The actress's pro breaks down her latest red carpet look

By Jackie Fields
December 12, 2016 12:32 AM
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22nd Annual Critics' Choice Awards, Arrivals, Los Angeles, USA - 11 Dec 2016
Credit: Rob Latour/Variety/REX/Shutterstock

Red carpet Kerry is back! Three days after making her first appearance since giving birth to her second child nine weeks ago, Kerry Washington turned heads again at the Critics’ Choice Awards Sunday night.

The Scandal actress, 39, let her eyes do the talking, pairing her star motif Elie Saab dress with striking metallic silver shadow courtesy of her makeup artist of over 12 years, Carola Gonzalez.

“I was inspired by the stars,” reveals the pro. “They reminded me of the holidays, but the dress kind of had a rock ‘n roll vibe to it — that’s why we went with the silver.”

The mother of two, who regularly turns to Gonzalez for statement-making makeup, was excited about the idea. “She just had a baby, so she wasn’t as involved as she usually is. But I knew what she was wearing, so I gave her my idea and asked her what she thought, and she was like, ‘I love it!’” she says.

Just like her TV character Olivia Pope, Washington has everything handled behind closed doors as well, making sure she and her trusted beauty gurus had extra glam time should so she could also tend to her newborn.

“We give ourselves enough time because we might have to take breaks. We don’t work in a stressed out environment,” says Gonzalez, adding that for Washington, her children Isabelle, 2, and Caleb always come first. “It’s not about her, it’s really about her children. Her priority is her children and taking care of them. She’s an amazing mother, that will never change.”

But the session doesn’t just include breaks for baby. The team, who were listening to Marvin Gaye and other oldies, also took time out to dance and sing. “It was a good time. We’re family.”

Getting down to business, Washington’s makeup process started with skin care. “I always prep Kerry’s skin with the Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel, because it’s hydrating and plumping, and gives it that glow and radiance that she always has, but it doesn’t interfere with the makeup application.”

Then Gonzalez got to dip into the Neutrogena spokeswoman’s secret stash of 2017 products, launching in February. “Neutrogena is coming out with all these cosmetics with hyaluronic acid, and one of my favorites is the Hydro Boost Hydrating Lip Treatment, I stole Kerry’s! It just feels so silky. I applied it on her lips tonight, just leaving it on for a while before I applied her lip color,” says Gonzalez.

Another upcoming launch Gonzalez already can’t live without? The brand’s new Hydro Boost Hydrating Concealer (in Deep No. 50), which the makeup artist used to even out Washington’s skin tone. Then she applied Healthy Skin Liquid Makeup in Cocoa (one of the shades Washington helped develop for women of color).

Gonzalez then moved on to Washington’s brows, filling them in with the Kevyn Aucoin Precision Brow Pencil in Dark Brunette “just where it was needed because I didn’t want Kerry’s brows to be so strong,” Gonzalez says.

On Kerry’s lids, Gonzalez used the Neutrogena Nourishing Eye Shadow palette in Smoky Steel with Mehron Liquid Mixer. “I combined the light silver shade (at the top of the palette) and the white shade (second from the top) with the mixer to really bring out the true metallic pigment of that eye shadow.”

Next, she defined Washington’s lash line with Sisley Paris So Intense liquid eye liner. “I did a fine line that went from the outer edge along the crease of her lids almost all the way to the inner corner of the eye to frame the silver. Then I accentuated the outer corners of the wing with the dark gray shadow (at the bottom of the palette).”

Falsies added major drama to her lash line. “For special events, I prefer faux lashes, so I used Velour Lashes in Skin to Skin for a pop. Then I applied a coat of Neutrogena Healthy Volume Mascara in Carbon Black on the top lashes to blend her real lashes with the fake ones, and also to intensify the look. I put two coats on her bottom lashes.”

Because she wanted Washington’s eyes to stand out, she kept the rest of the star’s makeup minimal, using Healthy Skin Blends in Sunkissed on the apples of her cheeks, and finishing with MoistureSmooth Color Stick in Classic on her lips. “It’s a beautiful, warm nude that works on every skin tone.”

For her hair, longtime pro Takisha Sturdivant-Drew decided on a messy side braid. “I wanted the [style] to be young and fresh, so I kept the hair on the right side falling in her face to give it a sexy feel.” The secret to it’s super-soft, almost wet texture? The Neutrogena Triple Moisture Recovery Mask, which Sturdivant-Drew left on her strands.

And because no red carpet look is complete for Washington without a stunning manicure, the creative ambassador for OPI, applied the brand’s sparkly silver My Voice is a Little Norse over a black shade called My Gondola or Yours? for an extra dose of glamour.

What do you think of Washington’s latest makeup moment? Share below!