If you're like me and prefer your beauty just slightly imperfect, then there's something infinitely cooler about British style as compared to the typical American red carpet. Yesterday's British Fashion Awards offered up plenty of examples, with bare faces, messy hair and bright red lips defining the look of the evening. Think of it like the beauty equivalent of high-low dressing—and the British do it SO well. Here are the hair and makeup close-ups from last night:
Obviously my fave (and yes, my Sienna obsession continues unabated; I'll take any sighting I can). The big news of the night was her pink hair. It's baaack! If you recall, she dipped her toes hair into the rainbow trend back in 2011, when it first got big. This looks like a very similar colour; it's quite a golden pink (rose gold?), which I think is why it's so flattering with her skin tone, like an amped-up strawberry blonde. I love how it's darker pink at the roots and then fades into light blonde at the tips. And God, her skin looks amazing all bare like that. Maybe it's a British thing—or maybe it's just that anyone would walk around without makeup if they had skin like Sienna's. Damn.
And now we have Rosie working her signature pose here, which I have to say isn't exactly giving me the warm and fuzzies. I know she is drop-dead gorgeous and probably a lovely person, but to me she comes across so wooden and cold that I often wonder how she's reached the highest stratosphere of supermodels. Know what I mean? Maybe it's the lips. I actually didn't realize they were this full until seeing them here, in this stop-sign red. They are crazy big. Clearly they make the look, as everything else is super-simple: slicked-back straight hair, little baby wings on the eyes, mascara just on the upper lashes and brushed brows. Like every model, Rosie has great eyebrow fans at the inner corners.
Speaking of supermodels, here's the great Kate, who is totally reminding me of Vanessa Paradis these days. (I guess there was always a similarity—heck, Johnny Depp obviously thought so.) She's 39 now, and while I do think her hard-partying lifestyle probably took somewhat of a toll on the quality of her skin, I respect that she's remained all-natural as far as I can tell. Injections would SO not be Kate. I love how she's mixing things up here, with the roughed-up texture of her hair contrasted against red lips, soft eyes and a swipe of contouring blush. The lipstick is her own Lasting Finish Lipstick, natch, in shade #1.
Oops, did I say the Brits were best at imperfect beauty? Maybe Rita Ora is the exception, since this is about as hyper-groomed as you can get. I have been a Rita beauty fan in the past, when she was working a yellowy blonde hair colour with visible roots and a length that hit around her jawline. Gotta say, I much prefer that look to this white-blonde wig. Her makeup, however, remains the same as ever: bold red lips, strong brows, big lashes. It would be way too heavy-handed for me, but I think it totally suits her, and the skin finish is good (there's no Katy Perry mask texture, thank goodness).
Jodie Kidd is the model little sister of makeup maven Jemma Kidd (who I met years ago when she was launching her line; also an ex-model). These sisters are so attractive in that fresh-scrubbed, English rose sort of way—which I think in photographs can come across a little under-done compared to in person. I love Jodie's simple, flowing long hair, but I'm not sure about that flick of liner—maybe a little too obvious a curl—and I think a stronger, less goopy-looking lip might've been nicer.
Couldn't find a front-on shot of Gwynnie, so this will have to do—she definitely looks more dressed-down on her home turf compared to when she's in the U.S. Her hair's been parted deep on one side and then blown-out straight with a tiny bit of bounce on the ends; makeup is decidedly on the less-is-more side. Yawn.
Another English rose model, 26-year-old Victoria's Secret Angel Lily Donaldson is looking super-pretty here with the same formula everyone had for the evening: loose, slightly textured hair with a soft red on the lips and barely any other makeup. When your hair is this long and healthy-looking, often just tossing it over one shoulder is enough to make the statement. All so perfect.
If you hadn't heard, 21-year-old Suki (another model, yes) is dating Bradley Cooper, who is *cough* 38 years old. Lucky girl—and guy! I love the combo of brown eyes with blonde hair, and how she's got that cute fringe (worn with messy, half-up, mid-length hair here). Most interesting of all is the eyeshadow that plays on the colour of her lace dress. It's just a hint, and not very much—and YES I am totally eating my words about matchy-matchiness—but I love it.
I honestly have no idea about British celebs, but from what I know of Kelly Brook she kinda sorta reminds me of a Brit Kim Kardashian. (She did, after all, over-share a pic of herself driving in a sheet mask.) Someone tell me if my instincts are right here? Anyway, not the best pic but to me this looks like overkill. The ginormous hair didn't also need ginormous makeup—and especially not those bold diagonal strips of brown shadow with red lipstick and mega-blush contours. A beautiful woman like Kelly doesn't need all of these distracting extras.
Have your say
Who were your faves from this red carpet?
What's bugging you, and about whom?
Do you prefer American or British style? (And can we please discuss Suki and Bradley? What's that all about?)