The Best Beauty Inspiration at the 2014 CFDA Fashion Awards

Lupita Nyong'o, Jaime King and more.
Michelle Villett
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Lupita Nyong'o, Jaime King and more.

Hot on the heels of Cannes, a whole bunch of famous faces—Lupita Nyong'o, Blake Lively and more—stepped out for last night's Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) Awards in New York. A fashion event typically means that celebs get a bit wilder with their hair and makeup, but as you'll soon see, this red carpet was equal parts experimental and subdued. Here are all the beauty close-ups:

Lupita Nyong'o

Lupita Nyong'o, CFDA Fashion Awards 2014

Remember that eyeshadow application technique a few seasons back, where designers Peter Som and Creatures of the Wind featured big slashes of colour sitting above (above!) the crease? It has finally trickled down to the celebrity tier, as you can see here on Lupita. Her makeup artist, Nick Barose, used the cobalt blue from the limited-edition Lancôme French Riviera Azur Chic Eyeshadow Palette, applied wet to make the colour brighter and more vibrant. Notice how he added a neutral colour closer to the lash line, so the eyes still have definition. Not sure if I'd ever be brave enough to try this myself, but the statement is very bold and graphic, especially with the hair high off the face and the sharp, straight lines of the earrings. Queen Lupita does it again...

Jaime King

Jaime King, CFDA Fashion Awards 2014

And now for something completely different. Jaime King went the opposite way, with a super-bare-faced look and hair scraped back. It's very simple, but I love it because her skin is absolutely flawless, and I'm enjoying the contrast of her dark brows with the light hair and skin. Makeup artist Beau Nelson did an amazing job—am stalking his Instagram to see if I can find out the name of the lip colour.

Update: Beau replied! Her lip colour is Burberry Lip Glow in 7 Cameo Pink.

Blake Lively

Blake Lively, CFDA Fashion Awards 2014

Blake Lively went for a '60s-inspired hair and makeup look, wearing her hair big and bouncy, with a white satin headband. I have reservations about the hoop earrings, but otherwise, it's quite pretty on her and shows off her best asset—her hair, of course. I'm happy to see her makeup with a lighter touch this time around compared to Cannes.

Olivia Wilde

Olivia Wilde, CFDA Fashion Awards 2014

Olivia Wilde is back after baby, and looks pretty radiant, save for her eyes. I guess she's got a good excuse for them looking a bit bloodshot. Nothing crazy here, just soft waves, soft smoky eyes and nude lips. I'm sure she'll return to delivering more exciting looks soon!


Rihanna, CFDA Fashion Awards 2014

I hear Rihanna showed up wearing a see-through dress, so nobody was paying any attention to her face. I'm not opposed to this sparkly headwrap thingie; it's kinda cool for a fashion event and a pop star. I just wish she would modernize her makeup a bit. It's always the lips that bug me a bit—too much visible liner, too shiny and too greyish in colour. I'd love to see her with a slightly toned-down eye and soft, pinky-nude matte lips.

Marion Cotillard

Marion Cotillard, CFDA Fashion Awards 2014

We can always count on Marion to look really fresh—she's one celeb who never, ever overdoes it on the makeup. I love the slightly shimmery peach on her lips and eyes; it's super-flattering with her complexion. Maybe would've added a bit more lash drama to bring out her eyes, but sometimes it's nice to go unexpectedly bare for an evening event. It's a French thing...

Emmy Rossum

Emmy Rossum, CFDA Fashion Awards 2014

Ugh no, Emmy Rossum. Bad decision on the hair. It would be one thing to just go with subtle crimping to add texture to an updo—I might be able to get on board with that—but then to add a big fat braid and pull out frizzy sections? It makes it look like a weird, messy nest on her head. With the makeup, I'm unclear as to why the key feature is the liner in the lower waterlines. It closes up her eye area and looks too harsh. I'd love a more blended eye.

Jennifer Hudson

Jennifer Hudson, CFDA Fashion Awards 2014

Whoa... what happened to the normally adorable Jennifer Hudson? I suppose she's growing out her short haircut and we've caught her in a very unfortunate stage. Too bad she didn't take some gel and just slick it back to tame all the puffy spikiness. I wouldn't mind a slightly lighter touch on the eyes, but all in all, the makeup's not bad. I think she pulled off the combo of strong eyes with strong lips—the secret, I think, was adding lots of light at the inner corners.

Chrissy Teigen

Chrissy Teigen, CFDA Fashion Awards 2014

What's going on with Chrissy Teigen's lipstick here? It looks like there was a last-minute change from a bright colour to a nude, except the under-layer didn't get removed properly. Either that or she has naturally super-bright pink lips! Anyway, she looks good regardless, though it's hard to see with the hair hiding half her face. Not sure she needed such heavy foundation or false lashes.

Karlie Kloss

Karlie Kloss, CFDA Fashion Awards 2014

Karlie's really phoning it in these days, do you agree? Here we are with another fairly boring look—rusty brownish lipstick and shadow with an off-the-face hairstyle. I feel like we've just seen three variations of this in a row for her most recent red carpet appearances.

Ashley Olsen

Ashley Olsen, CFDA Fashion Awards 2014

How cool are these earrings?! OMG. Otherwise, just the usual from Ashley Olsen, who is another person I wish would give us something different, for a change. She really is stuck on repeat with this centre-parted, pulled-back hairstyle. I do like the brushed-up busy eyebrows though. Did Ashley single-handedly start that trend?

