The biggest stars in country music walked the red carpet for last week's Country Music Association (CMA) Awards in—where else?—Nashville. But it was the non-country celebs like Lucy Hale and Lily Aldridge who really stole the show.
Here are the hair and makeup looks you need to know about:
I swear that Lucy Hale is getting more and more adorable. Has shiny red lipstick ever looked so good? Notice how she paired the bold lip with NO blush, just subtle contour on the cheeks and perfected skin. Equally important here are the soft eyes. Black would've been too harsh—instead, Lucy is wearing shimmery copper shadow all the way around and some soft brown in the waterlines. I don't think the false lashes were necessary... but hey, we're in Nashville.
And now for the model perfection that is Lily Aldridge. (It's almost annoying, no?) Her look is all about the black winged liner, which starts out skinny at the inner corners and then grows quite thick and statement-making before the flick. It's nothing groundbreaking, but it sure looks amazing on her. Then again, what doesn't? Anyhow, she kept everything else super-low-key: fresh skin, subtly contoured cheeks, nude lips and long, loose hair. Even the brows are au naturel, without any pencil filling in the inner fans.
You guys, Carrie Underwood is improving her beauty game! I like this soft, side-swept hairstyle so much better than the prom 'do she wore to the Billboard Awards earlier this year, and the toned-down blonde is great on her. Makeup-wise, we've still got a bit of a mask situation, but it's perhaps not quite as intense as it used to be. Mainly, the colour palette is an improvement. That peach lip is perfect on her, and so is the blush. However, the fake lashes and the heavy dark brows remain a problem. (I know she's trying to compensate for tweezing the heck out of them, but surely they could look more natural than this?) I also find the black liner in the waterlines too harsh on her.
Nicole Kidman needs to get bangs again. Who's with me? I just feel like this hairstyle, lovely as it is, might be aging her a bit. I've always thought her face shape looked best with a fringe. Anyway, big props to her for trying something new with her makeup—did you spot the blue liner under the lower lashes? She paired it with an orangey lip that echoes the red tones in her hair, and a soft sweep of peachy blush on the cheeks. Very nice! And gosh, say what you will about all her injectable interventions—but the woman has AMAZING skin quality. At age 47, it's still completely flawless and porcelain-looking, with no pigmentation or enlarged pores to speak of.
Miranda Lambert went for a bit of a '20s theme, and I approve! Especially great are the brushed-out waves in her bobbed hair, and how she pinned them back behind one ear (which kind of loosens things up). The other standout is that raspberry lipstick. Wowza! So good. It also looks like she dialed down the false lashes to a more acceptable level, and the skin finish is perfected but still fairly natural. Huge improvements here.
Look! Faith Hill cut her hair. The last time we saw her, at the ACM Awards earlier this year, it was shoulder-length and looked incredible—so I can't help but mourn the longer locks, although this short cut is very cute on her. I love how it looks so effortless, with the soft waves through the top. As for the makeup, it's super-heavy, but I still kind of like it. Is that wrong? It's just so rare to see red lipstick and winged eyes on a mature skin type, and I think she pretty much pulls them off, at least from afar. Up-close I think the blush is way too strong and is in danger of making this seem clownish.
Well, Cassadee Pope, aren't you cute. I love this girl's freckles, eyebrows and the shape of her teeth! As I think is always wise for red carpet newbies, she kept things really simple: a loose updo, sheer foundation and gloss, and emphasis on the eyes with softly smudgey liner. See how false lashes aren't necessary—and you actually can look better without them? Cassadee, thank you.
Why is it that the undone braid looks sooo incredible on Cara Delevingne—but on poor Danielle Bradbery here, just a little too messy? I think this braid needed to be wider and with more hair across the forehead, with fewer (and shorter) pieces coming out. There's also the issue of makeup. These eyes are trying too hard. They're Carrie Underwood eyes. I'd love to see something more modern (like Cassadee Pope did) on such a pretty face.
And... I saved the best for last! This might be the craziest hair I've seen in the history of red carpet beauty, and that is saying something. What was Kacey Musgraves thinking?! I'll tell you what she was thinking: it was a tribute to country music legend Loretta Lynn. That's nice and all, but c'mon. Back in the day, even Loretta didn't have hair this big. The frosty pink lips, drawn-on brows and heavy lashes make things even worse. Memo to Kacey: we don't need to literally channel everything about the '60s. It would be far cooler if she did a more moderate beehive, and then paired it with really fresh, subtle makeup.
Who had your favourite (and least favourite) beauty look on this red carpet?