amfAR Inspiration Gala 2013: The Must-See Beauty Looks

Vanessa Hudgens, Zoë Saldana and more celebrity beauty close-ups.
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Michelle Villett
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Vanessa Hudgens, Zoë Saldana and more celebrity beauty close-ups.

An amfAR Inspiration Gala—which takes place several times a year in different cities around the world, all to benefit The Foundation for AIDS Research—brings out the most random collection of celebrities you'll see on any red carpet.

This month, the fundraising event took place in Los Angeles, and the guest list was all over the map. There were the A-list young movie stars (Vanessa Hudgens, Zoë Saldana); the models (Alessandra Ambrosio, Devon Aoki); the TV contingent (Kelly Osbourne, Laura Prepon); and the Hollywood royalty (Sharon Stone, Goldie Hawn). See what I mean?

Let's take a closer look at the hair and makeup:

Vanessa Hudgens

Vanessa Hudgens, 2013 amfAR Inspiration Gala

Wow! I've gotta say, girl is looking gorgeous here. Her skin is absolutely glowing and I'm kind of obsessed with her hairline (is it weird that I find those baby hairs so pretty?). This just goes to show you that a lip, lashes and sleek, shiny hair are enough to stand out. I'm also starting to really appreciate it when celebs leave their thin top lips alone. Not sure what shade she's wearing, but it's somewhere in between red and pink, and reminds me of the Yves Saint Laurent Rouge Pur Couture in Rouge Flamme (described as cranberry red). I could do without the false lashes, but I get that celebs wear them because they need their eyes to pop in all the photographs. For real life, I'd just do a defining mascara (said it a couple times and I'll say it again, this MAC one is my current favourite) and the thin black liner in the waterlines.

Zoë Saldana

Zoe Saldana, amfAR Inspiration Gala, 2013

I laughed out loud at the comments last time we talked about Zoë Saldana (as in: "she looks like a corpse"). I think that problem's been corrected here, since she's wearing a nice sweep of pinky-coral blush. I don't know what it is, but it looks a lot like my RMS Beauty Lip2Cheek in Smile—an amazing natural cheek and lip cream, by the way. As for the rest of the makeup, I can't exactly put my finger on why... but I feel like the red lip and copper shadow are somewhat out of place with the blush. It just doesn't seem to quite harmonize, you know? I think if she'd chosen either lips and blush or eyes and blush, it would've worked better. That said, I do like that sharp angle on the eyeshadow and the strong black liner (Kevyn Aucoin The Precision Liquid Liner). The lipstick is Kevyn Aucoin The Expert Lip Color in Blood Roses, which looks WAY scarier in the tube than on the lips. And finally, the biggest issue of all: what on God's green earth is going on with her eyebrow pencil? Surely there's a better match than that!

Kelly Osbourne

Kelly Osbourne, amfAR Inspiration Gala, 2013

Kelly is so likeable on TV, but I feel like still photos just don't convey her beauty very well. I suppose it also doesn't help that she favours makeup like this. I don't have any issues with her skin or the lip gloss, but the eyes are so overdone! Wouldn't it have been enough to have the thick retro cat eyes and white shimmer highlight, without the brown on top of that? Making matters worse is the same eyebrow pencil problem as poor Zoë. As for the hair, well that's her thing—I just wonder if another shade and less re-growth wouldn't be more flattering. The bangs look very obviously a hairpiece.

Alessandra Ambrosio

Alessandra Ambrosio, amfAR Inspiration Gala, 2013

Not exactly fair to position Kelly right before a Victoria's Secret model, I know. Alessandra Ambrosio is predictably "guy hot" here, with the sun-kissed highlights, sexy waves and natural, glowing skin. The lashes and the nude lip aren't exciting, but that's what you do when you look like this.

Sharon Stone

Sharon Stone, amfAR Inspiration Gala, 2013

Sharon Stone is 55 now and still a beauty. Love that she hasn't succumbed to the face-altering surgeries like celebs a decade her junior. It's great that she's kept her "Life Cut," this blonde lob, and the full eyebrows—both very youthful-looking. Just think the makeup could've been a touch better. I actually do like that gold shimmer eyeshadow at the inner corners, as it brightens up her face and she wisely didn't wear it on a crepey area of skin. But the black liner seems to weirdly stop where it's too thick instead of extending in a thinner point right to the inside edges. And the lip liner is showing. Might've been nice to see Sharon in a brighter shade as well—Julianne Moore, for example, makes great makeup choices.

Devon Aoki

Devon Aoki, amfAR Inspiration Gala, 2013

Can you believe Devon Aoki is 31 now? For some reason I thought she was still, like, 19 years old. She does not age. And here, you can see exactly why she's a model. How many people would look good with this burgundy-brown eyeshadow colour literally all over their lids, hardly any mascara or blush, and a rich, matte red lip? And yet on her, it doesn't look heavy at all—it looks arty and ethereal.

