What Makeup Does Oprah Wear

Oprah Winfrey at 2016 Tribeca Film Festival

Being an influential female figure in the public eye, it's no wonder that an abundance of women want to know how Oprah creates her makeup look. Find out some of the products that her makeup artists have used and get application tips for a phenomenal look. Get a glimpse of some of the standout products from the O Beauty awards to add to your collection as well.

Oprah's Makeup Products

Oprah's typical makeup look for everyday tends to be soft and natural with understated eyes and a nude lip. Then, for special occasions, she ups the ante with a smoky eye, prominent eyelashes, a contoured face, and a bold lip.

O Magazine Cover

These are the picks that Oprah's current makeup artist, Derrick Rutledge, used for a recent cover look for O magazine:

  • Screenshot of article on Oprah's October Cover Makeup at Oprah.com
    Article on Oprah's October Cover Makeup at Oprah.com
    Diorshow Pump'N'Volume Mascara - Available for about $30 from Dior.com, this mascara creates 100 percent more volume and won't leave clumps behind.
  • Maybelline New York The City Mini Palette in Chill Brunch Neutrals - This palette can be purchased for about $10 and features six gorgeous shades that will flatter and define without overpowering your eyes. It is warm and subtle; apply the metallic shade from lid to crease to get dimension like Oprah's.
  • Lancôme Le Metallique Metallic Lip Lacquer - Sold for around $22, this lip lacquer offers full coverage and a creamy texture. It adds intense color and shine. This was layered over a matte lipstick to add shine and interest to Oprah's look.

The Oprah Website

When Derrick Rutledge was interviewed on how he uses the contouring technique when applying makeup on Oprah for her site, she fell in love with the creamy, matte lipstick he used. In fact, she loved it so much, she decided to take it home! Get the look with Maybelline New York Color Sensational The Loaded Bolds. It's available in 20 shades, and this lip color is filled with creamy pigments that will give great color without leaving lips dry.

Everyday Lipcolor

Carola Gonzalez also works as a makeup artist for Oprah, as well as other celebrities such as Kerry Washington, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, and Uzo Aduba. She uses the following neutral shade (XLC08 NYX Xtreme Lip Cream Color) for all occasions, as the combo texture is ideal. It's not too dry, but not too glossy either, and promotes a soft, natural look.

Tips for Getting a Makeup Look Like Oprah's

Oprah took Derrick Rutledge on as her Head MUA back in 2009, when she saw the TIME cover he did with Michelle Obama. He has more than 25 years of experience in the makeup industry working with stars, such as Beyonce and Janet Jackson, and his talent lies in being able to accentuate deep skin tones.

Derrick Rutledge's Top Makeup Tips

  • Screenshot of Oprah in essence.com article
    Screenshot of Oprah in essence.com article
    Use three shades of foundation to contour. Grab one light, one medium, and one dark to emphasize different areas of the face. The lighter shade should be used on the chin and under the eyes to highlight these areas, and the two darker shades should be used in combination to complement the different pigmentation found in most dark skin tones. This will achieve a natural, flawless finish. (You can see an example of great contouring on her appearance in this April issue of Essence cover).
  • Make sure your eyebrows are well-structured. Rutledge suggests looking in magazines to choose your perfect brow shape, before buying a white pencil and drawing on that desired shape yourself. Then simply use your tweezers to take out the hair outside the white lines, resulting in a gorgeous arched brow.
  • It's all about the volume with lashes. Create thick, dark lashes by swiping on a few coats of volumizing mascara. This provides a nice contrast against glowy makeup for a bold, prominent look.
  • Add depth to your lips. Rutledge refuses to use just the one lipstick. He prefers to combine shades and give the lips are two-dimensional look. With Oprah, she loves a bold lip, especially of the red variety. When creating this look, Rutledge lines the outer lips first with a brown-red shade, then fills them with a blue-red lipstick. The last step is to apply an orange-red shade in the middle of the lip and blend together, finishing everything off with a slick of clear lip gloss.
  • Use nude lip pencil to brighten. Trace the brow bone and bridge of the nose with a light nude lip pencil to create a "lifted" look to the eyes, just like Oprah's youthful look for the Emmy Awards! Just as you might use a light eyeshadow shade under your brow bone to "lift" it when doing your eyes, applying the pencil like it's a highlighter instantly brightens the whole face.

