The Best Beauty at the 2016 amfAR New York Gala

Heidi Klum, Blake Lively and more.
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Michelle Villett
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Heidi Klum, Blake Lively and more.

The amfAR Galas always make for excellent beauty-watching, and this year's New York event (held during New York Fashion Week) was no exception. 

It's a bit of a model-fest/blonde-fest, but I think you'll find the hair and makeup to be VERY impressive... 

Heidi Klum 

Heidi Klum, amfAR New York Gala, 2016

Heidi Klum at the 2016 amfAR New York Gala.

Heidi Klum, amfAR New York Gala, 2016

Close-up of Heidi Klum at the 2016 amfAR New York Gala.

What I love: Heidi hasn't looked this good in AGES, I tell you! She has always been a very beautiful woman—but one with a penchant for spray tanswhite eyeliner and costumey style on the red carpet. To see her looking more sophisticated is exciting! I love the gelled roots and sleek straight hairstyle, plus the fresh, bare, natural makeup. What I'd change: Is she still doing light eyeliner in her lower waterlines? At least it's not as glaring as before, but I still don't get it.

Blake Lively

Blake Lively, amfAR New York Gala, 2016

Blake Lively at the 2016 amfAR New York Gala.

Blake Lively, amfAR New York Gala, 2016

Close-up of Blake Lively at the 2016 amfAR New York Gala.

What I love: Her hair, obviously. Don't you just want to reach out and touch those cascading, honey blonde "S" waves that she's tossed over one shoulder? Please never change your hair, Blake. I also like the seamlessness of her eyeliner, all the way around in the waterlines, but so very fine and soft. What I'd change: The undersides of her brows look over-tweezed, as if she can't help herself from touching them at home (a VERY common problem). A good brow pro could help her through the re-growth stages; I think they could be filled in more strongly as well. 

Diane Kruger

Diane Kruger, amfAR New York Gala, 2016

Diane Kruger at the 2016 amfAR New York Gala.

Diane Kruger, amfAR New York Gala, 2016

Close-up of Diane Kruger at the 2016 amfAR New York Gala.

What I love: Gosh, how does Diane bring us something new every time and it's always so perfect?! This look is all about the soft, gently waved updo; the few escaping tendrils frame her face without looking "bridal." I'm really into her brows right now, and as usual, she did a soft taupe shadow and sheer lip shine. The baby cat eyes make her eyes pop. What I'd change: I'm undecided about the teased volume at the top of her head. 

Karlie Kloss

Karlie Kloss, amfAR New York Gala, 2016

Karlie Kloss at the 2016 amfAR New York Gala.

Karlie Kloss, amfAR New York Gala, 2016

Close-up of Karlie Kloss at the 2016 amfAR New York Gala.

What I love: Probably Karlie's skin is the main thing that stands out here. There is not a pore to be found! Notice how much she has grown out her brows lately—they are completely un-tweezed at the bottom, just brushed up and probably gelled for control. What I'd change: There's nothing technically wrong with this, I just think Karlie's beauty shines a whole lot more when she wears her hair down, with a little more colour on her face. Like this

Emily Ratajkowski

Emily Ratajkowski, amfAR New York Gala, 2016

Emily Ratajkowski at the 2016 amfAR New York Gala.

Emily Ratajkowski, amfAR New York Gala, 2016

Close-up of Emily Ratajkowski at the 2016 amfAR New York Gala.

What I love: Again, I love seeing gorgeous, foundation-free skin (or at least it looks foundation-free, which is the whole point). Emily's eye makeup is also great. This is how smoky should be done these days—there's still a lot of shadow happening, but it's got a sooty, lived-in feel. What I'd change: The thing about Emily is that she's so aggressively sexy. It feels too predictable... like, if you must get fake lips, then we probably don't need to see smoky eyes and long waves at the same time. When she wears her hair in a ponytail or even straightened, it's much cooler.

Adriana Lima

Adriana Lima, amfAR New York Gala, 2016

Adriana Lima at the 2016 amfAR New York Gala.

Adriana Lima, amfAR New York Gala, 2016

Close-up of Adriana Lima at the 2016 amfAR New York Gala.

What I love: Is Adriana even human??? Every time I see a red carpet photo of this woman, I cannot get over her beauty. Like, ZERO re-touching would be required when she does modelling work. The funny thing is, she is wearing heavy false lashes and contouring, which I'd normally dislike... and yet, both look fantastic on her. Beauty companies have been trying to mainstream those makeup elements or a while now, but it's so apparent that models can get away with a lot more than the average civilian can. What I'd change: How could I mess with perfection?

Jourdan Dunn

Jourdan Dunn, amfAR New York Gala, 2016

Jourdan Dunn at the 2016 amfAR New York Gala.

