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.

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