Laura Prepon

Laura Prepon, amfAR Inspiration Gala, 2013

Remember when Laura Prepon had red, and then blonde hair? Now, you'd never recognize her from That '70s Show. I haven't watched her on Orange is the New Black yet but I assume this harsh black is for that role—or at least I hope so, because it's hella unflattering. I don't mind her makeup too much; the eyes are actually a great choice with the hair colour. But she needs to grow out her eyebrows and back off from the injections.

Chelsea Handler

Chelsea Handler, amfAR Inspiration Gala, 2013

Can't see very much of Chelsea's face here, but what I'm seeing is upper lip sweat, and it's not good. (It's happened to me, so I know of what I speak.) Otherwise, makeup looks okay, if not a little boring. It's the hair that could maybe use a good brushing, and those straight bits amongst the curly ones are kinda bugging me.

Goldie Hawn

Goldie Hawn, amfAR Inspiration Gala, 2013

Who doesn't love Goldie Hawn? You can see where Kate Hudson got her infectious smile from. But what I want to know is: does Goldie use tanning beds or something? She is SO tanned, and the freckles indicate it's the real thing instead of from a bottle. I really feel that looking this dark (that is, if you're not that way naturally) is on its way out, thank goodness. Would love to see her with paler skin. The saving grace is her big mane of hair, which as usual is all kinds of amazing.

Paula Abdul

Paula Abdul, amfAR Inspiration Gala, 2013

This dewy look is really a thing with the more mature celebs, no? Paula Abdul is looking a little shiny, although I don't really have any other bones to pick with her makeup. The coral blush and matching lip is flattering for her, and the eye makeup is great—just enough to emphasize, but nothing too harsh. You barely notice the false lashes.

Lydia Hearst

Lydia Hearst, amfAR Inspiration Gala, 2013

I feel like I don't even need to tell you that Lydia Hearst is a socialite/heiress—you kind of get that sense just from looking at the photo, don't you? So elegant. She's also a model and has the most creamy, flawless skin that contrasts against her (dyed) auburn hair. Great makeup here as well; I'm loving the little touch of bronzey shimmer at the inner lash corners and the natural lips and cheeks. And once again, it's so nice to see someone with thin lips just rocking them. It's been bugging me so much lately that the injectables biz is trying to make women see that as a "flaw."

Ana Beatriz Barros

Ana Beatriz Barros, amfAR Inspiration Gala, 2013

Ana's one of those genetic freaks—as in a Brazilian swimsuit model. I actually don't love her highlights and her hair looks a little dry... but it matters not when you have this face (and body, I'm sure). Her eyes really sparkle and I'm into all that mascara; notice how the shimmer is on the inner half of the lid, while the brown contouring is on the outside.

Moran Atias

Moran Atias, amfAR Inspiration Gala, 2013

I love this side profile shot of Israeli actress Moran Atias because you can see that delicate flick of the liquid liner (which was drawn thicker along the lash line itself). It's a subtle thing, but SO important—and you can see that she doesn't need anything else on her face except the blush and clear gloss. Incredibly shiny hair as well; I think the dark colour helps frame the makeup nicely.

China Chow

China Chow, amfAR Inspiration Gala, 2013

Here's another beauty, doing the fresh-faced thing on a dressy red carpet. English model/actress China Chow is wearing the least makeup of all, and I love it—it reminds me of when Rosamund Pike went equally bare-faced in the summer. Obviously, it helps that she has such great skin, and I think the faintest touch of brown shadow and black mascara really harmonize with her warm brown eye colour. She also has such a pretty heart shape to her face. The hair parted straight down the widow's peak really emphasizes it.

Marguerite Moreau

Marguerite Moreau, amfAR Inspiration Gala, 2013

Really love the fresh texture of Marguerite's skin here, although maybe she could've gone a touch heavier on the foundation to perfect the very slight blotchiness. (This is my main beauty challenge.) She has such sparkly eyes that the smudgy, shimmery shadow that rims them all the way around was an excellent choice. Only gripe is the bottom lip liner.

Melissa Bolona

Melissa Bolona, amfAR Inspiration Gala, 2013

Melissa is yet another bikini model at this event, and in a quick Google search she turned up previously as a blonde. I think it was a smart move to go brunette now—it gives her much more of a unique look, and makes those baby blues pop like crazy. Brows could be tidied up a bit, and I'm not sure about this makeup application (blending looks perhaps a bit sloppy on the lids and cheeks)... but WOW, does she ever glow. Let's keep an eye on this one.

Sosie Bacon

Sosie Bacon, amfAR Inspiration Gala, 2013

Guess who? It's the daughter of Kevin Bacon and Kyra Sedgwick! Can you see it? I think she looks so much like her mom. Sosie is 21 and I think her makeup and hair here are exactly right—natural and absolutely age-appropriate.

Have your say

Who had your fave beauty looks at this event?
Which ones are you not feeling so much?
Which looks would you be most likely to try on yourself?