On the evening of Sept. 12, the music industry’s most beloved artists and A-listers arrived at the 2023 MTV Video Music Awards’ pink carpet in celebration of their immense artistry throughout the last year. Taylor Swift, of course, was serving all things rocker-chic with some tousled texture in her hair, while Nicki Minaj, Megan Thee Stallion, and Sabrina Carpenter went for “more is more” manicures.
A nominated artist with five total nods, winner of the Best Editing award for “vampire,” and performer at this year’s star-studded event, Olivia Rodrigo truly shined in every way imaginable. For one, her glittering silver gown was sleek and form-fitting, and met with a chic black manicure and her signature “guts” rings (as pictured on her GUTS album cover).
As for her hair, she stayed true to her roots, wearing her deep brunette strands straight and glossy down her back (with a middle part, of course). What’s more, her makeup for the evening’s affair was soft, simple, and seductive, with a subtle reference to the still-rising sirencore trend.
“For the red carpet, I loved Olivia’s dress and how it looked like it was dripping in diamonds,” Nina Park, the celeb-loved makeup artist behind her glam, tells Bustle. “We decided to keep it fresh and clean and let the dress be the statement.”
Below, Park shares the exact NARS products used to achieve the steamy, softly sensual look, and dives into the vampy red lip she created for Rodrigo’s performance.
Olivia Rodrigo’s “Steamy Skin” On The VMAs Pink Carpet
“I wanted to highlight Olivia’s skin, so we used the Light Reflecting Foundation to layer coverage, but give a skin-like finish,” Park explains. For a steamy, just-stepped-out-of-the-sea dew on her complexion, Park then added The Multiple Cream in the pearlescent shade Copacabana on the high points of Rodrigo’s face.
Keeping things simple and subtly flushed, Park shares that she then went in with the Afterglow Liquid Blush in Orgasm on the cheeks for a soft pop of color.
Rodrigo’s Soft Siren Eyes & Dewy Lip
In line with Rodrigo’s more effortless complexion, her eyes and lips, too, were understated yet striking all the same. “I used the Laguna Eyeshadow Quad to naturally sculpt and build around her eye,” Park recalls. Adding a bit of sultriness that enhanced the look of almond-shaped sirencore eyes, Park then used the Climax Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner to shape and extend out a wing.
For a softly glossed pout that stayed neutral and low-key, Park layered the Powermatte Lip Pencil in the chestnut-hued Walkyrie with the Afterglow Sensual Shine Hydrating Lipstick in the sheer shade Breathless.
Rodrigo’s Vampy VMAs Performance Glam
Amping things up a bit for Rodrigo’s VMAs performance, Park noted: “I needed to find a true bright red lipstick that perfectly matched her red Sandy Liang outfit. I also needed the texture to be smooth and hydrating, but packed with pigment.”
In order to create a true bright red lip that would last, Park decided to layer products. “When building a lip, I love to use sheer layers that’ll enhance the color and longevity of the lips’ wear,” she explains. The pro prefers to start with a pencil — she used the Powermatte Lip Pencil in Cruella for this particular occasion — before blotting and adding a coat of long-lasting liquid lipstick by way of the Powermatte Lip Pigment in the vibrant shade Don’t Stop.
As a final step, Park finished with a touch of Afterglow Lip Shine Gloss to give Rodrigo’s lips a “beautiful soft glow.”