When it comes to Lupita Nyong'o’s beauty routine it’s usually her hair that gets all of the attention. From her angled TWA, to gravity-defying ponytails the Kenyan-born actress isn’t shy about embracing her natural texture. But what many may be surprised to learn is that she really loves makeup, a lot. “I really like to have fun with color and makeup,” the Lancôme ambassadress told ESSENCE. Clad in a bright orange crochet top, that perfectly complimented her burnt tangerine lipstick, Lupita talked with us about her role as the first ever Black ambassadress for the French beauty brand, how her makeup routine has changed and why she wants everyone (yes, even you!) to give blue winged liner a try.
A large part of creating a beauty industry that’s more representative of the world’s diverse population, is brands using spokespeople that actually reflects that. “It’s such a great feeling that my image and the things I’m able to do in the beauty world are so directly speaking to a user; that I can be an arrow is really empowering. It’s encouraging to me to be the person I wish I had for someone else, that public image,” she says.
With countless beauty product options, from BB creams to BHA exfoliants, it can be really tricky to navigate it all. “There are a lot of options! I didn’t know what they all were and I didn’t know how to use them, so during my time with Lancôme I’ve been able to understand all these options,” Lupita says. And she couldn’t be happier when she’s able to do the same for others.
“I love it when people say things like I never knew this product existed and that it could work for them. At the end of the day, it’s a playground of awesomeness!”
Over the last three years, Lupita confesses that she’s become a lot more experimental with makeup. “I’m a lot more playful with my own makeup. I understand certain aspects that I never really understood before. Such as, the difference blush can make or when you should go for metallic shadow instead of a matte one.”
Her most recent makeup discovery? Cobalt eyeliner.
“Lancôme has this blue eyeliner, called Dram Liqui that I like to wear on the water line and on the top. It’s longwear, so it’s a lot easier than using shadow. There’s no blending, all you have to do is draw the line,” she shares. While some may be a bit apprehensive to be so bold, Lupita reassures that a pop of color really does complement deeper skin tones. “You’d be surprised how well dark skin accepts color! I used to be fearful of them."
Along with embracing more color, Lupita's has also amped up her skin care routine. “I’ve found a regime that works for me; it’s low maintenance and yields great results,” says the star. “I’m a lot more religious now about my skin care. I wash my face at least twice a day and I use a natural oil, like argan or avocado, before a day or night cream. Lancôme’s Énergie de Vie line is great because my skin can get very dry and this whole line is extremely hydrating.”
When asked about her secret weapon against aging, she quickly replys that aging isn’t something to fight. “I feel my mothers have instilled in me that youth doesn’t reside in your skin, it’s in your spirit. So I focus on keeping myself curious and playful. And nurturing my childlike wonder because that’s what keeps you youthful. I try to focus on that, and being good to myself,” Lupita explained.
“If you take care of your body, it will take care of you. Time comes for all of us, so I’m not fighting with time.” A beauty routine we can certainly get behind! And as Lupita so gracefully demonstrates self-care, whether that be a run or a massage, is not just crucial for your mental health but for your skin as well.