Those convulsions rocking the status quo? Beauty is not immune: Movements toward no makeup, natural hair and stars shedding "perfect" images are creating a new era of glamour on the all-important awards circuit as THR ranks the moments — from Beyonce's 'Lemonade' to Michelle Obama's glowing farewell — that changed everything.
On the (high) heels of #askhermore for Hollywood red carpets comes a year of feminist self-acceptance. The #nomakeup selfie on Instagram became a badge of honor for Gwyneth Paltrow, Adele and Alicia Keys — whose commitment to being makeup-free extended to The Voice, red carpet and her 8 million followers. But for all the looks in 2016 that did require some intervention from a makeup artist or hairstylist, THR has compiled and ranked the top 25 beauty moments from film, television and the red carpet.
Topping the rankings that mix feminist statements with unabashed fabulousness, Beyonce inspired black women to embrace their natural hair texture with her Lemonade visual album (No. 1 on THR's list), while Lupita Nyong'o celebrated her Kenyan heritage with haute head wraps during her Queen of Katwe press tour (No. 4). This year, A-list actresses felt empowered to be honest about their glam: Margot Robbie openly declared that, no, she does not wake up like that (#iwokeuplikethis has 1.8 million hashtags on Instagram). Her enviable tresses (No. 3) are the work of her "magical hairstylist" and extensions.
When it came to showstopping looks, Hollywood pros went all out, starting with Jennifer Lopez's siren turn at the Golden Globes (No. 15), Rachel McAdams' matching emerald Oscar dress and eye shadow (No. 9) and Charlize Theron's sexy androgyny at Cannes (No. 2). Perhaps striking a balance between au naturel and over-the-top glamour is best. After all, teases Emma Stone (No. 14) about an upcoming red-carpet look courtesy of her beauty pros: "I want to feel a little like myself in daily life, [but other times] we really go for it. … A glitter lip is coming!"
WHY IT MATTERS Live ratings weren't off the charts (787,000 viewers) for Beyonce's 56-minute visual album, which aired April 23 on HBO, but speculation about Jay Z's rumored infidelity with "Becky with the good hair" smashed the social-sphere harder than a bat. Even more impactful was how the images ignited hair and makeup trends ranging from African tribal body art to textured braids.
Hairstylist Kim Kimble, responsible for Lemonade's braids, cornrows and "antebellum updos," says that Beyonce, 35, set trends with her narrative movie, most notably a natural hair movement (#naturalhair has more than 9.8 million posts) that the likes of Zoe Saldana, Kerry Washington and Viola Davis are owning off and on the red carpet. "There was a time when [afro-textured] curls and braids were considered a bad thing, but I like that women are now embracing it," says Kimble. Adds Beyonce's makeup artist Sir John: "All over the world, I started to see the tribal look," not just for "festival glam but also in mainstream party-girl life." His on-set secrets: He used Q-tips for creating the dots, "everything waterproof" for the eye makeup in the underwater and horse-riding scenes and a glue stick to keep Queen Bey's brows in place.
Lemonade's cultural impact even has extended into academia, with the University of Texas offering a course on the visual album as a starting point for analyzing black feminism.
WHY IT MATTERS Yves Saint Laurent's iconic Le Smoking — the women's tux-inspired suit he debuted in 1966 — experienced its next iteration when Theron, 41, rocked an androgynous salute in Dior Haute Couture at the Cannes premiere of The Last Face. Both makeup artist Francesca Tolot and hairstylist Enzo Angileri used a photograph by Helmut Newton — whose provocative images helped Le Smoking gain traction in the wider culture during the '70s — as inspiration to create makeup and hair that was masculine yet sexy.
For Tolot, that meant "maintaining softness and avoiding hard edges" by blending Dior black eyeliner and black shadow around the eyes, then dusting a pearlescent nude Dior shadow over the entire eye, focusing on highlighting the brow bone. For Angileri, it meant a slick, center-parted bun that was "as small as possible" to be "reminiscent of a button" and less "bun-y." The final result was sultry and powerful for the long-reigning style queen of La Croisette.
WHY IT MATTERS Robbie's plaited hairstyles are a study in looking fresh while on a demanding summer global press tour promoting Suicide Squad. Back-to-back braided updos inspired hundreds of how-to tutorials and much Pinterest activity, with the number of Robbie's pins increasing nearly 500 percent since last year.
