Lupita Nyong’o on Summer Beauty and Training for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever – Harper’s BAZAAR | Candle Made Easy

Lupita Nyong’o has had a busy summer – from traveling to Italy to preparing for the release of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, out this fall. But right in the middle, Nyong’o, in partnership with Lancôme, was able to surprise 40 young women at the NAACP National Convention on July 17, awarding each woman a $10,000 stipend.

“It’s a powerful initiative to support young women to step into their independence as adults and continue their education,” says Nyong’o BAZAAR.com. “Supporting this and enabling adult literacy is necessary. With a program like Write Her Future, which is about empowering young women, it’s good community building.”

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Nyong’o sits down BAZAAR.com Post event to chat about her advocacy for young women as she trains for education Black Panther Sequel and how she’s beating the heat with summer makeup tricks.


You are an avid activist and advocate for young women, especially young women of color. Is there someone in your life who has stood up for you or a community that has inspired you?

I come from a very close-knit family, so I’ve been surrounded by strong women. And my father is an activist in his own community. I’ve witnessed how he genuinely chose to fight for a better future over caring about his immediate comfort. That was really inspiring for me and gave me, I think subconsciously, my way of approaching social responsibility. My mother was also always very involved in the community and did more than work outside the walls of your home. That kind of social responsibility was built into me. I like to approach my life with an awareness of other people.

How do you keep up your exercise regimen, especially when you travel? Did you have to train for it? Black Panther: Wakanda Forever like the first?

This film required training, but it wasn’t the intensive boot camp version that we did for the first film. For me, exercise is an important part of my mental health. I find that when I’m not exercising I get very lethargic and it changes my mood. For myself and for the people I hang out with, it’s better when I exercise. It’s about taking care of yourself.

I realized that you don’t need a gym to work out. You can train with your body weight, which I love. If I can personally find ways to make my workouts easily achievable, I’m more likely to commit to it. I have a skipping rope that I like to use. I’ll play tag with my friends and get my heart pumping. I think exercise is important.

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You’ve just been to Italy – which products were your must-haves when travelling?

I carry my skin care products with me everywhere because I don’t like to experiment. If it ain’t broke, why fix it? I have the basics: cleanser, toner, moisturizer. I always have my Lancôme Genifiqué serum with me. When it comes to makeup, I keep it simple. I don’t have to do full face makeup just chilling. Of course I have my team when I travel. But I don’t do dramatic eyeliner and mascara alone.

Do you have any other fun travel plans?

I’m so excited because I’m going home to Kenya soon. It’s always good to go home. I look forward to spending time with family. I love visiting my country because I always find it new and surprising. We have so much diversity and topography, our landscape. I like to travel and explore different parts of the country. It never gets old to visit different parts of my house. I think you take it for granted until you go – that’s when you really start appreciating it.

Across all the characters you’ve played, was there a role that most inspired you or resonated with you the most in terms of beauty?

When I did Black Panther For the first time I discovered that I am obsessed with green. My character, Nakia, is from the River Tribe, so all of her clothes are shades of green in the first film. It was only after that that I spoke to my stylist and it dawned on me that I was very interested in green. That was something I really didn’t know about myself until I played it as Nakia.

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It’s really hot here in the border triangle. How do you keep your makeup intact when it’s muggy and hot outside?

I keep it very easy. My skin absorbs moisture, so my regimen is about restoring moisture to my body. I live in New York so the water is pretty hard; despite the humidity i still feel very dry. I use a good lotion. I love the Lancôme Nutrix Royal Lotion. It works for me 365 days a year. I’m hesitating between that and dry body oils. My favorite is from a company called Hume – they make a really good natural dry body oil. It’s especially great right after your swim because it’s a spray.

I’m also a big fan of a cold shower because it reduces puffiness that occurs when it’s hot and improves circulation to make skin more vibrant. I recommend a one minute cold shower at the beginning of the day.

Have you ever taken a cold jump?

These scare me and seem hard to do to be honest.

The cold shower sounds like a good place to start. You did your makeup today for the NAACP National Convention. What were your pre-event beauty must-haves?

My goodness. Yes, today I really learned what I know and don’t know about makeup. My must haves are the Lancôme Advanced Génifique to hydrate my skin before applying anything to it. This is very, very important, as is a moisturizer.

Then I use the Teint Idole Ultra Foundation and the concealer for my foundation. I love that you can apply it really thinly, which is especially great when it’s hot because you don’t want cakey makeup. It’s opening up like skin and I don’t feel it on my face.

Also, I’m loving a dramatic eye right now, you know, with masks. It’s easier to take an aesthetic standpoint with your eyes. Today we used the Hypnôse Amethyst 5 Color Palette which is a purple. It’s really pretty any time of the year, but I feel like it’s a vibe for summer. And of course mascara. I use the Idôle mascara which is super light; it looks very natural. For a little more drama, I apply the Hypnôse mascara on top.

You have a lot of really unique drawings and artworks on your social platforms. Art has always interested you. And do you ever create your own?

i love art I am fascinated by visual artists. It’s what I personally least know and understand. But during lockdown I actually bought a paint by number kit. I was all alone and decided to try my hand at painting, but I also wanted a guide to paint by numbers. I think it was a gift and it was such a timely gift. I painted this flower and this is the extent of my artistic ability.

When do you feel most beautiful?

I feel beautiful when I’ve had a very good night’s sleep and a workout.

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