People's Choice Awards 2014: The Must-See Beauty Looks

Who had the best hair and makeup at the 2014 People's Choice Awards? The celebrity close-ups have arrived!

Lip gloss is dead. That's one bit of news I gathered from last night's People's Choice Awards in Los Angeles, where celeb after celeb was wearing matte lipstick. Never thought I would see the day! (But truly, they'll have to take my Dior over my dead body.)

Nude, brownish lips were another trend I spotted—and I'm not thrilled about it—plus soft, smudgy eye makeup and tousled, effortless hair. Let's go through all the looks, as per usual!

Jennifer Hudson

Wow, now this is a lip. I think J-Hud looks amazing; definitely one of her best showings ever. (Although that electric blue eyeliner at the AMAs was also incredible.) I love how this girl takes big makeup risks, like this bright pink, matte lipstick. Still waiting for word on the exact product, but to me it looks very much like the new Revlon ColorBurst Matte Balm in Unapologetic (also one of my top picks in the best beauty products of 2013).

Another thing I really like about her makeup is how much light is in the centre of her face. Likely some kind of illuminating base, such as the wonderful Chanel Le Blanc de Chanel Illuminating Base, which adds just the right amount of light for any skin tone. The rest of her makeup is very tone-on-tone, with sculpted eyelids and subtle pink blush, which lets the lips be the focus. Still digging the short hair on her too—she wears it well.

Drew Barrymore

Love Drew. Even though she really needs to wear a bra and I think I was the only one laughing when she talked about fanny packs. Anyway—here's another example of a bright, matte lip, this time from Drew's own makeup line. It's Flower Kiss Stick Velvet Lip Color in Get to the Poinsettia. I think she wore it just right, with some matching but subtle flush on the cheeks and mascara. That's it!

I really like her hair colour right now. Maybe because it's a shade close to my own? This in-between colour, not quite blonde but not quite red, is extremely flattering.

Jessica Alba

Jessica is so naturally sexy, I find it much more interesting when she goes slightly trendy, like with this light pink lipstick—matte again, people!—and the straight, centre-parted hair tucked behind her ears. The cool tone of the pink makes a fantastic contrast against her warm skin, hair and the gold ear jewellery. The lip is Lancôme; just waiting to find out which exact shade.

Another thing to note is her eyeshadow. It's not exactly a traditional smoky eye because the edges are a little graphic, still soft but extending in a dramatic angle toward her brows. (They're still working for her in that fuller shape, by the way.) If I could change one thing, it would be to match the colour of her forehead to the lower two thirds of her face... seems just slightly off, but may be the lighting.

Kat Dennings

I wouldn't mind trading places with Kat Dennings. So cool, so funny and so, so beautiful. Now that we've recovered from the brown lipstick experiment, we're back to a more flattering berry shade! (Makeup was by Lauren Andersen, who I recently interviewed for this Q&A.) Kat's skin is unreal and it's nice to see it matte after all the dewiness we've been subjected to lately. The defined brows and liner on the upper lash line balance out the lips nicely.

I think I love the hair most of all. The cascading curls with the headband feels very Valentino, and not at all like the standard cookie-cutter Hollywood hair. So refreshing!

Kat is wearing: Brow pomade • Blush in Coral Radiance • Eyeliner in Blackout • False lashes in #122 • Mascara • Lipstick in Radiant Raisin • Headband

Naya Rivera

Latest hair news is that Naya Rivera's gone blonde. Well, sort of. It's more of a caramel and I think it looks really good on her. (Let's hope the dry texture is deliberate and not the result of the hair dye.)

As for the makeup, I like the eyes, particularly that thin line of gold underneath them. The nude lip is a little grey and corpse-like. Mainly, I think she's wearing a bit too much bronzer and the contouring is too heavy; plus, I'm not so into that shimmery texture on the cheeks. The whole colour scheme is so monochromatic—it's all brown and beige—which feels dated to me, like a baby Kardashian.

Or maybe I'm just feeling this way because there is so much try in that facial expression. Ease up, girl!

Anna Faris

Now here's one of the best examples I can give you to illustrate why I don't like brown lipstick and blush shades. Do you see how this colour scheme robbed Anna Faris—a very pretty girl—of her beauty? It zapped the colour from her face and makes her look dull and older than her 37 years.

I understand the desire for a neutral face to go with the outfit (a wicked glittery pantsuit; I loved it). But I would've gone for clear pinks or peaches instead of the muddy browns. I loved her bangs and ponytail, though. Très cute!

Lucy Hale

Lucy Hale was one of the few stars to have some shine on her lips, and she also decided to go for another trend of the night—a brownish pink. Not loving it as much as, say, the Lancôme Rouge in Love that Christina Hendricks wore (I think that would've looked better) but it's not terrible. Looking at it on its own, I'm not a fan, but in the context of her entire face, I kinda get it—the colour is echoed on the eyelids and cheeks, and it all goes together.

