Critics' Choice Awards 2014: The Must-See Beauty Looks

Who had the best hair and makeup?

Hope you're not sick of award show pics, because here's another bunch coming your way—this time, it's the Critics' Choice. Being mid-week, tonight's red carpet was a little more low-key than the glam of the Golden Globes, but there were still some beauty standouts. I'm digging the orange lips on Jessica Chastain and Cate Blanchett, Amy Adams' no-makeup makeup and the cool winged eyes on Margot Robbie.

Here are all the looks:

Cate Blanchett

Wowza, now THIS is what I want to see from Cate Blanchett. Unlike the matronly rolled hairstyle we saw at the Globes, this simple straight and side-parted blowout makes her look way younger, prettier and cooler. And shows off her beautiful blonde hair colour as well. Plus, there's that lip! Bold orange and barely any other makeup (just mascara and a touch of blush) looks fantastic on her.

Jessica Chastain

So far, Chastain is another early favourite. She, too, is wearing an orange lip, and I love how it plays off the colour of her hair and the blush—and then contrasts with the green dress. The bronzey shadow on her lids, with a champagne highlight at the corners, is also an interesting touch. Super-adorb earrings too! Hair-wise, I love a side bun but this one is maybe a bit too tight; I would have liked to see it looser and with a fuller bun. Update: Makeup artist Mai Quynh tells me she used the Yves Saint Laurent Pivoine Crush ("Flower Crush") palette on Jessica's eyes, and Yves Saint Laurent Rouge Pur Couture Lipstick in #36, Corail Legende on her lips. Thanks Mai!

Amy Adams

Gosh, I love Amy here so much! I think this look wins over her Golden Globes updo and bronzed skin (see how the long waves look best?) and she really does do well with the no-makeup makeup. This resonates with me a lot, because I feel like I'm this way, too—too much heaviness and I don't look like myself. Yes, I'm biased because I basically have the same hair as her, but I think she looks absolutely gorgeous in this side-swept style, sheer pink lip gloss, blush and mascara. Wrinkles, schminkles!

Margot Robbie

Margot Robbie is all about the baby cat-eye flick—is it navy? I hope it's navy, because that's a little more interesting than black. The liner pairs great with her big, pale blue eyes and strong, straight brows. The neutral, matte lip and tousled mid-length hair are the perfect complements to this makeup. Notice the way her hair swoops up from the part. That's in style now!

Aisha Tyler

More good makeup in the house. I don't know anything about Aisha Tyler other than she hosted the show, but I'll go out on a limb and say this matte red really suits her. It just lights up her whole face, and there's some nice colour going on to complement it in the cheeks and eyelids. I think I can even see the case for false lashes in this instance. Love her loose chignon, too.

Christina Applegate

Boring. There's nothing specifically wrong here, but nothing that could get a person excited, either. I know Christina can do better than the standard smoky eye and pink lip gloss with a wavy chignon. Look, even the earrings don't want to make a statement! I think makeup and hair are getting so creative now that you have to have a plan instead of trying to play it safe, because you just end up looking a bit dated and unexciting.

Abigail Breslin

I really like this! Bit sexy for a teenager, but Abigail looks beautiful in her side-swept waves and radiant, 17-year-old skin. (Look at the shine off those cheeks! I'm jealous.) She has wonderful eyebrows as well. Agostina Lombardo did the makeup, and achieved a nice balance between the softly smoked and lined eyes and the stained lip. It's MAC Lipstick in Dark Side; looks like her lips are a bit chappy but whose aren't in this weather?

Kristen Bell

It's hard to say for sure, because I'm not seeing Kristen front-on, but I don't think this is good. First of all, those drop earrings and the high neckline make me nervous (are they a bit '90s?). Then there is the issue of the hair. Visible bobby pin aside, I think you have to be on a near-supermodel level to pull off gelled, tight-to-the-head hairstyles with a poufy pompadour at the front. It doesn't strike me as a Kristen thing; she's so girl next door. Makeup is beautiful, though. Look at how the eyeliner is blended out at the corner.

Elisabeth Röhm

Elisabeth has the most incredible bright blue eyes that she's almost limited by what other makeup she can wear on her face, since it can look like too many colours. I feel like that's what is happening here—not that she can't wear a red lip, but it is a lot combined with the pink blush colour, the blonde hair, the dark roots and the taupe eyeshadow. Surely she could have had a root touch-up before awards season, at least? I think she looked much better with a cleaner, lighter, beachier makeup look at the Palm Springs International Film Festival.

Brie Larson

Oh dear, this might be the first time I haven't liked something Mark Townsend has done. The celebrity hairstylist was in charge of this updo, which is technically-speaking, a work of art from the back—but at the front, it does nothing for poor Brie here. I feel she needs a bang, a side part, even an earring, to make her look like she's actually at an awards show instead of doing laundry at her house. Are you feeling me? Plus, her hair colour from this vantage looks really ashy and unflattering. Come on board the double-process colour train, Brie!

Terri Seymour

I had to look up Terri Seymour and she's Simon Cowell's ex—guess that's why she seemed familiar. I think she has beautiful hair and nice, strong brows. Maybe could try a matte lip instead of so much shine.

Lupita Nyong'o

Lupita is killing it—she's definitely the "It girl" of awards season so far. And who knew there were so many ways to style hair this short? She's sporting a faux widow's peak that was drawn on by her hairstylist, Ted Gibson. Holy hair skills! Makeup was by Nick Barose again, who went for a dramatic eye. The shimmer on it is Chanel Illusion d'Ombre in Fantasme, with the black coming from a smudged eyeliner, Surratt Smokey Eye Baton in #1, Fumee Noir. The pink lip gloss is MAC Tinted Lipglass in Love Child. I know it's a lip gloss, which I haven't been feeling lately, but the cool (instead of warm) colour and the opalescent finish of it are what makes it a very 2014-looking lip.

Sandra Bullock

Really pretty makeup on Sandra once again. Like most brown-eyed girls, she can pull off tons of brown shadow without looking overdone—I just love a smoky eye on her. The colour goes right into the waterlines, with a bit of shadow above the crease and at the inner corners, too. Also want to point out how blush done right makes you look younger. She has a healthy flush to her cheeks, and always looks great with simple, straight hair.

Adèle Exarchopoulos

On many people (say, Amy Adams... or me), a classic smoky eye like this would be way too much. But Adèle Exarchopoulos—pretty sure her name gets spelled wrong all the time—has exactly the face to wear it. Go on and appreciate the makeup skills of Matthew VanLeeuwen, who also did Amber Heard at the Globes. He says these eyes took him 20 minutes, which sounds about right for all that careful blending. I like how the shadow extends out at the sides, which is what makes it look modern versus something you'd find on Pinterest. Goes perfectly with the nude lips and structured, pulled-back hair.

Julia Louis-Dreyfus

This is great for, say, a daytime meeting or even a regular night out, but from this angle it doesn't seem like Julia looks dressed-up enough for a big-time red carpet event. It's fine to go low-key on the makeup—in fact I like not a lot of makeup on her—but the hair is a bit frizzy and could use some smoothing cream. Maybe a stronger part as well.

Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts

Left these two for last—because they look so frickin' cool here, like they're saying, "We're Hollywood royalty and no, you can't sit with us." You have to love it. I'm kinda digging the '90s vibe I'm getting from Meryl's hair, sunglasses and earrings, and Julia's waves look great. Mostly I am just amused by this photo.

Who had the best hair and makeup on this red carpet?

Whose hair and makeup didn't you love?

Are you inspired to try orange on your lips?

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