The actress spoke about hurdles in the cosmetics industry for darker skin tones and how she’s learned to overcome them

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Looking at her now, you’d never imagine Thandie Newton has ever had reason to worry about her looks. But the award winning actress has revealed a troubled past when it comes to cosmetics, and says she often struggled growing up in rural Cornwall to find products that were right for her skin tone.

Speaking at Selfridges on Tuesday as part of their six week Beauty Project, the British film star told fans how she found growing up in Cornwall difficult ‘as the only brown kid for miles’, and how she made friends and family call her Melanie in an attempt to help herself blend in.

Miss Newton also explained how she would get frustrated by the lack of places to buy cosmetics near her home, saying: ‘It helps if your local shop has what you need. All we had growing up in Cornwall was Vitapoint. It was the the only slightly greasy substance you could get in Boots. I loved Vitapoint, it was all I had, there wasn't even conditioner. And so it was really hard.’

Thandie said that when she was younger she found it impossible to go out without a face full of makeup because she was so insecure about her apperance, but added that as she’s grown older she no longer feels the need to hide herself away.

After years of resenting herself for the way she looked, the actress told fans she finally feels comfortable in her own skin, saying: ‘I realise now I am everything I need to be. My 13-year-old daughter thinks I look best first thing in the morning, and she knows a thing or two. That's what I feel is incredibly important. You can try and fit yourself into a box but actually you're doing the wrong thing, you've got to step out of the box. You don't need to fit into a shape.’

Speaking about the film and cosmetic industries, she added: ‘It has changed so much, you've got to keep positive, you've got to keep looking at the glass being half full. If you stay positive and see it as something that can be achieved, you’ll see the change is rapid. Yes we can talk about the past and what happened when we were kids, and it's all really important. But what's happening right now is exciting, it really is.’

You know what they say, there’s nothing more radiant than a woman who feels comfortable in her own skin. Thandie, we’re inspired!