Each style balanced youth and sophistication (with no hint of Harley Quinn's blue and red ombre pigtails), such as the soft look at the London premiere, where Renato Campora pulled "the hair away from her shoulders without slicking it back" to showcase her tiger-emblazoned Gucci gown. Or a bohemian 'do in Toronto, where Sarah Potempa made a small braid inside a larger one that draped over Robbie's shoulder. So what does the Aussie beauty, 25, have to say about her locks? "I have fine, boring hair," she said earlier this fall, addressing all the buzz her hair has created. "So it's not me, it's a magical hairstylist making it look good. The glam squad!"
WHY IT MATTERS While promoting her onscreen turn as the mother of a young Ugandan chess prodigy in Queen of Katwe, Kenyan native Nyong'o, 33, embraced the chance to bring traditional African style to Hollywood's red carpet in a dozen or so haute designer looks with perfectly coordinated head wraps. At the end of the worldwide press tour, the Oscar winner captioned a photo collage of all her headpieces "That's a wrap!" which brought nearly 67,000 likes for that post alone.
First she wowed at the Sept. 20 Los Angeles premiere of the Disney drama when she stepped out in a lavender Elie Saab gown with a matching headdress, fashioned by Nyong'o's London-based hairstylist Vernon Francois from extra material from the designer. Says makeup pro Nick Barose, "It's a makeup artist's dream when you have a gorgeous head wrap — it's all face." Barose also stuck to purple, opting for "a soft wash of lilac and mauve" from Lancome's 5 Couleurs Palette for the eyes, and "originally I was going to go purply" on the lips, but wanting "something more feminine than funky" drew him to bright pink (Lancome L'Absolu Rouge in Rose Lancome). Barose's other nontraditional strokes included less-defined, natural-looking eyebrows and skipping false lashes. Barose isn't a fan of "a typical 'red-carpet glam' formula," which "feels a bit dime-a-dozen these days." Especially for his Oscar-winning client, who's no shrinking violet when it comes to making unconventionally chic red-carpet choices.
WHY IT MATTERS It was the meme seen 'round the web: a photo of a cartoon Cinderella side by side with Lively on the red carpet for the May 13 Cannes premiere of Slack Bay, looking the part of modern fairy-tale princess.
The 29-year-old L'Oreal ambassador sought to balance what she called her "very princessy" minty-blue Vivienne Westwood frock with the "rock 'n' roll twist" of a soft smoky eye by makeup artist Charlotte Willer. Manicurist Tom Bachik painted platinum nails to add "a bit of funk." A Lorraine Schwartz pink diamond bow headband and a pink sapphire flower brooch nestled in the back of Lively's updo by Stephane Lancien amplified the Disney vibe while keeping the overall effect chic. Thousands of global outlets pronounced her the "perfect princess."
WHY IT MATTERS Chopra's twist on a top knot at Jan. 9's BAFTA Awards Season Tea in L.A. could have verged too far into Minnie Mouse territory; instead, it was elegant. "Definitely one of my more memorable hair moments," says Chopra.
Though the Quantico actress has been an established Bollywood star for more than a decade (she boasts 12.2 million followers on Instagram), she's just now making a splash stateside, both on her ABC drama (winning this year's People's Choice Award for favorite TV actress) and also as a style trendsetter thanks to such unexpected choices as the bow bun.
Says Chopra's hairstylist Castillo, "Priyanka wanted something up, and I wanted it fun and sophisticated." To avoid a "cutesy" vibe, he emphasized a "clean, coiffed approach." The hair pro, who also works with Halle Berry, says Chopra, 34, is without a doubt a "risk-taker" on the red carpet. "She naturally has an edge."
WHY IT MATTERS For New York's "Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology"-themed Costume Institute Gala on May 2, a handful of makeup artists drew inspiration from designers' Fall 2016 runways and sent vampy pouts down fashion’s most fabulous red carpet. It was not only the biggest trend of the evening but also the leading lip trend this year, with brands like NARS seeing sales of popular deep burgundy lipsticks more than double.
