Ava DuVernay's 2022 Oscars Makeup Matched Her Grecian-Inspired Dress Perfectly

The acclaimed director loves a winged liner.

We independently research, test, review, and recommend the best products—learn more about our process. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.

Ava Duvernay Oscars Beauty Look
Photo: Courtesy

The Academy Awards are an event we look forward to every year, as we get to watch our favorite stars celebrate the best films of the year — all while we get inspired by their red carpet glam. And this year, universally acclaimed filmmaker Ava DuVernay made waves.

It was to be expected, of course. She's been a catalyst for change in the film industry, elevating Black talent at every level and celebrating Black beauty. And while DuVernay isn't up for an Oscar this year she definitely won on the red carpet.

"As [her] Louis Vuitton dress had this Grecian vibe with structured shoulders and embellishments, we knew the makeup had to be simple but strong too," makeup artist Adam Burrell exclusively tells InStyle. "[She's] been enjoying her winged eyeliner lately, and then after seeing the navy dress we amped it up and made it a little chunkier, longer, and navy. The rest of the face we wanted to keep it glowing, creamy, and dreamy in flattering chocolate and caramel shades."

Burrell and DuVernay have worked together for several years, so he says they have her makeup preferences down to a tee. "Ava has beautiful skin so we enhance that with minimal product, then there's a strong brow and a good lash. The rest is all determined by the gown and if Ava is feeling smoky or graphic," he says.

To start, he applied a light layer of Trinny London BFF Rebalance Tinted Serum in June + Renell, buffing the lighter shade into the center of the face and the darker shade to the outer perimeter. "I rarely use one shade as I want to create as much dimension as possible," he says. So, to brighten the under-eyes and her T-zone, he used the brand's BFF Serum Eye Concealer in shade Salwa, and where a little more coverage was needed, he applied a bit of the Trinny London's Just A Touch [concealer] in Anjoli.

So much of DuVernay's Oscars makeup look is centered on the eye area, so Burrell began to emphasize the area by grooming her brows with Trinny London's Lash2Brow in Chocolate. "I love that this product not only grooms the brows, but it adds fullness, too," he explains of his product pick. Moving on to her eyeshadow, Burrell says he used a wash of Trinny London's Eye2Eye in Truth as a base, and deepened the socket using the shade Emperor.

For her standout liner, he used Halsey's About-Face Matte Fluid Eye Paint in Lost Unfound with Illamasqua's Colouring Eye Pencil in Navy. "I finished the eye with a few coats of the Lash end of Trinny London Lash2Brow in Black," he adds.

VIDEO: Natalie Portman, Ava DuVernay, and Rashida Jones at the MAKERS Conference

"I added more warmth to the perimeter of the face using Trinny London Just A Touch in Serrano, applying it where the sun would naturally hit — for more definition, I used [the brand's] Golden Glow [bronzer] in Soala as it adds the most beautiful glow as well as sculpting," he says. "To add a little color, I used Trinny London Lip2Cheek in Freddie, and for that extra highlight, I pressed a little bit of its The Right Light Illuminator in Firelight to the highest points of the cheekbones."

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles