MTV Video Music Awards 2014: The Must-See Beauty Looks

Which celeb had the best hair and makeup at the 2014 MTV Video Music Awards? Come see!
Michelle Villett
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Which celeb had the best hair and makeup at the 2014 MTV Video Music Awards? Come see!

All the big-name music stars (plus loads of other celebs) were out at last night's VMAs. Here's your beauty debriefing:


Beyonce, MTV Video Music Awards 2014

Bey was the queen of this red carpet! After the Met Ball mask and the Grammys blonde bob, I'm so happy we're back to the beauty look she does best: long, flowy, caramel hair with tone-on-tone glowy makeup. And is that gold I spy in her waterlines? This is Beyoncé's Life Hair and Life Makeup, and I never want it to change.

Katy Perry

Katy Perry, MTV Video Music Awards 2014

You've gotta love Katy for her denim tribute to Britney Spears! Although I must say, I preferred Brit's beachy makeup back in 2001. Katy just has these mask tendencies... but I suppose regular makeup wouldn't do when you're in a costume like this. Hair-wise, I really like her bangs! Stylist Clyde Haygood used the Paul Mitchell Neuro Styling Rod to create the soft waves.

Update: Katy's makeup details have just come in, from makeup artist Jake Bailey. The lipstick is CoverGirl Lip Perfection in Hot 305, topped with CoverGirl Flamed Out Shadow Pencil in Crystal Flame for a metallic effect. She's also wearing CoverGirl Clean Glow Blush, CoverGirl Flamed Out Shadow Pots in Scorching Cocoa and Blazing White, CoverGirl Bombshell Intensity Liner and CoverGirl Bombshell Volume Mascara. Do we believe that it's a CG foundation? I'm told it's the Ready, Set Gorgeous Foundation in Warm Beige...

Miley Cyrus

Miley Cyrus, MTV Video Music Awards 2014

Miley looks pretty adorable here! A year or so after her radical beauty change—from long honey-brown extensions to an Ombré bob to this platinum crop—I feel like she's finally grown into her current hairstyle. Notice how her brows are dark to contrast with the hair, and that she's kept her makeup really fresh. Just loads of lashes and a sheer peachy gloss. Love!

Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift, MTV Video Music Awards 2014

What is going on with Taylor's hair lately? With so much poufiness at the top, it's thisclose to morphing into mom hair. (And not in a cool, 'mom jeans' sort of way.) I'm also getting frustrated with the repetitive heavy makeup. It's not like she doesn't look amazing with a lighter touch—like when she was on the cover of Glamour. Only 24, and she's been in a makeup rut for YEARS.

Jennifer Lopez

Jennifer Lopez, MTV Video Music Awards 2014

Well, well well... what do you think's going on here? J.Lo looks good, but she also looks a bit hardened. Maybe it's just the expression she's making. Or maybe she's injected stuff into her face. I love her silky straight, highlighted hair (another throwback to the early '00s!) as well as the grey smoky eyes. But it would be more modern to lose the lashes and choose a less goopy texture on the lip colour.

Rita Ora

Rita Ora, MTV Video Music Awards 2014

Oh, man! Rita killed it at the last MTV red carpet event, but this is a huge disappointment. I just can't get on board with false lashes this unnatural-looking, and the hairstyle combined with the earrings and choker just isn't flattering. I feel like half-up hairstyles only work when the makeup look is quite clean, with minimal accessories.


Lorde, MTV Video Music Awards 2014

So refreshing to see a face like Lorde's in a sea of overdone beauty looks! This is all about the full, natural brows and the mouth—on which makeup artist Amber D painted MAC Lipstick in Heroine, a creamy purple. For the hair, stylist Andy LeCompte curled it all over with a 1 1/2 inch iron, using Wella Luxe Oil Reconstructive Elixir to add shine and definition.


Kesha, MTV Video Music Awards 2014

So fun! There's a party happening on Kesha's head, and I want to go. The streaks of pink, yellow, blue and green remind me of ice cream—and she wisely went with a neutral face to let the hair take centre stage. I love that you can see her freckles.

Nicki Minaj

Nicki Minaj, MTV Video Music Awards 2014

This look is halfway between the pared-down Nicki we saw at the Billboard Awards and her usual over-the-top schtick, and I think it really works for her. Even the false lashes! With her vintagey waves, flushed cheeks and glossy lips—plus the stiletto manicure—it's a little bit camp but also very pretty.

Demi Lovato

Demi Lovato, MTV Video Music Awards 2014

Demi tends to go pretty heavy on the makeup, and sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. Here it's a case of the latter. The lips and brows are so unnaturally precise, it just lacks that effortless feel that I love about Lorde's look (though we don't all have to go that far). I'd love to see Demi with fuller, not-so-penciled-in brows and a fresher face without so much highlighting and contouring.

Gwen Stefani

Gwen Stefani, MTV Video Music Awards 2014

Gwen! It's been a while. She looks great in this purplish-pink lip colour with the matte skin—though it would be better if she skipped the lashes. Also not sure why her hair is looking so fried and is different colours in places? I guess that's what happens after more than a decade of platinum maintenance. No wonder Thomas gave it up after only a couple months!

Kim Kardashian

Kim Kardashian, MTV Video Music Awards 2014

Kim, put down the makeup brush and step away from the contouring palette. I don't get why people think this looks good? Her face appears orange to me around the hairline and underneath the cheekbones. I think it's time for Kim to embrace her natural skin tone and start experimenting with some different makeup techniques. The contouring, false lashes and nude lips thing is well past its expiry date.

Kylie Jenner

Kylie Jenner, MTV Video Music Awards 2014

Kylie is the most stylish one of the Jenner-Kardashian clan right now, so Kim could take a few lessons from her about hair and makeup. Love the side-parted long bob on her, plus the ear jewellery, natural skin and matte brown lipstick. I wouldn't recommend that lip colour on, say, a 30-something, but it's kinda fun for those who were just being born in the 1990s!

Kendall Jenner

Kendall Jenner, MTV Video Music Awards 2014

Model-of-the-moment Kendall looks fine here, although I always find it hard to muster up any real excitement about her beauty looks. Kim must be giving her red carpet-posing lessons.

Iggy Azalea

Iggy Azalea, MTV Video Music Awards 2014

Iggy went for a slicked-back hairstyle with Barbie-pink lipstick, a look we already saw at the ESPY Awards. Nevermind, it looks good on her—but she should mix it up next time. Stylist Sami Knight teased underneath the top section with a tail comb to create the volume before locking the style in place with Herbal Essences Body Envy Volumizing Hairspray. Skin looks powdery, but I think it's the unfortunate lighting here.

Nina Dobrev

Nina Dobrev, MTV Video Music Awards 2014

Sooo cute! If only Nina would smile, it'd be perfect. We almost never see her in bright makeup, so this orangey lipstick is a real treat—as are the bouncy high ponytail and her perfectly arched brows. To create the hair, stylist Riawna Capri prepped with Garnier Fructis Sky-Hi Volume Mousse, and used hot rollers around the face for volume before creating the pony. To hide the ponytail hook used to secure it, she created a teensy-tiny braid.

Update: Nina's makeup details have just come in from makeup artist Beau Nelson. On her skin is Jouer Luminizing Moisture Tint mixed with Giorgio Armani Designer Lift Smooth Firming Foundation. To add subtle dimension, Beau used Tom Ford Shade & Illuminate and Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze & Glow, with NARS The Multiple in South Beach for glowy cheeks. Nina applied individual false lashes herself, and then L’Oréal Paris Voluminous Mascara in Carbon Black. Beau also added  MAC Clear Lipglass on the eyelids to give them a "plastic coated" texture. The matte lipstick is Jouer Hydrating Lipstick in Ava.

Jessie J

Jessie J, MTV Video Music Awards 2014

It's Jessie J's first Beauty Editor appearance—and I think she did well! I'm kind of mesmerized by how she managed to part her widow's peak right down the centre (I can never do that!), and though the lashes are surely fake, they're really not too bad. I do think her usual style is edgier, though, and it would be nice if she were truer to that on the red carpet instead of adopting some "glam" persona.

Sarah Hyland

Sarah Hyland, MTV Video Music Awards 2014 (1)

Yikes, I usually love Sarah, but where do I start here? First up, the lipstick. It's bad. I can abide by the Kylie Jenner pinky brown, but please let's not start trying to make this dark rusty colour happen. Good Lord, it's unflattering. Also, I guess with Sarah wearing her hair up so often lately, I missed that she'd gotten blonde highlights. I don't like 'em. They look stripey, and her skin tone just doesn't glow like it used to with the dark brown.

Ariana Grande

Ariana Grande, MTV Video Music Awards 2014

Oh look! Ariana finally changed it up... in a tiny, tiny way. After so many brown lipstick showings, she's finally delved into red, which I think is an improvement. Still waiting for her to fix the rest of the makeup, and most importantly, the hair (!!).

Lucy Hale

Lucy Hale, MTV Video Music Awards 2014

Prettiness! At least we can always count on Lucy to deliver. Her makeup artist, Kelsey Deenihan, used (the CRAZY-expensive) La Prairie Cellular Cream Platinum Rare to prep her skin, followed by Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation in #6 and Mark Great Finish Pressed Perfecting Powder in Light to set it.

Next, Mark Glowdacious Illuminating Powder in Amped Up to highlight and Mark Touch & Glow Shimmer Cream Cubes as blush. On her eyes, Kelsey used a trio of shadows from the Mark On the Dot Neutral Eye Color Compact, using the darker colours at the outer edges for an almond shape. She added Mark No Place to Run Waterproof Eyeliner in Jet Set in the top and bottom waterlines and Mark Lash Act Build and Define Mascara in Blackest Black on the lashes. The lip colour is Mark Glossworks Longwear Lip Gloss in Roseland (though she later swapped it for the hot pink, Tempest, and took out the ponytail).

Solange Knowles

Solange Knowles, MTV Video Music Awards 2014

For once, it's not Solange's hair that I'm blown away by—it's her hot pink lashes. Just look at these things! Now they're the kind of false lashes I can totally get behind. She wore them just right, with big brows and a bare face, and then that outstanding mane of hair.

Chloë Moretz

Chloe Moretz, MTV Video Music Awards 2014 (1)

Chloë—or I should say, her makeup artist, Mai Quynh—has been doing this matte, pinky-brown neutral look for a while now. I don't love it but I don't hate it. To prep her skin, Mai used Sisley Botanical Moisturizer with Cucumber, and then Temptu Airpod Foundation in Ivory with Temptu Undereye Concealer in Fair 104. She also used Temptu Airpod Blush in Pale Pink and Temptu Airpod Highlighter.

For the smoky eyes, Mai used Charlotte Tilbury Luxury Palette Color Coded Eye Shadow in The Vintage Vamp with Make Up For Ever Artist Liner in Matte Dark Brown and Lancôme Définicils High Definition Mascara. For the brows, Laura Mercier Eyebrow Pencil in Fair Blonde, and for the lips, Tarte Power Pigment in Exposed.

Jordin Sparks

Jordin Sparks, MTV Video Music Awards 2014

Hooray, Jordin finally treated us to some lip colour instead of her usual nude glossies. I think this entire look is fantastic on her—the berry mouth, the full brows and the loose, centre-parted hair. Well, maybe except for the unnecessary false lashes...

Victoria Justice

Victoria Justice, MTV Video Music Awards 2014

Here's Vic Justice looking perfect again—no surprises here. I like the high braided ponytail and the hot pink lipstick on her. But sometimes I feel like she's a little TOO perfect, and it would be nice to see her with skin a bit more bare, and eyes not quite as precise.

Kelly Rowland

Kelly Rowland, MTV Video Music Awards 2014

Kelly Rowland is pregnant, and she's definitely got a bit of that expecting mama glow going on. Great choice of mauvey-pink lipstick, and I adore this soft crown braid on her.

Julianne Hough

Julianne Hough, MTV Video Music Awards 2014

Julianne was one of the first to start that whole shaggy long bob trend... but now, I'm over it. I feel like her hair's just a bit too choppy-looking, and I'd love to see her grow it out long again. Remember how glorious it was at the 2012 People's Choice Awards?

Amber Rose

Amber Rose, MTV Video Music Awards 2014

Same old, same old. Amber's look doesn't really change, EVER. Poor thing, she's also standing in the most unflattering lighting, too.

Becky G

Becky G, MTV Video Music Awards 2014

Rapper Becky G makes her blog debut, and it's not terrible. She's a cutie, and I love her centre-parted straight hair, sparkly eyes and great brows. Obviously, the lashes are bugging.

Jourdan Dunn

Jourdan Dunn, MTV Video Music Awards 2014

Quick shout-out to model Jourdan Dunn, who revealed a brand new hairstyle at the VMAs. I like! I'm a huge fan of blunt haircuts, so this long bob with crisp lines is super cool.

Ashley Rickards

Ashley Rickards, MTV Video Music Awards 2014

A huge improvement for Ashley over the last time we saw her, at the People's Choice Awards. Her bangs seem to be behaving this time, and she wisely eased up on the lashes. Would be great to see her in a bright lip colour for a change.

Ireland Baldwin

Ireland Baldwin, MTV Video Music Awards 2014

Eeks, this pouty expression Ireland is making on the red carpet is creeping me out. Not so sexay, please! I suppose the extra-dewy skin texture and bedhead braid isn't helping. I think she'd look great toning all of this down, and wearing her hair in a crisper style.

Let me know what you think of these looks!

Have Your Say

Who had the best beauty look at the VMAs?
The worst?
Which celebs do you find most inspiring here?