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Rituals, Raf Simons, and a Red Lip: Lupita Nyong’o Reveals Her Beauty Secrets

Calvin Klein

Lupita Nyong’o behind the scenes with Calvin Klein. Courtesy of Calvin Klein.

Whether she’s on the set of her most recent film or fronting the campaign for Calvin Klein‘s latest fragrance campaign, Lupita Nyong’o always looks flawless. Here the natural beauty shares her tips and tricks for ensuring a red carpet-worthy look, even if she’s been jetting around the world.

Do you have any beauty rituals? 

Sleep, hydrate, exercise, moisturize.

Do you have any traditional beauty rituals you picked up from growing up in Kenya or Mexico? 

I’ve tried so many great local products and treatments. I love to pick up new ones as I travel but I do find myself coming back to basics. I never leave home without calendula. It protects my skin generally and is also the perfect healing ointment to apply on cuts and bruises. I can be clumsy so this is a vital thing to have in my bag, no matter where I am. Also, laughter and sleep cannot be beaten in terms of looking and feeling beautiful. That’s universal!

What are your five must-have beauty products?

Sunscreen, Lucas’ Paw Paw Ointment, a classic deep red nail polish, Lancôme Nutrix Royal body cream, and Lancôme Grandious mascara. The bent brush makes it easy to apply and the formula makes your lashes look full, lush, and velvety.

How do you choose your beauty look for the red carpet? 

I love collaborating with my friends, makeup artist Nick Barose and hair stylist Vernon François. We have a shorthand with each other and together we push the envelope and often surprise ourselves with the outcome.

What are your beauty traveling tips? 

Keep it simple! Sunscreen, a swipe of mascara, and a good sheer lip is best when you’re on the go. And a pair of Cocorose foldable shoes are wondrously chic and convenient when flying!

Do you have an everyday, go-to makeup look?

Truthfully, if I am not working or attending an event I like to keep it very simple and let my skin breathe. I love lip gloss, a bit of mascara, thin eyeliner, and a rich face cream. If I am going out with friends, I love a classic red lip and a red nail.

What was it that attracted you to work with Calvin Klein on its latest fragrance project? 

It’s a huge honor to be part of Raf’s vision for the first fragrance that he has designed for Calvin Klein. I have worn Calvin Klein clothing for many years and appreciate the brand’s elegance coupled with its innovation and modernity.

Calvin Klein

Lupita on set with Saoirse Ronan for Calvin Klein. Courtesy of Calvin Klein

What does the new Calvin Klein Woman fragrance smell like? What does it remind you of?  

It smells like an incredible mix of eucalyptus, orange, and cedarwood. It’s very vibrant and fresh and reminds me of playing outdoors as a child.

How was it working with Saoirse Ronan on the campaign? 

It was wonderful with Saoirse and photographer Anne Collier. Anne created a powerful narrative of confidence and self-expression, celebrating the profound inspiration women draw from one another. Working with Anne and Saorise was focused, lighthearted, and fun. I drew inspiration from them both; it felt like the message of the campaign brought to life.  I have admired Saorise’s work from a distance, so having this time to get to know her was a treat.

How do you switch off and relax?

I meditate. I use a diffuser with essential oils like lavender and frankincense before bed. I try to make time for regular massages.

Can you tell us about your upcoming projects?

I just wrapped production for Jordan Peele’s next film called Us, which will be released in March. There is also an Australian film called Little Monsters to look forward to. I also have my first children’s book Sulwe releasing in 2019 about a dark-skinned girl who goes on a whimsical adventure and awakens with a reimagined sense of beauty. Plus lots of other incredible acting projects including a female-led cast in the spy thriller 355!

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