Pretty is as pretty does. I know it's true because this edition of red carpet close-ups is especially good! Yesterday was the seventh annual Art of Elysium gala in Los Angeles, a night for the non-profit charity organization to honour the contributions of actors, artists and musicians who volunteer their time to children battling serious medical conditions. Everyone from Amber Heard to Camilla Belle to Kate Bosworth was in attendance. Come see for yourself how great they look...
OMG Amber, this lip. It's NARS Lipstick in Red Lizard, described as a semi-matte, full-powered red. I love the contrast of it against her skin, which is illuminated in the centre and then velvety everywhere else, with a seamless flush on the cheeks. Her eyes aren't super-strong, just mascara, some very subtle pinky-taupe on the lids and soft shimmer all the way around. Then there is the sweep of those bangs, which are a nod to the retro feel of the lipstick but touchable instead of stiff. It doesn't get any better than this.
Another stunner here—Camilla is wearing her hair in a long bob these days with a deep side part, and it really suits her. Her makeup is modern '60s. Her cat eyes have a strong flick, but the liner is along both the top and bottom lashes with some soft pink shadow on the lids. On the lips is a sheer bubblegum pink colour, which is a more playful, trendy choice than if she had gone for a neutral.
Here's the second pair of look-at-me lips, this time on Kate in an orangey-red with a matte texture. Makeup artist Pati Dubroff was behind this one, so I'm keeping an eye on her Instagram in hopes that she reveals the shade. It's just got enough red in it to make it wearable for those of us scared of too much orange. I also love that she went pretty bright on the cheeks. I think what makes it work instead of looking clownish is the hair off the face and minimal (just mascara) eye makeup. Update: The colour she's wearing is MAC Lipstick in Lady Danger. Thank you Pati!
Jennifer really likes these braided, fauxhawk-type hairstyles, doesn't she? (Remember the Met Ball one?) This one is impressive from the back/side, but I am undecided about this much volume at the front. Maybe an inch or so too tall. Makeup, on the other hand, is downright perfect with one major exception: the false eyelashes. Not necessary at all, and they detract from her absolutely radiant skin and the lovely pink on her lips and cheeks. Oh well.
Evan Rachel Wood
It's been a while since we've seen Evan (or do we call her Evan Rachel? I'm always confused when celebs have two first names). I'm always interested in what boundaries she's pushing, and here, the look was described by her makeup artist as "disheveled Chuck Berry." I think you have to see the outfit to fully appreciate that. Anyway, I think the makeup is good—flawlessly blended deep purple on the eyes, perfected skin and blended blush. I might have done a more matte lip, though.
She could use a touch more powder and some eyebrow grooming, but otherwise I like this look on Ashley. She totally pulls off the unforgiving tight-to-the-head, centre-parted hairstyle. The peach tones of the blush and lip colour are nice on her, as is the sweep of thick black liner kept to the upper lash line only and following the curve of her eye shape. This is makeup anyone could wear.
It could be the lighting, but it looks like Nina is still wearing that too-dark faux tan from the People's Choice Awards, although I like this look much, much better. The blush and the sparkle on her eyelids looks a bit heavy-handed, too.
The top knot with the bright lip is Busy's go-to look and I'm okay with it. This lip is almost as bold as Kate Bosworth's, and a little more orange, but has a slightly more glossy texture. Busy has complimented it with some false lashes, which do the job of emphasizing her eyes without looking heavy.
From the neck up, Anna's hair and makeup here is fine, although a little underwhelming—but maybe we need to see the dress to fully understand what's happening. It looks like she's wearing false lashes and I actually do like them in this case. They dress up her otherwise very nude face, without being too over-the-top.
Michelle is looking a tad... injected. Other than that, I think her makeup is quite good. I mean, she has mesmerizing eyes to start with, but what she did here with the shimmering rose gold all the way around, paired with black liner and defined lashes, really makes them stand out. The black around her eyes ties together with her dark hair, bringing everything together.
