Lupita Nyong'o Named People Magazine's 'Most Beautiful'

Lupita Nyong'o on the cover of People magazine

The breakthrough "12 Years a Slave" star won this year's best supporting actress Oscar.

Lupita Nyong'o's breakthrough year continues as the young actress has been named People magazine's Most Beautiful person, gracing the cover of the annual special issue.

The 12 Years a Slave star and best supporting actress Oscar winner says she "never dreamed" she'd receive such an honor.

PHOTOS: 18 Breakthrough Stars of 2013

"It was exciting and just a major, major compliment," Nyong'o told People of gracing this year's cover. "I was happy for all the girls who would see me on it and feel a little more seen."

After impressing the fashion world with her red-carpet looks during awards season, Nyong'o recently became the face of Lancome Paris.

The Kenyan-born actress, whose role in 12 Years was her first movie gig, says she initially equated beauty with what she saw on television.

STORY: After Oscar, What Happens to Lupita Nyong'o?
"Light skin and long, flowing, straight hair," Nyong'o says. "Subconsciously you start to appreciate those things more than what you possess."

But her mother always told Nyong'o she was beautiful, "and I finally believed her at some point," she says.

The actress, who recently signed with CAA, also reveals that she dyed her hair every color as a teen and even shaved her head once.

"It was very strange and very cold!" she says, laughing.  "It was scary but I like to dare myself."

PHOTOS: Lupita Nyong'o: The Making of a Style Star

Other stars who made People's annual "Most Beautiful" list include Keri Russell, Mindy Kaling, Pink, Amber Heard, Kerry Washington, Selena Gomez, Shailene Woodley, Margot Robbie, 50 Shades of Grey's Dakota Johnson, Allison Williams, Lea Michele, Katy Perry, Mila Kunis, Beyonce, Sofia Vergara, Jennifer Garner, Tina Fey, Cate Blanchett, Julia Roberts, Halle Berry, Robin Wright, Sandra Bullock and Michelle Obama.

Nyong'o follows last year's cover star Gwyneth Paltrow and joins Roberts, Michelle Pfeiffer, Tom Cruise, Angelina Jolie, Jennifer Aniston, Brad Pitt and Mel Gibson as stars who've graced the cover of People's "Most Beautiful" issue.

Nyong'o's stylist Micaela Erlanger came in at No. 3 on The Hollywood Reporter's Top 25 Power Stylists of 2014. The Oscar winner's Non-Stop co-star Michelle Dockery introduced her to Erlanger, who first dressed Nyong'o in white-and-gold Prada during the Toronto Film Festival.

During awards season, Erlanger regularly put together showstopping looks for Nyong'o, including the red Ralph Lauren caped gown she wore to the Golden Globes, which Erlanger told THR was "the perfect dress, on the perfect girl, for the perfect moment.”

Career-wise, Non-Stop is the only movie she's appeared in since 12 Years, but she did meet with Star Wars director J.J. Abrams. However, she's not expected to appear in that film.