To say that 2014 was a big year for Lupita Nyong’o might be the understatement of the century. It was monumental—titanic even. She was nominated for just about every statue on the awards show circuit for her role in 12 Years a Slave and took home the grand prize: Oscar. Nyong’o also landed a coveted contract with Lancôme, providing the world with a fresh face and perspective on beauty—a quality she often struggled to find within herself as a young girl. She noted in an acceptance speech at the Black Women in Hollywood Luncheon: “My mother would say to me, ‘You can’t eat beauty. It doesn’t feed you.’ And these words plagued and bothered me. I didn’t really understand them, until finally I realized that beauty was not a thing that I could acquire or consume, it was something that I just had to be.” Nyong’o undoubtedly has an exquisite way of being, one that sets the world abuzz with the sheer revelation of her lip balm. (The tube she handed over to Ellen DeGeneres at the Academy Awards sold out overnight.) Here, the hair, skin, and makeup essentials she swears by.
“I use Lancôme Génifique serum, which is a great hydrator, and you can use it before bed. You can also use it before makeup and on makeup, which is nice…I also apply it after a long flight when my skin is dry. I try to keep my regimen simple so that I remember it. With all the travel, I don’t want too many bottles of God knows what, then I don’t get through customs!”