VMAs 2018: The Best Skin, Hair and Makeup on the Red Carpet

Rita Ora, Blake Lively and more.
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MTV Video Music Awards 2018 beauty looks

MTV's annual Video Music Awards, a.k.a. the VMAs, took place this week... and there were two schools of thought on the red carpet!

One group went artsy with fashion-forward eye appliqués, unconventional shadow colours and runway-inspired hairstyles. The other embraced false lashes, contour and exaggerated brows—I think you know where I stand on those!

Take a look for yourself, and let me know how you feel:

Rita Ora

Rita Ora, MTV Video Music Awards, 2018

Rita Ora at the 2018 MTV Video Music Awards.

Rita Ora, MTV Video Music Awards, 2018

Close-up of Rita Ora at the 2018 MTV Video Music Awards.

What I like: Rita's super-luminous skin, decorative eye appliqués and thick fringe of lashes. Slicking her hair back and doing the lips nude and glossy keeps it all in balance. What I'd change: Nothing.

Rita is wearing: Lotion P50 1970Face maskEyeshadow in EntrapmentEyeshadow in Gilty PleasureBlush in Blaze Bronze • Highlighter in Show Divine Glow • Eyeliner in Xtreme BlackEye appliqués in Frou-Frou • False lashes 

Blake Lively

Blake Lively, MTV Video Music Awards, 2018

Blake Lively at the 2018 MTV Video Music Awards.

Blake Lively, MTV Video Music Awards, 2018

Close-up of Blake Lively at the 2018 MTV Video Music Awards.

What I like: Blake's medium pink lipstick and clean eye makeup—just mascara and a bit of highlighter at the inner corners. If only her outfit was as minimal as this hair and makeup! What I'd change: I'd fill in her brows some more in the centre, so the shape is more tapered.

Blake is wearing: Highlighter

Amandla Stenberg

Amandla Stenberg, MTV Video Music Awards, 2018

Amandla Stenberg at the 2018 MTV Video Music Awards.

Amandla Stenberg, MTV Video Music Awards, 2018

Close-up of Amandla Stenberg at the 2018 MTV Video Music Awards.

What I like: Amandla's metallic reddish-copper shadow with full brows and a sheer pinky gloss. I also love her new bob and bangs! (This was her hair last time we saw her.) What I'd change: Nothing.

Amandla is wearing: Makeup palette in Bronze Seduction

Karlie Kloss

Karlie Kloss, MTV Video Music Awards, 2018

Karlie Kloss at the 2018 MTV Video Music Awards.

Karlie Kloss, MTV Video Music Awards, 2018

Close-up of Karlie Kloss at the 2018 MTV Video Music Awards.

What I like: Karlie's soft, tousled blonde layers with flushed cheeks and just-bitten lips. Notice the darker roots and brows, which gives it a little "edge." What I'd change: Nothing.

Jasmine Sanders

Jasmine Sanders, MTV Video Music Awards, 2018

Jasmine Sanders at the 2018 MTV Video Music Awards.

Jasmine Sanders, MTV Video Music Awards, 2018

Close-up of Jasmine Sanders at the 2018 MTV Video Music Awards.

What I like: Jasmine's matte blackberry lipstick, silver smoky eyes and tight top knot. Honestly, it's my favourite look from afar... What I'd change: Alas, the heavy skin finish lets this down when you get close-up. Shame she didn't do her foundation like this!

Jasmine is wearing: Foundation in Honey 43 • Lipstick

Camila Cabello

Camila Cabello, MTV Video Music Awards, 2018

Camila Cabello at the 2018 MTV Video Music Awards.

Camila Cabello, MTV Video Music Awards, 2018

Close-up of Camila Cabello at the 2018 MTV Video Music Awards.

What I like: Camila's half-up wavy hair. Normally, I'd find this style a bit dated, but she makes it look so good! Her skin is gorgeous, and the red lips are lovely and creamy. What I'd change: The blush is too heavy and pink, and the eyes need a lighter touch (no false lashes and subtler liner).

Camila is wearing: Foundation • Concealer • Powder • Bronzer in Medium • Highlighter in Sunlight • Highlighter in Moonlight • Eyeshadow in In Love • Eyeshadow in Oh-Na-Na • Eyeshadow in Control • Eyeliner • Mascara • Brow colour in Medium • Lip liner in In-Matte-Uated With You • Lipstick in Devil's Matte-Vocate Red

Olivia Munn

Olivia Munn, MTV Video Music Awards, 2018

Olivia Munn at the 2018 MTV Video Music Awards.

Olivia Munn, MTV Video Music Awards, 2018

Close-up of Olivia Munn at the 2018 MTV Video Music Awards.

What I like: Olivia's beachy hair, fine highlights, and pop of purple liner underneath her lower lash lines. I appreciate how bare she went on her makeup, to contrast with her over-the-top dress. What I'd change: I'd probably do darker purple liner, but in thinner lines, right in the waterlines. And gosh, her upper lip filler is so distracting!

Olivia is wearing: FoundationConcealer

Anna Kendrick

Anna Kendrick, MTV Video Music Awards, 2018

Anna Kendrick at the 2018 MTV Video Music Awards.

