Belfast Telegraph

Behind Taraji P. Henson's Empire beauty

Taraji P. Henson's Empire make-up artist and hairstylist have revealed how they create her onscreen look.

(Cover) - EN Star Style - Taraji P. Henson's look is "edgy and strong" when her Empire alter ego handles business.

The 45-year-old actress wows as record label co-founder Cookie Lyon in the musical TV show. With the second series gearing up for release, some of the people behind the character's onscreen looks have shared their secrets.

“When Cookie is falling in love, her make-up is soft and glowy,” make-up artist Ashunta Sheriff told Refinery29.

“When Cookie is handling serious business, her look is more edgy and strong. Her fashion and her beauty coincide with what is happening in her life. Cookie was behind the trends for 17 years because of her incarceration, so she's trying every lipstick, every pump, bag and lash."

For the new series, Ashunta has dived into a wider range of lip colours with Taraji.

It isn't just Cookie's use of cosmetics which have developed though, as hairstylist Melissa Forney reveals her locks are vital to the story of the show.

"The hairstyle looks support the plotline, because we are talking about Cookie,” Melissa explained. “She comes out as a beast. She knows her style ability. We say she’s part of the 'hair union Local 706'. She knows what she wants, and that’s that!”

Cookie's wardrobe gets even bolder as well; one outfit the businesswoman rocks is a gold pantsuit. Melissa thinks this ensemble makes the character look as though she's straight out of another era, describing the final look as a modern-day Bianca Jagger. Cranking things up even more, Ashunta used a violet matte lip cream to freshen up the 70s facade.

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