The 31-year-old actress began to turn heads after her critically-acclaimed performance in 2013's 12 Years a Slave. The movie went on to win Best Picture at the 2014 Academy Awards, and Nyong'o herself garnered a Best Supporting Actress win for her role in the film.
In addition to her obvious talent, the actress became the darling of Hollywood with her fashion savvy. Her poise, coupled with her beauty and style, landed her on best-dressed lists throughout awards season and secured her new status as the face of Lancôme earlier this month.
"She is fantastic," People editor Jess Cagle told the Today show at the reveal on Wednesday. "There was really no contest this year. She seemed like the only choice."
"She's obviously talented, obviously beautiful. She is incredibly stylish," he lauds. "The way she carries herself, with such grace and such humility, is what I think really put her over the top."
Nyong'o herself recently spoke to the morning show about the Most Beautiful title. The actress has admitted to feeling "unbeautiful" in the past, and tells Today show host Savannah Guthrie it is an "incredible feeling" to now be honored on the cover of People.
"You could have never told me that would happen when I was 16 and insecure," the star says with humility. "It means something to more than just me ... to people who feel unbeautiful in whatever skin they're in."