At the Met Ball, makeup pro Maud Laceppe wanted "a gothic yet elegant look" for Rose Byrne, 37, and used NARS Semi Matte Lipstick in VIP Red, while Stephen Sollitto applied MAC Lip Glass over grape-hued MAC Patentpolish Lip Pencil in Sultana on Hailee Steinfeld. Rachel Goodwin went for plum-hued Chanel Lip Colour in Erik on Brie Larson, 27, for a "fun, modern, graphic" lip; and Lorrie Turk says it was 26-year-old co-chair Taylor Swift's idea for her dark lip (MAC Retro Matte Liquid Lip Color in Oh Lady). "It doesn't get old," says Laceppe of the trend that continues to prevail on the red carpet.
WHY IT MATTERS At 18, the youngest Fanning sister is evolving her image beyond ingenue to that of a sophisticated risk-taker with edgy choices, most notably beyond-bold eye shadow. Though other fashion stars from Kristen Stewart to Solange Knowles sported statement eyes this year, no one owned the look better than Fanning.
Cases in point: her fearless, Bowie-esque black and silver Make Up for Ever eyes worn with Saint Laurent at the brand's Palladium show Feb. 10 and her chunky pink Make Up for Ever glitter to complement a sequined Dolce & Gabbana gown at a June 14 L.A. Neon Demon premiere. Makeup artist Erin Ayanian Monroe, who also works with sister Dakota, credits Fanning's "free and adventurous spirit" for allowing her to experiment with "unexpected" styles. Says Fanning of the duo's devil-may-care approach: "We just take the risk and do it — it's fun, and [the makeup] is only for a moment."
WHY IT MATTERS Having eye makeup echo the hue of a dress — yes, matchy-matchy is back — was the top trend spotted at 2016's Academy Awards: Brie Larson coordinated purply-blues, Saoirse Ronan rocked greens, and Daisy Ridley mixed silvery-grays. But no one nailed it like the 38-year-old Spotlight supporting actress nominee, who wore the harmonious emerald duet of an August Getty Atelier gown and Chanel Griffith Green eye shadow.
Makeup artist Kayleen McAdams, who has done her older sister's makeup since they were young, chose the rich shade "to give Rachel's eyes the same pop that her dress had." The reason it worked so well? Application. Kayleen, 34, who also counts Sofia Vergara and Jessica Biel as clients, "kept the shadow really tight to the lash line" — both upper and lower — to avoid an all-over-the-lid clownlike disaster. The gorgeous green shadow sold out in no time on Chanel.com thanks to the McAdams beauty squad.
WHY IT MATTERS In 2016, Hollywood's hair-accessory game ran the gamut from bows (on Brie Larson) to tiaras (on Kate Bosworth) to barrettes (on Jessica Chastain), but Blunt's triply adorned 'do earned top marks at the Sept. 20 London premiere of The Girl on the Train.
A far cry from her character, Rachel Watson, Blunt, 33, emanated pulled-together elan with a Jennifer Behr head wrap, pearl pins and a vintage-looking flower barrette — the hair accessory made recurring cameos on the red carpet — that together worked with the ornate detailing in her Alexander McQueen gown. (Hairstylist Ashley Streicher carries Behr's "equal parts edgy and elegant" hair accessories at Striiike, the Beverly Hills salon she co-owns with her sisters, makeup artist Jenn and brow pro Kristie.)
Older sib Jenn, Blunt's longtime makeup artist, juxtaposed a soft, smudged eye and pinky-nude Laura Mercier lip that "gave her edge" against the embellished updo. Notes Jenn, "I think this look got more attention than any other one we've done."
WHY IT MATTERS Cotillard has nailed period pieces — and a classic lip — before with her Oscar-winning turn as French singer Edith Piaf in the 2007 film La Vie en Rose. For her performance opposite Brad Pitt in Robert Zemeckis' World War II thriller Allied, out Nov. 23, makeup artist Christophe Danchaud looked to Katharine Hepburn and Gene Tierney movies for inspiration.
