At last night’s Emmy Awards, one beauty look totally stole the show: Taraji P. Henson’s incredible purple smoky eyes. Dramatic and wearable all at once, this is basically how we dream of looking on the red carpet—and amazingly, this stunning eye look was created all drugstore products. That’s right: you can get Taraji’s look for less than the price of lunch.
We talked to legendary makeup artist Ashunta Sheriff about how she created this iconic red carpet look for Taraji—and it turns out that the inspiration was her gorgeous, chain-embellished dress. “Alexander Wang created an edgy princess gown for an edgy rock star actress,” she said. “The dress called for smoky eyes with lots of liner and sexy lashes.”
Here’s how you can get Taraji’s sexy Emmys eyes (it’s easier than you think!).
Step 1: To begin, Ashunta applied L’Oréal Paris Silkissime Eyeliner by Infallible in Black ($8.99, drugstore.com) all across lids and lashlines. She blended out the pencil on the lid; this acted as a base for the eyeshadow, intensifying the color and providing extra-long, flawless wear.
Step 2: Using her fingers (they’re the best brushes you own), Ashunta blended L’Oréal Infallible Eye Shadow in Smoldering Plum ($8.95, drugstore.com), a warm violet shade with lots of shimmer, all over the eyelids. She then layered in deep brown shades from the L’Oréal Colour Riche La Palette Nude ($17.99, drugstore.com) across the crease and along the lower lashline. Not only did this deepen the warm purple shade, it also blends it and makes it a little easier to wear—a great tip for anyone looking to incorporate bold eye makeup into their daily beauty routine!
Step 3: Ashunta then coated upper and lower lashes with two coats of the brand new L’Oréal Voluminous Superstar Mascara in Blackest Black ($10.99, drugstore.com). The delicate yet volumizing brush enables you to really get to every lash—we think it’s one of the best mascara brushes on the market, even by department store standards.
Step 4: The finishing touch? That stunning cat eye liner, of course! Ashunta traced L’Oréal Paris Voluminous Superstar Liner ($9.99, drugstore.com) along the upper and lower lashlines, winging it up towards the corner of the brow at the outer corner. “This gives the look a slightly mod feel,” Ashunta said. Pro tip: if black liner is too severe, try using grey instead.
Now go out there and slay! Cookie Lyon demands it!
More from Daily Makeover: The Best Beauty Looks at the 2015 Emmys