Is Taylor Swift in a Beauty Rut?

Compare and contrast with Miss Scarlett Johansson.
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Michelle Villett
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Compare and contrast with Miss Scarlett Johansson.
Taylor-Swift-Today-Show-2010

Isn't it ironic that celebrities—who have entire TEAMS devoted to the upkeep of their appearance—are dangerously prone to falling into beauty ruts?

A perfect example is the current beauty protégée of my dreams: Taylor Swift. How I would love to get my hands (okay, flat iron and makeup remover) on this girl. (And psssst! This just in: a Taylor Swift fragrance is in the works... if you're into that sort of thing.)

Now, first let me say that I totally get why someone like Taylor would fall into a beauty rut.

All celebrities have an image to maintain (whether it's the Sultry Brunette, Sexy Redhead, Cute Blonde, etc.) and a lot of money rides on that. And contrary to how it might seem when you read all those gushy celebrity profiles, most stars actually do not have a great sense of style (they're actors, after all—not fashion people), and with the exception of sometime makeup artist Hilary Duff, I have to assume that goes for beauty, too. This is why they pay stylists, hairdressers and makeup artists to help them craft "a look"—and once they find it, they're sticking to it, dammit!

But then, seasons pass, trends change, and people like me become bored... so very bored... with seeing the same darn thing every time they're photographed. Case in point: these pics from Taylor's appearance on the Today Show last week:

Taylor-Swift-Today-Show-2010-2

I am fairly sure I've talked about this before, but it bears repeating: Am I the only one who imagines Taylor going through this checklist every single time she appears in public:

Side-parted wavy hair? Check. Exaggerated cat-eye liner? Check. Rosy red lip? Check.

Now, don't get me wrong—I am not actually against this look per se. In fact, it was one of my absolute favourites at the Met Ball earlier this year:

Taylor Swift - Met Ball 2010

However, there is a time and a place for this makeup (and hair), and during the day, with a casual outfit is not it:

Taylor-Swift-daytime-makeup

Of course she still looks great, because she is an incredibly pretty girl, but this is just a whole lot of artifice for a 20-year-old. Do you agree?

Someone, once (I'm not sure which magazine this is from), managed to straighten her hair. And get rid of that eyeliner, which I think has become a crutch:

Taylor Swift - straight hair

Doesn't she look like a DIFFERENT PERSON? I would love to see more of this Taylor. Wouldn't you?

Meanwhile, you know who we need to give props to? Scarlett Johansson.

Recently, she went from this:

Scarlett Johansson - MTV Movie Awards 2010

To this (at the Mango Fashion Awards in Barcelona):

Scarlett Johansson - yellow eyeshadow

And you know, if I looked like ScarJo—all busty and blonde bombshell-y—I'm not sure I would be so brave as to cut all of that hair off and go for an edgy "lob." (Heck, I'm still coming to terms with my Ombré from last week... still sort of mourning the lack of blondeness around my face. I'm not very edgy myself.)

So I have to admire Scarlett for her beauty fearlessness—although probably it's because she wants to be taken more seriously as an actress... and this is what they do. (Truth be told, I would love to see this cut a tiny bit longer... but I know many people are huge fans of it just as is. Told you I'm not very edgy.)

Another thing that's pretty awesome? She is wearing yellow eyeshadow. Yes, yellow. Here's a better pic:

scarlett-johansson-yellow-shadow

Annnnnd she pulls it off without a hitch. I'm not sure I would be so bold as to use this particular colour (I'd probably swap it for a silvery shade), but this has given me ideas, people! I totes want to do a smoky, taupe-y eye with liner all the way around the waterlines and with this gorgeous explosion of shimmer at the inner V's. Thanks, ScarJo!

So, tell me:

Do you agree that Taylor is in a beauty rut or am I just a sad, basement-dwelling hater?
What do you think of ScarJo's new look?
Might you have any beauty crutches of your own? I know I personally rely Far Too Much on the half-up/half-down hairdo. (But I am aware of this—and admitting you have a problem is the first step, right?)