The Inspiration Behind Tracee Ellis Ross’ “Perfectly Imperfect” Emmys Makeup

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Tracee Ellis Ross

Makeup artist Fara Homidi talks about the structured look.

“Both Tracee [Ellis Ross] and I love perfectly imperfect makeup as well as letting your own skin shine through,” says makeup artist Fara Homidi. “We both love the idea of freckles showing and not have concealer blasting out the under eyes.” So when the pair came together for the Black-ish actress and nominee’s Emmys look, that concept was something they ran with. “I don’t know that I can pinpoint an exact reference,” says Homidi, “but a thought that kept running through my head was ‘keep it fresh.’ Less is more.”

Ross’ “epic dress” also played a large role. “Once I saw it I said I was seeing some sort of eye design, and she was feeling that as well,” says Homidi. “She’s such a fashion girl so absolutely loves playing with makeup, but at the same time she is very chic, so everything she does needs to come from a real place.”

The silvery feathered and beaded gown was a statement in and of itself, and the makeup artist worked to perfect an eye look — practicing on herself, and sending photos to Ross — that wouldn’t compete but would be equally strong. The final call was a graphic liner that would ooze an air of polished mystery. “The eyeliner look I created did not go into a point or a cat eye,” says Homidi. She etched the structured shape with Chanel Le Crayon Khol Intense Eye Pencil in Noir, and set it with Calligraphie de Chanel Longer Intense Cream Eyeliner.

An elongated, straighter brow — using Homidi’s favorite brow products, La Palette Sourcils de Chanel Brow Powder Duo in Brun and Chanel Crayon Sourcils Sculpting Eyebrow Pencil in Brun Cendré — was also key to the look. “It’s easy to think of red carpet makeup needing to be perfect, and lose the certain intangible something. The elongated shapes [of her liner and brows] would be architectural but never perfect, letting that be the statement.”