Empire is one of those shows that frequently gets labeled as a “guilty pleasure.” For me, there is no guilt. There is only pleasure. I enjoy Empire for the glamour, the drama, the sizzling intrigue and especially the STYLE. I grew up on a diet of Dynasty, Falcon Crest and Knots Landing; and Empire gives me what I’ve been missing for so long. Over-the-top everything with a hot soundtrack, with a variety of women I can look to directly for style inspiration. And as an added bonus, sometimes scenes are filmed in familiar areas around Chicago so I love playing spot-the-location when I watch!

This January, I got an awesome invitation. My friends at COVERGIRL were shooting a top secret creative campaign, all inspired by Empire. And I got to visit the set!



You can see the results in the March issue of Vogue – the one with Rihanna on the cover. Four of the characters from the show – Anika, Rhonda, Tiana and Becky – are featured, complete with get-the-look guidance for their signature looks.

I got to see makeup artist Beverly Jo Pryor create The Rhonda Look (that’s a smokey eye and a nude lip with glossy lips and larger than life lashes). I also got to watch her create The Becky Look – that’s pink eye shadow and a purple lip. You know I LIVE for a purple lip, and Gabby Sidibe rocked the look to perfection!

She’s rocking Lip Lava in Lava-nder over Queen Collection Stay Luscious Lipstick in 715 Elegance.


Can I just tell you that these new Queen Stay Luscious Lipsticks are FIRE? I’m obsessed. Deep, bold, lasting lip colors that look exquisite on women all shades of beautiful. So up my alley.


Becky & Patrice

On the set I got to kick it with Gabourey Sidibe for a bit and she is SO funny and engaging and cool. Before heading to her COVERGIRL video shoot, we chopped it up about plus size fashion – we both love Eloquii and Simply Be! And I got to tell show designer Paolo Nieddu about some of my indie designer favorites – I can totally see Gabby rocking Jibri, Monif C, Sofistafunk or 828 Collection!

I got to spend some time interviewing Empire’s Makeup Department Head Beverly Jo Pryor – her resume is ridiculously impressive, she’s done just about every major movie and TV show I grew up watching! Beverly gave me a little behind the scenes insight about her job and about this Empire + COVERGIRL collaboration.


Afrobella – What is it like being on Empire set, versus other sets you have been on?

Beverly Jo Pryor – It’s really fun, a lot of energy, the actors are great the crew is great, I’m blessed. It’s a great opportunity and I love it. Every day is fun for me – we work hard and there are long hours but that’s a given, but we get to do fun things. You get to help be a part of the creation sometimes, have fun and still be creative at the same time!

Afrobella – Talk to me about this collection and working with this kind of makeup.

Beverly Jo Pryor – It’s great – because you can buy it. That’s what makes it convenient and easy…you don’t have to go to a fancy store. You can find these products almost anywhere. They have a variety of natural looks for every day, consumer and film TV. On this set I got to play with all the makeup since everyone has a different look.

Afrobella – What are your favorite breakout products of the collection that stand out?

Beverly Jo Pryor – I like their eyeshadows; the quad eyeshadows are hot. I love the lip collection – I love the glosses, they have great colors. There is something for everybody. It’s perfect for a person who doesn’t know how to do makeup that well, but there’s stuff for people who want to go the extreme. The quads make it super easy for those learning to use makeup. COVERGIRL has a lot of variety and you can mix and match the colors from multiple quads. Get all the quads and you’re set. The mascaras are great.

Afrobella – You are working under these hot and bright lights – I tend to get oily – how do you control that on set?

Beverly Jo Pryor – That’s when we go into touch up. You prepare for if it’s hot and sometimes we’re working in the cold. You just have to prepare your set bag for every situation. You just have to be on top of it and maintain. We maintain all the time until they finish and say wrap.

Afrobella – What’s your advice for someone who wants to stay matte?

Beverly Jo Pryor –  Just use a pressed powder – a translucent pressed powder. It’s easy, you can carry it in your purse – if you find a color that matches that works. COVERGIRL has some great colors – if you find a color that you like, that’ll work great for touch ups.

It was so cool, going behind the scenes for this shoot!




If you haven’t yet looked at COVERGIRL’s latest, all I’ll say is really y’all, don’t sleep on the new Queen Collection Stay Luscious Lipsticks. They are SO HOT, they’re long lasting but not drying, and the colors are gorgeous on deep skin tones!




Be sure to tune into the spring premiere of Empire, tonight March 30th at 9/8c on FOX to see each of these beauties in action and tweet @COVERGIRL @EmpireFox and #GetThatGlam #EMPIRE with your favorite look! Additionally, check out COVERGIRL’s YouTube page for further behind-the-scenes access to these looks with how-to tutorials.

Thanks for this amazing opportunity, COVERGIRL! What’s your favorite of the Empire looks, bellas?


Patrice says:
March 30, 2016, 5:08 pm
Looks like a great time! I'll definitely buy a few of the lipstick colors--very nice.
pets says:
March 30, 2016, 7:29 pm
Wow! From the pictures and the write up these are some essential makeup items I need to get! I love Gabby and Taraji - will check the march Vogue for more details. Hope to see you Ms. Afrobella as a COVERGIRL one day!
Derris McQueen says:
July 21, 2016, 11:29 pm
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwwlMomuAqtocd87PINMCDg Hey! I'd love if you guys would check out my first YouTube tutorial. & tell me what you think! :) It will be greatly appreciated. Look me up at 'Derris McQueen' #Support :)