The Best Beauty at the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards

Miley Cyrus, Kylie Jenner and more.
Avatar:
Michelle Villett
Author:
Publish date:
Social count:
841
Miley Cyrus, Kylie Jenner and more.

The VMAs beauty round-up is here, and it's a juicy one! A bit delayed, because even beauty editors need to take vacation. But these looks are so wild and wacky, they're worth the wait. Promise!

Here are all the hair and makeup highlights:

Miley Cyrus

Miley Cyrus, MTV Video Music Awards 2015

Miley Cyrus at the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards.

Miley Cyrus, MTV Video Music Awards 2015

Close-up of Miley Cyrus at the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards.

Oops, should've given you an NSFW warning re: Miley's outfit! If you can manage to look away—and ignore the cray hair—then the makeup is actually pretty cool. I don't think I've ever seen liner applied quite this way, in the bottle lower waterlines and darting into the inner corners for a feline effect. The bright blue is also very striking with the orange mouth. Her lashes are defined and a bit chunky, and brows darkened and lifted at the outer edges. I dunno... is it wrong to say I like this makeup?

Kylie Jenner

Kylie Jenner, MTV Video Music Awards 2015

Kylie Jenner at the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards.

Kylie Jenner, MTV Video Music Awards 2015

Close-up of Kylie Jenner at the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards.

If someone told me this was a wax figure at Madame Tussauds and not a living, breathing, 18-year-old human, I swear I'd believe them. But I get the sense that Kylie doesn't care about looking natural—her face is contoured within an inch of its life, along with needle-plumped lips, false lashes and matte brownish-toned makeup. I kinda dig the wig and the whole Cleopatra vibe, but it can be done with probably a tenth of the products she piled on here. Most of all, I can't get over her dead eyes...

FKA Twigs

FKA Twigs, MTV Video Music Awards 2015

FKA Twigs at the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards.

FKA Twigs, MTV Video Music Awards 2015

Close-up of FKA Twigs at the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards.

Finally, a beauty look I can get behind! I think FKA Twigs had my favourite one of the night—a big mass of wild curls in a faux bob, with fresh skin, natural brows and bright red lipstick. It's a total departure from her usual street-influenced style, and you really appreciate her natural beauty here.

FKA Twigs is wearing: Highlighting powder in Luminous // Eyeliner in Perversion // Lip pencil in Bad Blood // Lipstick in Bad Blood

Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift, MTV Video Music Awards 2015

Taylor Swift at the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards.

Taylor Swift, MTV Video Music Awards 2015

Close-up of Taylor Swift at the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards.

Nice to see Taylor putting an edgier spin on her go-to heavy liner and false lashes. I quite enjoy this! Like Miley's blue liner, this shape is very feline, except in a dark, thick, shimmering navy that goes all the way around the eyes and just above the creases. Notice how the waterlines were left light, with what looks like a bit of white shimmer. The rest of her face is fresh, to let the eyes shine, and her hair looks prim in a low ponytail and side-swept bangs.

Nicki Minaj

Nicki Minaj, MTV Video Music Awards 2015

Nicki Minaj at the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards.

Nicki Minaj, MTV Video Music Awards 2015

Close-up of Nicki Minaj at the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards.

Nicki took her eyeliner in the other direction, opting for black liner with dramatic outward flicks. There are elements of this that I like—the straight hair and bangs, for example, and the light pink mouth. But her highlighting/contouring is just SO obvious. I don't think there's meant to be a 10-shade difference between the skin in the centre of your face and your jawline. 

Gigi Hadid

Gigi Hadid, MTV Video Music Awards 2015

Gigi Hadid at the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards.

Gigi Hadid, MTV Video Music Awards 2015

Close-up of Gigi Hadid at the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards.

Gigi looks comparatively fresher in a '60s-inspired bronzed beach-glam look. I really like the off-the-face helmet hair on her, and that the only standout element of her makeup is the fluffy false lashes. Take note of that shimmery lipstick, because I think we might see more of that texture soon.

Gigi is wearing: Primer // Foundation // Bronzer // Powder // Blush in Medium Mauve // Blush in Coral // Eyeshadow in The Blushed Nudes // Mascara // Brow pencil in Blonde // Brow mascara in Blonde // Lipstick in Nude Embrace // Lip gloss in Taupe with Me

Ciara

Ciara, MTV Video Music Awards 2015

Ciara at the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards.

Ciara, MTV Video Music Awards 2015

Close-up of Ciara at the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards.