Simple and Sophisticated

Need some step-by-step visuals? Beauty YouTuber Nadine Reid shows how to do a neutral, sophisticated Oprah-inspired makeup look the video below. You can opt for a bold or a more neutral lip as Oprah has been seen in both. (Don't be afraid to use lip liner, either, as Oprah has been seen wearing 90s-inspired lip liner in recent photos).

Oprah's Smoky Eye

Oprah has been known to use a subtle smoky eye look that looks sophisticated and helps define her eyes. In fact, you can see her wearing a gorgeous, yet subtle and soft, slightly smoky eye on the cover of Essence Magazine above. You can mimic the eye look with the tips from Oprah-inspired YouTube tutorials like Mis Neya's modern smoky eye or the smoky eye look below by Destiny Godley.

Current O Beauty Award Winners

The following beauty products were selected as winners by Oprah and her fashion and beauty editorial staff for O magazine. Here's a look at a selection of standouts in the beauty winning circle.

Oprah's Foundation Picks

For fair skin:

For medium skin:

  • Clinique BIY Blend It Yourself Pigment Drops in 155 - This concentrated formula can either be blended with your moisturizer to create a lightweight, natural everyday look, or mixed with extra drops for thicker coverage. This foundation costs around $33 at Walmart.com.

For dark skin:

  • Iman Luxury Concealing Foundation in Earth 4 - For only about $33 from Anabale.com, this lovely, creamy chocolate base is ideal for deep skin tones. Not only does it add radiance when used as a foundation, but it also doubles up as a concealer to hide those blemishes and dark circles.

Oprah's Concealer Picks

For fair skin:

  • Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hydrating Concealer in Fair - This concealer is a miracle-worker for only about $13 from drugstores. Not only does it hide discoloration and redness, which is often more noticeable on pale skin, but it also contains hyaluronic acid which instantly hydrates the skin.

Best for medium skin:

  • Lancôme Teint Idole Ultra Camouflage in 435 Bisque (W) - This little beauty provides all-day coverage with its highly pigmented, oil-free formula. When it comes to your skin, it'll make even your worst sins disappear - and it's only around $31.

Best for dark skin:

  • Nars Soft Matte Complete Concealer in Dark Coffee - This concealer from NarsCosmetics.com has been described as a real-life Instagram filter. For about $30, it has light-diffusing powders and neutralizes shine, creating a soft, smooth skin effect.

Oprah's Blusher Picks

Oprah Winfrey April 2017

Best for fair skin:

  • Revlon Insta-Blush in Rose Gold Kiss - This velvety stick is formulated with pink pigments that will give you a nice warm flush without going overboard. At around $13 from drugstores, it's ideal as it doesn't contain too much sheen which often washes out porcelain skin.

Best for medium skin:

  • Clé de Peau Beauté Cream Blush in 1 - Sometimes it's difficult to find a blush that suits medium skin without it looking too overdone. However, this product from CledePeauBeaute.com (about $60) comes in an amazing berry hue which can't help but complement an olive skin tone.

Best for dark skin:

  • Surratt Artistique Blush in Classique - Available from Sephora.com at about $34, this incredible poppy-hued powder pops against dark skin. Apply to the top of your cheekbones for a look that will make you stand out for all the right reasons.

Oprah's Eyeshadow Picks

Best for fair skin:

  • Elizabeth Arden Eye Shadow Trio in Forever Plum - This eyeshadow trio from Elizabeth Arden contains silky, crease-resistant powders in beautiful metallic hues. At just under $22, you can be sure that this array of dazzling purple shades will dress up any outfit.

