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Trending—Black History Month: Beauty Icons Then and Now – Cicely Tyson & Lupita Nyong’o

Trending—Black History Month: Beauty Icons Then and Now – Cicely Tyson & Lupita Nyong’o

 Who comes to mind when you think of two generations of actresses hat know how to steal the red carpet with just their natural beauty, flawless skin, stunning smile, and love for the “statement” dress?  We think of  two of our favorite black beauties and actresses, Cicely Tyson and Lupita Nyong’o. Both Cicely and Lupita are known for their simple yet sultry makeup, face-defining hair, and exquisite attention-grabbing style.

Here’s a Blinging Beauty Black History Month tribute to both Cicely and Lupita.


Born in 1933, Cicely Tyson grew up in Harlem New York City. Tyson was first  discovered by a photographer for Ebony magazine and became a popular fashion model.  Her first film role was in 1956’s Carib Gold, which marked the beginning of the illustrious acting career.  She has  performed in  numerous movies starting in the 1960s to present including  The Heart is a Lonely Hunter (1968), The Blue Bird (1976),  Fried Green Tomatoes (1991) , Hoodlum (1997),  Because of Winn Dixie (2005), Madea’s Family Reunion (2006), Why Did I Get Married Too? (2010) and The Help (2011).

Tyson is also a prolific television and theater actress, having acted in multiple  shows spanning from the 1960s to the present.  Her most recent Broadway show was 2013’s  The Trip to Bountiful, for which she won a Tony Award.  Tyson  became a member of the Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame in 1977. She has also been honored by the Congress of Racial Equality and by the National Council of Negro Women.

In 2010, the NAACP presented her with the 96th Springarn Medal – an award given to African Americans with high levels of achievement. Throughout her career, Tyson  paved the way for many black actors to have access to high caliber roles.

Tyson married legendary jazz trumpeter Miles Davis on November 26, 1981. The ceremony was conducted by Atlanta mayor Andrew Young at the home of actor Bill Cosby. Tyson and Davis divorced in 1988. She is a member of Delta Sigma Theta sorority. On May 17, 2009, Tyson received an honorary degree from Morehouse College, an all-male college.


On the red carpet, Tyson  is known for her statement pieces and sexy and fun beauty choices. Her makeup and hair is always done as a complement to her natural features as her gorgeous radiating smile usually steals all the attention. Over the years, she’s experimented with colors from royal purples, pearly whites, to metallic and shimmery golds.


Newcomer Lupita Nyong’o has recently taken the acting world by storm.  Born in 1983 in Mexico, the Kenyan beauty. Nyong’o, made her American film debut in Steve Mcqueen’s 12 Years A Slave (2013) . For this role, she won the Screen Actor’s Guild and Critic’s Choice Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role and was nominated fro the Golden Globe, BAFTA, and Academy Awards.

Nyong’o attended college in the United States and graduated from Hampshire College with a degree in film and theater studies.After graduating from Hampshire College with a degree in film and theatre studies. Lupita worked on the production crew of many films, including Fernando Meirelles’s The Constant Gardener, Mira Nair’s The Namesake, and Salvatore Stabile’s Where God Left His Shoes.

She later enrolled in the Yale School of Drama, where she received the Herschel Williams Prize which is awarded to acting students with “outstanding ability”.  Before graduating from Yale, she auditioned for her winning role as Patsey in 12 Years A Slave.  She can next be seen in this year’s Non Stop (2014) with Liam Neeson.


Since her red carpet debut and overnight celebrity , Nyong’o has been known and the star to watch for her near-perfection red carpet picks. One of her most notable style moments was her 2014 Golden Globes look- a form-fitting red Ralph Lauren cape dress. She’s topped several best-dressed lists since then.

When it comes to makeup, her signature look takes shape with glowing skin,  a natural-looking but prominent eye and bold or subtle lip.  As her celebrity rises, Nyong’o is the dream of designers and a recent cover girl who surely has a second life as a supermodel.  Lupita Nyongo’ is a style legend in the making.


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One Response to Trending—Black History Month: Beauty Icons Then and Now – Cicely Tyson & Lupita Nyong’o

  1. Qiana (key-yah-nah) February 21, 2014 at 11:03 am

    Great post!

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