Ciara has a lob again, and it is spectacular! I love this cut on her, and how shiny/healthy her hair looks. It's also very flattering with her face shape. She kept makeup minimal, choosing black liner and lashes with pinky-nude lipstick and lids. I do think the highlighting in the centre of her face is too light, though, and doesn't seem properly blended in places.

Britney Spears

Britney Spears, MTV Video Music Awards 2015

Britney Spears at the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards.

Britney Spears, MTV Video Music Awards 2015

Close-up of Britney Spears at the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards.

Not much has changed since the last time we saw Britney, except she skipped the black eyeshadow here, and her hair's up in a cheerleader ponytail secured with a braid. Otherwise, the makeup (and outfit!) are still Vegas-tastic: glittery eyeshadow and lip gloss, heavy black liner, over-the-top false lashes and fake tan. Lots and lots of fake tan. Well, at least her brows look natural.

Rita Ora

Rita Ora, MTV Video Music Awards 2015

Rita Ora at the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards.

Rita Ora, MTV Video Music Awards 2015

Close-up of Rita Ora at the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards.

The centre-of-the-face highlighting strikes again! Rita also went a bit too light there, but you know what? Aside from that minor issue, I think she looks pretty great here. Her smoky black shadow is modern with the angular outer corners, and works well with her dark brows, nude lips and revealing dress. Thanks to the magic of extensions, her hair is tied back in a long, sleek ponytail.

Rita is wearing: Face mist // Moisturizer // Foundation in 4.5 // Eyeshadow in Naked Smoky // Eyeliner in Black Velvet // Eyeliner in Black Velvet // Eyeliner in Vice // Brow pencil in Neutral Brown // Brow Gel in Clear // Mascara // Lip colour in Nude Eclipse

Selena Gomez

Selena Gomez, MTV Video Music Awards 2015

Selena Gomez at the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards.

Selena Gomez, MTV Video Music Awards 2015

Close-up of Selena Gomez at the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards.

We haven't seen Selena on the red carpet since the Met Ball, where she wore a heavier red lips 'n' flower look. I like this so much better. It's no wonder she's the new face (hair) of Pantene—her curls couldn't be glossier. I also like how she contoured her cheeks with a peachy blush, and the slightly metallic quality of her peach lipstick. Not crazy about the lashes, but they're not terrible.

Selena is wearing: Serum // Moisturizer // Eyeliner in Black Onyx // Eyeshadow in Sukhothai // Mascara // Foundation // Blush // Powder // Contour in Geinah // Lipstick in Coffee Crave

Demi Lovato

Demi Lovato, MTV Video Music Awards 2015

Demi Lovato at the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards.

Demi Lovato, MTV Video Music Awards 2015

Close-up of Demi Lovato at the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards.

Darn, why didn't Demi stick with this recent look (which was heavy, yes, but still gorgeous) instead of what she did here? Even for her, this is a lot of makeup. The long false eyelashes make me think of insects and Kim Kardashian, and her blush is way too heavy. (Read this, Demi!) Although she has great skin and I love her hair this way, the contour on her forehead is too strong. With her super-precise brows, the overall effect is that she's trying way too hard.

Demi is wearing: Primer // Foundation // Foundation // Concealer // Blush in Dollface // Eyeshadow in Full Exposure // Eyeliner in Blacktrack // Bronzer in Sun Bunny // Brow powder // Brow pencil // Mascara // False lashes // Lip gloss

Karlie Kloss

Karlie Kloss, MTV Video Music Awards 2015

Karlie Kloss at the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards.

Karlie Kloss, MTV Video Music Awards 2015

Close-up of Karlie Kloss at the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards.

Karlie was the most bare-faced person on this entire red carpet, wearing just peach blush, darkened upper lashes and a creamy nude lipstick. Brows are natural, hair is tousled and beachy, and she looks stunning—as usual.

Hailee Steinfeld

Hailee Steinfeld, MTV Video Music Awards 2015

Hailee Steinfeld at the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards.

Hailee Steinfeld, MTV Video Music Awards 2015

Close-up of Hailee Steinfeld at the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards.

Is anyone else really bothered by that tiny, unblended swipe of contour stuck in the middle of Hailee's cheek? I can't look away. That and the concealer build-up under her eyes take away from what is otherwise a great beauty look: shiny, centre-parted hair, popsicle-pink lips and flirty cat eyes. In a world of Instagram brows, I find her natural ones refreshing.

Hailee is wearing: Eyeliner in Noir // Eyeshadow in Lagoon // Brow pencil // Brow gel // Lip balm // Lip gloss in Bare Baby // Lip colour in Petal Pink

Cara Delevingne

Cara Delevingne, MTV Video Music Awards 2015

Cara Delevingne at the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards.

