The star's pro shares her steps

By Jackie Fields
February 27, 2017 05:12 PM
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Taraji P. Henson brought a heavy dose of glamour to the Academy Awards red carpet Sunday, showing off her not-so-Hidden Figure in a curve-hugging custom Alberta Ferretti gown. And while some of us are still recovering from the temporary blindness due to the reflection of her oh-so-boss Nirav Modi diamond necklace, us beauty junkies have moved on quickly to her dreamy blue eye shadow, and are still on cloud nine. Of course for her flawless skin and smoky eye, the actress turned to her makeup artist Ashunta Sheriff, who’s sharing exclusive pictures of their get-ready session with PeopleStyle.

Inspired by Diahann Carroll, the first black actress to star in her own TV series, Sheriff and Henson set out to create a look that fused glamour with a modern flair.

Credit: Ian West/PA Images via Getty

As expected a glam session with Henson is one of the best parties in Hollywood. “Taraji loves to have a toast of champagne, listen to Kendrick Lamar or classic hip-hop. It’s always fun; we just vibe out,” she says.

To start, Sheriff prepped Henson’s skin with Dermaflash, an at-home exfoliation treatment that smooths skin. Then the pro let Kate Somerville eye balm soak in while applying a wrinkle treatment. Next up, she massaged a 24-karat infused oil on Henson’s skin, followed by a primer-moisturizer hybrid to ready her skin for makeup.

Credit: Courtesy Ashunta Sheriff

With her lips basking in lip balm, Sheriff applied her very own foundation (in Tan) on Henson’s face, then she created a subtle contour using St. Tropez 3-in-1 Bronzing Powder. And to give her complexion a “soft, romantic” feel, she dabbed Glossier’s brand new cream blush Cloud Paint in Dusk on the star’s cheeks.

Using the regal color of Henson’s dress as a jumping off point, Sheriff searched for the perfect blue hue for her lids.

“I love Taraji’s eyes, they’re expressive and beautiful, says Sheriff,” adding, “I wanted blue — but not quite navy and not anything to bright — something in between.”

After applying eye primer, Sheriff created a thick line on Henson’s top and bottom lash line with Urban Decay eyeliner in LSD.

“I grounded the look with black eyeliner and beautiful fluttery House of Lashes [falsies] in Iconic,” she explains. Then she gave Henson’s lids a hint of glint with NYX eyeshadow in Salmon.

Credit: Courtesy Ashunta Sheriff

With the swipe of a pink gloss Henson’s makeup was done. Then Sheriff moved onto defining the actress’ legs.

Using a mitt, Sheriff swept a layer of the St. Tropez’s dry oil on her exposed skin to create a bronzy sheen. Then she sprayed the brand’s Dark Bronzing Mist just along the natural contours of her legs and arms to accentuate her toned body.

89th Annual Academy Awards - Arrivals

“Taraji is a firm believer in ‘less is more’ so we didn’t want to overcomplicate or overthink anything,” she says of the overall look.

Henson’s thought on her head-to-toe glam? “She loved it,” says Sheriff. “She knows that I know her face as well as my own so she trusts me and doesn’t fight back — usually!”

What do you think of Henson’s shimmering midnight blue eyeliner?