Emmy Rossum’s Secret to Looking Good (Even When Vomiting)

Suzy Byrne
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Emmy Rossum is a true fashionista.

While most of her peers employ stylists whose job is to make them look good every time their stilettoed foot touches the red carpet, the 27-year-old actress takes a more do-it-yourself approach.

The "Shameless" star, who will talk (and critique!) fashion as a guest judge on "Project Runway" on Thursday, serves as her own stylist. She goes to fashion shows to scope out clothes she likes on the runway, tracks down each designer's email address, and contacts them personally to ask to borrow a piece, returning it all when she's done. It's a time-consuming process considering she's, ya know, logging 14-hour days on the set of her hit Showtime series.

Omg! caught up with the brunette beauty and asked why she's a DIY girl when it comes to fashion — and for her style and beauty tips and tricks.

Why she acts as her own stylist: Yes, she knows it would be easier to pay someone. "But I love clothes!" Rossum told us at the Origins Smarty Plants event benefiting charity: water in Manhattan. "I like dressing up. I like dressing down. I like experimenting. And I've never been able to draw, so I'm really impressed by the idea of drawing something and then being able to actually wear it. Plus, I think I have a unique aesthetic — or at least it's one that I'm comfortable with — which is ever-changing and evolving." And how does she pull together her red carpet looks? "I love to go to Fashion Week and take pictures of stuff that I want," said the Manhattan native, who — sure enough — was spotted snapping away with her Canon last month from her front row seat at several shows. "I'm lucky enough that I can get email addresses of [the designers] and contact them and be like, 'Hey, so I have an event and I want look number 17. They'll send it to me and then I'll send it back."

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How long it takes her to get red carpet ready: Just under an hour and a half, she said, breaking it down: "From wet hair to blow-dried is about 25 minutes. Fixing it is another 30 minutes. Putting makeup on about 25 minutes." And when she's applying her own makeup? "I use a huge magnifying mirror, making sure I'm not making [any mistakes] because these HD cameras are so scary now. They catch everything."

If she had time for one step of her beauty regime before going out, it would be… "Clarisonic!" she said enthusiastically, referring to the skin cleaning system. She insisted she would then step out makeup-free ... even if the paparazzi were around.

Her go-to color is… "Red! I like brunettes in red outfits, with red nails, and everything red."

The key to looking good when feeling crappy? Faking it! "Actually forcing yourself to get dressed in something that looks good, but is comfortable," she said. "The worst thing you can do is put on something tight that's gonna make you feel like a tightly cased sausage. The best thing? Put on a pair of your favorite boyfriend jeans, a heel, and a cute shirt. Even if you throw your hair in a top knot and put on some bright lipstick you'll feel a little bit better. I do that — even when I'm sick in my house and sneezing, I'll still have lipstick on. Or I'll do like a winged eye when I'm vomiting with the flu."

On whether she wears makeup to play her unglamorous "Shameless" character, Fiona: "They always usually do a little something," she said about her very stark look on the show, which has her character raising her five younger siblings. "It's usually some kind of beauty balm or color corrector or tinted moisturizer. It's very, very minimal." And no flashy manicures when she's shooting the series, which started production on Season 4 last month. "I mean I get them cleaned up, but they don't get color or anything."

"It's been very liberating to play a character who isn't really focused on beauty and to have the public — and especially men — find her so attractive," she added. "It reinforces that we really care about beauty products for ourselves and for other women. Whether or not we have the latest nail color or lip color isn't really going to snag Mr. Right."

Her secret to a good selfie is… "A good angle," said the actress, who tilts the phone and positions it below herself pointing up. (See the selfie she snapped for us on Instagram.) "And just having the right bend so it doesn't look like you're taking it yourself."

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