When donning a red dress, the obvious makeup pairing would be a red lip, but Gugu Mbatha-Raw and makeup artist Nick Barose steered clear of the matchy-matchy route, and the results were nothing short of fabulous. Over the weekend, the Belle star, who is also the leading lady in the upcoming Beyond the Lights film, attended the Motion Picture Academy's Governor's Awards in a stunning Oscar de la Renta number, which Barose used as his jumping-off point to create her understated, yet elegant, look.
"When uber-stylist Cristina Ehrlich showed me Gugu's beautiful red Oscar de la Renta dress, I wanted the makeup to be playful and fresh to show off her beautiful golden skin, with a touch of drama on the eyes for a bit of a sexy Sophia Loren vibe," he tells InStyle. "Red-carpet magic always comes together at the last minute---sometimes I'll tweak the lip color, and we have to decide what goes in the clutch, like a powder, blotting paper, and lip color for the night." Even if you aren't hitting up a red carpet event, you may need to be ready for your close-up with all the upcoming holiday parties on your radar, and Mbatha-Raw's gorgeous look is perfect for just about any occasion. Read on to find out exactly how you can recreate it, with pro tips from Barose himself!
Barose wanted to keep a glowing, dewy finish, so to avoid an all-over dusting of powder, he began by using a mattifying primer only on the star's T-zone, then layered Tom Ford’s Traceless Perfecting Foundation ($80; nordstrom.com) on top. "I applied it with a brush, then used a damp BeautyBlender ($20; sephora.com) to blot and blend so that the effect is really sheer," he says. "Foundation should add a nice, polished look to your skin without looking makeup-y." Going easy on the eyes, Barose defined Mbatha-Raw's brows with the Tom Ford Brow Sculptor in Taupe ($44; nordstrom.com), and skipped the shadow entirely. "When doing intense liner, don't use eye shadow. The effect is more graphic and modern, but not too overdone and calculated," says Barose, who used the Defining Liquid Liner in Deeper ($55; nordstrom.com) to impart the dramatic wing. He traced the upper and lower lash lines with the pen-shaped stylo, then defined the inner rims of her eyes to give off a sexy, smoldering effect. Two coats of mascara topped off the eye.
"Since there's a lot of color on the dress already, go easy on the cheek and lip colors," says Barose. "Anything too red will also make your face look red." To avoid a ruddy complexion, he picked up Tom Ford's soft pink blush in Ravish ($57; nordstrom.com) and blended it onto the apples of her cheeks. A peach-toned petal hue like Tom Ford's Lip Color Sheer in Summer Fling ($49; tomford.com) mimicked Mbatha-Raw's natural lip color, and held a slight nude finish to balance the dramatic eye. The finishing touch? A few well-blended drops of the Skin Illuminator in Fire Lust ($65; tomford.com). "It's the perfect amount of shimmer to ad don the bridge of the nose, and the top of the cheeks," Barose adds.