Hollywood's Top 25 Beauty Moments of 2012

Those lips, that hair, those eyes! When the town’s top actresses align with the industry's best tastemakers, the results explode onscreen and off, inspire millions and -- yes -- reap millions, too.
Austin Hargrave

Conventional beauty? It doesn't exist anymore -- especially not in Hollywood. Gone are the days of copycat Farrah Fawcett and "Rachel" hairstyles, pastel eye shadows, pink lips and uniformly blond, big hair. Finally, in 2012, the order of the beauty universe has shown signs of being upended. Yes, this year, there still were conventionally gorgeous looks: Emma Stone leapt from Easy A to franchise babe in The Amazing Spider-Man by going several turns lighter and brighter on the hair color wheel (no. 18); Charlize Theron stunned at the Golden Globes with a modern take on a pretty pink palette and flapper-inspired updo (no. 4). But there also were Rooney Mara's severe bangs (no. 1), Jennifer Lawrence's girl-next-door-goes-goth moment (no. 6) and Katy Perry and Kelly Osbourne's blue- and purple-hued locks (no. 16).

As it's been for nearly a century, Hollywood's style ripples become waves in the firmament. On her way to the Golden Globes, Zooey Deschanel tweeted a picture of her tuxedo-painted nails (no. 21) and sent the Twitterverse into overload -- "how to" tutorials on beauty blogs and YouTube soon followed. The no-makeup makeup look on the young female cast of Downtown Abbey (no. 9) immediately captivated the fashion and beauty world and resulted in softer palettes and fresh-scrubbed faces all over the runways and red carpets.

All that buzz translates quicky into bucks. A celebrity who nails just the right look can garner million-dollar paychecks ($1 million to $5 million a year) for product endorsements, with their makeup artists and hairstylists not far behind. Top stylemakers can command up to $6,000 per red-carpet event and, according to one industry insider, can themselves make five and six figures a year as brand ambassadors. And that's not even counting the beauty stars who take it one step further. Julie Hewett used her eponymous cosmetics brand on Scarlett Johansson for Hitchcock (no. 2), while Drew Barrymore, whose A-list colorist Tracey Cunningham gave her an edgy ombre red-carpet look (no. 12), is said to be in talks to develop her own line of cosmetics for Wal-Mart. Who needs movie money when you can make mascara?

With such big business at stake -- 20 of the following actresses in this story have won contracts from such brands as CoverGirl, Revlon, L'Oreal, Dior and Balenciaga -- it's no surprise that making a memorable beauty impression can be as dramatic as any starring role. "I've been in a hair chair since I was 6 years old," says Barrymore. "It's so aspirational -- it's also heartbreaking. The most screwed-up diversions can happen -- and the greatest triumphs."

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1. Rooney Mara's Bangs

When: First cut for 2011's The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, her look engendered a press mania that culminated at the Oscars on Feb. 26. Why It Matters: Mara's stark dark hair sparked a fringe frenzy.

When it comes to the year's most memorable beauty moment, Mara did a fierce job. The Dragon Tattoo actress and her Pantene hairstylist Danilo started a craze over her blunt cut that was also spotted on Jessica Biel, Beyonce, Carly Rae Jepsen and Today show anchor Natalie Morales. Similar styles popped up on runways in Europe (at Gucci, Versace and Elie Saab), and Vogue dubbed it "the Rooney Mara effect." Danilo's inspiration for Mara, 27, was clean and simple: "I always aspire to make her look classic, but with a modern twist. Rooney doesn't require bells and whistles." Adds hairstylist Adir Abergel, who cut Biel's thick fringe for her upcoming role in Emanuel and the Truth About Fishes (and also worked on Beauty Moments nos. 3, 8 and 10): "Today's bangs are all drama. The look is thick, bold and totally chic." Abergel and Biel pulled images from the 1950s and 1960s for inspiration, including those of their "hair heroes" Betty Page and Jane Birkin. "You can either have bangs cut across or wrap them around where the edges are longer for a '60s vibe," says Abergel. "It's all about attitude."