Ali is going for the beachy look here—this is all about her California girl hair. Generally, I prefer brushed-out waves to piecey strands like this, but I think the tousled effect can work if you have more volume and less product. (Keep reading and you'll see what I mean on Gillian Jacobs, who executed this idea much better.) Makeup is very neutral: brown shadow instead of tons of lashes to emphasize the eyes, with blush and clear lip gloss. I would've liked to see more mascara.
Odette is doing the Ashley Madekwe hairstyle, except with a low, sleek pony in the back—and she, too, is stunning in it. There's a great balance going on between her strong brows and the bold lip. (I'm told it's an Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Lip Tar... I'm thinking either the Stained Gloss in Rhythm Box, a translucent purpled burgundy, or Dekadent, a translucent crushed blueberry. Both great colours for women with dark hair and brown eyes.) Eyes are enhanced on the upper lash line only with a strong slash of black liner and some false lashes for a flirty effect at the edges.
Not sure I'd want to run into Kelly in a dark alley, at least with this facial expression. As for the hair, you know what? I'm not against it in theory. It's the way it's been styled—look at this Instagram of her getting ready to see a much more flattering version. I'm thinking she needs to lose the bangs and do a deep side part. And you know, it would be nice if the ends didn't look like they'd been cut by a lawnmower. The makeup is way too heavy, as per usual. Again, I think it looked way better in the soft filter of Instagram...
Here's yet another star rocking the centre-parted, slick hairstyle. Amy's makeup is probably closest to "real girl" makeup—something the likes of you and I would wear. The foundation is sheer enough to see her skin, and then she's got a berry lip with just a little shimmer on the eyes. Possibly a few individual false lashes on the outer edges. Really simple and pretty.
This is the best I've seen Rose McGowan look in years. Years, I tell you! Seems like she's laid off the injections and is letting her natural beauty shine through. Hair needs some taming, but I love the vampy, purple-berry lip on her. And she's yet another star who's gone for liner just on the upper lash line.
I'm not feeling Jamie-Lynn's hairstyle so much, but what I am appreciating is the way she played up her big brown eyes. There's liner in the waterlines all the way around (which I think brown-eyed girls pull off so much more easily than light-eyed ones), a thicker line along the upper lash line, brown shadow and lots of lashes. I think it looks great with nothing at all on the lips except a tiny bit of shine in the centre.
Last time we saw Paz, it was in Cannes and she was one of my top 10 favourite looks. Now, she's lopped off her hair into this bob and I'm just not into it as much. To be brutally honest, I think it really aged her and doesn't flatter her face shape as much. I'm also not as in love with her makeup. I think she benefits greatly from eyeliner and dramatic lashes to bring out her eyes.
If I could steal one person's look on this red carpet, it would be Ahna's. (What can I say? I always love the redheads.) The ex-girlfriend of James Franco is radiant in this orange lip, which has me rethinking my whole hot pink stance as of late. As you can see, it's a choice that harmonizes with her skin and hair colour; if she had gone for a cool tone, it would make her lips pop more. She's such a pretty girl that the orange gloss, minimal eye makeup and side-parted hair in a chignon are all she needs.
I like Alicia's understated makeup here, but I'm wondering if her hair isn't just a tad too casual for a red carpet event? I feel like she needs some more volume, a la Marg Helgenberger, to dress this up.
Teresa was one of my faves last year at the Golden Globes after-parties. This year, she's pregnant, so she has an excellent excuse for a less hyper-groomed—but still super-gorgeous—beauty look. I like this idea for long hair of twisting a section and then pinning it back behind one ear. And I'm always happy to see bright pink lips.
OMG, Gillian is my photo twin. I feel like I always have eyes like this in pictures. It's a problem. Other than that, I like this. Her hair is doing what Ali Larter's should have been; it's voluminous and textured but doesn't look like it's been overloaded with product. Nice lip colour on her as well.
Who had the best hair and makeup at this event?
Which looks aren't you keen on?
Are you inspired to try a slick, centre-parted hairstyle? Or a bold lip?