Pucker up—today is National Lipstick Day! Whether you opt for vivid neon shades or subtle nudes, the fact that the product is available in every shade of the rainbow is enough of a reason to celebrate, not to mention that it’s been a staple in most makeup bags for more than 5,000 years. (Fun fact: One of the very first versions created by ancient Sumerian peoples used a formula that included crushed gemstones in the mix.)
No one works a bold hue quite like our style crush Lupita Nyong’o, so what better way to celebrate than with a look at her full spectrum of red carpet lipstick shades? While most were busy obsessing over her rainbow of dresses, we were just as captivated by the star’s penchant for bold lipwear. For every sartorial statement she made, there was an attention-grabbing lip color flawlessly finishing each look. Though the rising icon has yet to miss the beauty mark, we were able to narrow down eight of her most memorable lip shades, complete with details from her color-loving makeup artist. Find each one below!
Clockwise from top left:
For the 2013 Governors Awards, makeup pro Nick Barose amped up the star’s black and white number with electric purple lips. “For extra drama, I dabbed metallic purple eyeshadow (Mac Eyeshadow in Vibrant Grape, $15; macosmetics.com) on the center of her lips using Q-Tips,” he tells us. “A hint of metallic in the center brings the color out even more and adds interesting textures.”
When it came to the N.Y.C. premiere of 12 Years a Slave, the now Oscar winner epitomized classic glam with Tom Ford Lip Color in Cherry Lush ($49; nordstrom.com), a creamy red shade. To get the look (below), Barose suggests applying lipstick “directly from the tube, blot with tissues in between and add extra coats for intensity,” he says. Then, “blend around the edges with Q-Tips Precision Tips ($4; walgreens.com) to keep the edges soft.”
Being the vibrant dresser she is, we weren’t surprised to see Nyong’o bring Pantone’s Color of the Year to her lipwear, sporting a soft violet shade at the film’s L.A. premiere. “We were inspired by her gorgeous spring 2014 Miu Miu dress with cockatoo prints and the gorgeous orchids at the Four Seasons where we got ready for the premiere,” he shares.
Officially convincing us to give orange lips a try, the star shimmered with a shiny, copper-inspired shade. “I stained her mouth with red Diorific lipstick in Dolce Vita ($36; dior.com) and then I added the shimmery bronzy Dior Addict Gloss in Parasdise ($30; sephora.com) on the center of lips for added drama,” Barose tells us.
Taking a break from vivid hues, the rising style icon continued to steal the show at the Britannia Awards, except this time with a sparkling metallic lip gloss. After applying Dior Addict Gloss in Cynge Noir ($30; sephora.com), Barose dabbed gold eye shadow using Sisley Phyto-Ombré Glow eyeshadow in Gold ($52; nordstrom.com), providing an ultra-dazzling finish.
Though much more subdued than her signature bright shades, her spin on the classic nude lip didn’t fail to make a statement. To achieve the look, Barose relied on Rouge Dior Nude Lip Blush in Trench ($34; sephora.com). “It’s not the kind of nude that looks natural and bare,” he says. “The point is that there’s drama in the paleness so the eyes pop.”
While sitting front row at Calvin Klein during New York Fashion Week, the star’s choice of bright berry lipstick was impossible to ignore. To score the exact same shade, swipe on CK One Pure Color Lipstick in Wanted ($16; ulta.com).
While certainly one of her most daring looks to date, with the right execution, Nyong’o successfully proved black lipstick doesn’t have to be gothic. How did she pull it off? Barose explains, “when you keep it sheer, not matte or opaque and with a hint of sheen, the effect can be feminine and glamorous.”