Natalie Portman’s Ruby-Red Lip Moment Feels So Quintessential Movie Star

Her best look yet?

Stephane Cardinale/Corbis/Getty Images
Natalie Portman light shimmer makeup

On two points, the world is in universal agreement: Natalie Portman is one of the most talented actors of all time, and she’s one of the most beautiful, too. She’s been an on-screen mainstay for nearly three full decades — that’s practically an incalculable number of red carpets and promotional appearances — but she keeps setting her personal bar higher and higher. How do her archival gowns keep getting prettier? How does her hair and makeup continue to feel so fresh? The answer might be in Portman’s red lipstick and matching ruby-colored nail polish from her latest event.

When Portman arrived on Jan. 9 at the 14th annual Governors Awards, a celebration of film excellence hosted by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in Hollywood, she pulled out all the stops for a glamorous, overtly sultry look that feels both classic and little daring on the famously elegant star. She hit her usual Old Hollywood marks with long, curled-under spirals through her hair, but it’s the bright lipstick and matching nails that really popped against her sleek black gown. Pops of color are usually a go-to when one’s wearing neutrals otherwise, but Portman’s technique feels like the beauty version of the TikTok-viral “sandwich method.”

Frazer Harrison/Getty Images
Unique Nicole/FilmMagic/Getty Images

Ostensibly, the styling trick, popularized by creator Lydia Tomlinson, suggests matching the colors, tones, or fabrics of pieces toward the top of the body and the bottom, leaving more room to play in the middle. Portman’s beauty version employs the same foundational structure. Her dark red lips and nails are the “bread” — so to speak — and her sumptuous Schiaparelli gown is the filling.

Celebrity makeup artist Lisa Storey created Portman’s velvety red lip for the evening, all the more impressive considering she worked on the star’s dainty, watercolor blush-centric look just days before at the 2024 Golden Globes. Meanwhile, celebrity hairstylist Bridget Brager worked on Portman’s lush, retro-inspired curls.

The entire event look is gorgeous, but the formula is relatively easy to follow. The next time you need to really stand out, consider trying the cosmetic take on the sandwich method yourself — you’d be surprised at how much easier it makes picking out lip colors.