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Taraji P. Henson
Credit: Robbie Fimmano/Walter Schupfer

Empire fans know and love Taraji P. Henson as the family drama’s fabulously fierce Cookie Lyon, the mama bear of the hip-hop dynasty at the series’ core. But when she’s not busy rocking Cookie’s over-the-top fashion choices onscreen (colorful furs and animal prints, anyone?), Henson’s real-life style is just as spot-on.

Our January cover star is an original in every sense of the word, whether she’s hitting the red carpet in Valentino or running around town in one of her go-to motorcycle jackets. She wears her clothes; they never wear her. Even Henson’s ridiculously adorable one-year-old French bulldog, K-Ball, is a trend-setter, frequently sporting designer ensembles that we can only imagine his mom squealing about with excitement.

VIDEO: Behind the Scenes at Taraji P. Henson's InStyle Cover Shoot

Of course, Henson’s style goes beyond just what meets the eye. In addition to giving us constant style and beauty inspo, it’s her constant state of cool that we truly admire. We asked the actress — who stars next in the upcoming comedy What Men Want — to give us the scoop on all of her current obsessions, from her fashion and beauty favorites to her travel and pop culture picks. Here are 15 things she’s loving right now, and for more stories like this, pick up the January issue of InStyle, available on newsstands, on Amazon, and for digital download Dec. 7.

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Eyeshadow MVP

"Fenty Beauty Moroccan Spice Eyeshadow Palette."


Dream designers
Credit: Getty Images

Dream Designers

Off-White, Alexander Wang, Dapper Dan, and Vera Wang.”

Getty Images

Travel Hot Spot
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Travel Hot Spot

"Turks and Caicos is a favorite island getaway.”

Anna_Jedynak/Getty Images

Style Icon
Credit: Ron Galella/Getty Images

Style Icon

"Bianca Jagger."

Ron Galella/Getty Images

Pout Perfect

Pout Perfect

"Metallic lip colors from MAC."


Song on repeat
Credit: Courtesy

Song on Repeat

“'Money,' by Cardi B."


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Sweet Scent

"Jo Malone. [Other favorites are] Chanel, Bond 9, and Versace."


Top restaurant
Credit: Kimberly Genevieve/Redux

Top Restaurant

"Gracias Madre in West Hollywood."

Kimberly Genevieve/Redux

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select Chanel boutiques

Best Bag



Binge-worthy show 
Credit: Mark Davis/FX

Binge-Worthy Show


Mark Davis/FX

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ashuntasheriff.com (coming soon)

Ultimate Glow

"Ashunta Sheriff Boss Babe Illuminating Radiant Powder."


Current read

Current Read

"The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts by Gary Chapman."


Jewelry must-have

Jewelry Must-Have

"My Sister Love hoops from Mary J. Blige's [collaboration with Simone I. Smith]."


Travel essential
Credit: kballhenson/Instagram

Travel Essential



Signature drink
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Signature Drink

“Red or white sangria from [my brand] Saungria.”

EHStock/Getty Images