Pret-a-Reporter

Taraji P. Henson's Emmys Manicure Was Cookie-Approved

Dan Steinberg/Invision for the Television Academy/AP Images
Taraji P. Henson

Her manicurist, Michelle Saunders, tells all.

Taraji P. Henson might have single-handedly revived nail art at the Emmys — and we have Cookie to thank. The Empire star “wanted like a Cookie nail — something that Cookie would wear,” reveals Essie celebrity manicurist Michelle Saunders to Pret-a-Reporter.

To go along with her custom Alexander Wang lace-and-chain gown, “she immediately wanted to do something that had a lace design, something kind of nude blush.” The base color was Essie Lady Like ($8.50), a sort of rosy blush, and Saunders hand-painted intricate lace using Licorice ($8.50) atop it.

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One look at the long talons — “Taraji wanted her nails as long as we could make them” — and it’s sort of unbelievable the design was done by hand. “It’s a little difficult; you have to use a teeny-tiny brush and paint on a fishnet design and then a little floral design.”

Reveals Saunders, “I’m pretty good at hand-painting nail art, but I actually took a little peek at a nail-art video on YouTube because you have to come really prepared.”

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