Look of the Week: Saoirse Ronan's Barely There Olive Eye Shadow and Textured Updo

01/08/2016 at 06:36 PM ET

We’re constantly updating our Last Night’s Look gallery with all the best red-carpet moments (gorgeous dresses! dazzling accessories! sky-high heels!). Now, let’s talk beauty. Each week, we’ll be highlighting one of the most gorgeous makeup and/or hair moments, along with details on how to recreate the look — straight from the makeup artist or hairstylist — in our feature, Look of the Week.

It’s officially 2016! To ring in a new year of glamorous beauty breakdowns, we’re bringing you all the details on Saoirse Ronan’s effortless hair and makeup moment — including her chic olive eye shadow and textured chignon — from the Palm Springs International Film Festival Awards gala. Below, the actress’s glam squad (makeup artist Mai Quynh and hairstylist Mark Townsend) spill all.

Saoirse Ronan makeup how toJen Lowery/Splash


For the Palm Springs event, the Brooklyn star donned a sheer multi-color midi dress, which inspired her beauty team to step outside of their comfort zones, especially in the makeup department, says Quynh.

“I wanted to highlight the least prominent color, so I chose the matte olive, khaki green for her eye,” Quynh tells PeopleStyle. “Saoirse has such striking eyes naturally, so I wanted to accentuate her features by adding lighter, subdued colors — nothing that would weigh her eyes down and look too dramatic.”

To get the look, Quynh applied Burberry Eye Colour Silk in Khaki Green to Ronan’s lid — from the lash line to the crease — and then she blended a shimmery nude shade (NARS Single Eyeshadow in Night Star) to the crease to add depth.

If you think you can’t pull off olive on your eyelids quite like Ronan does here, Quynh says it’s not your issue; it’s the shadow, which tends to look best on lighter complexions.

“It looks great on fair to medium skin tones, especially ones with a yellow undertone, as it will show up better on those skin tones, but it can work with any eye color,” she says. Quynh also adds you shouldn’t be afraid of having some fun with the green hue, by adding texture to the mix, such as a matte or shimmer shadow.

After Quynh applied the eye shadow with a soft blending brush, she swiped on two coats of Dior DiorShow Mascara in Black to the star’s top lashes only, and then gave Ronan a natural-looking flush by dusting on Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Powder Blush in Exposed to the apples of her cheeks.

Lastly, Quynh completed the look with a swipe of a creamy matte pink lipstick (Burberry Lip Velvet Lipstick in Nude Rose) for a subtle pop on the lips.

RELATED VIDEO: How It’s Done: Winged Liner

Saoirse Ronan hair how toDavid Livingston/Getty

As for Ronan’s “chic and effortless” updo, Townsend, the actress’s mane man, says that the inspiration for the textured chignon came an unlikely place: American abstract art.

“I’ve been so inspired by the paintings of Jackson Pollock lately, they look chaotic, but there’s actually an amazing amount of control and restraint as well [in the paintings],” he tells PeopleStyle. “And I’ve noticed the updos I’ve done lately have that same feel. The dress Saoirse was wearing had a lot of gorgeous details around the neckline, so we didn’t want the hair to cover them up so a messy chignon was the right way to go.”

To create the chignon, Townsend began by applying a few drops of Dove Regenerative Nourishment Serum In Oil to Ronan’s damp hair “to seal her cuticle ensuring the hair would be soft and shiny,” and then sprayed in Sally Hershberger 24k Root Envy Ultimate Boost Spray and then rough-dried, while also scrunching the hair in his hair.

Once dry, Townsend wrapped 2- to 3-in. sections of hair around a one-inch Harry Josh Pro Tools curling iron and held each piece in the iron for three to five seconds. To give the look some added texture, the hair pro sprayed Dove Dry Shampoo and then braided and wrapped the hair up, securing with chic gold bobby pins.

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So, if you’re ready to test-drive the look at home this weekend, Townsend says the key to nailing the textured style is all in the prep work.

“Get a lot of texture in the hair before it [pulling] back,” he tells PeopleStyle. “The easiest way is to create a messy yet controlled bun or chignon is to pull the hair back and loosely braid it before wrapping it into a bun.” Then pin it back, and you’re good to go!

What do you think of Saoirse’s final look? Do you think you’ll try olive eye shadow now? Share below!

–Sarah Kinonen

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Showing 3 comments

Heather on

My 5 year old could TOTALLY do this up do! Beautiful girl!

Francine on

She looks like she could be Alan Cumming’s sister.

Jodee on

“Brooklyn” is my new favorite movie.

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