Anna Kendrick, MTV Video Music Awards, 2018

Close-up of Anna Kendrick at the 2018 MTV Video Music Awards.

What I like: Anna's flawless skin, soft smoky eyes and peach blush and lipstick. Also very into the smooth hair she's been wearing lately! What I'd change: Maybe a little less powder, especially under her eyes.

Shanina Shaik

Shanina Shaik, MTV Video Music Awards, 2018

Shanina Shaik at the 2018 MTV Video Music Awards.

Shanina Shaik, MTV Video Music Awards, 2018

Close-up of Shanina Shaik at the 2018 MTV Video Music Awards.

What I like: Shanina's bold inner corner highlights, long lashes, rosy lipstick and piece-y curls. (Is piece-y coming back? I think it might be!) I could stare at her face for days. What I'd change: Nothing.

Sabrina Carpenter

Sabrina Carpenter, MTV Video Music Awards, 2018

Sabrina Carpenter at the 2018 MTV Video Music Awards.

Sabrina Carpenter, MTV Video Music Awards, 2018

Close-up of Sabrina Carpenter at the 2018 MTV Video Music Awards.

What I like: Sabrina's shimmery pink shadow, matching glossy lipstick and full, dark brows. It's so nice to see her in an updo for a change! I love the face-framing blonde pieces. What I'd change: Nothing.

Madison Beer

Madison Beer, MTV Video Music Awards, 2018

Madison Beer at the 2018 MTV Video Music Awards.

Madison Beer, MTV Video Music Awards, 2018

Close-up of Madison Beer at the 2018 MTV Video Music Awards.

What I like: Madison's graphic cat eyes, straight hair and nude lips. She's got one strategic blonde highlight on either side of her face, and I think it actually looks good! (The '90s are clearly back in full force.) What I'd change: I don't like the lashes, the foundation's kinda heavy, and her lower lip liner isn't blended.

Bebe Rexha

Bebe Rexha, MTV Video Music Awards, 2018

Bebe Rexha at the 2018 MTV Video Music Awards.

Bebe Rexha, MTV Video Music Awards, 2018

Close-up of Bebe Rexha at the 2018 MTV Video Music Awards.

What I like: Bebe's bleached-blonde shag cut... some people just look good with damage, you know? I think the baby-pink lipstick and heavy smoky eye are working for her as well. What I'd change: Her under-eye concealer is too yellow.

Winnie Harlow

Winnie Harlow, MTV Video Music Awards, 2018

Winnie Harlow at the 2018 MTV Video Music Awards.

Winnie Harlow, MTV Video Music Awards, 2018

Close-up of Winnie Harlow at the 2018 MTV Video Music Awards.

What I like: Winnie's high-gloss peachy-pink lips, gold eyeshadow and straight hair. What I'd change: She doesn't need the strong silver highlight at her inner corners... I think that and the lashes cheapen this a bit.

Shay Mitchell

Shay Mitchell, MTV Video Music Awards, 2018

Shay Mitchell at the 2018 MTV Video Music Awards.

Shay Mitchell, MTV Video Music Awards, 2018

Close-up of Shay Mitchell at the 2018 MTV Video Music Awards.

What I like: Shay's off-the-face hair and bronzey glow. Yes, she's wearing a lot of makeup, but her skin appears to be in amazing condition. What I'd change: I could live with the contouring, but the drawn-on brows, spidery lashes and goopy lip gloss are too much! 

Kylie Jenner

Kylie Jenner, MTV Video Music Awards, 2018

Kylie Jenner at the 2018 MTV Video Music Awards.

Kylie Jenner, MTV Video Music Awards, 2018

Close-up of Kylie Jenner at the 2018 MTV Video Music Awards.

What I like: Kylie's updo is sort of cute, and I like the pink blush and rosy-nude lipstick (although I don't believe for a second that she's "filler-free" now). What I'd change: What's up with the crazy drawn-on eyebrows?! Also not into her rooty blonde, curly false lashes, heavy skin finish and dated eyeshadow. And yet... she owns a multimillion-dollar makeup company.

Cardi B

Cardi B, MTV Video Music Awards, 2018

Cardi B at the 2018 MTV Video Music Awards.

Cardi B, MTV Video Music Awards, 2018

Close-up of Cardi B at the 2018 MTV Video Music Awards.

What I like: Cardi's "Mom" haircut kind of ups her sophistication in a way, wouldn't you agree? What I'd change: There's way too much going on with this eye makeup! The shimmery gold would've been okay without the heavy black shading, over-the-top lashes and purple under-eyes.

Jennifer Lopez

Jennifer Lopez, MTV Video Music Awards, 2018

Jennifer Lopez at the 2018 MTV Video Music Awards.

Jennifer Lopez, MTV Video Music Awards, 2018

Close-up of Jennifer Lopez at the 2018 MTV Video Music Awards.

What I like: Jennifer's honey blonde hair is gorgeous, even though I miss her long bob! (Which one is the wig?) What I'd change: As usual, her makeup is perplexing... such heavy contouring, insane false lashes, messy brow filling and overdrawn lips in gloss. She's had the same makeup artist since 2000, so that might explain it.

Who had your favourite (and least favourite) look on this red carpet?

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