2. Scarlett Johansson's Hitchcock Blond

When: For the movie, out Nov. 23.  Why It Matters: Her retro-chic helmet transformed her from hipster bombshell to 1960s Janet Leigh.

"This was a total 360 moment," says makeup department head Julie Hewett, whose previous gig on Oscar winner The Artist was all about turning color into black-and-white. "For Hitchcock, I needed to turn a black-and-white film to color." Before creating Johansson's Leigh, the makeup pro screened 1960's Psycho several times, especially the spine-chilling shower scene. "I wanted to pay homage to all the details of Janet's makeup, but I also had to soften it for HD," says Hewett, who spent time with the actress and hairstylist Martin Samuel to perfect the look. Adds Johansson, 28, "We wanted a look that represented Janet's character while still looking natural for me." Hewett used classic Revlon lipstick shades ("they're from that period but still sold today") along with "Belle Noir" and "Rouge Noir" lipsticks -- both retro reds -- from her own beauty line. And Revlon Colorstay foundation proved to have the long-lasting power needed when it came time to turn on the water. Samuel, who styled various wigs for Johansson in the film ("She wanted the short blonde hair but didn't want a haircut," he says), admits that he was nervous about the shower-scene wig withstanding the water pressure and the thrashing around. But Johansson wasn't worried for a second: "Martin has all the experience in the world to calculate the exact amount of spirit gum to water ratio!"

3. Anne Hathaway's Pixie

When: For Les Miserables, out Dec. 25.  Why It Matters: Her dramatic yet vulnerable chop started a trend among young Hollywood actresses.

As Fantine, Hathaway had her hair cut with a blade on camera, which left it deliberately misshapen as it grew out until stylist Abergel cleaned it up. "He shaped and perfected the pixie to how it is now," says Chanel makeup artist Kate Lee, of the pixie the 30-year-old has maintained six months after filming has completed. Lee says she tweaked her usual techniques to bring out more of Hathaway's face that was exposed by the crop. Lee adds that the two keys to working with short hair are an undetectable foundation that blends seamlessly, since hair can't cover it (she uses Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua on Hathaway), and an emphasis on a fuller, more dramatic brow (she's a fan of Anastasia brow gel).

Other stars undergoing similar cuts this year include Mad Men's Elisabeth Moss, Charlize Theron (for Mad Max) and Girls' Lena Dunham (she famously tweeted a photo). Moss' hairstylist, Tommy Buckett, who works at Marie Robinson Salon in NYC, was inspired by Michelle Williams and Edie Sedgwick "and some of the early bobs that were popular in the 1920s."

4. Charlize Theron's Modern Flapper

When: The Golden Globes on Jan. 15. Why It Matters: Her look singled her out as the night's most glamorous.

"We saw an image of the dress weeks before the Globes and wanted a look that would complement it," says hairstylist Enzo Angileri of the delicate blush-hued Dior couture worn by Theron, 37, that served as inspiration for her glam squad. Angileri started with dry, naturally wavy hair that he swept back into a "slightly messy and wispy" side bun and sprayed with Moroccanoil Frizz Control to keep the hair in place. He topped it off with the piece de resistance: Cartier's vintage platinum and diamond headband (circa 1920). Theron's makeup artist of 11 years, Shane Paish, whom she has collaborated with on red-carpet and film moments, used an all-pink palette on her eyes, cheeks and lips including Dior blush in "Pink in Love" and Rouge Dior lipstick in "Tulip Pink" for romantic "pastel softness." Says Paish, "It was effortless glamour."

5. Hollywood's Bunheads

When: Various.  Why It Matters: Buns have become the reigning chic hairstyle among Hollywood A-listers.

