Worst of the 2011 Academy Awards From Barbie ponytails to Mom Hair, these 2011 Oscars beauty looks were either boring, misguided or just plain inappropriate (sorry celebs!)

Reese Witherspoon 2011 Oscars 2 From Barbie ponytails to Mom Hair, these 2011 Oscars beauty looks were either boring, misguided or just plain inappropriate (sorry celebs!)

And now for some constructive beauty criticism. Because that’s what the Oscars are all about, n’est-ce pas?

Actually, I thought the celebs didn’t do too badly overall, considering all the missteps we saw at the Globes especially. Of course, after all those trial runs in January, they KNOW to bring their A Game (check out my “Oscar bests” post here). For the past several weeks, I’ve been receiving press releases on the daily about what they all do to prepare. (Think: military-style schedules involving everything from personal training sessions, Botox injections, facials, highlights, dress fittings, mani-pedis, etc. etc. You know the drill.)

However, the thing that warms my heart is that money can’t always buy taste or good beauty decision-making. Luckily, I KNOW you’ll chime in with your opinion on what they could’ve done better. I’ll start…

MOST SAMEY McSAMERSON (tie): Michelle Williams

Michelle Williams 2011 Oscars From Barbie ponytails to Mom Hair, these 2011 Oscars beauty looks were either boring, misguided or just plain inappropriate (sorry celebs!)

I’m going to come right out and say it. I’m bored of this hair on Michelle. It always looks exactly the same (not that you can do that much with short hair, but Ginnifer Goodwin always seems to switch things up). And along with her makeup, it was pretty much a carbon copy of what she did for the Globes. (Okay, maybe the hair is a fraction longer. Big whoop.) I suppose I’m also influenced by the dress, which admittedly was a big improvement over the daisies, but still super boring. Come on, Michelle! Entertain us. At least a bright lip or something.

Anyway, she’s a tie with…

MOST SAMEY McSAMERSON #2: Halle Berry

Halle Berry 2011 Oscars From Barbie ponytails to Mom Hair, these 2011 Oscars beauty looks were either boring, misguided or just plain inappropriate (sorry celebs!)

Again, looks great—amazing, even—but along with the Marchesa dress, I’ve seen it a thousand times before. I know, Halle is perfect and doesn’t need to do anything differently. But beauty-wise, she pretty much always lands up on my “boring/worst of” lists because the hair and makeup has not changed in a decade.

MOST INAPPROPRIATE HAIR-TOUSLING: Scarlett Johansson

Scarlett Johansson 2011 Oscars From Barbie ponytails to Mom Hair, these 2011 Oscars beauty looks were either boring, misguided or just plain inappropriate (sorry celebs!)

I think people are divided on this one, and I have to say that I love how Scarlett isn’t afraid to take risks (remember the yellow eyeshadow?). I just think this was the wrong risk for the Oscars. I’m talking about her hair. If it were the SAGs or Globes or any other event, I’d probably say that I loved it. But here—especially with that dress, which I am also not sure of—it’s a bit messy. I think the texture-y look would be better channeled into the polished waves that Amy Adams and Natalie Portman were wearing.

Do you like the eye makeup? It’s NARS Dolce & Gabbana. I can’t decide if I love or hate that brown colour.

WORST BRIGHT LIP: Mandy Moore

Mandy Moore 2011 Oscars From Barbie ponytails to Mom Hair, these 2011 Oscars beauty looks were either boring, misguided or just plain inappropriate (sorry celebs!)

You know I’m a Mandy Moore fan. But I don’t know what happened here. First of all, I think the updo needs to be looser, with some more hair around her face. And second, as much as I love an orange lip—and it is so on trend for spring 2011—why is it not working here? Perhaps it’s because the dress is so princess-like, it calls for something softer and sweeter. Princesses do NOT wear orange lipstick. She looked better during the show in that blue dress, when she was singing and had her hair down… although like I said, the bedazzled hair clip was just wrong.

WORST (BEST?) BARBIE HAIR: Reese Witherspoon

Reese Witherspoon 2011 Oscars From Barbie ponytails to Mom Hair, these 2011 Oscars beauty looks were either boring, misguided or just plain inappropriate (sorry celebs!)

When Reese started walking the red carpet last night, it was like Elle Woods all over again. Or Barbie. Or a cheerleader. Not just hair-wise, but her entire personality—she is SO good at working the crowd, you’ve gotta admire the girl. (She seriously needs to give Marky Mark’s wife some lessons on how to smile for the cameras.)