I do take issue with the false lashes, however, which are way too much, and her hair is borderline with those prom-like tendrils. Overall, not bad, but not one of Lucy's best.

Melissa Rauch

Melissa Rauch is such a cute girl, it's hard to nit-pick with her. I feel like this hairstyle isn't particularly fashion-forward, especially with the shorter layers at the front, but I don't mind it too much—it kind of suits her. Her hair colour is perfect, as are those eyebrow-skimming bangs, which I'm happy to see are thicker and less piecey than they were last year.

Makeup's fine if not a bit boring. I like the copious amounts of blush, but think a brighter lip, like a red, would've been more fun than the sheer gloss. But, probably she's not the type of girl to pull off the combo of red with pink... or even pink with pink.

Sandra Bullock

Not much to say about Sandra's second red carpet appearance of the week (the first was at the Palm Springs Film Fest, if you missed it). I think I liked her pink lipstick and blush better than this look—although it's fine, just very neutral. The loose, beachy hair is a bit casual, but looks good.

Britney Spears

OMG, it's Britney! Haven't seen her in forevs. Maybe I have low expectations for her, given the history, but I think she looks fantastic—very healthy. Perhaps a touch too much bronzer. Her nude lips are working for me because they have just enough pink.

We do need to discuss the hair, however. I think we're witnessing a case of blonderexia here, because it's off the charts too blonde. Remember the "Baby One More Time" era, when she had light brown hair? She should go back to that. Much better with her skin tone, and I bet it would make her look 10 years younger.

Sarah Michelle Gellar

My goodness, here's another blast from the past—I didn't expect to see Buffy, I mean Sarah Michelle Gellar. I think her makeup is awesome here. You can see her real skin, first of all, and then there is that sheer candy pink on the lips, which is totally reminding me of the Neutrogena lip crayon that Jennifer Garner wore last year. Really into the eyes as well, which are soft and smudgy, with a hint of purple shadow peeking through.

On the flip side, I'm not so into the hair... I think the teased updo is a bit aging and maybe a side bun or her hair down would've been prettier.

Queen Latifah

Queen Latifah looks fantastic, no? This lighter hair colour and the long, straight, blunt bob is mega-, mega-flattering. (It looked even better live, I have to say.) This hairstyle is a great one for a rounder face shape.

The other standout is that dark, vampy lipstick. It's from her own collection with CoverGirl, CoverGirl Queen Collection Lipcolor in Burgundelicious. Looks great on her.

Emily Deschanel

Emily Deschanel is really growing on me. I saw her last night, and noticed that her arms aren't particularly skinny or muscular, and I found it so endearing—so normal. Her skin looks like a normal girl's too; natural and not all covered up with foundation. She had the most dramatic eye makeup of the night, a grey smoky shadow application that brings out her blue eyes. This is also the first time I'm noticing how nice her eyebrows are. I think her nude lip works because again, it's not too brown and looks more like her natural lip colour.

As for the hair, it's pretty stark but I think she has the kind of face and bone structure to pull it off. I would like to see her with her hair down, though—maybe a wavy lob?

Heidi Klum

I have to say, I'm getting tired of seeing Heidi Klum's boobs at every red carpet event. Does she really need to wear such low-cut dresses sans bra? It's hardly flattering. I also think she's doing herself a disservice by wearing her hair so tightly slicked back. I mean, we get it. You're an ex-model. You're gorgeous. And it's a cool hairstyle. But I still think she looks better with her hair down—the woman has one of the best long bobs in the business.

Otherwise, I do quite like the makeup, especially the subtle highlight at the inner corners of the eyes.

Kaley Cuoco

Kaley Cuoco has definitely come a long way compared to some of the looks she busted out during last year's awards season. I'm not in love with her hair and makeup here, but I don't have too much of a problem either. I think the main thing I want to do is brush her hair. Oh, and fix those lowlights. Way too obvious dark pieces near the bottom.

Allison Williams

Allison Williams was another one of my favourites. I just love how she took a risk with the low ponytail and side-swept long bangs. Amazing! Her makeup was by Pati Dubroff and you can see just a touch of eyeliner in navy blue under the lower lashes. And this is one instance where I really do like the lip gloss. 

Allison is wearing: Foundation • Powder • Blush in Ménage a Trois • Eyeliner in Black Fishnet • Eyeliner in Indigo Darling • Eyeshadow in Dancing Rose • Mascara • Lip gloss in Rose Oscar • 

Malin Akerman

Malin Akerman followed Heidi Klum's lead on the wardrobe last night... boobs out and I was nervous there'd be a malfunction. (Sorry, but I just have a problem when the girls are desperately in need of support.) Above the chest, however, no major complaints. I would love to see Malin's hair done in a bit more modern way—a.k.a. brushed out—and perhaps some colour on her face instead of her usual neutrals. Also, I wonder if she spray tans? I think rocking the pale would be nice to see.

