The 11 Best Beauty Looks at the 2016 VMAs

From silver hair to glitter lips to pink eyeshadow.
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Michelle Villett
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From silver hair to glitter lips to pink eyeshadow.

We can always count on the MTV Video Music Awards to bring us some beauty excitement! On this year's red carpet, celebs played with matte and sparkly textures, statement lips and eyes, and textured (sometimes even wet) hair. But perhaps going makeup-free was the boldest look of all... 

Here are my favourite beauty ensembles from the night: 

Naomi Campbell 

Naomi Campbell, MTV Video Music Awards 2016

Naomi Campbell at the 2016 MTV Video Music Awards.

Naomi Campbell, MTV Video Music Awards 2016

Close-up of Naomi Campbell at the 2016 MTV Video Music Awards.

What I love: I've been waiting patiently for Christian Dior's Spring 2013 Couture lip look to trickle down to the red carpet, and FINALLY it's here. Thanks to makeup artist Pat McGrath, of course—this amazing ruby-red glitter treatment is from her forthcoming Lust 004 Lipstick Kit. Nobody could have worn it better than Naomi, with her chiseled features, gleaming skin, and sleek, straight hair. What I'd change: Nothing. (The eyelashes are OTT, but Naomi still pulls them off.)

Naomi is wearing: Lipstick in Vermillion Venom

Zara Larsson

Zara Larsson, MTV Video Music Awards 2016

Zara Larsson at the 2016 MTV Video Music Awards.

Zara Larsson, MTV Video Music Awards 2016

Close-up of Zara Larsson at the 2016 MTV Video Music Awards.

What I love: Some people just look incredible in silver hair, and Zara is one of them. Pushed off her face and with a wet texture, it's as if she just came from a swim. The grey tone is super-flattering with her complexion, which is a flawless, healthy matte. Lips are also matte, and eyes are accentuated by long lashes. What I'd change: I'd smudge the ring around her lips for softer edges.

Alicia Keys

Alicia Keys, MTV Video Music Awards 2016

Alicia Keys at the 2016 MTV Video Music Awards.

Alicia Keys, MTV Video Music Awards 2016

Close-up of Alicia Keys at the 2016 MTV Video Music Awards.

What I love: Alicia went bare-faced again, and she looks gorgeous! We know from her Lenny Letter essay that she has vowed not to cover up with makeup anymore; lucky for her, she has naturally clear and glowing skin. With her hair piled up on her head, this reminds me of a night out on a beach vacation, when you've got just a hint of rosiness from the sun. What I'd change: Nothing.

Beyoncé

Beyonce, MTV Video Music Awards 2016

Beyoncé at the 2016 MTV Video Music Awards.

Beyonce, MTV Video Music Awards 2016

Close-up of Beyoncé at the 2016 MTV Video Music Awards.

What I love: Beyoncé wore her hair in braids, and if you ask me, there aren't enough braids on the red carpet. I love the details here—there's a braid on each side that joins the main, longer braid down her back. Her strobing game is also on point, and I love her 360-degree Cleopatra eyes. If you look closely, there's a flash of gold on the lids as well. Her brows are full but soft, just the way I like 'em. What I'd change: Nothing.

Tove Lo

Tove Lo, MTV Video Music Awards 2016

Tove Lo at the 2016 MTV Video Music Awards.

Tove Lo, MTV Video Music Awards 2016

Close-up of Tove Lo at the 2016 MTV Video Music Awards.

What I love: Tove's look is a little bit edgy, a little bit casual and a little bit glam. I really appreciate that she doesn't pile on the makeup everywhere—the precise shiny red mouth and septum ring are statement enough, with just chunky mascara to bring out her eyes. She tones everything down with a loose ponytail; her hair has the soft texture of an undone braid. What I'd change: I do like the blonde, but I think Tove is more striking as a brunette.

Stella Maxwell

Stella Maxwell, MTV Video Music Awards 2016

Stella Maxwell at the 2016 MTV Video Music Awards.