Cases in point: Marion Cotillard's off-kilter 'do at the Rust and Bone Toronto premiere on Sep. 6; Lily Collins' classic ballerina bun at the Oct. 25 CFDA Awards; Olivia Wilde's boho updo at the Vanity Fair Oscar party on Feb. 26; and Demi Lovato's perched-on-tippy-top knot at The X Factor's Nov. 5 finalists party in Beverly Hills. Ted Gibson says he wanted an "updated Gibson Girl with a twist" for Cotillard, 37, while Sebastian Professional brand ambassador Thomas Dunkin decided on soft and gracious for Collins, 23, to "get the hair up and away from a neckline that high and intricate," he says. Davy Newkirk went for an undone 1970s vibe for Wilde, 28: "I had in my head a glamorous, cool chick from Studio 54." As chic as the look is, sometimes the rationale for a bun is as simple as "getting hair out of my face," says Lovato, 20. "It's easier. I don't have to deal with it."

Each stylist started with styling products on damp hair before blow-drying, then pulled the hair into a ponytail where the bun would be placed and secured the hair before twisting it around and holding it in place with bobby pins. "The right bun can make an outfit," says Newkirk. "From sleek and tight to undone to various placements, a bun can cater to almost any look."

6. Jennifer Lawrence's Dramatic, Neo-Gothic Look

When: Sept. 8 at the Toronto International Film Festival.  Why It Matters: Her locks, darkened for The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, revealed a grown-up, glam side.

Is that you, Jen? The Toronto premiere of Silver Linings Playbook (out Nov. 21) generated plenty of buzz for the barely recognizable Lawrence. The actress, 22, who had just dyed her blonde locks to begin shooting the Hunger Games sequel (courtesy of the film's hair department head Linda Flowers), chose the Canadian premiere to debut her new hue, causing bloggers to call it "shocking" and "bold." Says Los Angeles-based hairstylist David Babaii, "I wanted a high-fashionista look for the unveiling of Jennifer's dark chocolate tresses." He used a smoothing balm from his own line, blow-dried the ends straight with a large round brush and gave her an off-center part. Adds Chanel makeup pro Rachel Goodwin, "It was a fun opportunity to show a different side of Jennifer -- a bit less bombshell and a little more sleek and sophisticated." Goodwin (also a part of moment no. 18) complemented Lawrence's darker hair with a Chanel scarlet lip gloss and a rich "Deep Plum" shade of Ellis Faas lipstick, saying, "It was dramatic."

7. Jessica Pare's '60s Seductress

When: Season five premiere of Mad Men on March 25. Why It Matters: Her sultry-songstress look instantly became a watercooler topic.

"It takes me anywhere from 10 minutes to five hours to get into Megan Draper hair and makeup," says Pare, 29, who kicked off season five of AMC's Mad Men with a sultry rendition of "Zou Bisou Bisou." Her scene-stealing moment, which included cat-eye makeup and a 1960s bouffant, sealed her character's transformation from Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce's pretty secretary behind the desk to Don Draper's fearless, sexy young wife. For the look, makeup department head Lana Horochowski says she drew inspiration from a young Sophia Loren, Twiggy and Elizabeth Taylor's Cleopatra. She used M.A.C cream liner in "Pure White" all over Pare's eyelids and added a touch of color with Nars frosted blue "Heart of Glass" eye shadow. Hairstylist David Danon channeled Vidal Sassoon's "Nancy Kwan cut" ("one of my favorites," he says) but kept the hair loose to accommodate Pare's movement and dancing in the scene. "There was a whole lot of hairspray used in the '60s, and it would have been easy to plaster Jessica's hair in place for a 14-hour day of shooting, but I wanted it to look hot and sexy and still move really well," says Danon. As to whether the bold 1960s style could be pulled off today, Horochowski believes a "refined version" would work: "I look at pictures and think, 'I could rock that with the right outfit.' "

8. Gwyneth Paltrow's Minimalist Chic

When: The Oscars on Feb. 26. Why It Matters: She redefined Oscar glamour to be clean and modern.

