04/09/2014 11:51 EDT | Updated 04/09/2014 11:59 EDT

Lupita Nyong'o Rocks New Curly Bouffant Hairstyle

After taking some time away from the spotlight since her Oscar win in March, Lupita Nyong'o is back and better than ever (as if that's possible, right?)

The "12 Years A Slave" star showed off a chic new hairstyle when she attended the Marie Claire Celebrates May Cover Stars party on Tuesday in L.A.

With the sides of her head shaved, and a curly bouffant sitting high and pretty, the face of Lancome channeled her inner Janelle Monae with the stylish cut.

The 31-year-old, who looked flirty in a Giambattista Valli dress, was honoured at the event as one of the fashion magazine's three cover girls for their May 2014 issue (actresses Elle Fanning and Kate Mara also cover the special edition).

On the cover (one of two Lupita covers), the 31-year-old sports a pink strapless Christopher Kane dress with a full satin skirt and python bustier.

Although she's quickly becoming a style star, the Kenya-raised Yale grad tells the mag that before her star-making role in the Steve McQueen film, she never paid attention to fashion.

"I wasn't a follower of fashion," Lupita said. "It was a world unknown. Then I met my stylist, Micaela Erlanger [who also styles "Downton Abbey" star Michelle Dockery], and we came to interpret my style: clean lines, strong colour. I don't dress to impress; I don't feel that pressure."

No wonder why she has such excellent taste in clothes!

Lupita wins at fashion:

Photo gallery Lupita Nyong'o Style See Gallery