The Best (and Worst) Beauty Looks at the 2016 American Music Awards

Smoky eyes, off-the-face hair and little flashes of metallics.
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Michelle Villett
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Smoky eyes, off-the-face hair and little flashes of metallics.
American Music Awards beauty looks

There were a few major beauty themes at Sunday night's American Music Awards! Smoky eyes were one of them–especially in unusual shades and with a generous dusting of shimmer. Hair was often worn away from the face (all the better to show off the creative makeup), and wherever possible, celebs mixed in something metallic.

Here are all the looks you need to see:

Gigi Hadid

Gigi Hadid, American Music Awards 2016

Gigi Hadid at the 2016 American Music Awards.

Gigi Hadid, American Music Awards 2016

Close-up of Gigi Hadid at the 2016 American Music Awards.

What I like: Gigi's masterfully shaded and highlighted eyes, framed by her full, arching brows. Wow! I'm also into her unique strawberry lipstick shade (it's not quite red; not quite pink; not quite coral). And she definitely carries this smooth, off-the face hairstyle. What I'd change: The skin texture's a bit heavy.

Gigi is wearing: Foundation // Contour stick // Highlighting powder in Light to Medium // Highlighting stick // Powder // Eyeshadow in The Blushed Nudes // Mascara // Brow powder, wax and highlighter // Lipstick in All Fired Up // Lipstick in Nude Thrill

Olivia Munn

Olivia Munn, American Music Awards 2016

Olivia Munn at the 2016 American Music Awards.

Olivia Munn, American Music Awards 2016

Close-up of Olivia Munn at the 2016 American Music Awards.

What I like: Olivia's new bangs. They're adorable with this ponytail, and I love how they dress down the plunging neckline and elaborate pattern of her gown. The makeup is all golds and peaches—super-pretty with the thick fringe of lashes to emphasize her eyes. What I'd change: Her own lashes need a good curl, as they're so much straighter than the false ones. Also, shimmer on the cheeks almost always emphasizes the pores.

Olivia is wearing: Lipstick in Nile Nude // Lip gloss in Sunny Day

Selena Gomez

Selena Gomez, American Music Awards 2016

Selena Gomez at the 2016 American Music Awards.

Selena Gomez, American Music Awards 2016

Close-up of Selena Gomez at the 2016 American Music Awards.

What I like: Selena's warm nude makeup. I really love how understated this is with her red dress. Her lashes look especially fluffy, with soft brown liner in the waterlines, brown shadow to subtly sculpt her lids, and natural brows. Also notice how her caramel lip colour has a nice soft upper edge. With her round face shape, she looks great in centre parts. What I'd change: The contour is perhaps a little obvious around the jawline. 

Hannah Davis

Hannah Davis, American Music Awards 2016

Hannah Davis at the 2016 American Music Awards.

Hannah Davis, American Music Awards 2016

Close-up of Hannah Davis at the 2016 American Music Awards.

What I like: Hannah's shimmering purplish smoky eyes—although that's partially to do with her striking eye colour itself! I like that she wore them with clear, shiny lip gloss, soft brows and a similar off-the-face hairstyle to Gigi's. A lip ring adds the necessary edge. What I'd change: I really don't like this pair of false lashes, nor the burgundy waterlines.

Halsey

Halsey, American Music Awards 2016

Halsey at the 2016 American Music Awards.

Halsey, American Music Awards 2016

Close-up of Halsey at the 2016 American Music Awards.

What I like: Halsey's fresh skin, freckles and feathery brows. With thick lashes, glitter shadow and clear lip gloss, this strikes just the right balance between casual and glamorous. The super-short crop doesn't even have a style, but still looks really good on her. What I'd change: Nothing.

Halsey is wearing: Glitter in North Star // Eye colour in Latte // Highlighter in Soft Frost // Lip colour in Snap 

Julianne Hough

Julianne Hough, American Music Awards 2016

Julianne Hough at the 2016 American Music Awards.

Julianne Hough, American Music Awards 2016

Close-up of Julianne Hough at the 2016 American Music Awards.

