The Emmy winner's makeup artist Sheika Daley gives PEOPLE an exclusive look at their pre-show getting ready process

By Kaitlyn Frey and Andrea Lavinthal
September 23, 2020 08:00 AM
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On a night as big as the Emmys (even when the show's done remote), Zendaya and her glam squad like to get the mood just right. They keep the vibe "calm" with an eclectic mix of music, including Beyoncé, and the actress snacks on the ultimate comfort food: pancakes.

"She loves pancakes," says makeup artist Sheika Daley, who created the Sophia Loren-inspired mod '60s beauty look Zendaya wore when she became the youngest star at age 24 to win best actress in a drama for her leading role in HBO's Euphoria.

Before her big win, Zendaya looked elegant in a plunging Christopher John Rogers dress and Bulgari necklace when she filmed a pre-taped segment for the show. Then for her second look of the night, the actress wowed in a custom Giorgio Armani Privé bandeau top and polka dot skirt, which helped bring the '6os inspiration to the makeup look Daley created.

ABC

"We decided to do a retro pixie vibe to complement her polka dot gown. With Zendaya, I always tend to do a clean natural eye because she has such beautiful eyes," Daley tells PEOPLE exclusively. "However, I wanted her eyes to accentuate the touseled bang look, so my inspiration was the retro cat eye which was made perfect with the help of the new " context="body"]."

Daley described the statement-making look as a "little out of the box from [Zendaya's] norm," but because the pair hasn't been together working on photoshoots, campaigns and red carpets every week, the actress "really wanted to go there."

Zendaya
ABC

"It was like, 'I've been keeping it chill and everything's been good. Let's really just go there and just have some fun and just go out of the box,'" Daley says, noting she emphasized the retro look using the Lancôme Artliner Precision Felt-Tip Liquid Eyeliner in Black Vinyl along the upper lashes.

To keep all the attention to Zendaya's eyes, the actress swiped on a frosty pale nude lip gloss — Lancôme's Juicy Tubes in Shimmer — for a high-shine finish.

Dominic Miller

"She'll give me her ideas for what she wants to do as far as makeup," Daley says. "We usually collaborate right in the moment."

Even though this year's Emmys were anything but normal, Zendaya wouldn't replace it for the world. Says the Lancôme Ambassadress: "It [was] really great being able to get ready with my family and to share such an exciting experience together."