How to Get Ava DuVernay’s Signature Smoky Eye

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Ava DuVernay

The director of “A Wrinkle in Time” kept it classic for the Oscars on Sunday.

Ava DuVernay, director of A Wrinkle in Time, as well as Selma and Middle of Nowhere, knows what she likes, and she sticks with it. “She is a creature of habit,” says makeup artist Uzo. “She loves a smoky eye no matter what she’s wearing.”

The NARS global artistry director knows that the Time’s Up activist and director, producer and writer is into structured silhouettes, so she prefers to balance that fashion choice with a strong, yet soft eye and nude lip. For the Oscars Vanity Fair party on Sunday, DuVernay donned a deep blue Armani Prive gown with sequin detailing on sheer sleeves, and her statement-making eye coordinated beautifully.

Because the dress was so embellished, Uzo opted for a matte texture, first using NARS Velvet Shadow Stick in Glenan, a deep blue, and on top of it a layer of the matte black shadow in Pandora Eyeshadow Duo. The liner was also black, Larger Than Life Longer Eyeliner in Via Veneto, and created an illusion of not knowing whether the makeup is black or blue. “It’s more of a dark eye with a blue accent undertone — it’s not obvious, it’s more subtle,” Uzo says.

“What pulled everything together was the beautiful skin, which really highlighted the eyes and lip,” she adds. The key to ensuring a woman can go from the red carpet through to the afterparties, Uzo says, is maintaining an even complexion. Her trick of the trade is NARS’ new Natural Radiant Longwear Foundation, along with All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation (in Tahoe), an oil-free formula she uses on the T-zone. “It ensures her makeup stays on all night long with minimal touchups.” 

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