Getting Dressed with Paula Abdul

The American Idol judge shows us how she got glam for the Emmys

01 of 05

ALL EYES ON HER

ALL EYES ON HER

When it comes to getting glammed up for a big event, Paula Abdul has one rule. "Give yourself enough time to get ready to go," she tells PEOPLE. "Start early in the morning!" And she did just that, preparing for the ceremony Sunday at her Sherman Oaks, Calif., home, with help from hairstylist Dennis Dostokely and makeup artist Spencer Barnes – and recording it all on a PEOPLE camera.

02 of 05

FINISHING TOUCHES

FINISHING TOUCHES

With her hair and makeup done, Abdul prepares for a big reveal –showing off her glittery, layered Elizabeth Emanuel dress (from the Art of

Being label). "It was an absolute honor to have Elizabeth Emanuel design my

dress," Abdul says of the designer, who created Princess Diana's wedding dress. "The dress fit me like a glove and I was so happy to be wearing one of her designs."

03 of 05

BACKSEAT DRIVERS

BACKSEAT DRIVERS

Dressed and en route to the Shine Auditorium – where Abdul's show

American Idol was nominated for outstanding reality/competition

program – Abdul and her beau J.T. Torregiani cozy up in the backseat of

their limo. He "is a good guy," she has gushed.

04 of 05

TALKING POINTS

TALKING POINTS

Walking the red carpet in her glamorous ensemble, Abdul chats up journalists

– like Stryker from The Ellen DeGeneres Show – and takes time to reflect on the evening. "I enjoyed seeing friends that I haven't seen in a while because we all have crazy work schedules," she says of the Emmy scene. "And I love the afterparties – I managed to stop by a few of them!"

05 of 05

LAST LOOK

LAST LOOK
BAUER-GRIFFIN

After hitting the press line, Abdul is ready for the awards (hosted by costar Ryan Seacrest) to start – and you can be sure she has her essentials with her. She tells PEOPLE of her tricks to making it through the night: "Always take a powder compact and lip gloss." Then, on with the show!

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