Jourdan Dunn, amfAR New York Gala, 2016

Close-up of Jourdan Dunn at the 2016 amfAR New York Gala.

What I love: Jourdan is another stunner. My favourite thing here is her strobing. She has that glowy, sculpted look, highlighting all the curves of her face, but doesn't look sparkly or overdone. I'm also a huge fan of her soft Ombré updo, creamy red lips and arched brows—all so complementary to the floral dress. What I'd change: Her eye makeup tends to be heavier than I would like, especially the false lashes. You don't need those, beauty!

Barbara Palvin

Barbara Palvin, amfAR New York Gala, 2016

Barbara Palvin at the 2016 amfAR New York Gala.

Barbara Palvin, amfAR New York Gala, 2016

Close-up of Barbara Palvin at the 2016 amfAR New York Gala.

What I love: Barbara is another one of my favourites. Behold, the power of a deep grey smoky eye in a feline shape. She demonstrates that it's really all you need—no heavy lashes, no cakey foundation, no lip colour, no complicated hairdo. This is all about the contrast of one dramatic makeup element against bare freshness; it gets me every time. What I'd change: Not a thing—I love this!

Elsa Hosk

Elsa Hosk, amfAR New York Gala, 2016

Elsa Hosk at the 2016 amfAR New York Gala.

Elsa Hosk, amfAR New York Gala, 2016

Close-up of Elsa Hosk at the 2016 amfAR New York Gala.

What I love: The beauties just keep coming, don't they? Elsa has such a pretty eye shape that I'm glad she emphasized it with strong, curving, graphic liner. Even the doll-like lashes kinda work here. Then there's that contrast thing happening again, for balance: brushed-up full brows and an air-dried hair texture tone down the precision. I also love how the warm eyeshadow matches her lip colour. What I'd change: The over-lining of her upper lip isn't working.

Jasmine Tookes

Jasmine Tookes, amfAR New York Gala, 2016

Jasmine Tookes at the 2016 amfAR New York Gala.

Jasmine Tookes, amfAR New York Gala, 2016

Close-up of Jasmine Tookes at the 2016 amfAR New York Gala.

What I love: I can't handle Jasmine's SKIN! The radiance here is next level. Although she's definitely wearing contour and highlighter, her complexion doesn't look makeuppy at all, which I love. Eyes and lips have a similar sculpted quality. What I'd change: Maybe just not so much contour down the sides of her nose. 

Hailey Baldwin

Hailey Baldwin, amfAR New York Gala, 2016

Hailey Baldwin at the 2016 amfAR New York Gala.

Hailey Baldwin, amfAR New York Gala, 2016

Close-up of Hailey Baldwin at the 2016 amfAR New York Gala.

What I love: Even though I suspect injections (like pretty much all of young Hollywood right now), I'm digging the pinky-matte thing going on with Hailey's lips. Also into her bronzey brown cream shadow—I love that it has a slightly wet look, versus a powder texture. Her brows look nice and soft. What I'd change: The dark roots look messy. I think she suits an all-over darker, warmer blonde. I also find the liner in the waterlines a little harsh.

Coco Rocha

Coco Rocha, amfAR New York Gala, 2016

Coco Rocha at the 2016 amfAR New York Gala.

Coco Rocha, amfAR New York Gala, 2016

Close-up of Coco Rocha at the 2016 amfAR New York Gala.

What I love: I definitely prefer Coco with longer hair, although maybe not this specific shaggy hairstyle. (Here's what it looked like short; I must have missed tracking the grow-out stages.) She also has insanely flawless porcelain skin. What I'd change: So many distracting colours here! What's up with her greenish-blondish eyebrows? Then there is berry lipstick with rusty-gold eyeshadow and pale yellow at the inner corners of her eyes. Oh, and the thick swipe of black liner plus heavy strip lashes.... You're better than this, Coco.

Hannah Davis

Hannah Davis, amfAR New York Gala, 2016

Hannah Davis at the 2016 amfAR New York Gala.

Hannah Davis, amfAR New York Gala, 2016

Close-up of Hannah Davis at the 2016 amfAR New York Gala.

What I love: We're using to seeing Hannah all glamorous and bombshell-looking, so I find this style departure super-refreshing. The high collar makes the look; then she went matchy-matchy with red lipstick and straight hair tucked behind her ears. It's still sexy, but has a lot more personality than usual. Also, her skin looks fantastic. What I'd change: I'd skip the false lashes and possibly even the black liner to make it evem more modern.

Karolina Kurkova

Karolina Kurkova, amfAR New York Gala, 2016

Karolina Kurkova at the 2016 amfAR New York Gala.

Karolina Kurkova, amfAR New York Gala, 2016

Close-up of Karolina Kurkova at the 2016 amfAR New York Gala.

