Nigella Lawson Goes Without Makeup on Vogue Cover: 'I Was Terrified'

03/04/2014 at 06:01 PM ET

Nigella Lawson Vogue UKNathaniel Goldberg

Nigella Lawson is almost as well-known for her striking features and bombshell curves as she is for her cooking prowess. But the star reveals in a personal new interview with Vogue U.K. that she doesn’t like being praised for her appearance — and she drove the statement home by posing bare-faced for the cover.

“I was terrified of being photographed without makeup, and I hate having my looks talked up,” she said of the shoot, in which she was photographed without her signature lush lashes and bright lips. “It always makes me feel I’m going to be a disappointment in the flesh.”

The celebrity chef also reveals that she loves her role in the kitchen, but she hopes to expand her brand in other ways. “I love what I do, but there are other parts of my brain that I haven’t flexed in a professional way. I do sometimes think that I’ve let the more analytical part of my brain slump slightly. I do like writing about food, but there’s so much that interests me. I’ve been working — in a cottage-industry way — on an app, which, if it works, could be deeply thrilling.”

RELATED PHOTOS: See the best beauty looks from the Oscars!

Last year was a tough one for the star, who was embroiled in a messy divorce battle from media mogul Charles Saatchi. “My only desire was to protect my children as much as possible, which wasn’t always possible. Since then I’ve eaten a lot of chocolate, had a very good Christmas, and now I’m into the new year,” The Taste judge, 53, said back in January.

Read more about Lawson’s fresh start in the April issue of Vogue UK out March 10. And tell us: What do you think of her fresh-faced look? Do you think it was a bold move?

–Brittany Talarico

FILED UNDER: Beauty , Celebs , Cosmetics

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Showing 36 comments

Envious at 37 on

Not that there isn’t some retouching of the photos, but nevertheless, she is a gorgeous woman and looks better than most women 20 years younger. I’m 37 and often get mistaken for being in my early 20s (wear your sunscreen!!) and I can only hope to look as good as she does at 53. Wow!! Nigella, you are awesome!

Sacré on

I agree that there has been some use of Photoshop but not to the extent where she is unrecognizable. She’s a lovely woman regardless and looks great without makeup.

K on

She has makeup on just not much

Eli on

Her face looks gorgeous, though I don’t understand how a makeup free look also meant that they didn’t comb her hair.

Siabird on

She is wearing makeup, this is a ridiculous article.

DaisyMoon on

The face is fine…the hair is terrifying…

Tambaum on

Looks a lot like Monica Bellucci in these….she’s gorgeous. Good for her on the new life changes.

YeahRight! on

Oh please! She obviously has makeup on! We are not stupid!

Jessie on

Are you really “celebrating” her lack of makeup? How is foundation, blush, eye makeup at MINIMUM, a terrifying experience of not wearing makeup, a Bold choice?? Take my picture in the morning :) She looks gorgeous but lets be honest here….it’s a fresh look, beautiful but NOT bold. Maybe new for her, but please…..

Hot on

Her face is fine, but why no hairbrush. Since there was an allegation of abuse of her husband recently it reminds me of that.
It looks like a battered 50s housewife photo.

heyoh on

I think she looks amazing but she most definitely has makeup on. Not dramatic makeup and certainly not as much as you would normally see on a Vogue cover but it is there nonetheless.

dawn on

last time i heard blush and lipstick and probably a foundation of some sort is makeup. She looks fantastic either way but don’t lie to us and make us think she wakes up looking like that come on.

MrsJAZ on

With or without make-up, she is beautiful.

alex on

Shes a beautiful woman, its not war paint, she should know its ok “less is more”.

Carrie on

‘without her lashes and lips’ I was going to say. There is no way she has absolutely nothing on.

sara on

She has makeup on. There is obviously blush and eyeliner, and I doubt at 52 that her skin is that evenly toned on her entire face. Just because she doesn’t have her normal lipstick or fake eyelashes on, does not mean she isn’t wearing makeup. Who believes this?

Rhonda on

She has on makeup. I see blush and lipstick and she probably also has on foundation. Oh, and I’m sure there’s a little airbrushing going on there. Her decolletage is too flawless for a woman who’s 53 years old.

ssj455 on

Nice rack!

sheenna on

Do these people think we are idiots? she has makeup on, I put makeup on my face evey single day and I THINK I know when somebody doesnt have make-up on. She has foundation on and colors that are very mute and natural looking. she has blush on her cheeks, under-eye concealer, very very light eyeliner and he brows are filled. Ugh. Hollywood is so silly with these “I went natural” stories.

Alicia on

Dear People Style Watch,
Just how stupid do you think your readers are? She obviously has make-up on. Of course she’s still beautiful, but to tease an article with photos of her completely bare faced and then show us this is insulting.

Izzie on

So how exactly is this a “make-up free” picture? You can clearly see she is wearing eyeliner, mascara, lipstick, foundation, blush and an eyebrow pencil was used. She still looks beautiful but she is not makeup free.

Jenni on

Uh except she isn’t without makeup! Tons of eyeliner, lipstick, blush.

Kim on

She has make-up on!

Dawn S on

She is a totally gorgeous woman, no doubt, but come on!! If it’s a no makeup shoot, then no makeup y’all! Give the photoshoppers an extra long lunch break, send the makeup artists out for coffee and be real. We aren’t dumb :)

ALM on

No makeup? I clearly see blusher and a light lip color. Nigella’s gorgeous no matter what, but don’t try to con us by saying “no makeup”.
The hair could have used a comb-through, however.

guest on

she’s still wearing make up. Can we all stop pretending that “natural” make up means you’re not wearing make up?

Leslie on

She doesn’t look make up free… I actually see a lot of makeup!!!! Don’t fool us we’re not stupid!!!!!
We know no make up when we see it!!!!

Dana on

Not only is she gorgeous, the woman can COOK..

Tina on

Are they kidding? She clearly has makeup on. I mean, she’s a good-looking woman, but she is wearing makeup on that cover.

Lolo on

I have such a girlcrush on Nigella, she is absolutely stunning

Brooke on

She’s clearly wearing makeup.

Dee on

I agree that Nigella is lovely, but wish they would have done something different with her hair.
I am noticing a trend more and more in comment sections, whether it’s a forum like this or social media. People so often take the opportunity to make the comment all about them rather than what the original post was about.
Definitely an indicator of our self involved society.

chelseallyn on

She’s VERY obviously wearing a significant amount of makeup

Gina on

Without makeup? Am I missing something here? Sure looks like she has make up on!

K. on

Definitely not without makeup and it is airbrushed. She needs to leave her face alone. I have seen some recent pictures of her and she has definitely had work done. She is a hot woman. All she needs is a bit of tan and that’s it.

Lani Martinez on

No make up? Uh ok. These magazines must think we are blind and gulible.

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