Exclusive: The Best of Lupita Nyong'O's Red Carpet Looks + Tips from Her Makeup Artist

Why does it always seem like “It Girls” come out of nowhere? In the case of Lupita Nyong'o—fashion’s latest darling and Hollywood’s reigning golden girl—it actually rings true. Born in Mexico, raised in Kenya, and educated at Yale, she’s a new Tinsletown arrival. Her breakout performance in 12 Years a Slave was also her American film debut—and only her third credit as a professional actress! Natural talent aside, she’s taken advantage of every second of the film’s press tour, gaining attention and respect by pairing her jaw-dropping statement frocks with even bolder makeup.

Of course, her red carpet identity has been a group effort. We’re talking about makeup artist Nick Barose, who’s been giving Nyong'o rule-breaking, unapologetically bold beauty looks every step of the way. In anticipation of the Oscars this Sunday (she’s nominated for Best Actress in a Supporting Role) we chatted with Barose for all the details of her best looks—expect the inspiration, products, and plenty of tip and tricks—above. Long live queen Lupita!