Variety Power of Women 2013: The Must-See Beauty Looks

Jessica Alba's sexy makeup, Charlize Theron's cool crop, and more excellent beauty looks from this event.

Pretty is as pretty does.

It MUST be true, because the celebs who attended Variety's Power of Women event this year—a celebration of their philanthropic achievements—almost unanimously killed it in the hair and makeup stakes. Seriously, this is a good one, guys. Let's examine each star's look:

Jessica Alba

Hot babe alert! Jessica pretty much always looks good, but I think she looks extra good here with the hair and makeup working in tandem to produce this soft sexiness. This hair length should be her Life Cut—I think she looks best with it somewhere between here and her collarbones, not any longer. Totally into the loose, wavy texture and how it's tucked behind one ear, plus the caramel colour is so flattering.

Makeup-wise, this was probably Avon makeup artist Lauren Andersen's work. (She's also Jessica's BFF and I have a massive girl crush on her—interviewed her in the summer, so stay tuned for an upcoming post!) The brown shadow and long lashes are sexy without being over-the-top, and that mauve-ish lip feels new and fresh.

Charlize Theron

So THIS is what Charlize's hair looks like lately, because I've been wondering. (If you recall, she shaved it all off for a role last year and then we've seen it very cropped at the GLAAD awards earlier this year.) Now that it's growing out more, the cut really reminds me of Elsa Pataky's—which, as you know, I adore. The key is that really long front section, which sweeps across the forehead. Do you like it better on Elsa or Charlize?

As for her makeup, it's her go-to glowy neutral look: bronzey eyes, peach blush and a nude gloss. So, so elegant.

Jennifer Hudson

Jennifer looks aMAZing here. And I'm glad, because I felt awkward about her last red carpet appearance at the MTV Video Music Awards. I'm glad she got rid of the bangs and switched it up from the super-long, super-straight hair she's been wearing so often. I actually think I'd like to see her cut it to Jessica Alba's length and keep this wavy texture.

And now can we talk about that lip? Although it's a colour I'd never be able to wear myself—dark, brownish matte red—it's incredible with her skin tone. I'm kind of obsessed and think it makes the entire look.

Elizabeth Banks

Speaking of lips, Elizabeth also made a bold choice with this red. Look at it. It's really red. I like that she had the confidence to wear it even if she doesn't have the plumpest of lips, and it's even more gorgeous with her bare, glowy skin and just a thin line of black along the upper lash lines. She's got great brows, too.

The hair's got the volume at the top that so many celebs are doing lately with their updos. I think she pulls it off well—it works with her face shape and the texture gives her otherwise ladylike makeup and dress a bit of edge.

Kerry Washington

Here's Kerry looking very glowy, and did you notice the touch of red in her hair? I like that it adds some warmth without overpowering her natural colour. And I always like her hair best when it's smooth and straight; here, the interest is the section that's been pulled back just at the very top.

As for the makeup, I think everything is great... except we've got that ongoing foundation-matching issue where the lower half of her face takes on a slight ashy cast. Do you see it? Foundation is such a bitch, and especially for darker skin tones. Paging Iman to get her something better, stat!

Nicole Kidman

Not Nicole's best, I'll be the first to admit. But maybe, just maybe, she's easing up on the injections? Her lips at least look more normal here, and her cheeks aren't artificially puffed out. She has lovely skin, and actually the makeup is quite good. I have the exact same heavy-lidded eye problem, where makeup just disappears, so Nicole has wisely done a brown shadow (not too dark) on the outer edges above the crease, and then focused on mascara and lining the bottom lash line with bronze to open things up. Gorgeous blush colour on her, too.

Not much to say on the hair, since we can't see the back. It's fine, but probably not as flattering on her as when it's down, since she has a long face and needs the extra width.

Hannah Simone

Holy hair shine, Hannah. This is like a hair commercial level of glossiness, it's in such great condition. And man am I jealous that her bangs fall like that, so thick and without a hint of separation.

I'm on the fence about the makeup. She looks gorge, just not sure if such a dramatic false lash was needed, because it kinda dates the look if you know what I mean? And maybe her foundation is a fraction too light.

Amy Poehler

Amy needs to do her hair and makeup like this, and wear blue, more often—I think this is the best I've seen her look! Love the side-parted long bob in the textured waves, and it's a great example of this style working well on women of all ages. Amy is 42 and it looks just as good on her as on all the 22-year-olds I tend to show you. It's a very youthful and versatile hairdo.

The makeup is what I aspire to on a daily basis. See how the eyes are emphasized right at the lash line, but there's nothing harsh about them? I've done this myself by tightlining all the way around (even if it's totally messy) and then taking a Q-tip dipped in makeup remover (a watery one, not oily) and removing most of it so that I'm just left with a soft, smudgy rim like this. The pink lip stain with a slick of gloss on top is also super-pretty, especially with her blonde hair and the blue top. Love all of this!

Tell me:

Which of these hair and makeup looks do you like?

Is there anything you'd change on anybody?

Any ideas here you'd try on yourself? I'm about to go attempt Amy's eyes... and I need to find a mauve like Jessica!

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