Kerry Washington Power Make-up

by Jenna Von Oy | Last Updated on: June 25th, 2021 at 1:45 pm

Lucky me got to finally work with the divine Kerry Washington recently while she was in London to pick up her ‘Woman of the year’ Glamour award. Her role as crisis management’ lady boss Olivia Pope has ensured Kerry a firm foot in the door of many a home’s consciousness and making her up got a chorus of ‘Ooh I love her‘-s from women I mentioned it to.

Olivia Pope

Loosely based on Judy Smith (George W Bush’s Deputy Press Secretary), Shonda Rhimes created the first lead role for an African American woman on a primetime network drama since Diahann Carroll in 1968’s  ‘Julia’ and Teresa Graves starred in ‘Get Christy Love’ in the early 70s.

Olivia Pope must have been the woman Giorgio Armani imagined when he designed what came to be known as  ‘the power suit for women in the 80’s and she wears the modern (waaaayyy less shoulder-padded!) version in the show as the ultimate in sartorial armour.


That distinct, staccato-style delivery of lines such as “in the past three minutes, you have called me a criminal, a whore, an idiot, and a liar, so this is pretty much the last time we’ll be speaking” is TV legend amongst the global sisterhood.

So let me get back to the getting of Kerry’s ‘woman of the year’ look…

From Power Suit to Power Make-Up

A knockout 2 piece outfit by David Koma mixed simplicity with red carpet glamour perfectly, which also meant that I could really play her eyes up without getting into overload.

Kerry has enviably perfect skin, which I merely subtly ‘brightened’ with a sheer veil of Laura Mercier’s Silk Creme Foundation (cleverly, it now comes in both oil-free and ‘moisturising photo edition’ formulas) in Pecan. I then powdered Kerry’s ‘T Zone’ with Bobbi Brown’s Loose Powder in Soft Honey.

I’m not a fan of matte blusher because I like cheeks and cheekbones to look vibrant and high.

Mattening the cheeks has a flattening effect which works great around nose, foreheads and chins, but can make the overall complexion appear a little dull.

Thandie and I often use cream blusher but I wanted to make sure that Kerry’s make-up would be long lasting (I knew she’s have a long night of celebrating ahead!) so I used Clinique’s new Cheek Pop powder blusher in Peach Pop, this range has that modern, oh-so-subtle shimmer that is essential to giving strong make-up a fresh bounce.

I also applied this onto Kerry browbone as a ‘warm-up’ base for the dark eye make-up.

I wanted to give Kerry big smoldering eyes, so I began by lining the roots of her entire upper lashes with Revlon Colorstay Eyeliner in Black and softening up the line with my fingertip. I did a finer line on the root of her lower lashes too, being careful to really blend in to avoid a hard line.

Then using my finger again, I applied Chanel Illusion D’ Ombres in Illusoire 0over Kerry entire lid and socket lines. The beauty of this new generation of ‘cream/powder’ eyeshadows is that they blend so easily- so long as you place it in the right shape for your eyes (experiment and practice), you too can become an expert blender!

To add depth to Kerry’s eyes, I applied Cover Girl Eyeshadow in Black Tie to the outer edge of her lashes and accentuate the socket lines using a small brush and finally completing the eyes with L’Oreal Paris Super Liner Perfect Slim in Intense Black and Maybelline Lash Sensational Black Pearl Washable Mascara.

I brushed up Kerry’s brows, fillied and widened them with a matte Taupe Eyeshadow (any one will do) and set them with clear mascara, basically the same thing as brow gel..

Finally I applied Benefit’s ‘Cha Cha Balm’ to her killer pout.

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Jenna von Oy began her professional acting career at the age of six, when she landed her first big break in a Jell-O Pudding Pop commercial with Bill Cosby. Von Oy has made her mark in television, having been a series regular on three network sit-coms.