"It's all about glamour and a particular way to see women at this time," says Danchaud, who has worked with Cotillard, 41, for nearly a decade on both films and the red carpet. He points to the "red lips, very pale, perfect skin and small eyeliner" that he says suit Cotillard's dramatic features perfectly. He used Giorgio Armani foundation, NARS translucent powder, Tarte brow pencil and a trio of lip shades: Absolution Cosmetics in Coquelicot, "a red-orange for the night scenes when she has to be more glamorous"; the brand's Theatre, "a more true red for daytime when she has to be stronger"; and Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Lip Pencil in Rose to look "as natural as possible" for no-makeup moments.
WHY IT MATTERS At the Primetime Emmy Awards on Sept. 18, the 30-year-old nominee showed how head-to-toe neutrals can triumph over boisterous colors and win the evening's top look.
It all started with a nude chainmail Atelier Versace gown that was a nod to Clarke's warrior queen Daenerys on Game of Thrones. For lips, Chanel artist Kate Lee skipped liner and just used clear gloss "to add shine to Emilia's natural lip shade." Lee also "chose a gray violet matte shadow, as it was reminiscent of Elizabeth Taylor's timeless glamour." For the understated updo, hairstylist Adir Abergel — Kristen Stewart and Reese Witherspoon are clients — mimicked the "structural build" of the bustline pleats in the Versace dress by subtly draping hair on the sides.
En route to the show, Clarke posted a Boomerang on Instagram along with praise for her glam squad ("Thanks to the ever incredible team of my dreams ...boom!"), which drew more than 5.2 million views.
WHY IT MATTERS President Barack Obama said, "We saved the best for last," at the final White House state dinner on Oct. 18, hosting the Italian prime minister, his wife and such guests as Jerry Seinfeld and Giorgio Armani and a menu by Mario Batali and entertainment by Gwen Stefani. But the night's real showstopper was Mrs. Obama.
In a copper-hued chainmail Atelier Versace dress, Obama, 52, firmly sealed her legacy as the most stylish first lady since Jackie Kennedy. To complement the shimmering gown, hairstylist Johnny Wright created a sleek style that swooped across the eye, and her makeup artist, Carl Ray, "chose products that would make her gleam in all the right places" — apples of the cheeks, brow bone, lips. Ray, D.C.'s go-to makeup artist who works with senators, Supreme Court justices and visiting celebrities, tells THR that he "wanted our FLOTUS to be radiant," achieving this with "bronze, copper and golden shades for that glow."
WHY IT MATTERS For Stone's glam squad, the goal always is to have her looking only slightly more glamorous than her everyday style. Explains the 28-year-old to THR: "I want to just feel a little like myself in daily life, especially if I'm nervous before an event. When I'm feeling calm, that's when we can really go for it. ... A glitter lip is coming!"
After 10 years together — and countless trips around the world — Stone's pros have mastered the art of creating countless cool-girl looks. For the Aug. 31 La La Land photocall at the Venice Film Festival, Chanel Makeup pro Rachel Goodwin brushed peach tones on the eyes and cheeks and a Giambattista Valli dress-matching pink glossy lip (Chanel Le Rouge Crayon de Couleur in Nude, available January). Mara Roszak, L'Oreal celebrity hairstylist and owner of L.A.'s Mare Salon, did an updo that featured a tiny braid on one side and a twist in the back, secured with a thick gold barrette from Colette in Paris.
Stone jokes that they've been on 650,000-plus trips together: "I have traveled more with them than anyone in my life. They're my work wives. And my real wives. They're my life wives."
WHY IT MATTERS By working with the same glam squad for a decade, the star, 47, consistently delivered on-point, researched, varied looks — including this year's strongest style from the Golden Globes, a knockout marigold gown with screen-siren-worthy hair and makeup. Artist Mary Phillips tells THR that they "didn’t know what we were going to do when we walked into the hotel room," but for this experienced team, that didn't matter.
Phillips, hairstylist Lorenzo Martin and nail artist Tom Bachik complemented the caped Giambattista Valli gown (and 200 carats of Harry Winston's finest) with a nontraditional wine lip, rich cranberry nails and sleek hair with a bit of bend at the ends. Phillips layered three L'Oreal gloss shades (deep berry, red, nude) to create "a dark brick, gothic lip with slight undertones of a classic red." The look drew phenomenal feedback, landing the star on dozens of "best" lists. "It's going to be a standout look for years to come," says Phillips. "Not like Versace Grammy dress status" — you know the one — "but further proof of how she always keeps it fresh."
