On June 11, Broadway’s biggest actors, playwrights, and composers all gathered at the United Palace Theater to celebrate the 2023 Tony Awards, which honors achievements in live theater. The red carpet was full of as much drama as you would expect with sculptural gowns galore, but Lupita Nyong’o may have scored best dressed with a silver breastplate and henna head tattoos.
“Honored, humbled, strengthened and energized to don this breastplate created by Misha Japanwala, which she cast and molded of my body,” Nyong’o wrote in an Instagram post. “Misha, thank you for this special opportunity to be exactly here, in this body now.” Nyong’o’s stylist Micaela Erlanger paired the silver breastplate with a black velvet suit, a black clutch, silver rings, and diamond stud earrings.
Nyong’o off started spring off by shaving her head, and has since had New York-based Henna artist Sabeen decorate it with intricate tattoos. For the Tonys, Sabeen created a swirling design that looks like a cross between hair and an M.C. Escher painting.
Nyong’o’s makeup artist Nick Barose shared a breakdown of her look, and revealed that he was inspired by her henna to go bold with her makeup look. Barose emphasized skin prep to balance out the darker look he created for the actor. “When you prep [the skin] the right way, that inner glow is always coming out. I’m known for doing a lot of dramatic makeup, but people always say it looks natural, and that’s definitely my key—to be able to make a statement, but at the same time, it feels real because you can see the skin and it looks luscious.”
Barose says that Le Domaine’s The Fluid Cream ($168) is another makeup-friendly product since it hydrates the skin and provides a slip for smooth foundation application. “I like to massage it on her face and neck with my fingers in a circular motion and then go over with the CurrentBody Skin Cryo Roller ($35) for three to five minutes to wake up the muscles.”
Barose also revealed that choosing the right eye cream was critical for avoiding creasing both on the red carpet and throughout the event. He applied the Byroe New York Truffle Eye Serum ($114) under Nyong’o’s eyes and said, “Concealer doesn’t crease on it, and you don’t have to blot it off. If you pick the wrong eye cream, it can be greasy, and then you have to blot away excess, or the concealer will crease. With this, you only need a small amount, and it absorbs so quickly that you can pretty much apply concealer right on top.”
Although outdated makeup rules suggest choosing between a bold eye or a bold lip, Barose says that as long as there’s balance, there’s space for both in the same look. “People always say don’t do strong eyes and strong lips [together] because it can be too much, but it’s all about balance,” says Barose. “I wanted the makeup to feel powerful, and there’s a lot of room to play.” To prep for the drama, Barose blurred Nyong’o’s complexion with the Chanel Ultra Le Tient Foundation ($65) and the Chanel Le Correcteur de Chanel Concealer ($45).
Barose created a smoldering graphic eye with the Chanel Les 4 Ombres Tweed Eyeshadow Quad in 02 Tweed Pourpre ($88), first adding a hazy plum to Nyong’o’s lower lash line. He then created a navy graphic wing with the 19/99 Precision Colour Pencil in Notte ($26) and added dimension to the actor’s lashes with the Chanel Inimitable Mascara ($35).
He offset the dramatic eye with a flush of the Rare Beauty Soft Pinch Liquid Blush in Faith ($23) and then added dew to Nyong’o’s complexion with the Rare Beauty Positive Light Liquid Luminizer in Reflect ($25). Finally, Barose finished the look off with the bold plum-red Lisa Eldridge True Velvet Lip Colour in Velvet Myth ($36) that stood out against Nyong’o’s blushed cheeks and complemented her cool-toned eyes.
Finally, nail artist Sonya Belakhlef created a platinum chrome manicure on Nyong’o’s short natural nails. It was just enough glitz to create dramatic balance in her look while adding a metallic sheen to play off her show-stopping breastplate.