Lupita signs with Lancôme, and it’s a big deal

lupita nyongo for lancome

Lupita Nyong’o is gorgeous, talented, graceful, intelligent, stylish, and newly in possession of a shiny Academy Award. So it was only a matter of time before a beauty company signed her (and I’m willing to wager that she had quite a few of them knocking at her door). Her new role as a Lancôme “brand ambassador” isn’t surprising, really — I think it’s quite an organic fit — but it says something exciting about how we define beauty now.

Lupita is physically stunning, but I don’t think that’s why so many people like her.

First, I think a large part of why so many people like Lupita is that she comes across as carefree, enthusiastic, and delighted. She seems so genuinely thrilled to be living her dream, and you can’t help but feel happy for her. I mean, maybe you can if you have a heart of stone, but c’mon — it is wonderful to see such a bright, graceful, hard-working woman succeed. So yes, Lupita is physically stunning, but I don’t think that’s why so many people are drawn to her. It’s her joie de vivre that makes her attractive, and I think people respond to her inner beauty. She sparkles.

Yes, it helps that she is so gorgeous, too. (Lupita won the Oscar; I’m a shoo-in for the Understatement Of The Year award.) But for a dark-skinned woman to have companies fighting to sign a huge contract with her — well, it’s a big deal, because it reflects the diversity of the world we live in, and it. Yet simultaneously, it just seems like common sense. While it’s noteworthy that she’s breaking ground as the first black actress to sign with Lancôme, it’s also the sort of move that makes people say, “Duh, of course she has a contract.” Lupita is beautiful, she’s talented, and she’s one of the most in-demand actresses in the world — so why wouldn’t she be a global beauty icon?

Photo: Alexi Lubomirski for Lancôme

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  • Ona_in_Barcelona

    Bravo, Lupita – but boo, Lancome, for the outrageous Photoshopping! My god. They took a gorgeous woman and made her look like an anime character. I’ll never understand it

    • Annie

      Too much, you think? I’ve seen waaaay more. At least we can see the texture on her lips and skin. (Silver lining?) My pet peeve is when all of the tiny blood vessels in the eyes are ‘shopped out. I mean, come on. Can’t SOME of them exist?

      • Ona_in_Barcelona

        I think so! There seems to be a new trend in Photoshopping where they keep some texture to the skin – it’s not just blurred out like it used to be – but it’s still totally unnatural, it’s the same texture all over (clone stamp tool?). Because I mean, we know what Lupita looks like. We know that she has BEAUTIFUL skin, that nevertheless is a little tauter across the apples of her cheeks, a bit different on her forehead, etc.

        I seriously don’t buy L’Oreal/Lancome products because of this. I don’t trust them. They never show real skin in their ads, ever – therefore I can’t believe their ads at all, therefore I don’t believe that their products will work at all or even that their products contain what they say they do. It’s all so blatantly false, I just can’t get behind it! L’Oreal, of course, is by no means the only offender, but they seem to be pretty consistently bad about it, I think.

        OBVI this is an unusually strong position. I admit I was influenced by coming across some 70s and 80s French Vogues in a secondhand bookstore a while ago – I was just so blown away by seeing actual skin in the cover of a magazine! Skin that was beautiful, but had pores and tiny hairs and micro wrinkles! Why is that so scary? /end rant, haha!

        • Annie

          Tiny hairs and micro wrinkles? Ha. I can’t imagine seeing that today. Maybe the tiny wrinkles, but hair? Nope.

          A photographer and I were talking about retouching the other day. We were saying that it’s nice to see some pores, that the plasticy-perfect look feels dated. But I’m wondering if most consumers agree. (Obviously, you do not!) Have we perhaps become so conditioned to seeing poreless skin that now, if ads showed pores, the skin would look “flawed”? No way to know.

          If you want to talk major ‘shop and Lancome, the ads with Julia Roberts seem the most retouched to me. Those are the ones that stood out to me, making me think, “But this doesn’t even look like a photograph.” Maybe that’s the point?

          Just curious. Do you think any brands/publications retouch in a way that strikes the right balance?