Anyway, following my London F/W ’11 observation about low ponytails being a new trend, I want to condemn this high pony wholeheartedly. Just like Anne Hathaway’s in-show braided bun, which gets a dishonourable mention…

Anne Hathaway 2011 Oscars 2 From Barbie ponytails to Mom Hair, these 2011 Oscars beauty looks were either boring, misguided or just plain inappropriate (sorry celebs!)

…I detect the work of Ken Paves, or at least a Bumpit. However (and I can’t believe I’m saying this), something about it kind of suits Reese, as wrong as it is. I know, feel free to unsubscribe immediately.

Still, I do NOT advise trying this one at home. Love the green earrings, though.

MOST MUMSY HAIR: Cate Blanchett

Cate Blanchett 2011 Oscars From Barbie ponytails to Mom Hair, these 2011 Oscars beauty looks were either boring, misguided or just plain inappropriate (sorry celebs!)

Bring on the haterade, because I’m one of the few peeps who did not get Cate’s dress. (This is why I write about beauty, I guess.) And while I understand that with those shoulders, you wouldn’t want to do much with the hair, it’s so boring, dude. Do you agree? I know Cate is gorgessity personified, but I don’t like the haircut OR the earrings. Together, they make her look from the neck up like some nice lady who works in the library and shops at Talbots.

LAZIEST HAIR: Nicole Kidman

Nicole Kidman 2011 Oscars1 From Barbie ponytails to Mom Hair, these 2011 Oscars beauty looks were either boring, misguided or just plain inappropriate (sorry celebs!)

Nicole’s been doing well on the makeup front lately (although I still have a HUGE issue with her upper lip). But what’s going on with the hair? Once, when Sally Hershberger was in town presenting to the Toronto beauty eds, she talked about how she used to go to Tom and Nicole’s house to get them ready for the Oscars back in the day. I sure hope this wasn’t Sally’s work, because it looks like she just threw it up in a ponytail and went. (Trust me: from the back there is nothing special about this.)

I would love to see Nic with a side bun again—despite the errant face powder, that was one of her better red carpet moments.

UPDO THAT MOST RESEMBLES A BIRD’S NEST: Hilary Swank

Hilary Swank 2011 Oscars From Barbie ponytails to Mom Hair, these 2011 Oscars beauty looks were either boring, misguided or just plain inappropriate (sorry celebs!)

Oh dear! I thought Hilary looked great from the front—until I saw this oddly textured low bun. At first, I thought it was actually covered with a hair net, but no, it appears to simply have beeen teased within an inch of its life. This is why, whenever you tease, you should always, always, always do it on the layers underneath, leaving the top part smooth so you can hide the roughage. What a shame.

WORST BEEHIVE: Sharon Stone

Sharon Stone 2011 Oscars From Barbie ponytails to Mom Hair, these 2011 Oscars beauty looks were either boring, misguided or just plain inappropriate (sorry celebs!)

Now this is scary. Even if she’d worn her hair in a simple chignon it would’ve been scary. But the beehive is like the finishing touch. Eeks! Other things to note: I think the lipstick and eyeliner shades are too harsh for most people, especially on mature skin and especially worn together. (Less is more, Sharon!) And the blush application is so heavy and haphazard, it’s very distracting. Too bad, because Sharon is still a very beautiful woman.

WORST PROM HAIR: Melissa Leo

Melissa Leo 2011 Oscars From Barbie ponytails to Mom Hair, these 2011 Oscars beauty looks were either boring, misguided or just plain inappropriate (sorry celebs!)

Where do I begin with this one? I did see that a few Twitter peeps loved the dress, but again, I must not get fashion because I loathed it. (A doily? With gold sequins underneath? And sticky-outy shoulders? And a high collar? Nonononono.) Sadly, the hair was all wrong too. As in Jessica McClintock called and her prom dress models want their hair back kind of wrong. I think with the poufy crown (another Bumpit?), and loose tendrils, it really ages her. Would’ve been much nicer to see something low and loose like Mila Kunis’ chignon. The lip gloss, too, seems a bit too pale and icy.

What did y’all think were the worst beauty looks of the night?
Do you also find it hard to hate on Reese’s high ponytail?
How did you feel about Cate and Melissa’s dresses?

30 Comments

Pria
Monday, February 28/2011 at 3:18 pm

Overall reese witherspoon looks fresh, the rest look powdery, and its accentuating the fine lines around the eyes. and hilary swank forgot to brush, looks like there is food stuck in her teeth. I wasnt very impressed with hair and makeup and clothes this year usually oscar gowns are what I wait all year long for. But this year was so blah! Even penelope cruz looked like she flat ironed her hair at home.

