The Best Beauty at the 2015 American Music Awards

Gigi Hadid, Zendaya and more.
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Michelle Villett
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Gigi Hadid, Zendaya and more.

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 Hadid

Gigi Hadid, American Music Awards 2015

Gigi Hadid at the 2015 American Music Awards.

Gigi Hadid, American Music Awards 2015

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

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.

Zendaya

Zendaya, American Music Awards 2015

Zendaya at the 2015 American Music Awards.

Zendaya, American Music Awards 2015

Close-up of Zendaya at the 2015 American Music Awards.

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 Gomez

Selena Gomez, American Music Awards 2015

Selena Gomez at the 2015 American Music Awards.

Selena Gomez, American Music Awards 2015

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

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.

Demi Lovato

Demi Lovato, American Music Awards 2015

Demi Lovato at the 2015 American Music Awards.

Demi Lovato, American Music Awards 2015

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

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 Jenner

Kendall Jenner, American Music Awards 2015

Kendall Jenner at the 2015 American Music Awards.

Kendall Jenner, American Music Awards 2015

Close-up of Kendall Jenner at the 2015 American Music Awards.

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.

Kylie Jenner

Kylie Jenner, American Music Awards 2015

Kylie Jenner at the 2015 American Music Awards.

Kylie Jenner, American Music Awards 2015

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

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...

Jennifer Lopez

Jennifer Lopez, American Music Awards 2015

Jennifer Lopez at the 2015 American Music Awards.

Jennifer Lopez, American Music Awards 2015

Close-up of Jennifer Lopez at the 2015 American Music Awards.

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.

JLo is wearing: Foundation // Concealer // Powder // Blush // Eyeshadow in Nude 1 // Eyeshadow in Nude 2 // Mascara in Black // Eyeliner // Lipstick in Eva's Nude

Hailee Steinfeld

Hailee Steinfeld, American Music Awards 2015

Hailee Steinfeld at the 2015 American Music Awards.

Hailee Steinfeld, American Music Awards 2015

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

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.

Hailee is wearing: Eyeshadow in Gilded Gold // Eyeliner in Noir

Ciara

Ciara, American Music Awards 2015

Ciara at the 2015 American Music Awards.

Ciara, American Music Awards 2015

Close-up of Ciara at the 2015 American Music Awards.

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.

Tove Lo

Tove Lo, American Music Awards 2015

Tove Lo at the 2015 American Music Awards.

Tove Lo, American Music Awards 2015

Close-up of Tove Lo at the 2015 American Music Awards.

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 Holt

Olivia Holt, American Music Awards 2015

Olivia Holt at the 2015 American Music Awards.

Olivia Holt, American Music Awards 2015

Close-up of Olivia Holt at the 2015 American Music Awards.

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.

Hannah Davis

Hannah Davis, American Music Awards 2015

Hannah Davis at the 2015 American Music Awards.

Hannah Davis, American Music Awards 2015

Close-up of Hannah Davis at the 2015 American Music Awards.

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!

Kat Graham

Kat Graham, American Music Awards 2015

Kat Graham at the 2015 American Music Awards.

Kat Graham, American Music Awards 2015

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

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.

Julianne Hough

Julianne Hough, American Music Awards 2015

Julianne Hough at the 2015 American Music Awards.

Julianne Hough, American Music Awards 2015

Close-up of Julianne Hough at the 2015 American Music Awards.

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

Ashley Benson

Ashley Benson, American Music Awards 2015

Ashley Benson at the 2015 American Music Awards.

Ashley Benson, American Music Awards 2015

Close-up of Ashley Benson at the 2015 American Music Awards.

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 Dobrev

Nina Dobrev, American Music Awards 2015

Nina Dobrev at the 2015 American Music Awards.

Nina Dobrev, American Music Awards 2015

Close-up of Nina Dobrev at the 2015 American Music Awards.

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.

Chloë Moretz

Chloe Moretz, American Music Awards 2015

Chloë Moretz at the 2015 American Music Awards.

Chloe Moretz, American Music Awards 2015

Close-up of Chloë Moretz at the 2015 American Music Awards.

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 Wilson

Rebel Wilson, American Music Awards 2015

Rebel Wilson at the 2015 American Music Awards.

Rebel Wilson, American Music Awards 2015

Close-up of Rebel Wilson at the 2015 American Music Awards.

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 Milian

Christina Milian, American Music Awards 2015

Christina Milian at the 2015 American Music Awards.

Christina Milian, American Music Awards 2015

Close-up of Christina Milian at the 2015 American Music Awards.

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!

Ellie Goulding

Ellie Goulding, American Music Awards 2015

Ellie Goulding at the 2015 American Music Awards.

Ellie Goulding, American Music Awards 2015

Close-up of Ellie Goulding at the 2015 American Music Awards.

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 Silverstone

Alicia Silverstone, American Music Awards 2015

Alicia Silverstone at the 2015 American Music Awards.

Alicia Silverstone, American Music Awards 2015

Close-up of Alicia Silverstone at the 2015 American Music Awards.

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.

Meghan Trainor

Meghan Trainor, American Music Awards 2015

Meghan Trainor at the 2015 American Music Awards.

Meghan Trainor, American Music Awards 2015

Close-up of Meghan Trainor at the 2015 American Music Awards.

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.

Gwen Stefani

Gwen Stefani, American Music Awards 2015

Gwen Stefani at the 2015 American Music Awards.

Gwen Stefani, American Music Awards 2015

Close-up of Gwen Stefani at the 2015 American Music Awards.

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?

Carrie Underwood

Carrie Underwood, American Music Awards 2015

Carrie Underwood at the 2015 American Music Awards.

Carrie Underwood, American Music Awards 2015

Close-up of Carrie Underwood at the 2015 American Music Awards.

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?