Oscars 2013: The 10 Best Hair and Makeup Looks

From Jessica Chastain to Zoë Saldana.
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Michelle Villett
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From Jessica Chastain to Zoë Saldana.

Can't stop talking about the Oscars today? Join the club! It's hard work, trying to decide which celebs pulled off the best red carpet style of the night.

But after much deliberation, I've finally narrowed down my list, so read on and then tell me if you've got different picks for the top 10! (Plus, bonus at the end: who I didn't choose... and why.)

Zoë Saldana

Zoe Saldana - Oscars 2013

Nothing ground-breaking here, but what I love about this pic of Zoë is that she looks comfortable, not contrived. With her ruffled lavender dress she didn't need any colour on her face, so the soft shading and liner on the eyes looks perfect. And being so feminine, it needed some wave in the hair, so these cascading ones down her back bring the romance.

Naomi Watts

Naomi Watts - Oscars 2013

Naomi looks totally adorable here (despite the bloodshot eye, poor thing). This dress does wonderful things for her skin tone, and I like that her makeup artist just ever-so-slightly echoed the blue around her eyes, with a pop of pink on the lips and cheeks. But it's the updo that really deserves top marks. Some might find it a bit too messy, but I think the volume and texture make her look far more youthful than a tighter, more formal style would.

Jennifer Hudson

Jennifer Hudson - Oscars 2013

Yay, J-Hud's back! It's been a long time since I've seen her on a red carpet, and I've missed her always creative takes on red carpet hair and makeup. She definitely took a risk here by wearing her hair long, straight and loose—because lately, the long hair we've seen has just been the ubiquitous side-swept Hollywood waves. But with this dress, and because it's so straight and shiny, it totally works. The hair is almost like an accessory in itself!

Jennifer Lawrence

Jennifer Lawrence - Oscars 2013 hair - front

How can you not love Jennifer Lawrence? The tripping on the Dior dress inspired a zillion girl crushes. Although I wasn't a fan of the enormous poufy gown, I did think her makeup made her look especially radiant. The updo, too, was signature Mark Townsend textured gorgeousness. The only minor glitch? I'm detecting a few blonde highlights—and being very much anti-highlight these days, I'm not so sure about them.

Stacy Keibler

Stacy Keibler - Oscars 2013

Wait—WHUT? I'm ranking Stacy Keibler higher than JLaw? Oh yes I am. Purely from a creative standpoint, you see—because despite all the many good things about Jennifer, Stacy kind of gets the edge in terms of the new and different. I really, REALLY like this faux 1920s-style bob and thought it paired perfectly with her dress. Such a great idea for when you want your hair to be up but not in a traditional bun. Hasn't Stacy come a long way?

Olivia Munn

Olivia Munn - Oscars 2013

Yeah, she's B-list (C-list?) but Olivia gives good red carpet. I was really missing the bright lipstick at this year's Oscars, so thankfully she decided to liven things up a bit with this pretty poppy pout. It's balanced out perfectly by the flick of black liquid liner on the top lash line only... and the updo's kind of interesting in that it sweeps low over one ear.

Kristen Stewart

Kristen Stewart - Oscars 2013

I kind of loved it when Kristen presented looking like she'd been taking a nap in the back. Her hair, anyway, certainly has that bedhead texture—a good thing in my book, because it helped play down the fanciness of her dress to make it cooler and more age-appropriate. She's also been doing this amazing copper eyeshadow thing lately... swoon.

Reese Witherspoon

Reese Witherspoon - Oscars 2013

Oh look! It's Elle Woods! I love it when Reese just goes for it with the bouncy blonde curls. Can anyone else do big hair like this? I don't think so. Or maybe it's just that "America's sweetheart" smile. Either way, I'm glad she went for a cute vibe more than a sexy one. (Because I think we all know that cute Reese works; sexy Reese doesn't.)

Nicole Kidman

Nicole Kidman - Oscars 2013

Biggest surprise of the night for me was how utterly incredible Nicole Kidman looked. And I'm not just saying this because I get told—no lie—at least three times a week that we could be related. Nope, I'm legit crushing on this particular effort; both the loose updo and the super-minimal makeup are absolutely spot-on. Now, she's clearly still all jacked up with Botox and fillers and stuff... but during the interviews, she wasn't frozen at all. I don't know what happened, but I was mesmerized.

Jessica Chastain

Jessica Chastain - Oscars 2013

Okay, so even though Chastain got robbed on the actual Oscar (right?!?) I'm giving her major BEAUTY EDITOR love for a freaking fantastic showing all through this red carpet season—last night included. Nobody does modern Hollywood glamour better: the waves, the lipstick, the lashes! (She even listened to us and darkened the brows a bit.) She's like a real-life Jessica Rabbit and I'm all over it. Your time will come again, Chastain—I'm rooting for you!

And now a quick word on who didn't make the cut. (Mostly A names... weird.)

  • Adele, who is lovely, but didn't need to pull her hair half up—she looked ten times better when she sang and wore it loose.
  • Anne Hathaway, who was back to boring again after a brief glimmer of hope. Although maybe I'm biased after that fakey-fake acceptance speech.
  • Amy Adams, who did look pretty overall, but just didn't have enough going on above the neck to really excite me either way.
  • Amanda Seyfried, whose hair and makeup really aged her, I thought. A sleek, swingy ponytail would've worked better with the high neckline—although it was a bad dress anyway as it didn't fit at the boobs.
  • Charlize Theron, who is a goddess but still can't make up for that bleached, rooty Miley Cyrus look.
  • Jennifer Aniston, who I wish would wear red more often but needs to find a new colourist (the blonde is getting way too ashy).

C'est tout! Now tell me:

Who would be on your top 10 list?
Where do we agree or disagree?
Which star's look surprised you the most?