrapped updo a “fro ponytail.”
5. Structured Updos
Nyong’o loves to experiment with structured hairstyles that quite often defy gravity. At a premiere for
Black Panther, she stepped out in a stunning crown of braids.
At the 2016 Met Gala, the actress’ hair was a true work of art. “Vernon François did the hair,” she told
. “We were inspired by these Refinery29 hairdos from the African continent and a ‘do Nina Simone had with diamonds in her hair.”
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