Cara Delevingne, MTV Video Music Awards 2015

Close-up of Cara Delevingne at the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards.

What I love about Cara isn't her eyebrows anymore—it's that she never looks like she's trying too hard. (Take note, Demi Lovato!) Here, she's rocking the new air-dried hair texture with understated black liner, matte lips, flushed cheeks and brushed-up brows. The only thing that bugs is that tiny bit of mismatched colour at the tail of her brow.

Cara is wearing: Face mist // Serum // Moisturizer // BB Cream in Light // Blush in Desired Glow // Eyeshadow in 15 Frasque // Liquid liner in Ultra Black // Eyeliner in Nude // Mascara // Lipstick in Star System

Emily Ratajkowski

Emily Ratajkowski, MTV Video Music Awards 2015

Emily Ratajkowski at the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards.

Emily Ratajkowski, MTV Video Music Awards 2015

Close-up of Emily Ratajkowski at the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards.

Emily went for a similar vibe as Cara, with tousled bedhead hair and barely any makeup—except for smudgy black in the waterlines, tapering to baby flicks at the outer corners. Perhaps her foundation could be a touch better blended; I'm looking at the upper lip in particular.

Emily is wearing: Eyeliner in Sleek Onyx // Mascara

Kim Kardashian

Kim Kardashian, MTV Video Music Awards 2015

Kim Kardashian at the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards.

Kim Kardashian, MTV Video Music Awards 2015

Close-up of Kim Kardashian at the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards.

Eeks! I know this pic is not the best quality, but Kim's looking a bit... off. I think it's her lips. If you compare them to the last time we saw her on a red carpet, back at the Met Ball, they are distinctively more puffed-up. Do not like. Also, those lashes are going to give me nightmares. I honestly do not feel she needs anywhere near this amount of foundation, or makeup in general.

Kim is wearing: Foundation // Blush in Indecent // Eyeshadow primer // Eyeshadow in Naked Smoky // Eyeliner in Perversion // Mascara // Lip pencil in 1993 // Lipstick in Stark Naked

Kourtney Kardashian

Kourtney Kardashian, MTV Video Music Awards 2015

Kourtney Kardashian at the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards.

Kourtney Kardashian, MTV Video Music Awards 2015

Close-up of Kourtney Kardashian at the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards.

Uh-oh, looks like Kim isn't the only Kardashian who walked this red carpet fresh from the dermatologist's office. To me, it seems as if Kourtney's lip and cheek filler hasn't "settled" yet, giving her a misshapen, melted appearance. The low placement of brown blush and weirdly smudged, visible bottom lip liner don't help matters at all. I will say something nice: I like her hair.

Vanessa Hudgens

Vanessa Hudgens, MTV Video Music Awards 2015

Vanessa Hudgens at the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards.

Vanessa Hudgens, MTV Video Music Awards 2015

Close-up of Vanessa Hudgens at the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards.

Vanessa decided to get all creative on us, combining Boho/hippie elements (like the braid and long waves) with glam ones (the glittery gold shadow and false lashes). I don't think it's working—not that it can't, but this just wasn't executed properly. The makeup is too much! And I don't know how this lip liner even happened. What is going on?!

Chrissy Teigen

Chrissy Teigen, MTV Video Music Awards 2015

Chrissy Teigen at the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards.

Chrissy Teigen, MTV Video Music Awards 2015

Close-up of Chrissy Teigen at the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards.

Usually, I find Chrissy's makeup a bit strong, but in this sea of heavy-handed looks, she comes off surprisingly natural-looking. Yep, even with the false lashes and bold blush. It's nice to see her hair up for once, and the soft lip colour is really pretty.

Chrissy is wearing: Foundation // Illuminator in 10, 12 and 7 // Eyeshadow in 2 // Mascara // Lipstick in 102 // Lip oil

Bella Thorne

Bella Thorne, MTV Video Music Awards 2015

Bella Thorne at the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards.

Bella Thorne, MTV Video Music Awards 2015

Close-up of Bella Thorne at the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards.

Speaking of updos, it's good to see Bella with one, too, since she usually wears her hair down. The top knot is adorable on her, and I don't really mind the false lashes in this case; they add to the flirty factor. Her makeup is all soft, tawny tones. Very nice!

Holland Roden

Holland Roden, MTV Video Music Awards 2015

Holland Roden at the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards.

Holland Roden, MTV Video Music Awards 2015

Close-up of Holland Roden at the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards.

Holland brought us one of the few beauty looks here that you'd actually wear on the street. Yet another cat eye (there were so many on this red carpet!), with peachy-pink lipstick and blush, and hair simply tucked behind both ears. Definitely not edgy, but that's fine by me.

