Lupita Nyong’o lands lucrative deal with Lancôme: What significance does this hold?

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Lupita Nyong'o. (Photo by Gabriel Olsen/Getty Images)

Lupita Nyong'o. (Photo by Gabriel Olsen/Getty Images)

Lupita Nyong’o is having a banner year.

Almost a month after winning the Academy Award, Nyong’o has landed a big-time beauty endorsement deal with Lancôme and is now the new face of the cosmetics line.

The deal marks a milestone moment that acknowledges Nyong’o as the beauty brand’s first black ambassador.

“I am truly honored to join the Maison Lancôme, a brand with such a prestigious history and that I have always loved,” the 31-year-old said in a statement. “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.”

The Hollywood “It” girl now joins a roster of other big celebrities who have signed on as a Lancome brand ambassador, such as Kate Winslet, Julia Roberts and Penelope Cruz.

But perhaps the more significant league of women Nyong’o now joins is the small but growing group of black women whose beauty has also attracted the lure of billion-dollar cosmetic companies.

theGrio: Black beauty endorsed by cosmetic companies – is it becoming a trend?  

Halle Berry was one of the most notable women to first land a lucrative beauty endorsement in 2004 – a deal she made shortly after winning the Oscar that year.

Beyonce, Queen Latifah, Janelle Monae, Rihanna, Kerry Washington and Gabrielle Union are just a few other names of beautiful black women who have signed on to similar deals.

These women represent a growing number of African-American females whose allure has advocated for these brands’ premiere products.

Nyong’o is now one of these few yet celebrated women. She has been praised for her delectable taste in fashion and stunning looks which reflect a unique combination often not seen nor praised enough in mainstream America.

In an interview with theGrio last week, Essence Beauty Editor Pamela Edwards said that’s she’s “slightly annoyed” that Nyong’o’s beauty has to be affirmed by America for people to join the chorus in praising her looks.

Instead, Edwards says, “A woman that looks like Nyong’o has always been beautiful. And there’s nothing new about it.”

Follow Lilly Workneh on Twitter @Lilly_Works