Lupita Ngong’o’s beauty secrets for balancing big city life

Article by Fashion Quarterly


She made her mark on the world as Patsey in Steve McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave, winning an Academy Award for best supporting actress.

She gave an other-worldly performance in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and now, she has New York theatre-goers Eclipsed in her current role on Broadway.

Lupita Nyong’o isn’t one to watch, she’s the definition of a leading lady. The 33-year-old has been named one of the faces of Lancôme’s new skincare line, Énergie de Vie, and she undoubtedly has the persona to match. She tells us how she finds balance in the Big Apple and keeps her wellbeing top of mind.

FQ: Since your Oscar win two years ago, your life has changed dramatically. Could you describe a typical day?
Lupita: I work a lot. But I spend a lot of time trying to create balance in my life. I like to spend time quietly on my own at the start of the day, before I get busy with rehearsals, meetings, performances and shoots. I love to curl up on a sofa with my close friends, drinking tea and having a good laugh.

How do you cope with the demands of New York City life?
I am a workaholic by nature. It is very hard for me to feel like I have earned a day off, but I also know that I must rest, whether I believe I deserve it or not.

I am a better person when I take regular time off, so for me, New York City means always chasing after my rest period. I love the energy of the city; I love the fact that you can get a freshly squeezed juice at just about any time of day if you really want it. But when I get home, I leave the energy of the city outside my door and enjoy my tropical, calm space.

Where do you go to recharge your batteries?
I chase the sunshine to recharge. I like escaping to destinations like Mexico, Jamaica, or Miraval in Tuscon, Arizona. The sun is my first recharger. For a more accessible recharge, I go to nearby spas and baths around New York City.

How do you take care of your skin?
I am gentle with my skin, keeping it hydrated and moisturised at all times. I make a point not to touch my face unnecessarily, too, during the course of a busy day. I spend anywhere from 10 minutes to half an hour in the bathroom. I like a low-maintenance routine, which consists of the occasional facial and body scrub, toning and regular moisturising.

Lupita-Nyong'o-beauty-secrets Guinot Gommage Orange Peel Skin Body Scrub, $49. Lancôme Énergie De Vie The Liquid Care, $70. Oasis Beauty Berry Tonic Toner, $34.90. Clarins Multi-Active Day Cream for Normal to Combination Skin, $79.

Guinot Gommage Orange Peel Skin Body Scrub, $49. Lancôme Énergie De Vie The Liquid Care, $70. Oasis Beauty Berry Tonic Toner, $34.90. Clarins Multi-Active Day Cream for Normal to Combination Skin, $79.

What products could you not live without?
Lancôme’s new skincare line, Énergie De Vie, especially The Liquid Care. You can really feel how it replenishes and nourishes the skin. It’s a cooling lotion, a healing serum and a hydrating cream – all in one bottle. So easy to use.

Énergie De Vie has been described as a superfood for the skin. Do you pay attention to the nutrients in your food?
Most definitely. I love knowing the nutritional content of the food I consume. Food is medicine, so when I eat right, I feel right. Paying attention to what you eat can be tedious, but my mother taught me a dietary shortcut early on: when you are choosing what to eat in a meal, make sure you have the rainbow on your plate. Something red, yellow, green and brown. The different colours offer different nutrients. Having natural multiple colours of food is one way to have a healthy diet when you don’t have time to research the nutrient content.