In case you haven’t heard, the ’80s are back—not just in fashion, but in makeup too. Lupita Nyong’o, a red carpet beauty favorite never afraid to take a risk, is leading the charge. In Jordan Peele’s newest horror film, Us, Nyong’o plays two characters named Adelaide and Red. Because the color red played such an integral role in the film, the actress and her makeup artist, Nick Barose, chose to use it as a base color for her beauty looks at the movie’s premiere in New York, London, and at SXSW in Texas. “We used a lot of red,” Barose told ELLE. “Her character in the movie’s name is Red, so we used red in a few different ways from having it go across her forehead, or to do a red pair of contacts.”
Barose and Nyong’o both drew inspirations from the edgier ’80s icons like Grace Jones, Annie Lennox, Siouxsie Sioux, Cyndi Lauper and Madonna after studying their “wicked beauty” video looks. “They all wear strong eyebrows, eyeshadows that wing out, and have that unapologetic attitude about wearing color and being bold. To me, that’s what wicked beauty means. Someone who’s not afraid to embrace that darker, vampy side and then have fun with that wild side,” he said.
To create the Us premiere beauty looks, Barose made sure to keep Nygong’o’s skin as dewy and fresh-looking as possible, and cited Lancôme’s Dual Finish Foundation ($40) as one of his favorites to get the job done: “I rely a lot on the Lancôme Dual Powder Foundation. It’s a powder that has foundation in it and you can use it wet with a sponge, or you can use it dry. I usually use it wet when I do the makeup so the makeup stays on really well.”
Barose’s main concern with relying on the ’80s as a beauty reference is making sure Nyong’o’s makeup maintained a modern feel to it. In keeping the skin fresh, the makeup looks like more of an update rather than a throwback. “If the skin looks polished and fresh, that’s what’s gonna pull it back and make it feel more like today versus the real ’80s.”
The result? A series of four bold makeup looks (so far) that rank among Nyong’o’s boldest beauty moments to date. Below, the Lancôme products that Barose used to create Lupita Nyongo’s ’80s and vampire-inspired makeup looks for Us, which is set to arrive in theaters on March 22.