12 Years a Slave’s Lupita Nyong’o stepped on the Oscars red carpet, and instantaneously, three descriptive fashion and beauty phrases went completely viral: “Nairobi blue,” “custom Prada,” “that headband.” If the Academy had decided on a “Best Beauty” award, the first-time Oscar winner (who was decked out in that now-famous diamond-encrusted Fred Leighton hair accessory) would have been a top contender. To understand what went into creating this flawless hair moment, we caught up with Larry Sims, the brains behind Lupita’s Oscars beauty look, and rounded up 7 behind-the-scenes secrets you need to know right now!
1. The final look wasn’t decided until Oscar night!
Larry Sims revealed that even though they started working on the hairstyle weeks ago, the look we saw on the Oscars red carpet wasn’t figured out until hours before the show. “We didn’t know that Lupita would be wearing a headband until the very last minute, so that obviously changed what I was envisioning for her hair,” reveals Larry.
2. She’s a Queen Bey fan!
“Before the big show, Larry says that Lupita and her team “jammed out” to Beyonce’s “Grown Woman.”
3. Only 3 products were used to create her look.
Larry Sims, hairstylist extraordinaire, used the Smooth ‘N Shine Go Pro Curls Gelle Parfait, Smooth ‘N Shine Go Pro Gro Crème Oil, and got2b rise ‘n shine luminous lift hairspray to perfect the look.
4. How long did it take to create the ‘do?
Larry says it took about 60 mins!
5. Yes, her team thinks she’s down-to-earth, too!
You’ve seen her acceptance speeches, and they’ve probably made you cry. As it turns out, you’re not the only one who is wowed by her wonderful personality. “She’s one of the most humble and down-to-earth people that I’ve ever worked with,” says Larry.
6. Lupita WANTS to take risks!
“My favorite thing about doing Lupita’s hair is that she’s always willing to take risks and she trusts her team. Most people think that just because you have short hair, you’re limited to what you can do with it. Lupita is always up for trying something new and different,” says Larry.
7. A well-thought-out beauty process went into putting on that headband—and making it stay!
When you’re at the Oscars, you just don’t slide on a headband and call it a day. Oh, no. There’s a beauty process behind that!
“Using the right product is always key in achieving your look. For Lupita tonight, I used a quarter-size amount of Smooth ‘N Shine Go Pro Curls Gelle Parfait on her damp hair, and then diffused it. After, I smoothed out her edges with Smooth ‘N Shine Go Pro Gro Crème Oil,” explains Larry.
“After her hairline was smoothed, we then pushed back the hair with the diamond Fred Leighton headband. I then shaped her hair around the crown of the headband. To hold everything in place, I used göt2b rise ‘n shine luminous lift to keep her locks in place throughout a night of star studded after parties.”
Did you like Lupita’s beauty look? What did you think of that headband? Did it surprise you? Tweet @OKMagazine and leave a comment below.