MTV Video Music Awards 2013: The Must-See Beauty Looks

Who had the best (or weirdest) beauty look at the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards?
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Michelle Villett
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Who had the best (or weirdest) beauty look at the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards?

I didn't watch the VMAs last night—I'm en vacances right now and we've got, like, two TV channels—but seeing pics this morning of Miley Cyrus' "performance" kind of makes me glad I missed it. What the...? Folks, we've just reached (or sunk to?) a whole new level of celebrity narcissism. Even looking at the stills makes me mildly uncomfortable. I like this New York Times headline: "At Video Music Awards, a Lot to Look Away From." I'll say.

Naturally, the theme extended into beauty, with Miley, Katy Perry and Rihanna all taking risks that would definitely raise an eyebrow or two if the likes of you and I decided to play copycat. So let's get cracking, because there's lots to discuss....

Katy Perry

Katy Perry - MTV Video Music Awards 2013

When I saw this, I thought, wow! It's a little plain, but how nice to see Katy doing something so understated for a change.

Alas, then she bared her teeth:

Katy Perry - MTV Video Music Awards 2013

First of all, I am not the kind of girl who is ever going to praise someone wearing a freakin' grill in her teeth. Just... no. Second: wasn't this kind of a mid-2000s hip-hop thing and why is it coming back on desperate-to-stay-relevant female pop stars? Enough people suffer through having to wear braces in their teenage years, so I don't get the idea of wearing a version that looks like it was affixed using a bedazzler. It doesn't make it right.

That aside (and it's a BIG "that"), I think Katy looks great with less makeup than usual and her hair pulled back, because you get to notice her gorgeous eyes. Could do with less lip liner though!

Selena Gomez

Selena Gomez - MTV Video Music Awards 2013

Selena never looks bad or even close to bad, but this isn't my favourite of her recent red carpet appearances, and I can't quite put my finger on why. Like, the makeup is there but it's not really doing anything if you know what I mean. It may be because there are a few different colours happening—the blue dress, the green earrings and the berry lips against her olive skin—and therefore no strong, single focal point. Hair, though, is amazingness. I really love this super-long and super-straight look that she's been doing lately, like at the Teen Choice Awards.

Miley Cyrus

Miley Cyrus - MTV Video Music Awards 2013

You know how it feels to be around a narcissist? I'm sure all of us have experienced it at one point—when you're in the same room, it's like they suck up all the air and are completely oblivious to everyone around them. That is how I feel when I look at photos and videos of Miley Cyrus. I die a little inside of embarrassment for her.

And that's just her behaviour. I'm also embarrassed for this hair. It's so '90s Gwen Stefani and flatters nobody. However, I do like the strong brows, defined lashes and matte red lipstick... if it weren't for her tongue out the entire night (was it trying to lick off the lipstick on her teeth here?). Honestly, tongues are gross and I don't want to see anyone's.

Lady Gaga

Lady Gaga - MTV Video Music Awards 2013

Here's Lady G after her latest plastic surgery. (You didn't think she was just relaxing during her time out, did you?) I have to admit, her face looks good if not a tad wax figure-ish. Her skin looks radiant and I love that she's been doing less makeup these days; here, just upper lash line eyeliner and coral lips. I can even sort of get behind the nose ring in a weird way.

The problem here? Well, the hairline of that wig reminds me of those cheap ones you get at Halloween. With her millions, you'd think she could afford a decent one!

Rihanna

Rihanna - MTV Video Music Awards 2013

Classic RiRi, and maybe the way I like her best. (Sometimes all the crazy hairstyles and colours get a little exhausting.) Can this woman wear a red lip or what? The only thing is I feel like her foundation is lighter at the bottom of her face than at the top, so not sure what's going on there.

Oh, and there's also a surprise mini-grill:

Rihanna - MTV Video Music Awards 2013

It's better than Katy Perry's but from far away, it kinda looks like food got caught in your teeth. Not cute.

Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift - MTV Video Music Awards 2013

Taylor went for a very va-va-voom, old Hollywood screen siren type of vibe last night... and while I do think she looks great, there is something that doesn't feel quite right to me when she tries this type of look. I think it works better with someone who reads more sexy/beautiful/voluptuous than innocent/cute/lanky. Hell, she even looks sort of uncomfortable. I prefer when she plays to her persona—like when she did bubble-gum pink lipstick and bangs at the Billboard Awards.

That said, I can't fault this wavy, retro faux bob and the exquisite eye makeup paired with red lipstick. Even though both features are emphasized (a so-called "no no"), they're perfectly in balance without feeling too harsh or heavy.