What I love: Karolina's look is simple but so glamorous, effortless and fashionable. She let her big earrings steal the show, and wore her hair in her usual tight updo with bare, beautiful skin. Holy amazing lips! I also respect her for doing something funky with her purplish eyeshadow, extending it out horizontally and skipping the lashes. She left her brows au naturel, which works. What I'd change: I feel like we never get to see Karolina with her hair down....

Lauren Cohan

Lauren Cohan, amfAR New York Gala, 2016

Lauren Cohan at the 2016 amfAR New York Gala.

Lauren Cohan, amfAR New York Gala, 2016

Close-up of Lauren Cohan at the 2016 amfAR New York Gala.

What I love: So Lauren has short hair now and I mostly like it, especially the volume through the top. (This is what her hair looked like before.) She has such an unusual eye colour and good brows, she really doesn't need much makeup. What I'd change: Caveat on the haircut. I'm really not feeling the sideburns! Those bits should be tucked behind her ears, I think. She could also use a spoolie to better comb out her mascara. Skin I would like to see more glowing.

Sara Sampaio

Sara Sampaio, amfAR New York Gala, 2016

Sara Sampaio at the 2016 amfAR New York Gala.

Sara Sampaio, amfAR New York Gala, 2016

Close-up of Sara Sampaio at the 2016 amfAR New York Gala.

What I love: Sara's lips are just gorgeous. (But I feel like normal-lipped models can't make it in this world anymore, you know?) Anyway, she has such striking features that she barely needs any makeup enhancement, and can get away with an undone low ponytail. What I'd change: Models get concealer creasing under their eyes, too!

Izabel Goulart

Izabel Goulart, amfAR New York Gala, 2016

Izabel Goulart at the 2016 amfAR New York Gala.

Izabel Goulart, amfAR New York Gala, 2016

Close-up of Izabel Goulart at the 2016 amfAR New York Gala.

What I love: Even with the yellow cast to this photo, Izabel's gorgeousness shines through. Is anyone else getting young Cindy Crawford vibes? Her black cat eyes are the standout here. What I'd change: Visible lip liner alert! Also, the updo looks messy with this choice of dress and necklace (not crazy about her styling here). It could be the lighting, but her foundation looks a different colour to her chest.

Carol Alt

Carol Alt, amfAR New York Gala, 2016

Carol Alt at the 2016 amfAR New York Gala.

Carol Alt, amfAR New York Gala, 2016

Close-up of Carol Alt at the 2016 amfAR New York Gala.

What I love: Okay, so Carol is 55 years old! She is a walking advertisement for her raw foods diet; I'd say, her eyes look very bright and her hair extremely shiny. The updo with the long bangs is cute and youthful. What I'd change: A wee bang trim was probably in order! Lipstick is wearing off, but that's normal. Her complexion has a yellowish cast, which is typical for people who consume large amounts of beta-carotene.

Petra Nemcova

Petra Nemcova, amfAR New York Gala, 2016

Petra Nemcova at the 2016 amfAR New York Gala.

Petra Nemcova, amfAR New York Gala, 2016

Close-up of Petra Nemcova at the 2016 amfAR New York Gala.

What I love: Less eye makeup is more on Petra, so I'm happy to see her in a natural look with more focus on her hairstyle. The waves look great with the deep side part and one side pinned back. What I'd change: I would brush out the waves so they're not so separated—to get rid of that "just curled these" look. A bit more colour on her lips would look younger. 

Charli XCX

Charli XCX, amfAR New York Gala, 2016

Charli XCX at the 2016 amfAR New York Gala.

Charli XCX, amfAR New York Gala, 2016

Close-up of Charli XCX at the 2016 amfAR New York Gala.

What I love: I guess her brows? And the eye makeup is decent. But this is nowhere near the perfection of Charli's red carpet looks back in 2015. What I'd change: She looks like a bride, right? An '80s bride, and not in a good way. The curly tendrils and obvious lip liner ruin this for me. Also, her complexion just doesn't have the same vibrance as before. Hope that comes back!

Uma Thurman

Uma Thurman, amfAR New York Gala, 2016

Uma Thurman at the 2016 amfAR New York Gala.

Uma Thurman, amfAR New York Gala, 2016

Close-up of Uma Thurman at the 2016 amfAR New York Gala.

What I love: HUGE improvement over the bizarre makeup/injections fiasco of 2015. Uma looks like Uma again, thank goodness. I really like the colour and texture of this raspberry lipstick. She also did a nice job on the eyes. What I'd change: Her skin tone looks very red—not sure if that's a post-procedure thing or if it's the hair colour wreaking havoc. Just way too brassy; she needs a soft neutral blonde. Also, I think this is a faux bob fail. She would have looked great in a bouncy blowout.

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