Lupita Nyong'o unveiled as new ambassador Lancôme. (Alex Lubomirski/

Lupita Nyong’o unveiled as new ambassador Lancôme. (Alex Lubomirski/

On April 4, Academy Award Best Supporting Actress winner, Lupita Nyong’o, was revealed as the newest ambassador of Lancôme Cosmetics. Nyong’o joins the likes of Julia Roberts, Penélope Cruz, Lily Collins, Anne Hathaway, Drew Barrymore, Kate Winslet, and Emma Watson as celebrity ambassadors for the French makeup, skincare, and fragrance powerhouse. Her first campaign will be released in September.


The news did not come as a surprise to some of us because Nyong’o has been making quite a statement with her makeup ever since she came into the spotlight, so it was only a matter of time before some makeup giants snatch her up.


However, what surprises us is the fact that this is the first time Lancôme has used a black woman as an ambassador. This is a brand that has been around since 1935 with products that are sold and used by people all over the world.


The beauty industry rarely markets effectively toward black women even though black women spend “80 percent more money on cosmetics, and twice as much on skin care products than the general market,” according to Essence magazine’s 2009 Smart Beauty Research study. Most major cosmetics companies still offer limited shades of beauty products for black women.


Ultimately, will the use of black women like Nyong’o as beauty ambassadors force these companies to make variety of beauty products that black women can use? This will in no doubt market the products to us, but we also want them to expand their products and bear in mind that their consumers are not just women with fair skin.


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