By Kelsey Glein
Dec 11, 2015 @ 5:45 am

Since receiving her first Oscar nomination in 2009, InStyle's January cover star Viola Davis has attended her fair share of red carpet events—and looked amazing at every stop along the way.

"When I got my first Oscar nomination for Doubt, I had never been made up and been on a red carpet ever in my life," she reveals in the behind-the-scenes video from her cover shoot, above. "So those were some of my favorite red carpet looks." One that stood out in particular? A bold, yellow David Meister one shoulder dress that she donned at the 2009 SAG Awards. "I remember Lisa Rinna said, 'Oh you have the best dress of the night,' which probably wasn't true, but I felt that way," she says. "I felt very pretty."

But as far as memorable moments go, her 2015 Emmy Awards ensemble might take the cake, not only because of her gorgeous black-and-white floral gown. "Sergio, who does my makeup for How to Get Away With Murder, said 'Viola you should wear your natural hair. If you win and your daughter [Genesis, now 5] looks back at that moment, it would be so powerful if you wore your hair. If you really looked like you,'" Davis says. "And then the dress, of course, Carmen Marc Valvo, I just loved. I felt like a princess, but I felt like my princess. You know, 'me.'"

For more from Davis on her favorite red carpet looks, watch the video above, and to read her full interview, pick up the January issue of InStyle, available on newsstands and for digital download now

Credit: Jan Welters