What I like: Julianne's bright eyes and soft pink lips and cheeks. This colour palette is so much more flattering on her than muddy browns. And did you notice the metallic pink liner under her lower lashes? As for her hair, it looks like she got new, extra-long extensions and went even lighter blonde—but I appreciate that she kept her roots and brows darker for a dose of "reality." What I'd change: The jet-black lashes seem heavy in both texture and colour. The hair is a bit Playboy Mansion, and I think her brows need to be ashier.

Julianne is wearing: Primer // Skin perfector // Lipstick in Sheerly // Lip gloss in Tea Rose

Janelle Monáe

Janelle Monae, American Music Awards 2016

Janelle Monáe at the 2016 American Music Awards.

Janelle Monae, American Music Awards 2016

Close-up of Janelle Monáe at the 2016 American Music Awards.

What I like: Janelle's reverse cat eyes in metallic coral pink. They're mirrored by black wings along her upper lashes, plus black waterlines, and the effect is so unexpected and cool. I also like her opaque pale pink gloss, and amazingly full brows. What I'd change: Her hair's a little frizzy, but my main issue is with her skin sculpting. Although she has a beautiful complexion, the lighter shade here is just too light.

Nina Dobrev

Nina Dobrev, American Music Awards 2016

Nina Dobrev at the 2016 American Music Awards.

Nina Dobrev, American Music Awards 2016

Close-up of Nina Dobrev at the 2016 American Music Awards.

What I like: Nina's metallic side braids. They're such a fun way to add interest to long, layered hair! I like that her smoky eyes pick up the same silver shade, with black liner to ground it. She's got a great gleam going on her cheek, and the nude lips keep things from looking overdone. What I'd change: These oversized contact lenses are still creeping me out!

Bailee Madison

Bailee Madison, American Music Awards 2016

Bailee Madison at the 2016 American Music Awards.

Bailee Madison, American Music Awards 2016

Close-up of Bailee Madison at the 2016 American Music Awards.

What I like: Bailee's pink and rust shadows. They're modern because the application is carried underneath the eyes and all the way up to her brows. Speaking of brows, hers are really beautiful, as is her skin. With an eye statement this strong, she wisely kept her lips bare and her hair up. What I'd change: I think this would be better with a fluffier set of lashes (or none at all).

Chrissy Teigen

Chrissy Teigen, American Music Awards 2016

Chrissy Teigen at the 2016 American Music Awards.

Chrissy Teigen, American Music Awards 2016

Close-up of Chrissy Teigen at the 2016 American Music Awards.

What I like: Chrissy's super-long, super-straight hair. Although being a model, she can wear just about anything, this is a particularly good style for her round face shape. She looks good in these browny makeup tones, and I like the softness of her lashes. What I'd change: I'm never a fan of bottom false lashes! And I feel her contour and overlined lips are too aggressive.

Chrissy is wearing: Concealer (as highlighter) // Contour stick (as blush) // Bronzer // Eyeshadow // Mascara // Brow pencil and highlighter

Behati Prinsloo

Behati Prinsloo, American Music Awards 2016

Behati Prinsloo at the 2016 American Music Awards.

Behati Prinsloo, American Music Awards 2016

Close-up of Behati Prinsloo at the 2016 American Music Awards.

What I like: Behati's smoky, silvery eye makeup. This is a look I'd definitely copy: black liner all the way around the waterlines, smoky taupe at the outer edges, and a dusting of eye-brightening silver at the inner corners. It looks great with fresh skin, seamless blush and subtle lip shine. What I'd change: I think she'd look more polished with her hair up. 

Heidi Klum

Heidi Klum, American Music Awards 2016

Heidi Klum at the 2016 American Music Awards.

Heidi Klum, American Music Awards 2016

Close-up of Heidi Klum at the 2016 American Music Awards.

What I like: Heidi's flawless, healthy skin. Sure, her red carpet style can be hit and miss, but the woman has the most incredible complexion. I like the ponytail and even the gold metallic shadow along her lower lash line. What I'd change: The false lashes (both top and bottom!) are too much, especially with the contrast of the white lower waterlines. 

Milla Jovovich

Milla Jovovich, American Music Awards 2016

Milla Jovovich at the 2016 American Music Awards.