Laura Marano

Laura Marano, MTV Video Music Awards 2015

Laura Marano at the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards.

Laura Marano, MTV Video Music Awards 2015

Close-up of Laura Marano at the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards.

Laura has such gorgeous skin; I can't help but want to tweak her makeup just a little bit. I find the shimmery white highlighter at the inner corners and the black eyeliner too high-contrast, and her blush placement is too low and not well-blended. Same goes for her brow pencil. But the lip colour is pretty, and does she ever have an amazing mane of hair!

Greer Grammer

Greer Grammer, MTV Video Music Awards 2015

Greer Grammer at the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards.

Greer Grammer, MTV Video Music Awards 2015

Close-up of Greer Grammer at the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards.

I would never have recognized Greer, who is now a brunette. Here's what she looked like as a blonde. I hope this new shade is just for a role, because the blonde is much better! The waves also seem dated, and I'd like to see her brows darkened for definition instead of relying so much on the fake-looking lashes.

Martha Hunt

Martha Hunt, MTV Video Music Awards 2015

Martha Hunt at the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards.

Martha Hunt, MTV Video Music Awards 2015

Close-up of Martha Hunt at the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards.

Even fresh-faced models like Martha aren't immune from the pervasive visible lip liner problem. I'm telling you, seeing all these faux pas is enough to make a girl swear off lip liner forever! Otherwise, I'm totally into this look of natural hair, bare skin and soft definition around the eyes.

Tinashe

Tinashe, MTV Video Music Awards 2015

Tinashe at the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards.

Tinashe, MTV Video Music Awards 2015

Close-up of Tinashe at the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards.

I think Tinashe is an example of the centre-of-the-face highlighting done right. At least in this lighting, it's flattering and not too light. The false lashes are too much for my tastes, but otherwise, she looks pretty. Very understated glam.

Halsey

Halsey, MTV Video Music Awards 2015

Halsey at the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards.

Halsey, MTV Video Music Awards 2015

Close-up of Halsey at the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards.

Halsey makes her Beauty Editor debut, and I'm getting a brunette Agyness Deyn vibe, big time. I think she looks great. I'm a sucker for freckles, which keep her skin texture looking fresh against the pop of red on her lips. The lashes don't feel too strong, since the lids are bare.

Tori Kelly

Tori Kelly, MTV Video Music Awards 2015

Tori Kelly at the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards.

Tori Kelly, MTV Video Music Awards 2015

Close-up of Tori Kelly at the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards.

I love when girls like Tori let loose their natural hair texture—it's an instant style. Sure, the colour is rooty, but it works with her brown eyes and dark brows. I like the pale copper shade on her lids, and the wings to accentuate an almond shape. Maybe matte lips would be better. 

Maria Menounos

Maria Menounos, MTV Video Music Awards 2015

Maria Menounos at the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards.

Maria Menounos, MTV Video Music Awards 2015

Close-up of Maria Menounos at the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards.

You know it's a crazy red carpet when Maria has one of the few looks regular folks would actually wear! I feel like she's lightening up a bit—the top knot is very cute on her, lips aren't goopy, and her skin looks almost naturally sun-kissed. Not a fan of the lashes, though.

Amanda Steele

Amanda Steele, MTV Video Music Awards 2015

Amanda Steele at the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards.

Amanda Steele, MTV Video Music Awards 2015

Close-up of Amanda Steele at the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards.

Amanda has the most amazing icy blue stare—the effect is very Hitchcock blonde. I dunno about this makeup, though. In a way, the matte, brown-toned lips, blush and shadow are kind of interesting. But they also seem to give her complexion an unflattering cast, almost like she is ill. Maybe it only works because she's so pretty!

Rebecca Black

Rebecca Black, MTV Video Music Awards 2015

Rebecca Black at the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards.

Rebecca Black, MTV Video Music Awards 2015

Close-up of Rebecca Black at the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards.

What's the deal with Rebecca's lower lip—anyone know? I'm not sure if it's the way-too-obvious lip liner or injections, or both, but I'm very distracted. Aside from that, I think she looks great; very fresh-sexy. The eye makeup is perfect, and her tousled, highlighted hair really flatters her.

Beatrice Miller

Beatrice Miller, MTV Video Music Awards 2015

Beatrice Miller at the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards.

Beatrice Miller, MTV Video Music Awards 2015

Close-up of Beatrice Miller at the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards.

We've seen Beatrice before, at the Radio Disney Music Awards, but I probably wouldn't have recognized her. That's because she has a way more flattering hair colour (more golden, not so frosty) and her makeup is much more fresh.

