For a brief period last year, I was seriously enamoured with how Nicola Peltz wore her makeup.
Usually, it was some combination of dramatic (and always perfectly blended) eyeshadow with flawless skin, flushed-from-within cheeks and soft, stained lips.
Even though she's in her early 20s, the Transformers: Age of Extinction star has already had her face painted by the likes of Kate Lee and Kara Yoshimoto Bua—two of the world's best makeup artists. No wonder she got my attention!
But in Nicola's latest looks, I've noticed a change. I'd not only describe her makeup as more "aggressive," but I'd say the same thing about her facial features—namely, her new lips!
Trying to verify if they were real led me down quite the rabbit hole. As it turns out, Nicola has had a VERY dramatic beauty transformation since she started acting. Take a look:
Nicola in 2010
Although she started acting as a child, it wasn't until age 15 that Nicola began attending events and getting photographed. And my oh my! I never EVER would have recognized this as the same person. First of all, the hair colour. She's a natural brunette, but was dyeing her hair this darker chocolate brown—which doesn't go with her much lighter eyebrows (although they could've been tinted, too). The most surprising features, of course, are her wider nose and pointier jaw shape.
Nicola in 2011
Here's another look at the original Nicola, aged 16. See how far her makeup game has come?! We'd never see her in these garish colours or heavy blush in 2016. Also notice her skin. It's not bad here by any means, but there are a few bumps and blemishes, whereas today, it's absolutely smooth and porcelain. Again, her chin seems longer and her nose wider.
Nicola in 2013
Nicola wasn't photographed at all in 2012, but the following year, emerged with a completely new look. She's gorgeous as a blonde—it really works with her pale skin. Plus, the condition of her complexion is now that extra bit more perfect (perhaps from some dermatological intervention, such as spironolactone, Levulan therapy, etc.). Makeup has improved, too; just look at those glorious smoky eyes! I think her nose looks like it could've been refined during her absence from the cameras. But I think this may still be the same chin?
Nicola in 2014
By 2014, Nicola once again looked different. It might be that she went even lighter, all-over blonde, which I don't think is as flattering on her. Or maybe it's the makeup, which is the most sophisticated and neutral she's even worn. Or... could the difference be a brand new nose and jaw shape? I definitely see a refinement of the tip of her nose, and her chin seems softer, not as pointy.
Nicola in 2015
Here's when I first started taking notice of Nicola. Those eyes are mesmerizing! She was 20 years old here, and by this time had settled on a signature beauty aesthetic. Few actresses ever achieve this level of makeup perfection, and even her hair colour has improved now, with natural dark roots that look more believable next to her skin. Again, you can see the more angular (instead of bulbous) tip of her nose, and her face looks oval instead of heart-shaped.
Nicola in 2016
And it just keeps getting better and better. I adore this makeup as well, which is softer than the previous look but no less impressive with its seamless blending and modern colour palette. Her blonde looks perhaps a little yellow, but with a face like this, who's paying attention? She's holding her face at the same angle as the 2013 shot, and it really looks like her chin has been shortened.
Now here's the look that inspired my Nicola research in the first place. Holy lips! Clearly, like so many young actresses in Hollywood right now, she has hopped on the injections train. It's surprising, because she already had full lips, and now the top one is super-swollen and exaggerated. But... I will be the first to admit that I find everything else about this really beautiful, from her softer blonde colour to the ultra-delicate makeup. And her skin! It continues to be impossibly flawless.
Update: Nicola in 2017
Now, Nicola's upper lip is even bigger—in fact, it's hard NOT to notice it, despite the very beautiful makeup. I don't get how this is a desirable outcome, when you could just have normal lips?
Update: Nicola in 2018
And now things have taken an even stranger turn. Gone is the elevated styling, replaced by a faux tan, bad contouring, streaky blonde hair... and the biggest, most injected lips I've EVER seen on the red carpet! I guess when you've changed so much about your face, you start to lose all perspective. This is so... Michael Jackson-ish!
Like I said, I would NEVER be able to identify the brunette on the left as the younger version of the blonde on the right.
But the hair colour changes only play a minor role in this dramatic transformation. I truly think that Nicola had some kind of jaw work—jaw contouring, I believe they call it?—that changed the entire balance of her face.
Besides that, it's also evident that she had her nose slightly narrowed and the tip re-shaped, just enough to cast the focus on her eyes and lips instead. Her eyes even look further apart, now.
Finally, her most recent cosmetic work appears to be upper lip injections. With skin this unbelievably perfect, she also may be relying on oral medications or lasers to keep it so smooth and blemish-free. While the makeup IS incredible and does contribute to her new star power, you can't get a complexion like this from a tube of foundation!
Without a doubt, her "makeover" was a success—but I have to wonder how it feels to look so different from the way you did growing up. What do you think?
How do you feel about Nicola's beauty evolution?
Which of these looks is your favourite?
What "beauty work" do you think she's had done?