Lupita Nyong’o Was Banned from Wearing Makeup as a Teen, Discusses Beauty in Lucky Magazine

Lupita Nyong'o poses for the March 2014 issue of Lucky magazine
Lupita Nyong'o covers the March 2015 issue of Lucky magazine; find out why the actress was banned from wearing makeup.  Patrick Demarchelier

A life without makeup? Can you even imagine!  

Lupita Nyong'o is known for slaying the red carpet with glowing skin, a vibrant lip, and colorful smoky eyes, but at one point in the Lancome spokesmodel's life, wearing makeup was a no-go. The Oscar-winning actress, 31, dishes on the strict beauty ban in the Nyong'o household in Lucky magazine's March 2015 issue. 


“My mother has never ever worn a drop of makeup in her life — not even at her wedding,” Nyong'o said. The only access the Star Wars actress had to makeup came courtesy of an aunt, who occasionally snuck in the beauty goods while her mother was out. “Honestly, my mother’s outlook was hard for me to take when I was a teenager and wanted to experiment. But in the end I appreciated it, because today I can look in a mirror with no makeup on and love myself.”


As badly as she wanted to wear makeup as teen, Nyong'o now sees it as nothing more than an added extra. “My mother didn’t think makeup was necessary, and I don’t think it's necessary.” she said. “It’s an accessory. It’s as necessary as a pair of earrings, if you know what I mean. It’s something I do to adorn myself. I don’t do it to hide myself.” 

Lupita Nyong'o - Lucky magazine cover
Patrick Demarchelier


As proof, Nyong'o posted a bare-faced split image of her mom in 1983, with herself in 2015 without makeup via Instagram on Monday, Feb. 9 — and the duo are practically identical with bright smiles and big brown eyes. "Like mother (1983), like daughter (2015). #behindthescenes @luckymagazine @lancomeusa #OhToBeHalfTheWomanMyMumIs #bts," Nyong'o wrote in the caption.  

Like mother (1983), like daughter (2015). #behindthescenes @luckymagazine @lancomeusa #OhToBeHalfTheWomanMyMumIs! #bts

A photo posted by Lupita Nyong'o (@lupitanyongo) on Feb 9, 2015 at 10:19am PST


With the days of having no choice but to go au naturel far behind her, Nyong'o simply glows on the cover, wearing a glossy nude lip and a colorful two-piece ensemble by Balmain — and a longer version of her signature short hairstyle. Another image features the beauty strolling near a pool wearing a lemon-hued frock and bright blue accessories. 


Nyong'o even dished on her favorite beauty product. “I always have a [LANCOME] Lip Lover, in one shade or another, in my purse," she said. "They just add a little bit of szoozh. I’ll choose the color depending on what I’m wearing and how much tint I want.” 

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