WHY IT MATTERS Forget cascading Veronica Lake waves. Adir Abergel and Robert Vetica eschewed the norm of what Oscars hair should be like, instead giving respective clients Rooney Mara and Daisy Ridley modern, cool coifs that made them stand out. Both hairstylists use the words "architectural" and "edgy" to describe the 'dos.
Carol nominee Mara, 31, had her hair pulled back into three separate vertical knots, while Ridley, 24, donned a sleek updo with an intricate, twisted knot (created with a hairpiece). The looks were futuristic, with Twitter users calling both styles Rey-like, referring to Ridley's fierce character in Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
WHY IT MATTERS A dozen actresses have played the iconic first lady, but only Portman's essence-capturing performance in Jackie, in theaters Dec. 2, has garnered Oscars buzz. At Toronto, Portman acknowledged she has never played "someone that people really knew," which "put the pressure on to be quite specific with portraying Jackie Kennedy."
Through copious research of books, videos and voice recordings centering on the idyllic two and a half years known as Camelot preceding President John F. Kennedy's assassination, the Oscar winner delved into a persona that was carefully controlled. For the physical transformation, Portman, 35, donned a bouffant wig from key hairstylist Catherine Leblanc, while makeup artist Sarai Fiszel eschewed prosthetics and instead "put a great deal of care into Natalie's eyebrows" because they "were amongst Jackie's most recognizable features." She kept handy Dior lipsticks in bold fuchsia, coral and wine that Kennedy "used to complement her wardrobe in incredibly chic ways" and Dior eyeliner and mascara — waterproof for "all the crying in the movie."
WHY IT MATTERS Sparkles on eyes, lips and hair sparked a major trend in 2016 on Burberry, Atelier Versace and Fendi runways as well as Hollywood red carpets. Brands such as Marc Jacobs Beauty and YSL responded to the fervor by launching a glut of products, led by legendary makeup artist Pat McGrath, whose glitter-gone-wild Lab kits sold out in less than 48 hours (for $60 and $150) after Naomi Campbell, 46, wore Lust 004 Vermillion Venom to MTV’s Video Music Awards. Actresses fueled the trend on the red carpet with gleaming liner (Margot Robbie), shimmering eye looks (Cara Delevingne; Elle Fanning, No. 8), speckled hair parts (Dakota Fanning) and glittered lips (Rihanna).
WHY IT MATTERS At the Oct. 12 London premiere of Lion, Kidman, 49, broke the old-school "bold eye or lip" beauty rule, showing the simultaneous allure of a strong crimson lip and cat eye. Makeup artist Charlotte Tilbury called the look "a collaborative effort" with the Lion star.
Tilbury used her "signature feline flick," wielding a calligraphy-like pen for a cat eye that "elongates the eyes and makes them instantly bigger." Then, for "instant glamour," she traced around the natural lip line with a ruby liner to give Kidman's lipstick — Tilbury's Red Carpet Red — extra staying power. Says the British artist, "The juxtaposition of a bold statement lip against Nicole's bright eyes and fair skin created the most gorgeous color contrast."
WHY IT MATTERS Last year's "strobing," aka highlighting areas of the face to achieve a faux glow and extreme contouring, takes a backseat to the more natural-looking luminosity (also known as "non-touring") of Harris at Oct. 2's Moonlight premiere at the New York Film Festival. "Whether we're doing pretty, natural makeup or something significantly more glamorous, Naomie's flawless skin is always the focus," says Harris' glam guru Alex Babsky.
The London-based Lancome makeup artist ambassador credits the 40-year-old's gorgeous glow to her "clean living." For the premiere, Babsky wanted a "lit-from-within" look and mixed two shades of Lancome foundation — one to match her deepest skin tone and a fair shade for brighter areas at the center of her face. Because she was wearing feminine Elie Saab lace, Babsky opted for "modern, clean makeup that wasn't overly fussy" and a swipe of melon-hued Cargo blush in Laguna, "one of our staples — we use it all the time. Naomie literally cannot get enough of it."