Milla Jovovich, American Music Awards 2016

Close-up of Milla Jovovich at the 2016 American Music Awards.

What I like: Milla's pretty, shaggy bob. It just suits her, you know? I also respect her makeup aesthetic, which never involves false lashes or heavy foundation. Here, she is wearing only a bit of smudgy charcoal on the eyes, with sheer peachy-pink blush and lip colour. What I'd change: Nothing.

Keke Palmer

Keke Palmer, American Music Awards 2016

Keke Palmer at the 2016 American Music Awards.

Keke Palmer, American Music Awards 2016

Close-up of Keke Palmer at the 2016 American Music Awards.

What I like: It's matchy with her top, but I think Keke's metallic, greyish-taupe eyeshadow is a great shade. I like the short hair on her, too. What I'd change: I'm not crazy about the lifeless grey lip gloss, but at least the rose-tinted glasses add a dose of necessary colour.

Lady Gaga

Lady Gaga, American Music Awards 2016

Lady Gaga at the 2016 American Music Awards.

Lady Gaga, American Music Awards 2016

Close-up of Lady Gaga at the 2016 American Music Awards.

What I like: Lady Gaga's beautiful skin. With her hair tucked up into this hat, and the open jacket, you really notice how even-toned and porcelain it is. Lucky her! I actually like her metallic champagne eye makeup, and even the false lashes are a pretty good pair. Plus the bubblegum pink lips are quite pretty. What I'd change: What we can see of her blonde is so yellow. 

Bella Thorne

Bella Thorne, American Music Awards 2016

Bella Thorne at the 2016 American Music Awards.

Bella Thorne, American Music Awards 2016

Close-up of Bella Thorne at the 2016 American Music Awards.

What I like: Bella's brick-red lipstick. She's worn similar tones before and they always look great on her. Notice how it's also echoed in the coppery liner around her eyes. Her false lashes are a good set, as they have softness. What I'd change: I don't even know what to say about these new hair colours. And the glitter explosion at her part and on her forehead... why?!

Noah Cyrus

Noah Cyrus, American Music Awards 2016

Noah Cyrus at the 2016 American Music Awards.

Noah Cyrus, American Music Awards 2016

Close-up of Noah Cyrus at the 2016 American Music Awards.

What I like: Noah's glitter tears below each iris. They work because her makeup is all very natural and understated, including her lovely eyelashes. I like how soft and muted her lips are. What I'd change: This hair colour is way too harsh for her colouring, and the centre-parted hairstyle looks heavy and curtain-like.

Ariana Grande

Ariana Grande, American Music Awards 2016

Ariana Grande at the 2016 American Music Awards.

Ariana Grande, American Music Awards 2016

Close-up of Ariana Grande at the 2016 American Music Awards.

What I like: Ariana is wearing colour on her lips, for once! The rich berry is a welcome change from her usual dry, matte beiges. What I'd change: I can't believe she is STILL wearing this ponytail! Plus, the lashes are cray, the brows are too grey, and her foundation looks too yellow for her skin tone.

Taraji P. Henson

Taraji P. Henson, American Music Awards 2016

Taraji P. Henson at the 2016 American Music Awards.

Taraji P. Henson, American Music Awards 2016

Close-up of Taraji P. Henson at the 2016 American Music Awards.

What I like: Taraji's electric purple lipstick. A music awards show is the perfect occasion to wear such a bold shade. What I'd change: Unfortunately, her contouring is way too warm and very poorly blended. The false lashes are also obvious, stiff and heavy. 

Idina Menzel

Idina Menzel, American Music Awards 2016

Idina Menzel at the 2016 American Music Awards.

Idina Menzel, American Music Awards 2016

Close-up of Idina Menzel at the 2016 American Music Awards.

What I like: I suppose Idina's sheer, pinky lip colour is pretty. What I'd change: Mayday! Mayday! This is such a good example of how easily blush can turn clown-like. The colour is just too intense and really clashes with the lipstick. Even worse, it appears that she's trying to use it as a contour. Eeks! The whole effect just looks really dated.

Who had your favourite beauty look on this red carpet?