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:
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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?!
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.
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?