Makeup artist Leslie Lopez and hairstylist Abergel were inspired by the simplicity of Paltrow's cream Tom Ford column gown and cape for the Oscars' red carpet. "Less is more," says Lopez (who also worked on no. 17) of the minimalistic makeup, which THR led the media pack in calling "flawless … the night's best look." Lopez says, "I wanted to give Gwyneth a fresh look that wasn't too overwhelming or loud. The dress spoke for itself with the cape." She used St. Tropez Skin Illuminator Gold -- a moisturizer that imparts a glow -- to make the 40-year-old's complexion "sun-kissed yet natural." Abergel applied Frederic Fekkai straightening balm before blow-drying Paltrow's hair and pulling it back into a smooth, low ponytail with a strong side part. Abergel, who had planned on doing a bun, went with the sleek ponytail after seeing Paltrow in her dress. "The dress was modern and chic, and I think we achieved the same with the hair."

9. The Natural Beauty of Downton Abbey

When: The PBS drama picked up steam with its second season, which debuted stateside Jan. 8. Why It Matters: The no-makeup look ignited an obsession among the fashion crowd.

Not only did Downton's makeup and hair head Anne Oldham win an Emmy for hairstyling this year, but the no-makeup makeup look she and her team created for the Crawley sisters -- Mary (Michelle Dockery, 31), Edith (Laura Carmichael, 26) and Sybil (Jessica Brown Findlay, 23) -- is having a modern-day impact. "It's all about clear skin and peachy complexions," says London-based Oldham, who used Dermalogica and Dr. Hauschka products on her stars to cleanse and hydrate, and lots of Lancome sunblock to maintain porcelain skin ("We encouraged the girls to wear SPF on their days off, too," she says). Oldham applied nude-hued liquid foundations by Armani, Chanel and Laura Mercier "that were very light and translucent" and topped them with soft, peachy-pink color on lips and cheeks (Laura Mercier "Shy Pink" lip stain and Stila "Gerbera" lip/cheek cream) -- never setting the looks with powder, which tends to sit on the skin and look cakey. "It's a very fresh look. It's almost as if you pinched their cheeks and nothing else," says Oldham, who also steered clear of any eye makeup, including mascara.

10. Kristen Stewart's Classic Updo With a Twist

When: At a May 29 Los Angeles screening of Snow White and the Huntsman. Why It Matters: Her look combined punk and polish.

"I was never OK having a 'do' -- I always wanted my hair to look like it fell perfectly, but not perfect," says Stewart, 22, who credits her longtime hairstylist Abergel with creating her "undone" style. Even this updo looked disheveled and effortlessly cool. "I wanted to give a punk edge, but still keep softness like an old-school Victorian updo," says Abergel, who first created volume and texture at the roots, then did a partial French braid at the top of the head. From the base of that braid to the nape of the neck, he executed a Mohawk look by twisting sections of hair into knots and creating a line of them down the head. Then he finished the braid at the nape and twisted it around to create an elaborate-yet-undone updo. "No matter what we do, Kristen's wearing the hair and it's never wearing her," says Abergel, who met the star of The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2 (out Nov. 16) eight years ago on a magazine shoot. "I fell in love with her immediately and was inspired by how passionate she was at such a young age."

11. Rose Byrne's Bob

When: The SAG Awards on Jan. 29. Why It Matters: She gave new life to Michelle Pfeiffer's 1983 Scarface 'do.

Byrne and her hairstylist Harry Josh's movie-watching weekend prompted the idea for the blunt bob and bangs that the 33-year-old showcased at the Screen Actors Guild Awards, which resulted in her being pinned on Pinterest hundreds of times as well as named a "hair hero" on beauty blogs for having "one of the year's sexiest haircuts," according to InStyle magazine. The inspirations behind such a bold move for the star of Bridesmaids and FX's Damages? Michelle Pfeiffer in Scarface and Anna Wintour in the documentary The September Issue. "No one does anything daring with their hair," explains New York City-based Josh. "A haircut like this makes you stand out in a crowd and gives you confidence and style." Even more daring: Byrne's plunging Elie Saab jumpsuit.

12. Drew Barrymore's Ombre Hair

When: The then-engaged actress rocked ombre to the extreme on The Tonight Show in February. Why It Matters: Young Hollywood took notice and soon followed.