Stella Maxwell, MTV Video Music Awards 2016

Close-up of Stella Maxwell at the 2016 MTV Video Music Awards.

What I love: Stella is an excellent case study for how incredible pink eyeshadow can look with the right execution. (Another is Ashley Benson—the same makeup artist, Hung Vanngo, was behind both!) This looks modern, not cutesy, because of the bold fuchsia colour, the placement all the way around the eyes, and the superb blending. Of course, her insanely perfect skin and full brows also help. I like that she's got pink on her lips as well, but it's not matchy. What I'd change: I think this would be even cooler without the heavy lashes.

Joan Smalls

Joan Smalls, MTV Video Music Awards 2016

Joan Smalls at the 2016 MTV Video Music Awards.

Joan Smalls, MTV Video Music Awards 2016

Close-up of Joan Smalls at the 2016 MTV Video Music Awards.

What I love: Joan did a nude makeup look, but with a fun twist. I'm talking about the shimmery copper shadow—like Stella's, it's placed below the lash line. This might be a good trend to consider if you're not doing it already! The rest of her makeup is subtle, which shows off her stunning sculpted features. I also love her fluffy lashes, arched brows and smooth hair. What I'd change: Nothing.

Hailey Baldwin

Hailey Baldwin, MTV Video Music Awards 2016

Hailey Baldwin at the 2016 MTV Video Music Awards.

Hailey Baldwin, MTV Video Music Awards 2016

Close-up of Hailey Baldwin at the 2016 MTV Video Music Awards.

What I love: Hailey is really growing on me. I'm a sucker for the blonde hair/brown eyes/dark brows combo, and she has amazing skin and adorable freckles. This new lob-length haircut gives her a more sophisticated, polished look, along with the soft taupe eyeshadow and pink lipstick. What I'd change: The false lashes aren't too bad, but I do wish she'd tone down the lip injections!

Taylor Hill

Taylor Hill, MTV Video Music Awards 2016

Taylor Hill at the 2016 MTV Video Music Awards.

Taylor Hill, MTV Video Music Awards 2016

Close-up of Taylor Hill at the 2016 MTV Video Music Awards.

What I love: It's so great to see the top knot again, after it peaked around 2010. Taylor's is perfect, with a few loose strands framing her face. The eye makeup is very runway-inspired, with glitter at the inner corners and deep black shadow creating an exaggerated cat-eye effect. Big lips and big brows balance everything out... she is just so pretty. What I'd change: Her brow pencil isn't quite a match, and I see lip injections again. Why?!

Holland Roden

Holland Roden, MTV Video Music Awards 2016

Holland Roden at the 2016 MTV Video Music Awards.

Holland Roden, MTV Video Music Awards 2016

Close-up of Holland Roden at the 2016 MTV Video Music Awards.

What I love: Holland's berry-stained lips and auburn hair almost have me in the mood for fall. Did you catch the silver glitter dusted down her middle part? There's also gold glitter shadow—yes, glitter's gonna be the next big trend! I love the contrast between her hair colour and the white dress, plus she has a doe-eyed expression that is so alluring. What I'd change: I feel like the glitters should match, and could have made a bigger statement, instead of competing with the false lashes, smoky shadow and lipstick. That said, she still looks gorgeous.

Nicki Minaj

Nicki Minaj, MTV Video Music Awards 2016

Nicki Minaj at the 2016 MTV Video Music Awards.

Nicki Minaj, MTV Video Music Awards 2016

Close-up of Nicki Minaj at the 2016 MTV Video Music Awards.

What I love: Nicki doesn't do "natural beauty," so for her aesthetic, this is as good as it gets! I like that her makeup has evolved into a much more sophisticated, neutral look with just one statement feature—the graphic black liner flicks. I'm not sure if it's a wig, but her hair looks nice and shiny. What I'd change: Her mid-face is so heavy—I think this is a drag queen makeup technique called "baking" (obviously, I'm not a fan). The false lashes are a bit much, and I'd prefer less drawn-on brows.

Who had your favourite beauty look on this red carpet?