The 12 Years a Slave star, who is of Mexican and Kenyan descent, reveals she never used to wear sunscreen lotion during her youth, until she suffered severe burns.

"I stubbornly thought the sunshine couldn't harm me - until I got burned," she recalls. "It's often harder for black women to realise when they've had too much sun. Now, I always protect my skin with SPF."

The Oscar winner has since developed a thorough skincare regime, which she credits with helping her achieve that red carpet glow she is so often praised for.

"I'm a great believer in the idea that looking good is all about getting the basics in place with proper skincare," she tells Britain's Boots Health & Beauty magazine. "I wash my face every morning and evening, which goes a long way to keeping it at its best. I try to 'listen' to what my complexion needs: if it's greasy, I'll use a foamy cleanser; when it's dry, I'll go with a creamier formula."

Lupita, 32, has since become the face of cosmetics giant Lancome and she enjoys playing with different make-up styles to change her looks.

"Lipstick helps pull an outfit together and instantly makes you feel dressed up," she says. "I prefer burgundy and earthy tones, which flatter my skin, but I also play with bright reds for film premieres. My relationship with make-up is similar to my attitude to food: I like to experiment to match my mood."