Issa Rae’s Makeup Artist Used Two Brilliant Highlighter Tricks for Her Emmy Look

It's a big night for Issa Rae. She's nominated for her first Emmy — specifically Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series, that comedy series being HBO's brilliant Insecure. Needless to say, all eyes will be on her, which means her makeup artist, Joanna Simkin, was tasked with giving her one of her most gorgeous red-carpet makeup looks yet. Right after sending Rae on her way, Simkin spoke to Allure about exactly what went into her award-worthy glow.

After prepping Rae’s skin with the Dermaflash dermaplaning device — as well as the cleanser and moisturizer that comes with it — she faced an interesting challenge: how to make her skin as radiant as possible yet make the look last all night.

"I always want to focus on giving her glowing skin, but it’s a long day and I need a long-wear situation," Simkin tells Allure, so she used a damp Beautyblender to apply CoverGirl TruBlend Matte Made Liquid Foundation in the shade Soft Sable (D80). But even though the foundation is matte, “I really wanted to enhance the glow on her cheekbones, so I dipped another damp sponge into the CoverGirl TruBlend Super Stunner Highlight Palette in Glowing Up, and instead of using setting powder, I literally set it with highlight powder."

As for Rae's eyes, Simkin was inspired by the crystal-covered Vera Wang jumpsuit the star chose for the night. "I took a swatch of the fabric at one of our fittings a few weeks ago because I wanted to match the color exactly," she says. She went with a bright, peacock-blue shade from the Dazed version of the CoverGirl TruNaked Eyeshadow Palette, which she pressed onto her lids. However, to make it more of a sky blue, she used the pearliest shade in the It’s Lit version of the Super Stunner Highlight Palette and tapped that over the blue. "That was a nice way to tone down the blue and make it pearlescent."

To complete her eyes, "I gave her a really light wing just to enhance the shape of her eye." Instead of liner, she applied the darkest color from the TruNaked Nudes Eyeshadow Palette with an angled brush. She topped it all off with CoverGirl's new Flourish by LashBlast Mascara.

For the lips, Simkin went with CoverGirl Exhibitionist Lipstick in Streaker, a demi-matte shade. “It’s kind of a pinky-nude that doesn’t compete with the eye,” she says. And amazingly, that’s the only product Simkin handed off to Rae for touchups. “She’s a pretty low-maintenance girl," she says, laughing. "If I hand her four things she’s like, ‘Whaaaat do you want me to do with this?’"

Considering how amazing she looks, all Issa Rae has to do is show up and enjoy the much-deserved accolades.

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