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Monday, February 28/2011 at 6:19 pm

Oh my goodness she DOES have food in her teeth! Or at least it looks like it – good eye! That’s yucky.

I know what you mean about it being a bit blah… seems like nobody took big risks this year.

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Virginia
Monday, February 28/2011 at 4:47 pm

You’re right, when I saw Reese’s hair I immediately thought of Elle Woods. Although I didn’t like Cate’s dress I really like her makeup..simple and pretty

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Monday, February 28/2011 at 6:20 pm

Yes her skin is absolutely incredible!

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Jane
Monday, February 28/2011 at 6:45 pm

Cate’s dress- hate! I felt like the only one who didn’t get it it. But it looked like it was trying to hard while the rest of her made no effort. My daughter and I were looking at Scarlett like WTF- the hair was a mess and the make looked like it was intended for a different colour palette. Lol-ing at Samey McSamersons, you are spot on about those two. Gorgeous as always but yawn…

All in all what a snoozefest. When everyone pretty much knows who is going to win, they really have to Bring It with the show. They. Did. Not.

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Wednesday, March 2/2011 at 3:33 pm

Count me in the “not getting it” group as well. Although I do very much appreciate that she did something unique, I just really didn’t like those stiff shoulder thingies… not flattering.

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Kat
Monday, February 28/2011 at 7:22 pm

I sooo agree about Reese and Melissa Leo… especially Melissa! You are right, that dress is El Terrible, and she was just a fucking mess altogether (pun intended :P ).

However, I must stand up for Mandy Moore!!! That picture does make her orange lips seem ill-fitting, and I think I know why… The orange color clashes with the color of the gums, which has a pinky tone, and it makes the lips look, well… odd. If you look at it when her mouth is closed, I think it looks great! (and I am NOT an orange lover…)
http://cdn03.cdnwp.celebuzz.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/27/Mandy-Moore-on-the-Red-Carpet-at-the-2011-Oscars-1-600×450.jpg

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Wednesday, March 2/2011 at 3:34 pm

That is a better pic! But I dunno, I still think fuchsia would’ve worked better with this dress, it seems to need more colour.

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Jess
Monday, February 28/2011 at 7:40 pm

I think Cate is just flawless and manages to perfectly pull off being edgy (that dress) and classic (hair and make up).

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Kat
Monday, February 28/2011 at 8:26 pm

I most completely agree. The hair alone, the dress alone, meh, it’s the whole that made it so unreal. I loved it too.

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Beauty Reductionista
Monday, February 28/2011 at 9:24 pm

Cate B. gets a free pass from me, no matter how horrendous her outfit. Her “gross” after presenting Wolfman makeup nomination was marvelous. She’s not exactly a fashion icon, so I don’t expect her to look amazing. She just IS amazing.

Michelle W. on the other hand – why so smug all the time? I don’t mind that she looks the same and I kind of like it because to me it’s still in the cultivation stage, but I can’t stand her pseudo-serene expression. It reeks pretentiousness instead of sincerity. So over it.

ScarJo was a mess from head to toe. (Well, ankle. I didn’t see her shoes.)

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Wednesday, March 2/2011 at 3:34 pm

I loved the “gross” too!

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Amna
Tuesday, March 1/2011 at 2:20 am

I agree about the Samey McSamerson comment, but I have to wonder- is it possible that this is Halle Berry’s “life cut”? :)

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Wednesday, March 2/2011 at 3:36 pm

Oh it IS – I mentioned Halle in the original Life Cut post :-)
I guess I just wish she’d play more with it… maybe not always that same spiky sort of look. And her makeup absolutely never changes. I wonder what she’d look like with a bright lip.

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Amna
Wednesday, March 2/2011 at 9:28 pm

I agree with you totally, she needs to experiment!

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Elle Sia
Tuesday, March 1/2011 at 9:46 am

?! Cate B is a huge fashion icon in her own right! She has amazing red carpet style that isn’t cookie cutter tulle and glitter Marchesa what not. All very pretty but sooo meh it’s time for something new. All the starlets are in a rut. Don’t the gowns look like they could’ve come out of 2007? I LOVED the Givenchy couture gown she wore to the Oscars. Sorry, Cate the great can do no wrong!

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Wednesday, March 2/2011 at 3:38 pm

I agree, could do with a lot less Marchesa all around!

