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Emmys 2015: Supporting Actress Winner Uzo Aduba Takes Us Inside Her Glam Process (Exclusive Photos)

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Before taking home the award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series for her role on Orange Is the New Black at Sunday night’s 67th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards, Uzo Aduba gave PEOPLE a sneak peek of her prep, complete with exclusive (and adorable!) behind-the-scenes photos. Find out how her day of beauty went down, and exactly how to get her award show look.

Emmys 2015 Uzo Aduba glam squad
Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty

Aduba’s stylist Cristina Ehrlich worked closely with designer Jonathan Cohen to create her stunning custom pink and navy silk gown. The elegant, playful, hand-painted (!) design, which was actually inspired by a 1953 Mark Rothko painting, was accessorized with dazzling Kwiat diamond and platinum jewels, plus a silver box-like Rauwolf clutch. With the dress set, the actress then enlisted her go-to glam squad (makeup artist Janice Kinjo and hair stylist Vanessa Heshima Sims) for a classic (might we say, winning) look.

Emmys 2015 uzo aduba
Courtesy Charlotte Burke


“I love working with Uzo — she is a genuine person who is just so sweet and so humble and so grounded,” Kinjo, who’s been working with the star for two years now, told PEOPLE. “When I’m putting makeup on Uzo it doesn’t feel like I’m working, it feels like I’m hanging out with a friend. It’s always so great.”

Kinjo wanted to create “a makeup look that embodied the epitome of classic beauty,” she says. That entailed: “long, lush lashes, soft smoky eyes and defined brows.” Drawing inspiration from Aduba’s dress, Kinjo made the star’s eye makeup (created using SheaMoisture Rich Earth Palette in combination with SheaMoisture Wet/Dry Eyeshadow in Claudia) pop by applying SheaMoisture Wet/Dry Eyeshadow in Casandra, a shimmery pink shade, in Aduba’s inner corners.

emmys 2015 uzo aduba glam squad
Courtesy Janice Kinjo


Kinjo then focused on her pout. “After we saw the dress in person, we decided we were going to do a toned-down lip.” The pro used SheaMoisture Lipstick Crayon in Calixa and deepened the tone by blending it with SheaMoisture Lip/Cheek Balm Pan in Avignon Rose. “We actually only had one minute to do her lips, but it was perfect,” she said.

emmys 2015 uzo aduba glam squad
Courtesy Elsbeth Schuetz

For Aduba’s hair, Sims said she had been planning the star’s look ever since the nominations were announced. When she saw the sketches, “I knew her hair was going to be up, [then stylist Ehrlich], Uzo and I, got together on an elegant, Grace Kelly look.” Sims twisted Aduba’s hair into a “low chignon with a little more business.” Translation? It’s not just about the bun in the back. “We wanted something that, from every angle, you would see the hair, the waves, the pin up.”

RELATED PHOTOS: The Very Best of Beauty from the 2015 Emmy Awards

emmys 2015 uzo aduba glam squad selfie
Courtesy Uzo Aduba


To get the glam do, Sims began by spraying Aduba’s wet hair with Motions Versatile Foam Styling Lotion and Motions Straight Finish Leave-In Conditioner. The hair guru blew her out, and then sprayed on Motions Light Hold Working Spritz before wrapping small sections of the star’s hair around various T3 curling irons.

“I used so many irons,” Sims exclaimed. “But that’s because different sizes create different waves and the hair is layered so it’s needed to get the waves desired. Otherwise it would have been too curly or too loose with one [barrel] size.”

After creating a deep-side part, the pro gathered all of the star’s hair into a low side ponytail and secured it with a bungee tie. To finish, Sims secured the curls with 3-inch pins (there were about 15 pins total in the look!) and spritzed on Motions Indulgent Oil Spray for Hair & Scalp for an added shine.

What was Aduba’s reaction to the do? “‘I love this front wave,'” Sims recalls. “I was a little bit nervous, it wasn’t the original look that we had but she was like, ‘I trust your judgement, if you feel this is best, let’s do it.'”

For all the scoop on Aduba’s beauty look, pick up PEOPLE on stands Wednesday.

What did you think of the star’s glam makeup and mane? Share below!

–Sarah Kinonen, with reporting by Jackie Fields

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