Angela Bassett Shares Her Red Carpet Beauty Secrets

The actress calls getting glam “an intimate experience.”

Posted: 08/08/2014 12:49 PM EDT

We never grow tired of watching Angela Bassett light up the red carpet, and the actress is sure to stun when she takes her mark at the 66th Primetime Emmy Awards on August 25. (She’s nominated for her role as a voodoo priestess on American Horror Story: Coven.) And luckily for us, she’s spilling the secrets for preserving her pretty for all these years.

“In the beginning of my career I was just excited that someone was going to do my hair or makeup,” the actress tells Violet Grey's online magazine. “But over time you find the right personalities and fall in love with the way different people make you look and feel. It’s an intimate experience.” 

The 55-year-old stuns in sexy black lingerie and jewels for her boudoir-themed photo shoot, and while she admits to trusting her team to get her primped for the red carpet, she’s proud to be able to pull off a smoking hot, night-out-on-the town look in a pinch.

“Well, it only takes me about 10 minutes! I start thinking about it in the car on the way home. Do I want to be flirty? Sensual? Powerful? Then I try to dress for that feeling. My husband [actor Courtney B. Vance] always says, ‘Lord, you’ve made something out of nothing. How did you do that?’” she says.

“Recently we had the wrap party for Whitney [the Whitney Houston biopic Bassett directed], and it was real simple: foundation, mascara, a red lip, and you’re done. I’m not very good with eye shadow, but I’ve got foundation down,” the actress continues.

As for her favorite products, “The foundation is Kevyn Aucoin; I like that. And I have to use the BeautyBlender — I fell in love as soon as I tried. You don’t see where the makeup starts and ends,” she says, adding that Nars Red Lizard is her go-to shade of crimson.

Having transformed herself to play some of history’s most daring women, including Rosa Parks and Tina Turner, Bassett is in a league of her own in Hollywood, but she’s never lost sight of who she is on the inside. When asked what she sees when she looks in the mirror, she says, “A passionate woman who knows what she loves and has been blessed to be able to do it…and continue to do it!”

Amen to that, sister!

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(Photos: ROBIN BLACK for Violet Grey)

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