To Barrymore's satisfaction, her ombre look -- with a darker top that fades into lighter ends -- spawned a huge hair hit: "I'm glad it picked up," says the actress, 37, "because it's a fun thing, a flattering look, and I think women feel good in it." Adds her A-list colorist Tracey Cunningham, who also did Jessica Biel's: "It was just Drew saying I want something a little more natural, and Drew being rock 'n' roll, we got a little rock 'n' roll with it." Fans know that it also involves a note of practicality. "My clients love how low maintenance the look is and how wonderfully it works for all hair colors," says Denis De Souza, who did a similar color gradation for Rachel Bilson. Want it for yourself? "Bring a picture in for reference -- your colorist's perception might be miles away from the look you desire," recommends Cunningham, who is opening up Meche Salon with Neil Weisberg in Beverly Hills in the winter. But don't expect Barrymore, who just became a mom to daughter Olive on Sept. 26, to stick with the hair trend she sparked forever. "Oh, please, the minute we strike gold on something and feel really good about it, we go back to the well and scare the shit out of ourselves. That's Tracey's and my journey."

13. Keira Knightley's Romantic Palette

When: For Anna Karenina, out Nov. 16. Why It Matters: Her cheeks and lips are era-accurate but timeless and likely to resonate with moviegoers.

Before shooting, Ivana Primorac, Anna Karenina makeup and hair department head and mastermind behind Knightley's passionate high-society beauty in the film adaptation of Leo Tolstoy's 19th century Russian novel, consulted with director Joe Wright. They looked at paintings from the period and zeroed in on a portrait of novelist Fyodor Dostoevsky's daughter, who was a contemporary of Tolstoy. "She has curly hair and looks more mystical than the blond Russians of the time," says Primorac, who made Knightley's flawless porcelain complexion a slightly darker olive shade (using a mixture of Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua Foundation and Sheer Illuminating Base). She used a rich chocolate-hued Chanel eye pencil to create a drawn-out doe-eyed look and longer brow lines and finished with a sweep of rose blush ("Armani does incredible blushes," notes Primorac) on the apples of the 27-year-old's cheeks. A swipe of custom-blended Creme de la Mer lip balm and sheer pink lipstick perfected her pout.

14. Rihanna's Chameleon Hair

When: Various. Why It Matters: She continues to set trends, not follow.

The Grammy winner had as many hairstyles as chart-topping hits this year, from curly Flashdance-like brunette tresses to platinum Farrah Fawcett locks to an inky topknot with sharp sideswept bangs. "Why not mix it up? Your hair is an accessory, and it's great to change it depending on your mood, event and wardrobe," says hairstylist Ursula Stephen, who created the myriad looks out of the hip-hop singer's own hair plus some extensions. Her current dark pixie is a favorite for Rihanna, 24, and Stephen. "Ri is super in love with her short hair," says Stephen, who uses Motions Deep Penetrating Conditioner on her client "to keep her hair hydrated -- healthy hair is the foundation for a great style."

15. Amanda Seyfried's Veronica Lake Locks

When: The 16th annual Hollywood Film Awards on Oct. 22.  Why It Matters: She shows that a young actress can keep it classy.

Actresses love to invoke old Hollywood glamour, but few capture the part as well as Les Miserables' Seyfried, 27. Suave Professionals stylist Jenny Cho did traditional pin curls by curling sections of hair, which she rolled up and pinned to the head while they cooled. "This technique creates the classic waves," says Cho, who recommends letting them cool for 15 minutes or more. When cool, she spritzed hairspray onto a paddle brush and gently brushed out the curls. Seyfried is an unabashed fan of Cho's work: "I know my hair is always going to look beautiful," she says. "It's nice that I can count on her not only as a hairstylist but as a friend." So what goes best with Veronica Lake waves? Bold red lips, of course. "My inspiration was French glamour with a beautiful bright lip," says makeup artist Monika Blunder, "and I kept the rest of the face superminimal." To complete the look, she used Cle de Peau products (Seyfried is the face of the brand), including the Enriched Lip Luminizer in Redcurrant Jam.

