Beyoncé Knowles, Before and After

The beauty evolution of the music mogul, film star and multiple Grammy Award-winning vocalist.
Michelle Villett
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The beauty evolution of the music mogul, film star and multiple Grammy Award-winning vocalist.

As one of the best-selling music artists of all time, Beyoncé Knowles has been at the top of her game for quite some time now. She has achieved a record-setting number of Grammy Awards, scored a Golden Globe nomination for her performance in 'Dreamgirls', and in her personal life, gave birth to daughter Blue Ivy in 2012.

Girl has so much going on that it's easy to forget just how long she's been in the biz. But it's been 16 years, people! SIXTEEN.

Now 33 years old, Bey got her start as a teenager back in the late '90s, with girl R&B group Destiny's Child. (Oh my God, those trashtastic outfits... remember?!)

While Bey was clearly a beauty way back then, I really think she's looking more gorgeous than ever these days. 

But is she au naturel or has she had a little "help"? Our goal today is to figure it out!

Here's her side-by-side comparison:

Beyonce Knowles, before and after

Beyoncé Knowles, in 1998 (left) and 2014 (right).

And now let's dive into her beauty retrospective. The first photo is from 1998, age 17, where Bey is sporting a Gwen Stefani-esque bindi:

Beyonce Knowles, Maxwell Album launch, 1998

Beyoncé Knowles at Maxwell's album launch in 1998.

I identify her so much with the blonde hair that I'm not sure if I would've recognized her here, as a brunette. Of course, the makeup is totally different, too—can't see her wearing those '90s-style dark metallic lips today. As always with these Before and Afters, take note of her nose.

Here's another 1998 shot of the entire group:

Beyonce Knowles, Soul Train Awards, 1998

Beyoncé Knowles with Destiny's Child at the Soul Train Awards in 1998.

The outfits aren't that outrageous yet, but sooo '90s! Bey had started to lighten her hair here as well, though it's cut Jennifer Aniston-style.

In 1999, she had a brief flirtation with cornrows... and overtweezed eyebrows:

Beyonce Knowles, photoshoot, 1999

Beyoncé Knowles in 1999.

For a while there, the braids became her signature look—with even more blondification—in Destiny's Child:

Beyonce Knowles, Soul Train Awards, 1999

Beyoncé Knowles with Destiny's Child at the Soul Train Awards in 1999.

This is about when the cray costumes started up as well. You gotta love the House of Deréon.

In 2000, the braids were out but the blonde stayed:

Beyonce Knowles, Billboard Music Awards, 2000

Beyoncé Knowles at the Billboard Music Awards in 2000.

I would say she was bleaching her eyebrows in this era as well.

By 2001, age 20, Beyoncé had found a version of the glam waves that she still wears a lot today.

Beyonce Knowles, MTV Movie Awards, 2001

Beyoncé Knowles at the MTV Movie Awards in 2001.

Already you could see that star quality, you know?

This shot is also from 2001 and I just couldn't resist sharing:

Beyonce Knowles, MTV TRL, 2001

Beyoncé Knowles with Destiny's Child at MTV TRL in 2001.


Moving on, the next look is from 2004, and she's changed her hair colour to a warm brown:

Beyonce Knowles, Grammy Awards, 2004

Beyoncé Knowles at the Grammy Awards in 2004.

I feel like I'm looking at a young Paula Abdul here. Are you seeing the resemblance? I'm also wondering if she's wearing (lighter) coloured contacts.

In 2006, age 25, Beyoncé's hair was even darker, and her style more sophisticated:

Beyonce Knowles, UK Music Hall of Fame, 2006

Beyoncé Knowles at the UK Music Hall of Fame awards in 2006.

She looks incredible with her hair pulled back like this. Whether her nose has been surgically altered by this point or it's just clever contouring, I can't tell. It does seem a little more refined.

Bey went for a big hair look at this event in 2007:

Beyonce Knowles, The Palazzo opening, 2007

Beyoncé Knowles at The Palazzo opening in 2007.

You probably remember this phase; she was all about giant curly hair and slinky, sparkly dresses for a while there.

Suddenly, by 2009 (age 28), her style skyrocketed to the A+ list:

Beyonce Knowles, Academy Awards, 2009

Beyoncé Knowles at the Academy Awards in 2009.

Quite a change, no? She went from being sort of 'showgirl'-like to perfectly elegant and sophisticated. This cat eye look is just beyond gorgeous.

Another example of her style elevation from 2010:

Beyonce Knowles, Heat fragrance launch, 2010

Beyoncé Knowles at the Heat fragrance launch in 2010.

Super-cute bangs and hair colour, and great, understated makeup. I think here, you can really see a difference with her nose. Definitely seems pointier at the tip and with a more prominent bridge. I'm also questioning her eye colour again. In the early days, it looked like her eyes were a darker brown.

I always loved this next shot from when she was pregnant in 2011:

Beyonce Knowles, MTV Video Music Awards, 2011

Beyoncé Knowles at the MTV Video Music Awards in 2011.

Basically, it's the side ponytail of my dreams. She is sooo pretty!

Another great shot of her is this one from 2013 (age 32):

Beyonce Knowles, Grammy Awards, 2013

Beyoncé Knowles at the Grammy Awards in 2013.

Love this rare red lip sighting. Again, check out her nose.

Our last shot is from earlier this year:

Beyonce Knowles, Chime for Change One-Year Anniversary, 2014

Beyoncé Knowles at the Chime for Change One-Year Anniversary in 2014.

I'm not crazy about the super-blonde ends of her Ombré, but the light hair colour as a whole really works for her. I definitely prefer her blonde versus her natural brunette hue. To me, it also looks like she's bleached her brows again here, so the whole effect is all beachy and glowy. 

The Bottom Line

Bey is SUPER-beautiful, there's no arguing that. And I especially love her fearlessness when it comes to her hair colour. It's high-maintenance, no doubt, but it's so transformative and inspiring. The coloured contacts really change her look as well.

As for her facial features, I think the photos speak for themselves—what has changed over the years is her nose. I'll defer to plastic surgeon Jeffrey Spiegel, who was quoted in Hollywood Life on this exact issue. He says: “It’s extremely likely she’s had a rhinoplasty. I think she has had her nose narrowed and the tip refined. She looks gorgeous and the surgeon did an excellent job." 

Have Your Say

How do you feel about Beyoncé's beauty evolution? Which of these looks is your favourite? What "beauty work" do you think she's had done?