How to Get a Golden Glow a la Taraji P. Henson

Taraji P. Henson

Highlighting, contouring and color came into play for the ‘Hidden Figures’ star’s super-glam navy velvet Oscars look.

Although Taraji P. Henson’s longtime makeup artist, Ashunta Sheriff, admits to highlighting, bronzing and contouring the actress for the Oscars on Sunday night, she adds of her client, “She’s such an organic person. We really don’t overthink anything, to be honest.” In that way, it’s different from the makeup artist's role on Empire. “Today was really just wake up and this is what I feel like doing,” says Sheriff.

Henson’s voluptuous navy velvet Alberta Ferretti look did dictate the beauty aesthetic, beginning with the Old Hollywood-referencing silhouette. “When you’re wearing a material like velvet and it’s navy blue, it’s so rich that if the skin didn’t have a nice golden shimmery glow, it wouldn’t pop,” says Sheriff, who says she kept things beautiful, soft and classic because the actress feels that she gets bad reviews when she does a super complicated look.

The first step to making sure her skin could stand up to the texture of her gown was a head-to-toe application of several St. Tropez products (including St. Tropez Luxe Dry Oil, $40), meant to add shimmer. “I did contouring on her [using St. Tropez Dark Bronzing Mist, $40], but not on her bust line,” says Sheriff. “I don’t have to because she has really great boobs.” For Henson’s face, the key product was 3-in-1 Bronzing Powder, which provided both contour and highlights to her cheekbones and jawline, along with Enlight Halo powder by Danessa Myricks ($20).

Drawing the navy hue upward, the makeup artist used a matching pencil by Urban Decay to line her top and bottom lids, close to the lash line. “Navy blue is a great color for brown eyes,” she says. “It warms up their eyes, makes them a little lighter, and it’s softer, making it nice for a mature woman, too.” Lush false lashes, too, increased the sex appeal. Says Sheriff, “I think the look is very sultry and very glamorous — it’s very Old Hollywood.”  

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