16. Katy Perry's and Kelly Osbourne's Hair Color-Outfit Matches

When: Sept. 23 Emmys for Osbourne, March 3 at Paris Fashion Week for Perry.  Why It Matters: Hair color dictated wardrobe choices, taking matching to a new level.

After first taking 28-year-old Osbourne gray to create a base, colorist Judd Minter added violet toners to get to the lilac she sported to complement her Zac Posen gown at the Emmys (and still rocks now). Minter recommended that Osbourne "not shampoo every day" and use Pravana Blue shampoo and conditioner to maintain her color. Meanwhile, colorist Rita Hazan took Perry, 28, from black to pinky-lavender to blue this year and says it's a huge compliment when the singer coordinates her outfit (as she did at Paris Fashion Week with her cobalt Viktor & Rolf jacket and at the Grammys with a sky-blue Elie Saab gown) with her Smurfette-colored hair. "I absolutely loved the blue -- bright and very rock 'n' roll," says Hazan. To keep Perry's ever-changing hair healthy, Hazan recommends a treatment mask -- like Ojon Restorative Hair Treatment -- two times a week.

17. Sarah Jessica Parker's Low-Key Glamour

When: The Feb. 8 amfAR Gala in New York.  Why It Matters: Every actress aspires to make it look this easy.

The working relationship between Parker, 47, and makeup artist Leslie Lopez is one built on trust, though they've had to come to an agreement about lipstick (a little bit of lip, says Lopez; but not too much, counters Parker). "There are things Leslie does that I think are masterful, and I'm not super-well-versed at technically deconstructing it, but I will say it's the way she looks at a face," says Parker. For the amfAR Gala, Lopez, who has been working with Parker for eight years, used charcoal gray and silver shimmer on the eyes, minimal foundation where it was needed ("She has really pretty skin," says Lopez), a touch of bronzer and, yes, a very subtle Dolce & Gabbana nude lipstick. Parker is "not only a client, she's someone I care for. She's down to earth, fun and compassionate."

18. Emma Stone's Bright Blond Hair

When: For summer release The Amazing Spider-Man.  Why It MattersStone made platinum modern and worked it both on and off-screen.

When it came time to create Stone's shade for her character Gwen Stacy in The Amazing Spider-Man, New York City-based colorist Marie Robinson got her direction from director Marc Webb and comic books. "Marc wanted Emma to be bright blond," says Robinson. "My job was to make this very light blond work with her skin tone." Stone's red-carpet team then made the new hue triumph at her various European premieres. In London, Chanel makeup artist Rachel Goodwin made the 24-year-old's eyes stand out by blending black shadow with a silver shimmer on the lid, while leaving lips simple with Revlon Soft Nude. In Paris, Goodwin made Stone's lips the star with Chanel Rouge Coco in Rivoli. "I wanted her makeup to have a romantic feel with mystery, like the city itself," says Goodwin. And in Berlin, her hairstylist Mara Roszak used lightweight serums to add shine: "Her blond can look angelic," she says. Goodwin played with color, adding green shadow and brown liner on the eyes and tangerine on the lips to complete the fresh, youthful look.

19. Dianna Agron's Grown-Up Goddess Look

When: The Met Ball on May 2.  Why It Matters: She showcased a more sophisticated side and expanded her reach beyond Glee, looks-wise.

"It was a little sultry compared to what we normally do, a different side of Dianna," says makeup artist Georgie Eisdell, who created Agron's smoky eyes that emanated glamour -- a departure from her usual girl-next-door look -- for this year's Schiaparelli and Prada Costume Institute Gala at New York's Metropolitan Museum. "Her gown was so flowy, gorgeous and plunging that I wanted to sex it up a bit. But she has a pretty good canvas to start with, so it's not that hard," says Eisdell. Jokes Glee's Agron, 26, who counts the look as her favorite red-carpet moment: "I paid her to say that." Gleeks everywhere agreed, posting photos and adulations on Twitter as soon as she hit the Met steps. Eisdell, who also works with Carey Mulligan and Elisabeth Moss, used such Chanel products as a rust-hued shadow "Ebloui" on the lid and under the eye and a dark charcoal shadow "Mirifique" as liner, finishing with black Inimitable mascara for mega-watt lashes. To complement the style, hairstylist Creighton Bowman did a "modern take on '40s waves" by pulling hair up on one side. He notes, "It was disheveled elegance with a touch of cool."

