Lupita Nyong’o Becomes Lancôme’s First Black Spokesperson

By Jamilah King Apr 04, 2014

Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o announced on Thursday that she’s become the new face of Lancôme cosmetics. She’ll join the beauty company’s other ambassadors, Kate Winslet and Julia Roberts. Advertisements featuring the breakout star of "12 Years a Slave" will begin airing in September. 

The announcement comes weeks after Nyong’o’s fans began a Twitter campaign for the actress to become the face of MAC cosmetics.  The company is noted for selling products that often compliment darker skin tones, but critics noted that the company has more spokespeople who look like Lorde than Rihanna and RuPaul. 

Nyong’o’s announcement is a big deal not only because of her star power, but because of the tremendous buying power of black women, who spend an estimated $7.5 billion on beauty products each year, according to Essence. Black women spend twice as much on skin care products as other demographics, and 80 percent more on cosmetics, which makes them huge money-makers for beauty giants like MAC and Lancôme. 

In a statement that was released by the French makeup manufacturer, Nyong’o described her excitment. "I am truly honored to join the Maison Lancôme, a brand with such a prestigious history that I have always loved. 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," Nyong’o said in a statement released by the French beauty house.

Here’s the announcement that appeared on Nyong’o’s Instagram page: