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Actress arrives at the 68th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards at Microsoft Theater on September 18, 2016 in Los Angeles, California.
Credit: Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic

America Ferrera was an absolute bombshell on the red carpet of the 2016 Emmys, turning heads in a glitzy curve-hugging Jenny Packham dress that served up total ‘70s vibes. To match the glamour of the era, makeup artist Vanessa Scali wanted to create a modern take on the decade’s iconic beauty look…and she hit it out of the park.

Embracing the beauty trends of a particular era can get campy real fast, which is why Scali instead focused on perfecting Ferrera’s skin with show-stopping luminosity and creating a beautify bronzy eye.

“For me, every look starts with the skin,” she tells MIMI exclusively. “Beginning with Simple Hydrating Cleansing Oil ($10; creating the perfect canvas for a flawless face. For makeup, cream shadows have a transparent quality that look luminous and effortless on the skin. mark. All Time Eye Hook Up Longwear Shadows gave me the finish and color I was looking for.”

Scali is quick to point out that an event like the Emmys isn’t the place to go crazy with risks. And although she may have some ideas for a client’s look before the big day, ultimately the final inspiration becomes a game time decision.

“Sometimes I have an idea of what I am going to create ahead of time but dresses and minds change quickly, and it’s often a spur of the moment decision,” she explains. “For me, red carpet is more about collaboration—the look as a whole. When she gets in the car, I want her to feel beautiful, chic, and effortless.”

After Scali prepped Ferrera’s skin with the cleansing oil (just a few drops massaged into the skin followed by a light rinse), she followed up with Simple Skincare Protecting Light Moisturizer SPF 15 ($10;, an important step under the hot Los Angeles sun for a daytime red carpet like the Emmys.

The makeup artist continued to work on that flawless face by applying mark.’s Got the Goods Multi-Benefit Foundation Lotion Broad Spectrum SPF 15 to even out Ferrera’s skin tone, with a bit of the brand’s Super Conceal Full Coverage Concealer ($10; under her eyes, on the cheekbones, and the bridge of the nose (which Scali says adds a bit of light). And that sun-kissed glow is courtesy of the Glowdacious Illuminating Powder. Now about that bronzy eye.

“I mixed All Time Eye Hook Up Longwear Shadow ($10 each; in Sun Ray and Tender Love and applied it from the lash line to the crease and under the lower lashes, blending it into the skin well so the edge would be soft,” she says. Scali then added a bit of Quick Sand on the brow bone to enhance this area.

To line the eyes, Scali did something we’ve never really considered—she layered eyeliner, first using No Place to Run Waterproof Eyeliner in Jet Set on the top lash line, then On the Edge Full Size Hook Up Liquid Eyeliner in Cleo at the base of the lashes. But that’s not all.

VIDEO: See The Stars On The Emmys Red Carpet

“I used No Place to Run Waterproof Eyeliner in Foxy Brown smudged just under the bottom lashes, which added a subtle intensity without overwhelming the eye,” she explains.

Of course, no red carpet look would ever be complete without some dramatic lashes. Scali applied Lash Is More Easy-On Faux Eyelashes ($16;, then polished them off with True Color Wide Awake Mascara in Black.

BRB, going to practice layering my eyeliner now. Genius.