Usually I like what Cate wears, just not this time – the shoulders killed it for me. (But then again I am a person who has to remove all shoulder pads from everything I own, so…)

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Kaite
Tuesday, March 1/2011 at 12:28 pm

I think Reese looked lovely at the Oscars and I really like her hair. Whether or not low ponys are a thing I’ve always hated them and have been much more of a high ponytail fan, and judging by how much I like her look her I don’t see that changing anytime soon haha.
Or maybe I’m just blinded by how charming she is, seriously you just can’t help but love Reese. i’m totally with you on everything else though, even mandys orange lip sadly ):

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Wednesday, March 2/2011 at 3:39 pm

Yeah, I love Reese too, that’s why I wasn’t too hard on her. I need a gif of her Oscars entrance – totally Elle Woods personified.

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L
Thursday, March 17/2011 at 6:57 pm

I can – I am not a fan of the goody two shoes type (Jennifer Aniston is another). That California never grow up, loooove everybody saint like EXTERIOR.

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Miss Mara
Tuesday, March 1/2011 at 1:55 pm

Reese Witherspoon stole most of that look from Brenda and Kelly circa prom 1991, for reals.

But I have to disagree wholeheartedly with you, MIchelle. I thought Johansson looked fresh and young and beautiful….I also think all her makeup was Dolce & Gabbana, not NARS (as she’s a spokesperson)…but you’re the pro here, not me.
;)

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Wednesday, March 2/2011 at 3:43 pm

Or did she steal the dress from Julia Roberts circa 2001? (Okay…sort of. Feel like that dress was so famous, it’s hard to do the black & white thing again.)

And oh! You are right – the shadow is D&G – I don’t know where I got NARS, I will correct. thx!

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Meeka
Wednesday, March 2/2011 at 1:27 am

I actually liked Scarlett’s hair. I suppose I get why it may be inappropriate for the event but I thought it looked kind of fresh. Also, I have to agree with Kat, in all the other pictures I’d seen of Ms Moore I thought her makeup looked great, but when I saw this pic it definitely looked off. I don’t even know what the heck is going on with Hilary Swank, that hair is horrendous! And as much as I dislike it I have to agree, Reese’s hair suits her. She’s probably one of the only people on the planet that could pull that off.

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Gimped
Friday, March 4/2011 at 8:50 am

I, too, didn’t get Cate’s dress. She’s normally so fab on the red carpet, what happened?? Melissa’s dress was a fail, too … but at least her speech made up for it. Lol!! I had to rewind just to make sure I heard things correctly.

I absolutely LOVE Halle Berry. She’s so gorgeous I would consider switching teams. And I’m really glad she’s gotten away from the long hair thing; shorter pixie-like cuts suit her much better. BUT … I do agree with you. She does look gorgeous, but it’s the same gorgeous she always does. Maybe she’s just too good looking that makeup just doesn’t do anything for her.

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Wednesday, March 16/2011 at 5:27 pm

Don’t you think Melissa’s speech was planned? From what I’ve read since, I think it was, which = lame.

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Gimped
Friday, March 18/2011 at 9:06 am

Really? I haven’t heard that. But if it’s true, it IS totally lame.

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L
Thursday, March 17/2011 at 6:51 pm

I think you are so wrong about Halle Berry. She looks her stunning best with short hair. Probably only grows it out for roles. Aren’t you the lady who talks about the Life Cut. Well this is Halle’s and once you found it – why change it?

Same goes for the makeup why change that which is perfection?

You seem to want it both ways.

I think you are just young and restless haven’t spent enough years experimenting yet. Eventually you too may find your cut and makeup and when you do – remember me. .

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Friday, March 18/2011 at 10:55 am

As I mentioned above, I ran a photo of Halle in the original Life Cut post. But just because you have a “Life Cut” doesn’t mean you always have to look exactly the same. Not a big deal (as I said she still always looks great) but it would be fun to see something different once in a blue moon.

Not sure what you mean about “eventually finding my cut” etc… the entire point of the Life Cut post was that I HAVE found it. :-)

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alison
Monday, April 4/2011 at 7:21 pm

dead on with your observations…cate blanchett is one of my faves but i loathed that gown (with the white hot passion of a thousand burning suns)…and wow…those hairstyles look a bit silly up close, don’t they?…just stumbled across your beautilicious blog and had to comment.

blessings,

alison
stuff and nonsense

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Tuesday, April 5/2011 at 9:58 am

Haha – that is a LOT of loathing! I might have to borrow the burning sun expression. :-)

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