Last night's Oscars proved that red carpet hair and makeup has become more personalized than ever.
Over the past few seasons, there was a very specific beauty moment—long, side-swept waves and predictable, "safe" makeup—that I'm glad is finally on the wane. Now, it's all about the unexpected touches: hair accessories, big curls, vibrant makeup hues and washes of non-traditional textures and colours.
Keep scrolling for all the must-see looks from this year's Academy Awards:
It wouldn't be the Oscars without a nod to Old Hollywood, but Emma made this 1930s-inspired look feel fun and fresh. There are a few important details that make it modern. Her hair is at shorter length; looks full, not droopy; and touchable, not stiff. The generous dusting of gold shimmer adds quirkiness and interest to the eye area. And even the lipstick choice, a brick red, is cooler than the usual scarlet.
I love Chrissy's relaxed updo and fresh take on a brown makeup palette. We know she loves her browns, but for once, they don't look muddy here—probably because there's a lighter touch on the contouring, rosy cheeks, soft brows and no detectable eyeliner. I think she pulls off this hard-to-wear lip colour beautifully.
Priyanka paired super-soft smoky eyes and pinky mauve lipstick. This is an amazing makeup idea—a light, muted grey smudged into the waterlines, surrounded by fluffy lashes. The peach cheeks warm things up, and the sleek, straight hair goes with the sharp lines of the dress.
Felicity's makeup artist mixed raw pigments together to get this pinky-coral lipstick tone, and it's so unbelievably pretty! The faint blush is in the same hue, on top of flawless, apparently foundation-free skin. I always love when she does a classic black cat eye, which, along with the half-up hair, gives this a subtle '60s vibe. The texture through her hair and imperfect bangs make this look so effortless.
Halle's voluminous, sky-high curls are a total departure from her former signature short crop. According to her hairstylist, it's actually not a wig, but it did take two hours to create! For years now, I've been a fan of how Halle does her makeup—always so natural and understated.
Pink tones are so youthful and pretty on Salma, and this eyeshadow and glossy lip colour are no exception. I also really like the eyeliner all the way around her eyes, with a thicker line along the top—it has a lived-in quality that's really great. The natural brows and skin keep things fresh, and somehow, the girly hairband feels just right.
I swear, Alicia has one of the best complexions in Hollywood right now. We get to appreciate it even more than usual this time, since her hair is up and she skipped her usual purplish eyeshadow. Even the lip colour is barely-there, a soft, berry stain. The top knot is adorable. My only issue with this is that it's a little too safe, although that may be because I dislike this neckline and necklace for her body type.
Scarlett's shimmering champagne eyeshadow and defined lower lashes are one of those makeup looks that you only appreciate when you get close. The blush makes it seem like she is flushing from within, and I love the shiny lips—they're a nice break from the trend of overdrawn mattes. Her skin is in great condition as well. But I cannot wait until she grows out this haircut!
It's great to see Hailee's hair up and off her face—it was necessary with this ruffled collar, and keeps things nice and clean, even though the smoky eyes are quite dramatic. Speaking of which, the shadow is very well-blended, as is the blush.
Naomi did an unexpected sheer wash of dark pink eyeshadow. You knew you'd be seeing this trend more than once on this red carpet! She took the colour all the way over at the inner corners; it's also cooler without false lashes or heavy eyeliner (although there is a soft brown in the waterlines). Straight, centre-parted hair complements the clean lines of her dress.
Naomie is wearing: Serum • Foundation • Concealer in 40 Beige Santal • Powder • Blush in 190 Angèlique • Brow powder in 50 Brun • Brow pencil in 40 Brun Cendré • Eyeshadow in Candeur et Expérience • Eyeliner in 932 Mat Taupe • Mascara in 10 Noir • Lip crayon in No. 9 Beige Rosé • Lip gloss in 712 Melted Honey • Lip gloss in 774 Excitation
Karlie's beauty look, with fluffy waves and orange lipstick, is really similar to Emma Stone's, but a little messier—which tones down the glam choker/earrings combo. I love the lips and blush, which are way less predictable than red; I even see a hint of the same warmth on her lids. Her lashes and brows both have a nice soft texture.
Emma has such pretty, naturally full lips, and this red looks interesting (not so classic) with her vibrant red hair. On her eyes, she skipped mascara on her lower lashes and just focused on the top, adding lots of gold shimmer, similar to the other Emma. The hair is very Jessica Rabbit, though—I think she looks best as a brunette.
