Proving that the right (or wrong!) lighting can seriously play tricks on you, Taraji P. Henson posted a selfie on Instagram on Wednesday, August 22, in which she was nearly unrecognizable. In the caption, the Empire actress joked that she looked like a long lost member of the Jackson 5 in the “trippy” pic, and it didn’t take long for her makeup artist to break down exactly why the star looked so different in the snap.
In the photo Henson posted, she rocks a gorgeous berry lip, bold brows and fluttery lashes, but her skin tone appears cooler than usual. “Uuuuuuummmmmm kinda Trippy NO? Hair and make up is something huh? I think it’s the lighting,” Henson quipped on Instagram. “If not I was supposed to be the 6th of the 5 😩😂😂😂 💋💋💋.”
While many fans were joking about the unintentional look-alike moment in the comments section of the post, some called out her glam squad for not understanding how to do the star’s makeup. But, as it turns out, Henson’s makeup actually looked #flawless IRL — it was appearing washed out because of the lighting.
Her longtime makeup artist Ashunta Sheriff took to Instagram to show a side-by-side of the pic the actress posted in her personal trailer on set and a photo taken in the makeup room. The difference is astounding.
Today I got roasted by social media @theshaderoom @dcyoungfly and fans let me have it and even told @tarajiphenson to fire me… well same hair and makeup same day in these two pictures but let me explain to the novice #makeupartist out here in the social media world. Lighting makes a major difference in how your makeup appears. Taraji has a yellow undertone and in her trailer the lights are fluorescent. Where as in the #makeuptrailer the lights are natural light bulbs. Anyone who is a pro knows that fluorescent lighting will turn your skintone green and make you appear ashy. I’ve done Tarajis makeup for many many years in fact many celebrities and I was reluctant to address this but I decided it was necessary to teach you novice makeup artist and people who don’t know lighting whatsoever that it does affect how your makeup looks. Furthermore makeup for TV, red carpet, editorial, film etc are all different mediums and makeup reads differently depending on the format used, cameras, lighting, background, hair color, clothing etc. I’ve been doing this over 20 years so imma say this don’t come for my job or my talent cause the work speaks for itself. I’m so damn tired of people throwing stones and don’t even understand the technicalities involved when it comes to #makeup #hair or #fashion and be so quick to judge people’s work without knowing all the technicalities involved. We all have bad days but just so you trolls know this wasn’t one of them. Judge my work when you stand next to her in public and if she look ashy or green then come get at ya girl… f#&? Outta here… but @dcyoungfly you were funny we did laugh and thanks for treating the queen with #respect #tarajiphenson #KnowYourSh$$1st #clownasspeople #socialmediaamesssometimes #doyouhaveacareerNadontthinkso #20plusyearsinthegame #googlemebitches #blessed🙏🏾
As Sheriff explained, Henson has a natural “yellow undertone” but certain types of lighting (read: those awful florescent bulbs) can “turn your skin tone green and make you appear ashy.” While the makeup trailer has what the makeup pro describes as “natural light bulbs,” the actress took the selfie under florescent ones.
“Lighting makes a major difference in how your makeup appears,” Sheriff wrote on Instagram. While she said that she was “reluctant” to address the shade being thrown her way by people who thought Henson was wearing the wrong foundation color, she decided to set the record straight and share what she’s learned about lighting from her more than two decades in the industry.
“I decided it was necessary to teach you novice makeup artists and people who don’t know lighting whatsoever that it does affect how your makeup looks. Furthermore, makeup for TV, red carpet, editorial, film, etc are all different mediums and makeup reads differently depending on the format,” she continued. “[Don’t] be so quick to judge people’s work without knowing all the technicalities involved.”
Lesson well learned. Just one more reason to avoid florescent lighting while taking photos at all costs.
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