Rita Ora

Rita Ora - MTV Video Music Awards 2013

This has gotta be one of Rita's best—I'm in love with her hair here! The straight blonde bob looks incredible, and I think makes her look younger and more put-together than her previous longer length (which we last saw at the Met Ball). Notice the crisp, blunt ends. Also, the lighter hand with the makeup is a refreshing change, since she's known for doing a lot of red lipstick and black eyeliner. With the bare face, mascara and pink lipstick you actually notice how pretty she is. (Although we've still got the concealer creasing problem that a sharp commenter pointed out here. Ah well, baby steps.)

Crystal Reed

Crystal Reed - MTV Video Music Awards 2013

This is pretty, and a definite improvement over that Rachel haircut she was sporting at the Teen Choice Awards (what was that?). Given that her hair's been so heavily layered—and you know I don't like layers—I'd rather see it in this chic, centre-parted updo. You can't see it here, but she was wearing a strapless red gown, so I think the subtle makeup was a smart decision. Huge fan of the peachy-pink repeated on her lips, cheeks and eyelids!

Jordin Sparks

Jordin Sparks - MTV Video Music Awards 2013

Jordin Sparks always seems to glow from within, doesn't she? It's kind of unfair because I never think she is wearing much makeup. Maybe some blush with iridescence, some nudey lip shade, some mascara and eyeliner, a touch of foundation. Oh, and the tightly pulled back ponytail is a win. (Compare it with the scraggly ends she had at Teen Choice.)

Holland Roden

Holland Roden - MTV Video Music Awards 2013

Heyyy... it's my old beauty crush again! Still doing that awkward lip-pursing thing, I see. Why can't she just give a big smile like she did in the green dress (the photo that inspired my beauty crush to start with)? Oh well, at least her makeup's looking great—I think I want to get my hands on whatever this matte coral lipstick is. The contrast is gorgeous with her eye and hair colour, and it's echoed on the cheeks (although possibly could've been a touch better blended).

Jennifer Hudson

Jennifer Hudson - MTV Video Music Awards 2013

I feel just so-so about this J-Hud look (and normally I think she gets it right, beauty-wise). I think it may just be that the shiny houndstooth looks sort of hideous up close and I'm not a fan of the necklace. Otherwise, I always like when she does long, straight hair with bangs—although it would be neat to see her with a blunt lob for a change!

Coco Rocha

Coco Rocha - MTV Video Music Awards 2013

Did you hear that Coco was the latest to jump on the chop-off-all-your-hair bandwagon? Yep, and this is the result—very androgynous. It's okay, I guess (models look good in anything), but I don't think it will be like the Karlie, inspiring girls the world over to take the plunge. (Including our very own Elizabeth.) Or someone like Elsa Pataky, who looks unreal with short hair. Coco has more pixie-ish features, so on her, a short haircut reads more punky and model-esque than something us regular people could aspire to. Which is fine. She'll probably get more work now.

Ellie Goulding

Ellie Goulding - MTV Video Music Awards 2013

Hair looks a bit dry, and I'd like to see it with crisp, blunt ends. Wouldn't that look insane with this texture (and a bit of styling cream)? Ellie's makeup, on the other hand, is perfect as it is. There is just the right amount of definition around the eyes and I'm crazy for those flushed-from-within cheeks.

Ciara

Ciara - MTV Video Music Awards 2013

Check out this tone-on-tone balayage job on Ciara. As opposed to Ombré, which involves a gradation of colour from dark to light on every strand from root to tip, balayage involves hand-painting individual pieces for a more customized, imperfect and subtle sun-kissed look. I love the effect, although I think there could've been a tiny touch less contrast so that the pieces framing her face wouldn't be so obvious. But it's still better than 90 percent of the dark hair highlighting jobs out there! Also, well done on the minimal makeup. That's not at all what I expected but I think it looks great (and younger!).

Ariana Grande

Ariana Grande - MTV Video Music Awards 2013

So I just looked this up—did you know this girl is 20 years old? I thought she was 13 or 14 and I was going to feel bad for saying anything too harsh about her look here. But if she's 20, well then it's time to put on the big girl pants and adopt a more grown-up style. To me, this long, curled, half-up hairstyle feels way too prissy. I'd love to see her with something shorter and crisper, especially if she's going to continue wearing puffed-sleeve floral dresses like this. You always need a little bit of masculine edge when you wear something über-feminine. She also needs to find a new lipstick colour and dye her eyebrows to better match her hair colour. Right now, they're too ashy. (You don't want them to be an exact match, but just in the same colour family. Tony does mine when I get my colour done to just cut the ash... it's super-easy.)

Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi

Nicole Snooki Polizzi - MTV Video Music Awards 2013

Eeks! Jersey Shore flashback. Snooki actually looks pretty decent here... for Snooki. The hair colour is awful, but at least the style is nice (much better than the infamous pouf). And she's wearing much less makeup than she used to, so at least I can get behind that. I just hope there aren't any duck feet on the tips of those fingers!

Tell me:

Which were your favourite VMAs beauty looks?
Who didn't do it for you?
What do you think of these crazy beauty trends like the grill? The twin top knots? The nose ring?