Crazy Eyes? More like crazy-beautiful! Last night at the 2014 Emmy awards, Orange Is the New Black star and Outstanding Guest Actress winner Uzo Aduba stole the show in a gorgeous Christian Siriano gown, which she complemented with a soft updo and neutral-toned makeup. No surprise to us, Aduba’s glam squad had just as much fun prepping her for the big event as she did working the carpet. “As soon as you walked into the room, you could feel the excitement. Everyone was just so happy!” her makeup artist Jessica Smalls tells InStyle.com. “We had some Beyoncé going—what girl doesn’t love getting ready to Bey? We were all laughing and joking, and the closer it came for Uzo to depart for the carpet, the energy just grew.”
Appropriately, Smalls drew inspiration from everyone’s favorite fairy tale to create the stunning look. “Honestly, the reference I used was Cinderella,” she says. “Last year, Uzo didn’t attend the Emmys, and this year, she was nominated for an award and won! With that in mind, I wanted to give her a look that made her feel special; Like she was the belle of the ball.” Mission accomplished!
Aduba’s glam squad gave us an exclusive sneak peek at how her hair and makeup came together—keep reading to see all the details.
“I chose to go with natural, earth-toned colors on her eyes, and a nude lip,” Smalls says. “It’s a look that can be recreated over the years and never look dated.” The pro began with Aduba’s eyes, defining her arches with Cargo’s Brow Pencil in Dark ($20; cargocosmetics.com) and smoothing the HD Picture Perfect Eye Shadow Primer ($19; cargocosmetics.com) all over.
Using the shadows in Yukon and Columbia ($16 each; cargocosmetics.com), Smalls applied the shimmery taupe onto her lids, then shaped Aduba’s crease with the matte brown hue. After a touch of black liner and mascara, she moved on to perfecting the star’s complexion. To ensure she was ready for her close-up, Smalls layered the HD Picture Perfect Pore Refining Primer ($32; cargocosmetics.com) under a duo of the One Base Concealers ($28; cargocosmetics.com), then set the effect with a pressed powder. “I love contouring her. Once I have the bronzer in my hand and the brush to her face, the look just comes alive!” says Smalls, who blended Cargo’s Blushes in Laguna and Cannes ($26 each; cargocosmetics.com) to achieve a radiant glow.
The artist then layered the Essential Lip Color in Dubai under a thin layer of the gloss in Tuscany ($22 and $16; cargocosmetics.com) to finish. Eager to try out the look? Smalls offers some sage advice. “A key thing to keep in mind would be to choose a nude lip that complements your skin tone,” she adds. “An easy way to do that is to run your foundation brush over your lips to neutralize the color, then add a pop of peachy-pink gloss on top.”
Aduba’s princess-esque gown called for an updo, so her hairstylist Jamika Wilson created a polished, uncomplicated chignon. “The look tonight was classic beauty—a simple bun with a little volume to keep it soft at the crown. Very glamorous and chic!” she says.
Once Wilson had lathered and rinsed with Motions Lavish Conditioning Shampoo and the Moisture Plus Conditioner ($4 each; walgreens.com), a few pumps of the Styled Straight Finish Sealer ($6; walgreens.com) gave Aduba’s strands a heat-protective barrier from the blow-dryer and flat iron. “Iron the hair smooth, making sure to leave volume across the crown, then pull it back into a simple bun and secure with hair pins,” Wilson advises. “For added volume, fluff hair with your fingers at the root, then smooth the sides and edges of hair at the nape of the neck with Motions’ Shine Enhancing Pomade ($4; walgreens.com).”
A cocktail of the Light Hold Working Spritz and Oil Sheen Conditioning Spray ($4; walgreens.com) served as the final touch, holding the style in place while giving off a healthy shine.