Mary-Kate Olsen

Mary-Kate Olsen, CFDA Fashion Awards 2014

Here's her sister Mary-Kate, rocking the same exact look—except she's not quite as blessed in the brow department. Why do we never get to see these girls' hair anymore? And why do they always wear brown lipstick now? So many questions...

Alessandra Ambrosio

Alessandra Ambrosio, CFDA Fashion Awards 2014

Just for context, here's how a centre-parted, pulled-back hairstyle can look exciting! Well, of course Alessandra Ambrosio has a leg up because she's a supermodel. But she's also wearing a more flattering lip tone, actual blush and her skin looks dewy and radiant. I also love the slicked texture of her hair. The whole effect feels like she just came from the beach, in the best way possible.

Sophia Bush

Sophia Bush, CFDA Fashion Awards 2014

Wow, this could have been so stunning on Sophia Bush... if only she had all-brown hair. I love the curls pinned over to one side, and I love the matte skin with the burgundy-red lips and smoky-ish eyes. I just feel like she could've gone to the next level as a brunette, not a blonde. The blonde isn't nearly as gorgeous with her skin tone—it washes her out.

Busy Philipps

Busy Philipps, CFDA Fashion Awards 2014

Busy looks a bit angry here, or maybe she's just hangry. But I'm kind of into her makeup look, in that I like the sharp contrast between the thick, graphic black liner and her pale skin and blonde hair. I would've definitely skipped the heavy false lashes, though (along with the necklace).

Beth Behrs

Beth Behrs, CFDA Fashion Awards 2014

Beth Behrs is looking really Barbie doll-ish in this pic. Somebody get me up to speed: is this normal for her? I feel like something may be going on in the lip area, and wow—all those lashes need to go, ASAP. She has great, full brows, so I'd love for those to be the statement along with a subtler lash look. Her hair looks delightfully voluminous.

Solange Knowles

Solange Knowles, CFDA Fashion Awards 2014

Had to pan back for this one so you can take in the glory of Solange's hair. How amazing is this?! Love, love, love it. Her and Bey have amazing arched brows, and I appreciate how Solange let them be the eye statement, while the matte hot pink lips balance them out. Super-gorgeous.

Coco Rocha

Coco Rocha, CFDA Fashion Awards 2014

Coco is really into this type of eyeliner lately; it's the same flicking shape that we saw at Cannes, except she thankfully toned down the burgundy shadow. It works, I guess, with the vampy dark lips. Just wondering why she felt the need to add the hat. There's enough going on with the makeup (and slicked-back hair) that they could've stood alone quite beautifully. The hat cheapens things.

Naomi Campbell

Naomi Campbell, CFDA Fashion Awards 2014

Okay, Naomi's weave is ridiculously long—but wow, do I ever want to touch it! So soft and silky. Her makeup's lookin' good as well—great choice of silvery tones on the lids to contrast with her skin and play up the colour of the dress. Has she done something to her cheeks though? They're looking very inflated.

Greta Gerwig

Greta Gerwig, CFDA Fashion Awards 2014

With this hairstyle, makeup and earrings, Greta Gerwig looks like she's going to the office instead of fashion red carpet event. I'm not against anything here, just think some sparklier earrings or more drama on the face would've worked wonders. And I'm not sure about these brown makeup tones.

Keri Russell

Keri Russell, CFDA Fashion Awards 2014

Keri's got the ethereal updo thing down pat, with soft texture through the hair and a few wispy pieces around the face. Nothing exciting here in terms of hair or makeup, but it works with the dress. (Not that I like the dress...)

Anna Chlumsky

Anna Chlumsky, CFDA Fashion Awards 2014

So much better than the last time we saw Anna, at the 2014 SAG Awards. The lighter hair colour and tousled curls are much more flattering on her than when she wore her hair brunette and tightly pulled back. And bravo on the low-key, pretty makeup.

Hilary Rhoda

Hilary Rhoda, CFDA Fashion Awards 2014

It's no wonder model Hilary Rhoda has been a longtime face of Estée Lauder—she looks like a walking, talking Estée Lauder ad, even in her personal life! She's oh-so-elegant here in a tousled, side-parted long bob, bold brows and a strong berry mouth. Girl's got some pipes on her too!

Joan Smalls

Joan Smalls, CFDA Fashion Awards 2014

Wowza! Love Joan Smalls' new bangs. This is one of the shapes I mentioned in these bang tips for long faces—it's a shorter version of the Bardot bangs, that gently part in the middle. I'd love to see them with a bit more length. They really bring out her eyes.

Heidi Klum

Heidi Klum, CFDA Fashion Awards 2014

Oh dear, we've got some classic Heidi Klum in this shot. Why does she always have to wear white liner along her lower inner eyelids? Instant way to make yourself look a bit cheap and tacky. She could also use a bra. I'm not against the half-up hairstyle, though. Is she wearing extensions or is has her hair become really long?

Brie Larson

Brie Larson, CFDA Fashion Awards 2014

Brie Larson's hair, you guys! Oh my goodness. I just can't with these highlights. They're all over the head—which first of all, is not the correct technique for highlighting, since the sun doesn't shine on the under-layers of your hair. Worst of all, the effect is to make her look grey. It's that awful frosty cool blonde that I've had a pet hate for for years. Brie could be so gorge if she'd get this taken care of, with a warmer, solid colour all over. I'm actually shocked to see a Hollywood person with this hair.

Your thoughts?

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Which look here do you find most inspiring?