While Kenyan actress and Academy Award winner Lupita Nyong’o is best-known for her on-screen prowess, her glowing skin and fashion forward beauty looks on the red carpet haven’t gone unnoticed. Celebrating seven years as an ambassador for Lancôme, Nyong’o exclusively shares her personal beauty rituals and makeup tips with Vogue Arabia.
On her skincare routine:
I try – I need – to keep it simple. Otherwise, I won’t do it. Mostly, I listen to my skin. In the morning I’ll check and see: Does my skin feel overly dry? Is it irritated? And then I will adjust my routine based on that. I sometimes do a facial massage just to get the blood going. Then I do a soapless wash or a cleansing wash depending on how my skin feels. The cleanser I like is Lancôme’s Miel-en-Mousse foaming cleanser. I like it because it has this warming effect. I have no idea how it happens, but it kind of warms as it lathers and as you rub it into your skin. Then I will use a Génifique mask or serum, depending on how thirsty my skin is. I’ll finish it off with calendula ointment…it’s something that is therapeutic for my skin, and a moisturizer like Lancôme’s Absolue Precious Cells or Rénergie Day, if I want an added layer of moisture.
On her makeup style:
I wear makeup as seldom as possible, but my foundation of choice is definitely Teint Idole Ultra Wear. It matches my complexion so exactly and I am so grateful to Lancôme for that innovation. I use the Dual Finish powder foundation in 550 Suede to help reduce any shininess over my foundation.
I love a dramatic eye. For mascara, I use both the Monsieur Big or the Hypnôse mascara, depending on how bold I want my eye that day. Finally, for lip color, I also have my favorites. For a natural, everyday look, I use L’Absolu Rouge Cream in Henné. If I want something stronger or for a more special occasion, I go for L’Absolu Rouge Intimatte Beloved Berry or Burning Lips.
On finding her perfect match:
It cannot be taken lightly that now I have a foundation that works for my complexion. No longer having to mix a number of bottles together in order to find something that is a little closer to my complexion has been such a relief.
On treating herself:
I do love full body treatments—massages and baths, like a Moroccan hammam bath. I like soaking in bathing salts as well. For massage, I love a head and face massage to help with circulation. And I do enjoy an at-home moisturizing face mask. I really like the Génifique Hydrogel Melting Face Mask; it’s very, very good. I use it on planes a lot because that’s where you get really dry. It really helps to replenish moisture.
On good intentions:
My friend Liesl Tommy told me this wisdom from her grandmother: “Begin as you intend to proceed.” and that has really resonated with me over the last year in terms of checking in with myself at the beginning of the day, or when considering a new project or a new relationship of any kind, professional or personal. It’s a reminder to set an intention and consider what attitude I would like to have at the end of whatever activity it is, and ensure that I start with that attitude.
On role models:
I don’t have beauty role models per se. But I love being considered a beauty icon. I feel very fortunate to be in this position. It brings me joy. That said, I’ve had people come up to me and refer to me as a model. I find it very ticklish because I don’t think of myself as a model, but it’s clear that my presence as a Lancôme ambassador is being felt; it’s visible and resonating. So that’s a compliment, however foreign it feels to my ear.