Grammys 2012: The Must-See Beauty Looks

Beauty dos and don'ts, straight from the red carpet.
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Michelle Villett
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Beauty dos and don'ts, straight from the red carpet.
Grammy-Awards-2012-Rihanna

I've been on deadline for a magazine story (it's coming, K!), so I didn't have time to catch the Grammy Awards last night. But checking out the red carpet pics this morning, my first reaction was: Wowza! They really threw beauty eds a bone here!

By that I mean there's lots we need to talk about. Rihanna is blonde. Katy is blue. Fergie and Kate Beckinsale might have the most beautiful complexions I've ever seen (depressingly so). Adele does glamour hair and makeup better than anyone. And I've found a new way to hate on Carrie Underwood. (I know, I know, her husband is hot and he's one of us... but STILL.)

Here's my beauty debrief, dos and don'ts style. Shall we?

DO show off glowy, flawless skin like Fergie

Grammy-Awards-2012-Fergie

As y'all know, I've not been so kind to Fergie in the past for various beauty transgressions... but can we just agree that in the last, say, 18 months or so she has looked better than evah? I don't know if there's been some magically subtle plastic surgery or cosmetic procedures involved—if there was, I cannot detect them—but something about her just looks amazingly fresh and well-rested. Or maybe she just looks younger because this makeup is more about enhancing her incredible skin instead of drawing attention to itself. (Note to self: keep up with the minimal makeup routine.)

DON'T do your hair in a tight bouffant—a BLUE bouffant—like Katy Perry

Grammy-Awards-2012-Katy-Perry

I'm just going to assume that Katy's in a post-breakup depression, because that's the only explanation for the continuous train wreck of bad hair, makeup and wardrobe choices. But especially hair. I was never 100 percent down with this whole "hair colours not found in nature" trend, but I was willing to ride the wave for a while. Now? I'm totally over it. Plus, I just feel like it's all so CAMP—the tight, '50s-style bouffant and the candy lipstick—and we've seen it all before. Katy, please hit up your friend Rihanna for some tips on how to do red carpet style that is both interesting and flattering. 'Kay? P.S. You're better off without what's-his-name. Ew.

DO work the Old Hollywood thing like Adele

Grammy-Awards-2012-Adele

Obviously, it was Adele's night... and I can't think of better hair and makeup to go with. Can you? This is flawless: the Marilyn Monroe hair, the strong brows, the liquid liner, the lashes and the matte red lips. It's such a literal Old Hollywood look that not everyone could carry it off—but Adele's obviously got a sophistication that her peers don't have. (Did you know she's only 23? Like, just a year older than Taylor Swift? Crazy.)

DON'T wear Kardashian eyelashes like Carrie Underwood

Grammy-Awards-2012-Carrie-Underwood

I'll just let you have a moment. To take in those spider lashes, I mean. Aren't they something? Actually, maybe I'm insulting the Kardashians by making a comparison. Now, I know Carrie was performing, and stage makeup is usually a little over-the-top so as to make your features stand out. But this is ridiculous. Rihanna and Katy and Taylor all sang too, and were THEIR eyelashes this scary? Nein, nein, nein. That said, I am okay with the hair. The foundation, however, looks way too heavy and orange. Carrie, you should know better than this by now.

DO style your 'fro like Kelly Rowland

Grammy-Awards-2012-Kelly-Rowland

This was one of the cutest looks of the night for me. Remember when Gwen Stefani wore her hair like this? Yeah, I'm still obsessed with it. I wish all my curly-haired friends would do it. Also highly approve of the brows, and the navy eyeliner underneath the lower lashes. Great job, Kell.

DON'T wear a tight pompadour like Alicia Keys

Grammy-Awards-2012-Alicia-Keys

Okay, time for my theory of pompadours. I'm not opposed to hairstyles with some height at the front. Not at all, in fact—when Amber Heard and Dianna Agron do it, the look is seriously gorgeous. But their execution is quite different from what's going on with Alicia here. You see, Alicia's pomp is just too tight, too smooth, too high. It's missing the texturized feel... AND the edgy makeup that should accompany it. Something bolder needed to happen on the eyes. So close but no cigar.

