The red carpet beauty at Sunday night's American Music Awards was bold, experimental and even surprising. (Think: faux bobs, new bangs and coloured contacts!)
Let's dive in for a closer look:
Gigi has a bob! Or did have a bob—this has been revealed as a clever half-wig, attached at the back to blend in with her shortest layers. I never would've guessed she didn't actually cut it! (Truthfully, I'm glad she didn't. It would be criminal to chop off that long, wavy, voluminous, supermodel hair.) Her makeup is all illuminated nudes, with soft lashes, brushed-up brows and two prominent highlights at the inner corners of her eyes. The effect is quite '90s with the slicked-back roots, and balances nicely with the extremely bare chest.
So this is actually pretty toned-down, for a Zendaya makeup look. I don't think we've seen her in pink lipstick before—it's pretty! I've also got to applaud the use of more appropriate false lashes. Still too heavy on the highlighting, blush and contour, and I'm not too crazy about the cut-crease eyeshadow. I like her straight hair a lot, although at this point I have no idea what's a wig and what's not!
Selena's not done with the coloured contacts! She wore blue ones to the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show after-party, and here, chose a hazel pair. If I look at the first pic without focusing on her eyes, then yeah... I get it. There's something really striking about dark hair and light eyes à la Adriana Lima. But when I focus directly on the contacts, they just look so fake, almost creepy. The insane false lashes don't help, although I could argue that she at least wore them in an elevated, fashiony way (with pink eyeshadow, nude makeup and crazy-shiny, straight hair). She looks like a futuristic Barbie doll.
Even with all the "haircuts" and eye colour changes, Demi was still the person on this red carpet who changed her look the most. She really committed to this vintage 1920s glamour thing—I wonder how long it took her to get ready! First of all, her skin looks fantastic and I need to know her secrets. I also think she pulls off the finger waves in her glossy black hair. As for her makeup, the Ombré lips and smoky eyes are dramatic but still in balance. I think the only thing is that I'd like to see her with a more natural, less angular brow.
Demi is wearing: Lip crayon in Creature
Kendall showed up in bangs, and has yet to confirm whether they are real or fake. (Leave it to a Kardashian to draw out that debate, right?) I think they're fake. As a model, I doubt she would cut them, and they don't even seem to be trimmed properly in the centre. I also don't love this look overall. There's too much going on with the high neckline, shoulder details, snake earrings and then the bangs/side pieces. She also went too dark with her contour and too light with her foundation.
Meanwhile, Kylie doesn't even look related to Kendall, she is wearing such dark spray tan or contour/bronzer—I'm not sure what it is! Compared to her shoulders, her face looks SO orange. (Tell me again, why is this person giving us "beauty tutorials?") The lip injections are still going strong, although compared to last year, she appears to have a new technique of keeping the top lip thinner and going HUGE on the bottom. Good grief! I also noticed she drew over her beautiful brows, so now they look stencilled-on. I don't understand...
You know, despite the issues here (and there are a few!), I have to say... JLo still looks gorge. How is this woman 46 years old?! She has not aged, and still can rock the heck out of a tight updo. This top knot is adorable with her golden highlights, warm skin and revealing outfit. I also like the pink blush and lip colour (well, the centre lip colour). But then she effs it up with the truly BIZARRE lip liner, which is an entirely different colour, thick and glossy. And it's applied well outside her normal lip line. Seriously, JLo? The lashes are also over the top; surely she could find a more flattering, fluffier-looking pair.
I'm underwhelmed by this Hailee look, but maybe that's because the necklace looks like it's choking her (!!!), and her hair feels a bit "meh." At least her signature creative eye makeup is still in play. Here, she paired chocolate brown on the lids with bright gold shimmer at the inner corners, and taken about halfway across the lower lash lines. You can see how it really makes her eyes sparkle. The rose lip is muted and modern, although I might've gone softer on the blush.
Ciara did well! Normally, I don't love piecey bits hanging out of my updos, but the way she styled hers looks pretty cool—the long strands kind of soften her. Skin finish is excellent, and so is the charcoal eyeshadow, applied precisely up to the crease. She has some flirty lashes at the outer corners of her eyes, but at least from this angle, they don't seem overdone. While I like the berry mouth, it might've been nice to introduce an element of sheer, glossy shine.
First time on the blog for Tove, and I'm digging her septum ring and oxblood lipstick. Worn with straight, centre-parted hair tucked behind her ears, the effect is half edgy, half high-fashion. She wisely kept her brows soft and natural (just the fans brushed up), and is wearing minimal blush. The lashes are fake but soft, which is key.
Olivia did the most conventionally pretty look on this red carpet, and it turned out great. The soft, rosy-nude makeup really shows off her good skin and big brown eyes. Notice how she isn't wearing much eyeshadow, and the black liner is tight to her upper lash lines. That's why the dark fringe of lashes works here—because nothing else is heavy. Having her hair up in a ponytail helps, too, and the jangly earrings complete the look.
With her hair back in a clean ponytail, and natural makeup, Hannah looks more current than she has on previous red carpets. (Here's an example of what I mean.) I just wish she'd lose the false lashes and lip liner! She could take a few cues from Gigi Hadid, whose nude makeup is always more subdued and seamless. But overall, she is obviously stunning... look at these cheekbones!
