So Radiant! When it comes to redefining beauty, Lupita Nyong’o is definitely a name to call; and with her new Lancôme Paris deal that has been making headlines, she doesn’t seem to be slowing down on her journey to make women see their beauty and dreams as “valid”.
In a recent master interview with Lancôme, Lupita goes deep into her views on beauty.
She shares her thoughts on being the first black actress to represent the brand, her beauty icons, what her mother taught her about beauty and her beauty tips for black women.
Read excerpts below.
Lupita’s view of beauty in line with Lancôme’s and personally
I like that the brand celebrates beauty of all backgrounds. Its ambassadors are all individual women whose beauty goes way beyond skin-deep. That appeals to me-the idea that beauty ideals are not being dictated, but rather being celebrated, expanded, and uplifted.
Beauty is accepting, acknowledging, and awakening desire. And desire is the fuel for love and aliveness.
More than anything, I think beauty is a state of being. It’s a result of developing compassion for yourself and others. In doing that, you create beauty that is a gift to share.
Being the 1st black actress to represent the brand
I’m very honored to be a pioneer in that regard and to be part of a company that’s changing the conversation and setting trends. I feel I’m in a place of privilege – and an important place, considering how the media consciously and subconsciously affects how we feel about ourselves. I’m particularly honored to be an image that young girls of my skin color will see and help them feel more beautiful and validated.
As actresses, we are more than just faces; we connect more deeply with our audiences through our expression of the human spirit which is an added advantage for brands. Through my new role with Lancôme, I think, I’ve already made many women aware that there are more products on the market that are for them than they realized.
Lupita’s beauty products faves, routine and beauty faux pas
My relationship with makeup is similar to my relationship with food – I like to experiment, and it depends on what I’m in the mood for. So I just listen to my mood and go from there. Generally, for every day, I opt for light pink and plum glosses. In terms of lipstick, I like burgundies and earthy tones. I also like to play with bright colors, like red, especially for the red carpet.
My beauty routine is very low-maintenance. On a regular day, I wear lip gloss or balm because it’s easy to throw on. I’ll define my eyebrows, and depending on how much time I have, I’ll put on eyeliner and mascara.
I used to wear really dark – straight-up black, lip liner and I thought it was cute. Maybe it will come back, who knows! I also used to wear berets. That was sad. My mother would say, “You know nobody wears berets?“
Caring for her skin
I wash my face religiously morning and evening, which goes a long way. If my skin is feeling greasy, I’ll use a foamy cleanser. If it’s drier, I’ll go with a creamier formula. After cleansing, I tone and hydrate with Génifique. I also tend to use natural oils because I like the way they feel on my skin.
Lessons her mother taught her on beauty
She said to me early on that your outer shell will not sustain you as a person. You have to dig deeper in order for that outer shell to do its job. She also taught me that how I treat my body internally will eventually show up on my face.
Tips for black women
Protect your skin from he sun. I stubbornly believed that the sun couldn’t harm me-until I was burned! For black women, because our skin is dark, it’s harder to detect a problem if one occurs. That’s why it’s so important to protect our skin. We’re not able to see the signs soon enough.
Lupita’s Beauty Icon
Alek Wek is a major one. Seeing her in magazines at a young age, I recognized myself in a way that I never could before. She’s from South Sudan, and she has so many physical features that are like mine that it floored me when she came on the scene. I had never seen anyone who looked like us lauded as beautiful by the international media.
And she was so unapologetic and sure of herself in a way that I dreamed of being. Elizabeth Taylor is another icon. I loved how her power and her femininity were not at odds with each other. She was curvaceous and regal and also confident, which are such beautiful qualities.
On her definition on happiness and what makes life beautiful to her
Laughter. I like a good laugh.
To me, happiness is being overwhelmed with pleasure and momentarily forgetting your pain. Joy is choosing to be happy in spite of pain.
Photo Credit: Alexi Lubomirski