A lot has changed since Selena Gomez got her first big break at age 10 on the Disney Channel's Barney & Friends. She's gone on to release multiple albums, star in several feature films, and launch her own fragrance, clothing and makeup lines.
Now, at 28 years old, she is one of the world's biggest stars—as well as one of the most-followed people on Instagram.
That's also where you can find Selena modelling her latest beauty looks, courtesy of her makeup artist, Hung Vanngo. And if you've been paying attention, then you might've noticed a new vibe, which couldn't be more different to the "girl next door" image that she cultivated as a teen.
But is it all makeup wizardry... or could there be some truth to the plastic surgery rumours that have been surrounding Selena in recent years?
The only way to make an educated guess is to go back to her early days on the red carpet, and see how her look has evolved from past to present.
Selena in 2007
Here, we've got Selena at one of her very first red carpet appearances at the age of 14. It's safe to assume that the only cosmetic alteration she'd made at this stage was perhaps tweezing her eyebrows to look thinner, and straightening her hair. Otherwise, this is her natural hair colour, her natural nose, her natural lips and her natural teeth.
Selena in 2008
It wasn't so apparent in the first shot, with her face at a slight angle, but now you can see how her nose was wider and more rounded back in the day. Meanwhile, her eyebrows seem to be getting even skinnier, as was the trend at the time.
And here's more evidence that Selena probably later underwent a rhinoplasty. Her nose was a little bulbous, and definitely more prominent in comparison with her other features—which as we know is not considered acceptable if you want to make it big in Hollywood. Looking at her lips, I do wonder if she might've tried fillers already, like Bella Thorne did at the same age (16!).
Selena in 2009
In 2009, Selena leaned into her baby-faced good looks and rocked an adorable bob for the first time. (As you'll soon see, she returned to this length in 2017.) It also appears that she lightened up her hair colour a bit, but her nose remains untouched, and her lips appear back to normal. Notice her protruding front teeth—I don't think she's altered them to this day.
Selena in 2010
By age 17, her styling was becoming a little more grown-up. She grew out the bob and bangs—probably getting some help from extensions—and rocked her natural wavy texture, although her makeup remained low-key. But she hadn't found the right under-eye concealer yet... it's too light!
Selena in 2011
Remember when everyone was wearing these big sausage curls in their hair? Selena paired hers with bright mauve eyeshadow, a ring of lip liner, a mask of foundation and a dusting of body shimmer. Ah, the early '10s seem so dated already! By the way, take note of her brows and eyelids, because I think she may have tweaked them later on, too.
Selena in 2012
The following year, at age 20, she finally nailed her red carpet style. Notice the subtle, expensive-looking highlights, the sleek, straight hairstyle, and the fresh, flawless makeup. Her brows were also starting to grow out nicely.
Selena in 2013
Next came an even more dramatic statement, with smoky, winged-out black eyeliner, a messy ponytail and Barbie-pink lips. Although it's a great look, the skin finish is my least favourite—her forehead doesn't match the rest of her face. As for her features, I don't think she tweaked anything... yet!
Selena in 2014
This graphic eyeshadow look, captured shortly after Selena's 22nd birthday, is probably my favourite. (Actually, it's almost like a cooler, more lived-in version of the previous year's makeup.) But because the eyes are so heavy, it's hard to tell what's going on underneath. To me, her eyelids don't seem as heavy now, and her crease is higher up.
Selena in 2015
One thing I've noticed time and time again with celebs is that they often step out with a radically different look in order to distract us from their recent tweaks. Is that what is happening here? I think it might be, thanks to the coloured contacts, jet-black hair, false lashes and feathered brows. Underneath it all, I see a more button-like nose and a fuller upper lip (although that could be lip liner).
Selena in 2016
But it wasn't long before Selena returned to her natural hair and eye colours. She's also wearing a lot less eye makeup here, which makes it apparent that her eye area has been altered. Her brows are higher, creating a lot more upper lid space, and her lids are also flatter, indicating that some skin there has been removed. At the same time, her nose is definitely looking more petite.
Selena in 2017
Then, she surprised us all by debuting this light platinum blonde! It actually works because of the shorter length and how she kept both her roots and brows dark. Plus, the rest of the styling is edgy yet fresh. But see how her upper lip is kind of protruding out, and the Cupid's bow has disappeared? Both suggest that she was dabbling with lip injections.
Selena in 2018
In 2018, Selena returned to brunette, but went even shorter, with soft waves. As you can see, her upper lip is still super-plumped, and her face seems fuller overall. But only the lips would be the result of injections. After undergoing a kidney transplant the previous year, she revealed that she was body-shamed for weight fluctuations caused by her daily Lupus medication.
Selena in 2019
Perhaps her most memorable recent look was this voluminous retro bob with curled-under ends and a neutral makeup palette. She was 26 here, and I'm marvelling at how much her face has changed. Her brows are much more lifted, her lips are plumper (underneath the lip liner), and her nose is narrower and more chiseled.
Selena in 2020
And that brings us to one of Selena's only red carpet appearances in 2020, where she's rocking some new curtain bangs (which I love!). As you can see, she's still doing the lip liner thing to pump up her top lip, so it's hard to say if she's kept up with the fillers or not. But what really strikes me is the transformation of her eye area—and nobody else seems to be talking about that!
Selena Gomez Before and After
If you compare Selena's features a decade ago to now, it's obvious that her new look isn't just because she has a talented makeup artist.
I think there's enough evidence to suggest that she had at least one rhinoplasty surgery—which shouldn't surprise anyone, since it's basically become the norm in Hollywood.
"In photos taken in Selena's younger years, her nose was a bit wider throughout, and had a slight bump at the tip," says Dr. Jeffrey Rawnsley. "In more recent photos, [her] nose is noticeably thinner along the bridge and nostrils, and that noticeable bump has magically disappeared."
Plus, like so many of her celebrity peers, she's apparently been experimenting with lip fillers. In an interview with Life & Style, Dr. Norman Rowe says that in his professional opinion, she "received fillers in her lips since they appear fuller than before."
"The most noticeable difference is the shape of the lips, specifically in the Cupid's bow," says Dr. Adam Schaffner, via Radar Online. "Her Vermillion border, or lip line, appears to be plumped and swollen," adds medical nurse practitioner Gaspar Rosario. "This is characteristic of a filler injection where the lip line is traced."
But there's one more procedure that I think these experts missed: blepharoplasty! That involves removing some of the excess skin of the eyelids, which would account for the new position of her crease. Often, it's combined with either a brow lift or Botox to create that lifted look we're seeing here.
The photos don't lie, and as we've seen with Kylie Jenner, makeup alone just can't work this kind of magic!