The Best Beauty Inspiration at the 2014 Billboard Music Awards

Kylie Jenner, Shakira and more.
Michelle Villett
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Kylie Jenner, Shakira and more.

The close-ups are in from Sunday night's Billboard Music Awards—and just a heads up, this was a weird one! From Kylie Jenner's surprisingly great turquoise hair to Carrie Underwood all dressed for prom (ugh), it was a total mixed beauty bag. Here are all the night's hair and makeup looks:

Kylie Jenner

Kylie Jenner, Billboard Music Awards, 2014

Call me crazy, but Kylie's look was my favourite of the bunch. Even though she is part-Kardashian, I've gotta give credit where it's due. These bold turquoise streaks in the bottom two-thirds of her straight long bob are just perfect for a music event—a little bit edgy and so much FUN! The colour choice seems right in that it doesn't drain her face of colour, either. It reminds me of Illamasqua's famous Apocalips lipstick shade, which is also a greenish-blue and surprisingly flattering. I was told by the Illamasqua peeps that it's because teal is a colour that reads to the eye the same way as a red. So I guess the same theory applies to hair!

As for the makeup, it's okay, but I definitely would've chosen a different lipstick and no lip liner; the skin finish also looks a tad heavy. (There's that Kardashian influence... oh well.)


Shakira, Billboard Music Awards, 2014

Nothing out of the box for Shakira this time, except I think she looks a bit fresher and prettier with the pink cheeks and lips (compare them to the last time we saw her, at the ACM Awards, in more muted tones). Otherwise, she looks exactly the same, right down to the side her hair is parted on. C'mon Shakira, mix it up a bit!

Sarah Hyland

Sarah Hyland, Billboard Music Awards, 2014

Thank goodness for Sarah Hyland, who brings her elevated beauty sensibility to this red carpet. (Although it wasn't always that way....) Here, she chose a dramatic deep side part with a jaw-sweeping bang and a tidy little bun in the back, which you could easily DIY at home. It looks a lot more complicated than it is, and gives the effect of a faux undercut.

Her go-to makeup artist, Allan Avendaño, was on duty here for the bold brows, soft smoky eyes and coppery lips. I could do without the lining on the lower lip and the false lashes at the outer edges... but otherwise, it's good. Her skin looks amazing!

Nicki Minaj

Nicki Minaj, Billboard Music Awards, 2014

Whoa! Nicki Minaj looks just normal here... and really great! I suppose when you've done it all—from rainbow wigs to weird lipstick colours and lashes—then the most shocking thing you can do is to go in the exact opposite direction, just super-simple and quietly sexy. Her hair is parted to one side and falls in soft, glam waves; makeup is totally neutral and understated. I like this new Nicki!

Chrissy Teigen

Chrissy Teigen, Billboard Music Awards, 2014

Chrissy Teigen has bangs! Except they're just clip-on ones that she put on her dog after the event (ha!). And I say thank goodness she didn't commit to a chop—with her round face shape, I feel like straight-across bangs are not the best choice for her, and these ones are so long that they really hide her eyes. Otherwise, nothing to complain about here. I like the straight hair, and her makeup looks fresh and perfect.

Miranda Lambert

Miranda Lambert, Billboard Music Awards, 2014

Uh-oh, is Miranda back on the self-tanner train? I hope not, but she does look a lot darker than last time, at the ACM Awards—and I was really enjoying her paler skin against the blonde hair. Now, the colour contrast is a little harsh and not so natural-looking. Her hair does look great though. I could get behind the inner corner glitter if it wasn't quite so messy an application.


Kesha, Billboard Music Awards, 2014

Like Nicki Minaj, Kesha also tried to surprise us—she chose a strapless ballgown and textured updo that would be right at home at the Oscars. Except for the pink hair and gold tooth, of course. I like the hair colour for her (the tooth, not so much). It's also nice to see her in a more feminine, romantic style, although I probably would've given her some hair across the forehead instead of all back. I'd LOVE to see Kesha in bangs!

Jordin Sparks

Jordin Sparks, Billboard Music Awards, 2014

Jordin has such a sunny red carpet personality, on top of absolutely fantastic, flawless skin. But not even those can save a greyish-mauve lip colour and cornrow hairstyle. I don't like this kind of hair on anyone—recall when Brie Larson did something similar—and think it would've been better to just pull it back all sleek and tight to the head. Wouldn't that look great paired with something bold on her lips, like a red or an orange? She has such great lips that it's a shame we never see colour on them. She could also lose the false lashes.

Jennifer Lopez

Jennifer Lopez, Billboard Music Awards, 2014

Eeks, I don't think JLo will like this picture. At age 44, I think she looks incredible—but needs to realize that it's time to adopt the "less is more" approach. Namely, with the contouring technique that you know she loves so much (and has since the early '00s). There's so much sculpting going on with dark powder here that it's having the opposite effect intended; her skin looks dry, powdery and way too dark compared to her chest. Even the blush and eyeliner are overdone. There's no dewiness or plumpness left.

I will say that I like the hair a lot. I don't know if it's partially extensions, but it looks SO long and thick, with flippy curls at the ends and pulled up into a tiny half-ponytail at the top. Her colour is pretty good, too—and I don't usually say that about highlights. These are so hair-thin, all over, that it gives the effect of a solid colour.

Carrie Underwood

Carrie Underwood, Billboard Music Awards, 2014

And here's another one who needs take it down a few notches—although that's nothing new. Carrie is looking as mask-like as ever in a layer of thick foundation, heavy false lashes, an overdone smoky eye and goopy lip gloss with obvious lip liner. The things that are particularly bothering me this time include the harsh black liner in the waterlines and her over-tweezed eyebrows, which seem to be getting more and more sperm-like with every awards show. I would give you the list of products she's wearing (from Almay), but I can't imagine you want to copy this in any way.

Not surprisingly, I'm also not a fan of the hairstyle. A loose bun, placed slightly to one side is a good idea... it just got ruined by this gigantic upward swoop at the front. Terrible.

Kendall Jenner

Kendall Jenner, Billboard Music Awards, 2014

The second member of the Kardashian clan on this red carpet was Kendall, older sister to Kylie and the one who looks most like Kim. Really, it's uncanny how fast she's morphing into her older half-sister. They have the same dark, straight hair, the same contouring/highlighting and the same affinity for false lashes.

I ask why?? One Kim Kardashian is more than enough, and it's not like her beauty look is the most current or anything. Kendall would be wiser to scrub off all that makeup and go for something fresher, more age-appropriate and less overtly "trying to be sexy". She'd look so cute with clean skin, a pink lip and her hair in a ponytail, you know what I mean? Something along the same lines as Nina Dobrev here.

Kelly Rowland

Kelly Rowland, Billboard Music Awards, 2014

Last up is Kelly Rowland, who isn't rocking the most current of beauty styles, either. I feel like the bare bones are here—I'd just tweak this a bit. One way would be to take the same short haircut but pair it with more simple, modern makeup, like a blue cat eye with matte lips. Or, if she wanted to rock the dramatic blue and brown smoky eyes, I would have slicked back all the hair so that the eyes made the statement.

Would love to hear what you think about these looks!

Have Your Say

Who had the best hair and makeup at the 2014 Billboard Music Awards?
Who had your least favourite look?
Are you inspired to try out any of the hair and makeup ideas here?