DO channel a young Jennifer Aniston like Julianne Hough

Grammy-Awards-2012-Julianne-Hough

Doesn't Julianne look like Jennifer here? I can't get over the resemblance. And Jen should probably watch out, because Julianne's about to steal her title as the reigning hair queen of Hollywood. Just like I went gaga over Julianne's tousled lob at the People's Choice Awards last month, I'm in beauty heaven with this straight, centre-parted style too. Girl has GREAT hair. Notice the seamless colour transition from roots to ends (if this isn't natural, then it's what you should aim for if you're still wanting something Ombré-ish). And also, the ends are really, really blunt. I've been pro-blunt ends for years thanks to my hairdresser Bill Angst, so it's nice to see the look really taking off. Yep, you heard it here: it's a 2012 trend.

DON'T let your gym routine affect your face like Gwyneth Paltrow

Grammy-Awards-2012-Gwyneth-Paltrow

I always get in trouble when I body snark, so I'll try to keep this brief. I'm just a little alarmed at this pic because it looks like someone's been spending waaay too much time with Tracy Anderson. Gwyneth looks terribly gaunt. That is all.

DO go blonde in a sexy, shaggy way like Rihanna

Grammy-Awards-2012-Rihanna

Just when you think you can't be wowed anymore on the red carpet—yo, thanks to Katy Perry I've had serious hair fatigue—along comes Rihanna. I am SO down with this hair. The colour, the style, everything. Again, it's another look I wish my curly-haired friends would attempt for me. (Just kidding! Sort of.) I think the key to pulling off this colour with a dark skin tone is not just the tone of the blonde itself (i.e., warm), but also the few inches of roots to make it look more believable.

DON'T fight your age like Taylor Swift

Grammy-Awards-2012-Taylor-Swift

Do we need to have a Taylor Swift intervention? Because she hurts me with these intermittent red carpet choices. Probably most of my pain with this one has to do with the dress—I loathe a high collar. And I guess if you're wearing that kind of dress you really don't have choice but to put your hair up. I just don't think this look belongs on someone who is 22 years old and (unlike Adele) has this whole fresh-faced, innocent vibe. It's not working for me.

DO wear pastel makeup like Kate Beckinsale

Grammy-Awards-2012-Kate-Beckinsale

Like Fergs, Kate is showing off a complexion so perfect it's really, really unfair. And her teeth! So I suppose when you've been blessed with such natural gorgeousness, it's a heck of a lot easier to play with the most subtle makeup tones, since there's nothing else to distract. For instance, the peach on her eyelids, and the shimmery lavender underneath, and then that soft rosy blush. Most of all I'm in love with the lip gloss, though. WANT.

DON'T wear lipstick (when a lip stain would've been better) like Lady Gaga

Grammy-Awards-2012-Lady-Gaga

See how it's smearing underneath that mask? Pro tip: Use a lip stain, Gaga.

DO go for simple and chic like Malin Akerman

Grammy-Awards-2012-Malin-Akerman

I always love Malin, and there's not much to say about this look except that I'm buying what she's selling. If there was a lesson here, it would be this: if in doubt, smooth, side-parted hair is always appropriate. As is the classic combo of long lashes with glossy red (but not TOO red) lips.

DON'T wear the wrong shade of under-eye concealer like Nicki Minaj

Grammy-Awards-2012-Nicki-Minaj

I know we already referenced the Kardashians in regards to Carrie's false eyelashes... but can I talk about Kim now, and under-eye concealer? I called her out for having reverse-panda eyes a while back, but hers were nowhere near as offensive as what's going on with Nicki here. I mean, the makeup in that area has totally changed her skin tone! Then again, these are just minor details when you make your entrance in an enormous red cape.

DO find your Life Cut (if not colour) like Kelly Osbourne

Grammy-Awards-2012-Kelly-Osbourne

If I recall, none of us loved Kelly's grey hair when she wore it in an updo at the SAGs. I'm still not pro-grey, but today I DO have some love to give this hairstyle. Really. The length is good, the soft waves are feature-flattering... and overall, she looks very, very pretty. Kelly, welcome to your Life Cut.

Tell me:

Which was your fave red carpet look of the night?
Which one is totally cringe-worthy?
Notice any other dos and don'ts from these pics? (Aside from, you know, the usual Gaga/Minaj wardrobe choices.)