This week, TIME Magazine celebrated Kerry Washington’s year of artistry and activism with a very well-deserved cover dedication and accompanying celebration, proclaiming her a ‘Woman of the Year’. Considering she credits her now-legendary Olivia Pope character as part of the impetus behind her turn toward political activism, it makes sense that she’d show up in an ultra-sleek, serious-yet-stylish black ensemble accentuated by several pitch-perfect beauty touches worthy of Pope herself — Washington’s outline French manicure not least of all. Her ability to spread awareness of political issues, turn her social media into a social justice resource page, maintain her status as one of Hollywood’s most successful and respected actors and producers, and the fact that she consistently churns out fashion and beauty looks that are at once trendy yet still distinctly her makes Washington more than a Woman of the Year — she’s more like a Woman of the Century.
For the special event — which also honored fellow cause-driven celebs like Kacey Musgraves, Mj Rodriguez, and poet laureate Amanda Gorman — Washington appeared on the red carpet and at the panel interview in a plunging black cap-sleeve duster with a Ukrainian flag badge pinned to her lapel. Her side-parted hair, shiny and straightened, features a retro flip at the ends, clearing her shoulders by about an inch.
Washington has long had a reputation for experimenting with impossibly cool manicure styles (see: her massive OPI partnership) so naturally, her nails arrived at the event just as decked out. Her nail beds were polished a creamy white shade — designed by the mononymous Hollywood nail artist, Diễm, also known on Instagram as @nailsbydiem — with neat black outlines where French tips would go. This outline French manicure is perfect for minimalists and already gaining serious traction as a highly-requested style among celebrities and civilians. Along with Washington, Diễm’s also worked with A-listers like Katy Perry, Jessica Alba, and the entire Kardashian family on some of their most notable nail moments, including Washington’s striking silver chrome manicure at a charity gala.
As for her makeup, Washington’s a big fan of a classic smoky eye paired with a pink, nude, or otherwise toned-down lip. For this event, though, the star opted for a glossier version of that look, with some rose-tinted lip gloss that perfectly complemented her glowing cheekbone highlight. With beauty, brains, and a compassionate conscience, it wouldn’t be surprising if Washington’s next stop was...well, Washington.