She Got That Glow: We Got the Secrets Behind Yara Shahidi’s All Grown-ish Up Look at the SAG Awards

Yara Shahidi at the SAG Awards on Jan. 20, 2018 (Christopher Polk/Getty Images for Turner)
Yara Shahidi at the SAG Awards on Jan. 20, 2018 (Christopher Polk/Getty Images for Turner)

The 2018 Grammys are tonight, but the fashion world is still raving about the looks from last Sunday’s Screen Actors Guild Awards. And we can’t breathe one word about that evening’s red carpet without acknowledging our current and forever #Fave, Yara Shahidi. Like, we may have to come up with a concept stronger than #Goals to explain how we feel about her.

When the 17-year-old shining star stepped on that SAG Awards red carpet, we collectively gasped—and haven’t taken a breath since. She snatched every one of our wigs that night, from her full, flowing mane and face glossed by Chanel all the way to the trailing train of her custom Ralph Lauren jumpsuit. And we can’t forget to mention the exaggerated back bow detail that added the perfect touch of whimsy to an otherwise sophisticated silhouette. Every single thing was right about that look.


Personally, I just had to know the details of her beyond-glam makeup and to-the-heavens hair. After a little cyber searching, I came across the two boss babes responsible for Yara’s carpet-crushing hair and makeup. After doing some gushing about the magic they created, I was able to tease out step-by-step instructions on how to re-create the textured tresses and flawless makeup from the red carpet—product details and all!

Hairstylist to the stars Nai’vasha Johnson is the real deal, having magnified the manes of many of our celebrity faves, including Zendaya, Uzo Aduba, songbirds (and Yara’s Grown-ish co-stars) Chloe x Halle, Dear White People’s Logan Browning and Chewing Gum’s Michaela Coel. Represented by Exclusive Artists Management, this celebrity hairstylist is a master, whether working with wigs and extensions, braided works of art or textured tresses.

With all of this talent, Johnson is more than just a hair expert. She has often spoken up in support of female-focused platforms, as well as addressing some of the pressures put on black women to alter their hair for cultural approval. For this mother of two daughters—one who has decided to keep her hair natural and another with a relaxer—the priority is on healthy hair and a woman’s right to choose and not feel pressured to conform. Her focus is healthy hair, in whatever form that means for any woman she is working with.

To achieve Yara’s showstopping look last Sunday, Johnson used products from natural-hair-care maven Taliah Waajid. Johnson says: “The inspiration was glamorous Diana Ross. I wanted her beautiful texture delicately brushed out.”


Johnson graciously gave us a detailed step-by-step on how she created Yara’s blown-out brown bombshell style for the SAG Awards:

  1. Saturate damp hair from root to tip with the Taliah Waajid Green Apple and Aloe Nutrition Leave-In Conditioner.
  2. Brush hair thoroughly with a boar-bristle brush to evenly distribute the product.
  3. Dry hair with a diffuser.
  4. Add a quarter size of Taliah Waajid Curly Curl Cream to define curls and add shine.
  5. Brush out hair with a boar-bristle brush to Diana Ross-esque perfection!

Now on to Yara’s flawlessly painted face, courtesy of celebrity makeup artist Emily Cheng. Her makeup masterpieces have been seen on red carpets and editorial pages for years. She is also responsible for many of Yara’s fresh looks that we’ve been swooning over recently.

Using all Chanel Beauty products, Cheng chose the matchless mix of deep-wine lips and high shine on the lids to complement the chic strapless, tuxedo-inspired gown-turned-jumpsuit made exclusively for Yara.


Here is Cheng’s full beauty breakdown of the Chanel products she used to achieve Yara’s glossy glow:

Prep Products

Eye Essentials 

Critical for Cheeks

Lip List 

So there you have it: We can all now be one step closer to Yara Shahidi shine ... which was definitely at the top of my 2018 resolutions. Check!

Christopher Polk/Getty Images for Turner
Christopher Polk/Getty Images for Turner

The Glow Up tip: We don’t know if Yara Shahidi will be gracing tonight’s Grammy red carpet, but you can watch and comment with The Glow Up gang on our Facebook thread, starting at 5:30 p.m. EST!

Shayna Watson is a writer who can be heard saying “Natural hair is a lifestyle” at least once a day. A Pittsburgh native, she now lives in a shoebox apartment in Brooklyn, N.Y. filled with shoes.

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