Yes, Kat! Allow me to explain why I think her bright yellow and purple eyeshadow is actually a good thing. In the past, she has regularly held the very last spot in my red carpet round-ups, because her makeup was so darn heavy and "Instagrammy" (you know what I mean). I would MUCH rather see people experimenting with colour in creative ways like this, versus wearing all the makeup, all at once. No, it's not perfect, but at least it's a fresh statement, and very modern with the nude, matte lips and (relatively tame) lashes.
Isn't it weird how Julianne's eyelashes look normal on one side, and totally long and crazy on the other? Yet another way that falsies can mess you up. There are a few things I like here. The criss-cross pattern of her part is super-cool, and I can't remember seeing that before. The orange lipstick is also amazing with her light blue eyes and the blue/green earrings. I just wish—besides losing the lashes—that her blonde wasn't so streaky/ashy grey, and that the circumference of her lips was less sharp.
Julianne is wearing: Lipstick in Geraldine
This is nice, although it's kind of too bad Ashley didn't get creative with something like that pink eyeshadow she wore in the summer. This would've been the perfect moment for it! Her lashes look really good, and the soft diffusion of bronzey brown shadow is amazing (it matches her hair, and also the lips and blush). Her lip liner could've been much better blended.
Nina's look is way too safe for a music awards show. Heck, I think it's even a bit dated. (At least for her—she can do better!) Yes, she has lovely hair, but her eyes and brows seem to be the culprits. The brown shadow is heavy and the blending really isn't great. As for the brows, one is pretty good, but the other seems too precise and a borderline tadpole shape. If I can pinpoint the problem, I guess it's the bare tail of that one brow against the harsh line of shadow that is bugging me. Soft lids would've been much fresher.
I'm all for hair accessories, and even multiple ones, to make a graphic statement in the hair. (See: Emma Watson, who wore her bobby pins SO well.) But Chloë didn't quite get this right. Her clips remind of the ones you see on little kids, and in black they are too harsh against her blonde hair. But worse is the placement. They should be further over, right in the hair—not on top of her hairline. Aside from that, the makeup is very pretty, and so is her hair texture. Yay for real lashes!
Rebel went for big Bardot hair, and I quite like it on her! The hair sweeping across her forehead is really flattering to her face, and I have no complaints on the eye makeup. Notice how the shadow carves out some angles because it's smoked out on the diagonal; the false lashes also help to balance her face. What I don't love is the obvious over-lining job on her upper lip. Adding fullness there was definitely a good visual trick to draw the eye up, but I still think it needed better blending.
Christina pulled a JLo with this ultra-tight, slicked high updo. Except instead of a cute top knot, she did some kind of tall double knot thingie. It's okay... but it does accentuate the length of her face. With such sleekness to the hair, and very nude makeup, it's fine to go more dramatic on the lashes. I would've preferred less angular brows, and there's the upper lip liner striking again!
Hmm, not Ellie's best. I appreciate that she tried something new with the gelled-back, voluminous roots... but there's a reason we usually only see that on supermodels like Gigi Hadid. A swingy, bouncy lob is way more flattering to normal people (see how cute this looks on Ellie?). I'm also not a fan of her stencilled-on brows, or the false lashes, but her skin looks great.
Alicia looked SO amazing at a movie premiere a couple weeks ago, I wish she'd stuck with something like that than this predictable "Hollywood starlet" look. The lashes really don't suit her, and are too heavy; the unblended liner under her eyes is harsh and aging. As for her hair, the volume and texture are great—but smooth, shiny waves would look more youthful and classy. This just feels like she's trying to compete with the twentysomethings.
I really, really do not like Meghan's hair or makeup. There, I said it. The combo of red lipstick with black false lashes and light blonde hair can easily look too harsh, and that's definitely the case here. I'm not really one for beauty rules, but in this case, I think it would've been better to emphasize either lips or eyes, not both. I'd probably go with eyes—obviously, with less crazy lashes and without the white waterlines—and a sheer, glossy lip. I do think she's good as a blonde, but these ultra-long, wavy extensions have got to go.
Oh, dear! This is not the "happy to be single" red carpet debut I was expecting. Gwen went too far... way too far. However, my most pressing concern is why does her face look like it's melting? We've discussed her injectables already, but there seems to be a new texture on her cheeks that wasn't there before. The other disturbing thing is her lip liner-gloss combo, which is EXACTLY the same as JLo's, just in a different colour! Please God, please don't let this become a thing. And I didn't even get to the angry brows, white waterlines (again!!!) and tacky false lashes. WTF, Gwen?
Even with Gwen Stefani's makeup shenanigans, I STILL think Carrie deserves our last spot. Bless her heart, she never changes. There's a pretty woman under there, but so many things offend my beauty sensibilities: tadpole eyebrows, fake tan, heavy foundation, dark contour, harsh waterlines, obvious lip liner, insanely fake and chunky false lashes... it's a loooong list! I would also like to know what causes that indentation above the upper lip, because I've seen it on other celebs before. Sign of injections?
Who had your favourite (and least favourite) beauty looks on this red carpet?