Lupita Nyong’o hoping to reach ‘unseen’ as new Lancome ambassador

We’ll definitely be seeing more of Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o, but perhaps less on the big screen and more at the local beauty counter and in TV ads: The “12 Years a Slave” star has been named the latest Lancôme cosmetics “ambassadress.”

“I am truly honored to join the Maison Lancôme, a brand with such a prestigious history and that I have always loved,” the 31-year-old said in a statement. “I am particularly proud to represent its unique vision for women and the idea that beauty should not be dictated, but should instead be an expression of a woman’s freedom to be herself.”

The “Non-Stop” actress’ campaign will be released in September, though it is unclear which Lancôme product she’ll be representing, according to Women’s Wear Daily. However, the beauty brand did reveal her first photo from the campaign on Twitter.


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"@lupita_nyongo joins Lancôme! #lupitaforlancome #beautyicon © Alexi Lubomirski for Lancôme,” LancômeUSA tweeted, sharing the fresh-faced shot by photographer Alexi Lubomirski.

The campaign photos will be shot by photographers Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott.

The Yale School of Drama grad is preceded by other Oscar winners-turned-ambassadors: Julia Roberts, Kate Winslet and Penelope Cruz.

Nyong’o’s very own Oscars Cinderella story brought the Kenyan-Mexican actress into the mainstream. Her emotional supporting-actress acceptance speech further launched her to sweetheart status, and her bold fashion choices during award season turned her into an instant style icon. Perhaps the stalwart beauty brand is trying to tap into all that?

“Me + LANCÔME. #TGIF The secret’s out. And it feels GREAT. @LancomeUSA #Lancome,” Nyong’o wrote, sharing a short Instagram video making the announcement.

“What appealed to me about Lancôme is that they’re not dictating what beauty is,” she told WWD. “What they do supports something that already is -- and that was appealing to me, too. It’s what drew me to them. Hopefully it’s a symbiotic relationship -- that I benefit from being associated with them, and they benefit from being associated with me, as well. And for the consumer at large, I think Lancôme has a range of products for every woman, and I think having me will expand people’s understanding of, hopefully, what Lancôme stands for, who Lancôme is for.”

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The eloquent actress also spoke about beauty at length just before the Oscars and echoed what it means to have an actress represent a beauty product.

“For me, beauty is a compassion for yourself and those around you. And I think that in focusing on that, the light inside illuminates the beauty outside,” she said. “The idea that Lancôme now has a few actor ambassadors is significant, because actors are not just faces, they are spirits that people enjoy and relate to more than in an aesthetic way. We have the privilege of standing for something other than just looks.”

She added that her way was paved by Alek Wek, a South Sudanese British model who has modeled for Chanel, Dior and Victoria’s Secret among others, as well as appearing on the covers of American and British Vogue and Elle magazines.

“When she came on the scene, I felt more seen,” Nyong’o said. “Having me on a huge campaign like this will hopefully do that for other girls or people who feel unseen or underseen.”

.@lupita_nyongo joins Lancôme! #lupitaforlancome #beautyicon © Alexi Lubomirski for Lancôme — Lancôme USA (@LancomeUSA) April 4, 2014


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