At just 24 years old, Amanda Gorman has truly made her name known in the world of poetry and beyond. Not only has her most recent work, Call Us What We Carry, landed an impressive spot on the New York Times Best Seller List, but her powerful poetry collection’s audiobook has also earned a nomination for Best Spoken Word Poetry Album at the 2023 Grammy Awards.
A nominee *and* presenter this year, Gorman tapped celebrity makeup artist Joanna Simkin (who also counts stars like Issa Rae, Gabrielle Union, and Nia Long as clients) to create her classically glamorous look for the monumental occasion. What’s more: Simkin gave Bustle exclusive details about the look.
As Estée Lauder’s Global Changemaker, the duo used the brand’s products and opted for a beauty moment that was inspired by Gorman’s Prada dress. “I kept calling her ‘Victorian Boudoir,’ and she kept saying ‘it’s very Wednesday Addams,’” the makeup artist tells Bustle.
For the perfect deep lip color, Simkin used the brand’s newly dropped Pure Color Lipstick in the dark, chocolate-red matte hue aptly named Change The World. “I also wanted her lips to pop, feeling warm and rich but not overly dark so we didn’t go full Wednesday,” says Simkin. “It’s the perfect chameleon color that somehow feels like a red, a neutral, a wine, and a brown all at once.”
The secret to getting lipstick to last all night for a special occasion like the Grammy Awards? Simkin says to start by exfoliating the lips. Firstly, apply a thick layer of balm such as Estée Lauder’s Pure Color Envy Color Replenish Lip Balm. “Then, use a washcloth in a circular motion to gently remove any flaking or peeling,” she continues. “Next, apply a layer of lipstick directly from the tube, and blot twice to remove all excess moisture so the color adheres and locks in. Then, go in again and apply another layer and blot again. Finally, do a third coat and don’t blot for full flawless coverage.”
Gorman’s eye makeup featured clean lines to complement her sleek bob haircut. “I knew LaRae [Burress] was going to be giving her a chic bob, so I wanted to play with the angles of her hair and give her a very sharp winged liner,” Simkin says. To recreate the look, use Estée Lauder’s Little Black Liner ($35; esteelauder.com) and Sumptuous Rebel Mascara ($30; esteelauder.com).
Of course, Gorman and her glam squad had fun before the show even started. “We always have so much fun glamming Amanda and [Grammys day] was no exception,” Simkin says. “[There was] lots of laughter and music, complete with her recreating the Wednesday Addams dance once she was fully dressed. She got fully into the spirit of the look.”