Tessa Thompson is a tour de force in the industry, having portrayed real life Black heroes like Diane Nash in Selma and moving fictional characters like Nyla Adrose in For Colored Girls. Whether it’s on-screen or the red carpet, Thompson is devoted to paying homage to the beauty of Blackness. Armani Beauty has long assisted her efforts, and now they’re taking their relationship to the next level. On Jan. 21, it was announced that the Emmy award winner is the newest face of Armani Beauty.
“I have had a long standing relationship with [Armani Beauty], both personally and professionally,” Thompson tells Bustle via Zoom. “It's a brand that I've used myself for over a decade, and was a brand that really felt like an oasis when it came my way.” Like many Black actors, Thompson struggled to find shades and hues that worked for her skin tone. When a makeup artist introduced her to Armani Beauty’s beloved Luminous Silk Foundation prior to one of Thompson’s first big red carpets, it was love at first sight. “I have used it ever since,” she says.
Makeup is a major tool for Thompson to use when she’s acting. “So much of creating character for me has to do with understanding the human, but also being able to change, expand, or diminish things about myself to be able to slip into character. And makeup is one part of that.”
Off camera, it’s all about a statement lip for the actor, who recently launched the production company Viva Maude. “I really love lips in general. I think that they can really change a look and your mood, which is what's been so exciting about with working with Armani and getting to work with them on Lip Power.”
Thompson’s thrilled to join forces with the beauty brand, and understands how impactful Black imagery in beauty is to consumers. “ I remember being in the supermarket with my mom and taking a fashion magazine and looking at it,” Thompson shares. “Anytime I could see a reflection of beauty that in some ways reminded me of myself, whether it was the color of the model's skin or the texture of her hair, it made me feel validated my own beauty.”
The actor applauds other efforts to improve diversity in beauty and fashion, noting Vogue UK’s latest cover featuring African models. “Those images are deeply powerful. So I'm excited with my partnership with this brand, in whatever small way, to be able to contribute to the wealth of images that speak to the beauty of us.”