Adelaide Kane

I don't watch Teen Wolf, so I'm not familiar with Adelaide Kane... but wow, is she stunning or what? Especially her lips. Look at the shape of them! They're like a perfect heart. Really loving that pink stain on them, too. She has gorgeous eyes as well. Just feel like her look could use a little edge... she definitely needs a better earring choice, and maybe a different part in her hair.

Nina Dobrev

Usually, I love Nina Dobrev's red carpet showings, but I was kind of underwhelmed with this one. Could just be a bad photo, but I find myself wanting more drama here. There's a bit of lavender shadow at the inside corners of the eyes, which is interesting, but the dark parts could've gone even heavier. I don't mind the textured updo but it needed more oomph from the makeup for sure.

Beth Behrs

Really not the best photo, so it's hard to weigh in on Beth Behrs here. From what I can tell, that's a nice fuchsia lipstick on her (again see the matte!) but possibly too much blush. Who saw her sing "Baby Got Back"? Surprisingly awesome and girl has incredible legs.

Marg Helgenberger

I want Marg Helgenberger's hair. I don't blame her at all for making it the focus of her look—it's healthy, shiny, thick and basically the strawberry blonde of my dreams. Her makeup is excellent, and a great example of what works for mature women (Marg is 55). Soft grey shadow rimming the eyes, mascara and blush and lip gloss in similar tones.

Stana Katic

Here's another neutral palette on Stana Katic, but I think it's much softer than Naya Rivera's. I like how the eyeshadow is extending out at edges and the lip has enough pink to be flattering. She pulls off the hairstyle; streaks at the top could be less obvious, though.

Cassie Scerbo

I think I'm over the fishtail braid at this point, so it's an interesting choice from Cassie Scerbo (and executed fairly well, if not two years too late). She's another one with a little too much contouring and bronzer for my taste... I also don't think she needed the eyeliner in waterlines as it comes off a bit harsh-looking.

Melissa Joan Hart

Guess how old Melissa Joan Hart is. Seriously, guess. Would you believe she's only 37? I'm a bit shocked because this stiff hairstyle easily added 10 years. Not to mention the false lashes. They can be aging, too. I would have loved to mess this up a bit—rip off the lashes, loosen up the hair, give her a side bang and mattify the lips.

Greer Grammer

Greer Grammer (Kelsey Grammer's daughter, by the way) is another one I'd like to slightly revamp. So much potential here, hidden by the false eyelashes. I'd also like to suggest she stops trimming the fans of her eyebrows at the inner corners. The side bun is okay, but would look better if it were more smooth. She has beautiful skin and hair, so it's just baby steps.

Taylor Spreitler

No idea who Taylor Spreitler is? Me neither. Apparently she was on Days of Our Lives. Moving on... I don't think this is the best hair colour for her skin tone. It's too light and too brassy; plus I'd love to see it brushed out instead of the piecey texture which really only Sandra Bullock pulled off last night. I'm also not the biggest fan of this type of eyeshadow application on hooded eyes. I have 'em myself and always feel it looks overdone—better to concentrate the definition around the lash line.

Ming-Na Wen

Ming-Na Wen is probably a nice lady, but she might want to work on her poses since this facial expression here is coming off a bit smug. Agree? She also might want to ditch that brown lipstick as I think it's the most unflattering of the night (and that's saying something). Really does nothing for her—skin would look so much more alive with a red or a pink.

Speaking of alive, the other thing that's missing here is blush. And again, I think I would brush out the curls instead of leaving them in defined sections.

Ashley Rickards

More red carpet crimes. Ashley Rickards has potential—hell, everyone has potential—but why is she messing about with those spidery false lashes? And obvious lip liner? She has such lovely skin and features that she doesn't even need much makeup, so it's very perplexing.

The hair is along the same lines. Looks weirdly greasy and messy—could have been so nice it was slicked right back, as she's one of the few who can pull that off. Would love to see her grow out her brows, too.

Allison Janney

Last look of the night is Allison Janney, whose hair I think is great but who could use a lighter hand with her makeup. I dig the soft lining all the way around the eyes, but think it's just slightly too thick—compare to Marg Helgenberger for how I think it should be done. Other gripe is the blush. I love blush, but think this is too heavy and powdery. A peach in a creamier, more skin-like texture (like the all-time most skin-like blush from Giorgio Armani) would work far better.

Who do you think had the best hair and makeup?

Who needs improvement?

Which beauty trends here are you feeling inspired by?

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