Arielle Vandenberg

Arielle Vandenberg, MTV Video Music Awards 2015

Arielle Vandenberg at the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards.

Arielle Vandenberg, MTV Video Music Awards 2015

Close-up of Arielle Vandenberg at the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards.

I love Arielle's hair with the big swoop on top and the glamorous, mid-length waves. Can't complain about her makeup, which is nude and fresh, with just a few individual false lashes.

Charlotte McKinney

Charlotte McKinney, MTV Video Music Awards 2015

Charlotte McKinney at the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards.

Charlotte McKinney, MTV Video Music Awards 2015

Close-up of Charlotte McKinney at the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards.

Charlotte has one of the best manes of hair on this red carpet; it looks incredibly thick. I also like her navy blue eye makeup, sheer skin and peachy lip gloss. 

Katie Stevens

Katie Stevens, MTV Video Music Awards 2015

Katie Stevens at the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards.

Katie Stevens, MTV Video Music Awards 2015

Close-up of Katie Stevens at the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards.

Not sure if Katie chose the right foundation—her skin looks a bit yellowish to me. But I do like the eye makeup, and the emphasis on the bottom lashes. I think she could've chosen a softer lip colour to look more modern.

JoJo

JoJo, MTV Video Music Awards 2015

JoJo at the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards.

JoJo, MTV Video Music Awards 2015

Close-up of JoJo at the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards.

OMG JoJo, step away from your eyeshadow palette. Nobody needs to use this much eyeshadow to achieve a smoky effect! The blush, contour and brow powder aren't really blended, either. 

Brandi Cyrus

Brandi Cyrus, MTV Video Music Awards 2015

Brandi Cyrus at the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards.

Brandi Cyrus, MTV Video Music Awards 2015

Close-up of Brandi Cyrus at the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards.

Oh look, it's another member of the Cyrus family! Maybe Miley can help a sister out and share her makeup artist, because Brandi's look isn't quite ready for prime time. Her skin needs blotting/perfecting, and this is truly one of the most unflattering lipstick colours I've seen in a looong time.

Lindsey Stirling

Lindsey Stirling, MTV Video Music Awards 2015

Lindsey Stirling at the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards.

Lindsey Stirling, MTV Video Music Awards 2015

Close-up of Lindsey Stirling at the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards.

Well, at least Lindsey looks like she's having a good time! So she gets points for the big smile. It's just too bad she chose these particular makeup colours. Purple shadow and chalky peach lipstick are challenging for even the most experienced red carpet pros, so no surprise they don't work here. 

Jillian Rose Reed

Jillian Rose Reed, MTV Video Music Awards 2015

Jillian Rose Reed at the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards.

Jillian Rose Reed, MTV Video Music Awards 2015

Close-up of Jillian Rose Reed at the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards.

Finally! Jillian ditched her super-fake burgundy hair colour for this much more flattering reddish-brown. Unfortunately, that was the only upgrade, because she's still choosing the same heavy false lashes and copper shadow. (The shadow might work with less makeup everywhere else.) The extra skinny lines at her tear ducts interests me, but get overshadowed by the heavy lashes and everything else. Also looks like she's getting lip injections. Noooo, Jillian!

Rachel Smith

Rachel Smith, MTV Video Music Awards 2015

Rachel Smith at the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards.

Rachel Smith, MTV Video Music Awards 2015

Close-up of Rachel Smith at the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards.

Rachel not only has a light face on top of a dark body, but also some of the most obvious swipes of contouring I've seen yet. Choose a lighter shade and then blend, gurl! The weirdly curled false lashes also need to go.

Kat Graham

Kat Graham, MTV Video Music Awards 2015

Kat Graham at the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards.

Kat Graham, MTV Video Music Awards 2015

Close-up of Kat Graham at the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards.

Oh wow, Kat busted out a whole bunch of beauty extremes, from Ombré brows to extra-long lashes to radically highlighted skin. I don't even know how to describe this lip colour... greyish mauve? Also, I swear she is wearing coloured contacts. Nothing about this is real, and the only thing I can say I genuinely like is her hair. She did good with that wavy bob!

Jeannie Mai

Jeannie Mai, MTV Video Music Awards 2015

Jeannie Mai at the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards.

Jeannie Mai, MTV Video Music Awards 2015

Close-up of Jeannie Mai at the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards.

The grand finale belongs to Jeannie, who is wearing ALL the makeup. Glittery white shadow, hot pink lipstick, mega falsies, bold blush, you name it—it's all here. Don't hold back, Jeannie! Hey, I would have loved this when I was five.

Who had your favourite (and least favourite) beauty looks on this red carpet?