Emma is wearing: Face mask • Moisturizer • Primer • Foundation • Concealer • Powder • Contour and highlighter • Brow pencil • Brow gel • Eyeshadow in Bette • Eyeshadow in Jean • Eyeshadow in Bronzed Garnet • Mascara in Glossy Black • Lip liner in Kiss 'N' Tell • Lipstick in Red Carpet Red
Michelle served up fresh skin with her usual barely-there makeup. I'm impressed that she managed to wear so little colour and not look washed-out. The lashes are the one statement, with her usual sheer rosy lips and cheeks, and a new, even shorter haircut. That said, I think she peaked too early, because her Golden Globes look was more memorable!
Janelle has a new, textured pixie cut, so the space buns are gone (sob!). But to dress things up, she added a sparkly headband like Salma Hayek's. Her complexion is flawless, and I'm into the pale, shiny, two-toned lips (although red is my favourite shade on her).
Polarizing dress choice aside, I think Dakota's makeup is really good. Especially the pinky-berry lip colour, which looks soft and pressed-on. I also like the thick fringe of upper lashes, warm copper shadow and feathery brows. The biggest problem, for me, is the way her bangs are pinned off her forehead. Do not like.
It's not every Oscars you see an eyeshadow colour like Olivia's bright violet. (No surprise, Sir John was behind it—looks like this are his signature.) I like that the shadow goes all the way around, and the lashes and brows have a lot of soft texture. She wisely pulled her hair (mostly) off her face, and paired it with a nude lip. I just think the over-lined lips are too obvious, and I really dislike the gelled hair strands across her forehead.
With her black dress, a normal red could've been too boring, so I'm glad Brie dialled it up several notches with this Day-Glo poppy lipstick. Another interesting feature is her cascade of waves, which aren't the usual mermaid style, and have a few sections pinned back to show off her face. Her brows are also look excellent. I'm just bothered by this choice of false lashes—I think they take away from the entire look.
Jessica did a more graphic eye than usual with this winged liner (in brown, not black) with soft peach lips and lids. The subtle reflective quality of her eyeshadow is very cool, and I'm glad she avoided gold, since her dress already has so much of it. I also love that we never see her with heavy contour, false lashes or drawn-on brows. The hairstyle isn't that interesting from the front, but there's a sculptural swirl at the back. Plus, you'd never know that she actually has short, heavy bangs right now—they're disguised so well!
We can count on Charlize to give us soft, pretty—yet always glamorous—makeup. She rarely wears a lot of colour, so this was all about her fluttery lashes, brushed-up brows and sheer, glossy lips. Weirdly, I even like the pompadour ponytail.
Charlize is wearing: Lipstick in 570 L.A. Pink
Nicole's matte red lipstick is so pretty. Jet-black lashes and a seamless blush complete the makeup. Who knew her brows were this full? I guess she's sticking with blonde hair now, but at least it has a hint of strawberry warmth. Is it just me or does her skin seem powdery in spots?
Nicole is wearing: Moisturizer • Eye cream • Foundation in Classic Ivory • Concealer • Blush in Rosy • Eyeshadow in Classic Nude • Eyeshadow in Mink Brown • Mascara • Lip balm • Lipstick in 402 Teatro • Lip gloss in Deep Cherry
Sofia stayed true to her girly aesthetic with a ballerina bun and sparkly barrette. She went equally precise on her makeup, wearing a classic red lipstick with long lashes and matte skin. The contouring has a light touch. I don't think she needed false lashes with everything else so "done."
This wavy, undone chignon is the prettiest I've seen Kirsten's hair in quite a while. I was hoping for a change from her go-to red lipstick and black smoky eyes. Technically, there's nothing wrong, but it's such a strong look for her colouring.
Kirsten is wearing: Lipstick in Cerise
Taraji P. Henson
Taraji mixed things up with some blue liner along her lower lash lines, albeit with her favourite smoky shadow up top. I'm happy to see more natural lashes, and the lip gloss has an interesting iridescence. But overall, I find this too busy, and I wish she wouldn't do such extreme arches with her brows.My preference would be for the hair to do the talking here, with soft pink makeup tones like she wore to the SAG Awards.
Taraji is wearing: Moisturizer • Eye balm • Foundation in Tan • Powder • Bronzer • Blush in Dusk • Eyeshadow • Eyeliner in Mainline • False lashes • Mascara in False Black • Brow pencil in Minx • Brow highlighter • Lip gloss in Pompadour Pink
Who had your favourite (and least favourite) beauty look on this red carpet?