WHY IT MATTERS As host of the April 5 BET awards show Black Girls Rock, the Black-ish star seized the opportunity to showcase her impressive range with 16 hairstyles in three hours, including one voluminously Supreme nod to her mother. Why so many 'dos? "If Tracee's mom was hosting an awards show, she would've changed a million times, so we wanted to do the same," explains Ellis Ross' hairstylist, Larry Sims.
The high-energy opening sequence contained tributes to Beyonce, Rihanna and others, with five onstage wig swaps. With only commercial breaks and performances to restyle hair, wigs — a staple in Sims' arsenal for clients like Kerry Washington and Gabrielle Union — were critical. "I never wear wigs, so this was an exception," says Ellis Ross, 44, who rocked her natural curls for the Black Girls Rock red carpet and finale. "I think I learned from example from my mother — the bigger the hair, the better."
WHY IT MATTERS With a record budget rumored to be more than $120 million, which would make it the most expensive TV show ever, Netflix's The Crown premiered Nov. 4 to healthy anticipation for its storyline of a young queen juggling royal obligations and for its new star, Foy, 32.
To help her get into character as the fresh-faced Windsor, makeup designer Ivana Primorac created a creamy, flawless complexion using Giorgio Armani foundation, Eve Lom concealer and a hint of a flush with Bobbi Brown cream blush. Foy wore wigs "to achieve the styles needed and show the passage of time from a young girl to a monarch," says Primorac. The fit-for-a-queen budget doesn't hurt. "On the long-running shows" — Crown is slated for 60 episodes — "it's important to ensure the quality doesn't slip," she says.
WHY IT MATTERS The double nominee and awards season's "It" girl showed off a look at the Golden Globes that her hairstylist, Christopher Naselli, says introduced her "strong, sexy" side to the world. The Swedish actress was little known stateside until her turns in Ex Machina and The Danish Girl, both of which garnered her noms (and an Oscar for Danish Girl).
Naselli created three twists that came together in a "geometric" updo at the back, to "play off the pleats and movement" of her Louis Vuitton leather-accented gown. Makeup pro Charlotte Tilbury applied her Magic Cream and Wonderglow on Vikander's face; it's the same glow-inducing combo she used on 2015 Globes newbie Amal Clooney. Once the actress, 28, was in her Vuitton, Tilbury rubbed Supermodel Body "on all exposed limbs in order to sculpt and illuminate the skin."
WHY IT MATTERS Mary-Kate and Ashley brought younger sis Elizabeth as their VIP guest to the June 6 CFDA Awards, where the twins were nominated for The Row. In a rare all-three-together appearance, the trio's near-identical multitonal hair colors instantly became the must-have highlight in Hollywood and beyond. Called "flamboyage," a form of balayage done with cloth strips, the highlights from painted-on strands are darker at the roots and lighten toward the bottom for a natural kissed-by-the-sun feel.
In-demand colorist Lorri Goddard, who has worked with the sisters "on and off for 18 years," says she "always" uses the balayage technique. She describes the sisters' CFDAs hair, which was styled by Mark Townsend, as "balayage meets natural color grown out, as if you had vacationed in St. Barts a few months earlier." To keep hair healthy, she recommends Christophe Robin products to Ashley, 30, Mary-Kate, 30, and Elizabeth, 27.
WHY IT MATTERS Leave it to the queens of Instagram — Miley Cyrus, 23, Cara Delevingne, 24, and Kendall Jenner, 21 (who is on a social media break) — and their collective 157 million followers to ignite this '90s throwback. The social media world went wild for Jenner's twin topknots, posted on Snapchat, after debuting the look at Coachella, the festival stage for millennials' style inspo.
Hairstylist Jen Atkin lists 1990s Gwen Stefani and current Harajuku girls as influences behind her look for client Delevingne. Along with Cyrus, who has rocked the look for years (from hairstylist Gregory Russell and occasionally a DIY job), these young stars showed how buns should be done: messy, a bit asymmetrical, with nothing too Princess Leia. (Not surprisingly, there are now hashtags for #spacebuns, #raverbuns and an ode to '90s Baby Spice with #spicebuns.) "Don't overthink it," Atkin tells THR. Along with "a lot of Ouai texturizing hairspray," she used Chloe & Isabel bun cuffs, which are secured with sticks that "pierce the buns and make them more punk rock."