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ALWAYS BE CAMERA READY
"Because of this thing called fame, I can't get caught looking crazy. So even if I'm running to the store, I'm going to make myself look pretty. At the very least, I apply mascara and a lip balm, gloss or nude lipstick from my M.A.C line. You never know [who will ask], 'Can I get a picture?'"
Buy It! M.A.C Taraji P. Henson Lipstick in Strip Me Down, $17; maccosmetics.com
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TAKE CARE OF YOUR HAIR
"I feel like relaxing my hair for 26 years really damaged it. But it's natural now—and I love it. For Empire I use wigs. I keep my hair braided in lots of teeny cornrows, so the wigs fit on my head. When I take them out, I'll sit under a steamer while I deep-condition my hair."
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MAINTAIN YOUR NAILS
"[While playing] Cookie, I wear stick-on nails. When they yell, 'It's a wrap,' I leave them there along with her wigs, and I turn back into Taraji. Before bed, I put oil on my cuticles. I have all different kinds in my bathroom."
Buy It! Bio-Oil, $17.49 (for 6.7 oz.); target.com
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CHOOSE A FOCAL POINT
"I just love to play with makeup—but I don't ever want [my look] to be too much. You've got to balance things out. I have really big, expressive eyes, so if I do a bold eye, then I go softer on the lips."
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TAME YOUR BROWS
"Getting my eyebrows done makes me feel beautiful. I go to brow king Damone Roberts. In college, before I understood that less is more, mine were a mess: kind of thick and very bushy, with a high arch, and I would pencil them in. When I look back at pictures, my eyebrows were really coming at you!"
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GO FOR A GLOW
"I'm all about dewy skin, but I don't want to look like I [spent] an hour getting ready. I want to look like I woke up like this. So I use a highlighter on my cheekbones. You can also dust it on other places you want to accentuate, like your clavicle. That's sexy."
Buy It! M.A.C Taraji P. Henson Mineralize Skinfinish Natural in Taraji Glow, $33; maccosmetics.com