On the face of it, it would appear that Nigella Lawson has moved on since her annus horribilis. At least, it seems so from how she looks on the cover of the April issue of British Vogue.

In 2013, the celebrity chef and food writer was divorced from her husband, art collector Charles Saatchi and dealt with allegations of drug use that were part of the very public fraud trial of the Grillo sisters (Lawson admitted that she has used illegal substances). The Grillos, former employees of Lawson, were accused of racking up more than $1 million unauthorized charges on her credit cards, but were acquitted last December.

The new, more natural look Lawson, 54, sports on the cover and in the pages of Vogue signals that she is casting off the harshness of last year. Gone is that signature overly made-up look reminiscent of ‘60s sirens Sophia Loren, Raquel Welch, Ann-Margret, dubbed her “court face” by the British media.

Lawson, a one-time Vogue food editor, gave the magazine an exclusive interview. She may have opened up to the publication, but Vogue itself seems less than candid in it claims that Lawson’s beautiful visage was photographed make-up free save for “some blusher and a little mascara.” We all know that achieving that fresh, natural look and slightly disheveled style takes a whole lot of work… and cosmetics.

Nigella Lawson's 'natural' look on the cover of Vogue. (screen shot)

Nigella Lawson’s ‘natural’ look on the cover of Vogue. (screen shot)

Appearing without her usual mask was apparently unnerving for the  “How to Be a Domestic Goddess” author.

“I was terrified of being photographed without make-up,” she said in the interview. “And I hate having my looks talked up. It always makes me feel I’m going to be a disappointment in the flesh.”

There may be some new career directions to accompany Lawson’s new look. “I love what I do, but there are other parts of my brain that I haven’t flexed in a professional way,” she shared. “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…”