Emmy Awards 2012: The Must-See Beauty Looks

Who had the best hair and makeup at the Emmys? The red carpet beauty breakdown.
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Michelle Villett
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Who had the best hair and makeup at the Emmys? The red carpet beauty breakdown.

Are we spoiled or what? September is like Christmas in beauty land: not only are there dozens and dozens of looks to drool over from Fashion Week, but there's also MAJOR red carpet action—previously, at TIFF, and now at the Emmy Awards. Yay!

And in case you didn't know, the Emmys are kind of a big deal. They're pretty much the Oscars for TV... which is why the celebs (for the most part) really brought their best on Sunday night.

Here's a run through of my favourite looks, plus a few that I'm dying to "tweak." To see ALL the celebrity hair and makeup from the night, visit the full photo gallery.

1. January Jones

January Jones - Emmy Awards 2012

She's so stinkin' pretty, it's almost not fair. But if anyone can pull off this super-severe, slicked-to-the-side 'do, it's January. It just puts all the focus on her eyes, which have been framed by this smoky, slightly sparkly blue shadow and a quite impressive pair of eyebrows. Suddenly, I want to be blonde again.

2. Kate Mara

Kate Mara - Emmy Awards 2012

This is her thing, right? The hair pulled to the side in sort of a loose, not-really-identifiable style of updo—that still looks all kinds of amazing. I'm sure she practises that over-the-shoulder pose in the mirror, too. I have to say that it works for her. It's feminine and pretty but just undone enough to look like she didn't try TOO hard... because sometimes, the more famous you get, the more contrived things can be. Let's hope Kate doesn't change.

3. Padma Lakshmi

Padma Lakshmi - Emmy Awards 2012

Her hair! Her skin! Padma just epitomizes effortless glamour. This is REALLY working for me—I love the loose waves, subtle makeup and gleaming skin. I just have a feeling that you'd have to be born with her assets though, to go so casual yet look like such a show-stopper.

4. Julianne Moore

Julianne Moore - Emmy Awards 2012

Okay, maybe it's my red hair fetish popping up again but I just love Julianne here. Please God let me age this way. I think what's doing it for me is her long, loose, casual hair—which makes her look younger, obvi—and the contrast of the hair colour with the berry lip and the chartreuse dress. Greenish yellow is SUCH a good colour for redheads (although I know Joan Rivers didn't think so when Nicole Kidman wore it). I'm almost inspired to go buy something this shade myself...

5. Christina Hendricks

Christina Hendricks - Emmy Awards 2012

Classic Christina glamour and I want to eat it all up with a spoon. This is what she does best, and, in my opinion, should stick with. (Although I sympathize, because how frustrating must it be for her to never look as good in modern clothing and hairstyles? The girl must be DYING to just throw her hair in a ponytail with jeans and a sweatshirt.) That said, when she goes for it—as we're seeing here—it's like a gift to the world. Love her.

6. Julianna Margulies

Julianna Margulies - Emmy Awards 2012

Lookin' good, Julianna. Maybe it's just this pic, but I feel like she's radiating happiness and it's making her glow. Like I noted with January, not everyone can pull off a sleek, tight-to-the-head hairstyle. But Julianna wears it well—those subtly arched eyebrows frame her face, and she's wisely gone subtle with the makeup. It's mostly about her great skin, but the hint of green on the lids and the earrings are all she needs to tie in with the dress.

7. Lucy Liu

Lucy Liu - Emmy Awards 2012

Does she ever get it wrong? If she has, I've yet to see it. I'm a huge fan of Lucy beauty: the casual side pony, the subtle, flicky lashes and the hint of pink on the lips. (Plus: I adore this dress!) Her cheeks are looking a bit sun-damaged though, or is it just me?

8. Sofia Vergara

Sofia Vergara - Emmy Awards 2012

Not much to say about Sofia, except that she looks good (as usual). We've seen this all before, though... so part of me longs for something different, just ONCE, Sofia, to mix it up. Maybe not so pageant-y, you know? I mean, we get it, you're gorgeous and glam and you pull off sequins like nobody's business. Now surprise us with a new trick.

9. Ginnifer Goodwin

Ginnifer Goodwin - Emmy Awards 2012

Here's another one that I can't really fault, beauty-wise, except that I'm a little bored. For how many years now has Ginnifer been doing this twee, '60s-inspired pixie thing?

10. Heidi Klum

Heidi Klum - Emmy Awards 2012

And now we're officially in "ruh-roh" territory. When I saw this pic I wasn't sure if I was indeed in 2012 or if I was looking at some kind of Charlie's Angels outtake from the '70s. For me, the hair is just too literal with the tanned skin and aqua dress and earrings. Although I do love the beachiness of it all. I think it's mainly the hair that's causing the problem, though—if it was worn up, or stick-straight, or even had the curls just raked through with her fingers and some beach spray to separate them, this could've been saved.

11. Claire Danes


Okay. Someone please tell me. What IS it with Claire Danes? Why does she always look slightly greasy and disheveled and like she needs a good eight-hour sleep? I mean, I sympathize because I have the same sort of skin that, when you put it in front of a flash bulb, it goes shiny like you wouldn't believe. (A photog once told me it's a fair skin thing.) But still. I want to send Claire to a spa for some R&R, get her roots done, and then send her out into the world with some blotting papers and see what happens.

Claire danes - Emmy Awards 2012

12. Kelly Osbourne

Kelly Osbourne - Emmy Awards 2012

Kelly's just dropped a few LBs, and gosh she looks different, no? I mean, good different. Now, I just wish she'd lose the grey hair and ease up on the dark red lipstick—neither are flattering.

13. Zooey Deschanel

Zooey Deschanel - Emmy Awards 2012

Zooey doesn't look happy here. So that makes two of us. I love her, but I love her more when she loses the cutsey, juvenile prom queen schtick and goes for more daring style (and beauty) choices. There's nothing wrong with this, of course, but she's 32... and wearing glitter. I'll just leave you to ponder that.

14. Elisabeth Moss

Elisabeth Moss - Emmy Awards 2012

This new hair colour is not working out. Not flattering to your skin tone, Liz. That is all.

15. Julie Bowen

Julie Bowen - Emmy Awards 2012

I think Julie is so cute in a California girl way—but what in the what is going on with the hair? It looks fried. Fried! Get thee to a salon for some colour and conditioning treatments, woman.

16. Kaley Cuoco

Kaley Cuoco - Emmy Awards 2012

Kaley gets a mention because while things have improved somewhat—I'm digging this casual side-braid and the bright lipstick—we still have the problem of the tadpole eyebrows. Surely she's had enough time to grow those suckers out and start again! There is just no excuse. They're without a doubt the worst brows in Hollywood. Sorry, girl. Get some help!

17. Ashley Judd

Ashley Judd - Emmy Awards 2012

And now I will leave you with this final pic, which is surely one of the most grievous beauty crimes we've seen in a long, long time. How did this even happen?! Obviously her hairstylist hates her.

Don't forget to visit the gallery to see all the looks from the night, and then tell me...

Which Emmys looks are YOUR favourites?
Who needs a do over?
Who are you just plain bored with?