The $30 Eyeshadow That Made Taraji P. Henson Glow At The American Music Awards

Emma McIntyre /AMA2020/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
Taraji P. Henson’s 2020 AMA beauty look details: hair, skin, and makeup.

As you start your morning scroll through the 2020 American Music Awards photos, you might be thinking to yourself that, somehow, people are mistakenly posting pics of Taraji P. Henson from years gone by. Fortunately for those who tuned into the award show on Nov. 22, this isn't the case. Rather, the event's host cycled through 10-plus outfits during the program, with equally stunning hair transformations to boot. Taraji P. Henson's 2020 AMA beauty look involved outfit-complementing eyeshadow, a glitzy head wrap, and so much more.

Though as many great looks start, celebrity makeup artist Ashunta Sheriff-Kendricks began with a face peel. “I prepped Taraji’s skin using Alpyn Beauty Wild Huckleberry 8-Acid Polishing Peel. This five-minute mask is a game changer when prepping for red carpet," noted a quote from Sheriff-Kendricks in a press email. "It combines eight natural acids to help gently polish dull dead skin away." Afterwards, the artist followed up with the $68 Alpyn Beauty PlantGenius Brightening Survival Serum and $62 Line-Filling Eye Balm to completely hydrate the star's skin.

Next came makeup. Sheriff-Kendricks relied on a suite of Armani Beauty products — her complexion alone combined the $42 Luminous Silk Hydrating Primer, $38 Luminous Silk Concealer, and two shades of both the $40 Neo Nude Foundation (shade 10 to sculpt and shade 8 to brighten and lift beneath the eyes) and the $64 Neo Nude Fusion Powder (shades 4 and 8). Once the base was set, the makeup artist created Henson's subtle blushed cheeks with the $36 Neo Nude A-Line blush in 54, topping off the glowy skin with the $36 Neo Nude A-Line highlight in 10 on her cheekbones, inner eye corners, and across the bridge of her nose.


While definitely impressive, Henson's dark-lashed eye look stole the show, and worked with every outfit she slipped into the rest of the evening. Sheriff-Kendricks first layered on the $30 Eye Tint Liquid Eyeshadow in 9 — a pretty champagne shimmer — then finished it with an Eyes to Kill Lacquered liner cat-eye ($36), smudged-out Smooth Silk Eye Pencil in 2 ($30) across the lower lash line, and multiple coats of Black Ecstasy Mascara ($32). The $30 Armani Beauty Smooth Silk Lip Liner in 7 and $38 Lip Maestro Liquid Lipstick in the shades 103 and 105 were used to create a dimensional yet soft lip.

And then there was the hair. The expertise of celebrity hairstylist Tym Wallace was on full display as Henson bounced from bedazzled wrap to gradient black-and-red waves to a chic middle-parted bob. As Henson herself told Essence before the show: "I’m going to show you 900 ways to rock red hair." For those looking to recreate her long ombré look, it's time to revisit the '90s crimp — the stylist used the Joico JoiMist Medium Finishing Spray ($16.99), K-PAK Color Therapy Luster Lock Glossing Oil ($22.50), Beach Shake Texturizing Finisher ($19.99), and Flip Turn Volumizing Finishing Spray ($16.99) to create the defined and angular waves.

Though no one could blame you if you end up shopping your way through Henson’s entire beauty look. To get started, keep scrolling to browse a few of the key skin care, makeup, and haircare products used during the award show.

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