Fresh off of the 2014 award season, Lupita Nyong’o is one of the hottest names in Hollywood at this time. The 31 year old actress was born in Mexico, but is of Kenyan descent. Growing up in Kenya, Lupita immersed herself in the world of acting from a young age, making her professional acting debut at the age of 14, playing the role of Juliet in a Nairobi-based production of Romeo and Juliet. Years later, Lupita received a degree in film and theater studies from Hampshire College, and began working behind the scenes on the production crew for a variety of different films. Reverting back to acting around 2008, Lupita starred in the short film East River, and in the Kenyan TV series, Shuga (2009). She eventually received a masters in acting from the esteemed Yale School of Drama.

After performing in a plethora of stage productions, Lupita scored her breakout role in director Steve McQueen’s historical epic, 12 Years a Slave. Nyong’o played the role of Patsey, a slave working on the same plantation as the film’s main character, Solomon Northup (Chiwitel Ejiofor) and the unfortunate object of her ruthless master’s (Michael Fassbender) affection. The film drew rave reviews from the majority of critics, and Nyongo’s performance earned her a bunch of awards and nominations, including a Golden Globe nomination, a Screen Actors Guild Award win and an Academy award win for Best Supporting Actress. She became the 15th actress to win the award for a debut performance.

Recently, Lupita’s style has been stunning everyone every time she sets foot on a red carpet, quickly becoming a favorite amongst the fashion bloggers and magazines. As the new face of Lancome, it seems that this elegant beauty’s star will only continue to shine brighter. Lupita can be seen in her latest role in the action-packed film, Non-Stop, starring Liam Neeson.