Best for medium skin:

  • Chanel Les 4 Ombres Quadra Eyeshadow in Codes Élégants - This luxury eyeshadow product from Chanel contains four shiny powders that look particularly striking on bronze skin tones. At just over $60 from Chanel.com, they will add a touch of glamor to even the most understated of outfits. Tres chic!

Best for dark skin:

  • Mary Kay Eye Color Palette in Simply Smoky - Not for the faint-hearted, these eyeshadows are bold and unapologetically dramatic. They look exceedingly beautiful with dark skin tones and cost about $24 from MaryKay.com.

Oprah's Lipcolor Picks

Best for fair skin:

  • Giorgio Armani Beauty Rouge D'Armani Sheer in 202 - At about $37 from Giorgio Armani, this nude lipstick comes in a rosy shade that softens and hydrates the lips. Whether you choose to wear it as an everyday staple, or to promote the natural look for a smart casual occasion, it's just as versatile as it is stunning.

Best for medium skin:

  • Lancôme Le Metallique in Molten Magenta - This gorgeous lip color might look and feel like a gloss, but the hybrid formula stops it from feeling too sticky and uncomfortable. At around $22, it'll take you from casual shopping to fine dining in an instant.

Best for dark skin:

  • L'Oréal Paris Infallible Paints Lipcolor in DIY Red - This seductive scarlet shade available at drugstores is an absolute steal at about $6. A must-have in any woman's beauty collection, not only is it super hydrating, but it feels extremely lightweight on the lips.

Past Makeup Picks for Oprah By Reggie Wells

Want to remember what makeup Orpah used to wear? Reggie Wells was Oprah's original famed makeup artist, circa 2005, and she relied on his expertise and talent to prepare her for on-screen and public appearances for over eleven seasons. A few of the favorite products the artist used previously on the star include:

  • Bare Escentuals Mineral Veil and Kabuki Brush - This popular mineral makeup is still available, in four shades, for about $23.
  • Bobbi Brown Creamy Concealer Kit - Still available in 14 different shades with corrective colors to match most skin tones and coverage issues, this concealer won't dry skin out and retails for about $40.
  • Covergirl Outlast Smooth Wear Lip Liner - While you can't find this on the Covergirl website any longer, you can find it a few other places online, such as Amazon, for under $6.
  • Maybelline Great Lash Mascara - This award-winning mascara hasn't gone out of style for the past 20 years. It offers great lash enhancing benefits and is affordable at just under $7.
  • Shu Uemura 14k gold Eyelash Curler - While this specific eyelash curler from Shu Uemura isn't available any longer, they have a great alternative: their Iconic Eyelash Curler, which features an updated mushroom shape and retails for just over $20.
  • MAC Cosmetics Select Moisturecover Concealer - Available in over a dozen shades, this concealer is still going strong. Get this hydrating, buildable-coverage product for about $21.
  • Lancôme Artliner Liquid Eyeliner - Only available in black, this long-lasting liner can be found online for just over $30.
  • Iman Beauty Lip Gloss - If you're looking for an Iman lip product similar to this, you may want to check out their Luxury Lip Shimmer. It comes in a dozen shades for about $10 each and can be worn or over lipstick for extra shine and color.

Have Fun With Makeup Like Oprah

If you love the way Oprah's color palette enhances her beauty without looking overdone, why not take a chance and experiment with some of these picks? The product list is packed with affordable and splurge-worthy products that are sure to make you feel beautiful inside and out! Keep in mind that many current photos of Oprah show her wearing with a simple, neutral look - flawless-looking skin, structured brows, and either a bold or nude lip color. If you focus on the right foundation and concealer for your skin tone, fantastic brows, and a great lip color, you can't go wrong.

Was this page useful?
Related & Popular
What Makeup Does Oprah Wear