20. Connie Britton's and Hayden Panettiere's Southern Belles

When: ABC's Nashville premiere on Oct. 10.  Why It Matters: The freshman series promises to revive the sun-kissed, big-haired look.

"Our inspiration comes from none other than Nashville itself, and bronzer is a must," says Erin Koplow, makeup department head. Upstart ingenue Juliette Barnes, played by Panettiere, 23, sports a glow that comes courtesy of Neutrogena Bronzer in Posie. Sara Vaughn works on makeup for Britton, 45, who plays country icon Rayna Jaymes, and starts with a skincare routine of La Mer gel moisturizer and Kerstin Florian hyaluronic serum. Her green eyes are accentuated with smoky shadows from Bobbi Brown and Armani Eyes to Kill mascara. To get big, bouncy, country music-appropriate hair, Garnett Burk uses a large-barrel curling iron on both Britton and Panettiere. "There's a tremendous range for the women of country music," says Koplow. "They are pulled together, polished and fabulous while performing yet keep it real on the surface."

21. Zooey Deschanel's Adorkable Manicures

When: The Golden Globes on Jan. 15 and the Emmys on Sep. 23.  Why It Matters: Her manis single-handedly set off a social-media storm.

From playful black-and-white tuxedo-clad nails at the Globes (which spawned hundreds of YouTube tutorials) to melon-hued polish with Swarovski crystals and retro TV sets at the Emmys, Deschanel's manicures were her hottest accessory. Celebrity manicurist Tom Bachik, who created Deschanel's TV sets, gives the New Girl actress, 32, credit for coming up with both ideas. "I wanted them to be cute, fun and hip like Zooey," says Bachik, a L'Oreal Paris nail expert who used the brand's yellow "Tweet Me" polish topped with a coat of glittery pink "Sweet Nothings" for Deschanel's custom-blended Emmys shade. "When done right, nail art gives a cool vibe and shows your personal style."

22. Ginnifer Goodwin's Retro Cool

When: Sept. 23 Emmys.  Why It Matters: Her edgy Twiggy-inspired makeup had all eyes on her.

One look at the Once Upon a Time actress, 34, made it hard to believe her in-demand makeup artist Mai Quynh had more than one client to get red-carpet-ready for the Emmys. Quynh, who created Goodwin's look in less than 90 minutes, helped land her longtime client (they've worked together for more than five years) at the top of the beauty heap as one of the night's most gorgeous. "We talked about going for something dramatic and edgy since my [Monique Lhuillier] dress was so feminine," says Goodwin. Quynh used Mark cosmetics, including black shadow in the eye crease and top lash line, which she winged out for "a deep, dramatic cat eye" and finished with loads of mascara. Goodwin has raves for Quynh: "Mai minimizes the parts that make me insecure and plays up the parts that don't make me so insecure. She makes me look like a far better version of myself than actually exists!"

23. Michelle Williams' Marilyn Impersonation

When: The Feb. 15 Paris premiere of My Week With MarilynWhy It Matters: The pixie-ish Williams demonstrated her ability to look like the mesmerizing siren.

Did makeup artist Sabrina Bedrani mean to invoke Marilyn Monroe from Gentlemen Prefer Blondes with the 32-year-old Williams' blond hair-pink dress-bold lip combo? Actually, no. "I wanted her to remain chic and elegant but have a modern twist, which is why I chose this beautiful lip pencil by Nars called Mexican Rose [a raspberry shade]," says Bedrani, "instead of going for a traditional red, which would have been expected."

24. Jennifer Lopez's American Idol Looks

When: March 15 and March 22. Why It Matters: Idol not only revitalized J. Lo's relevance but also showcased the former judge's style versatility.

Lopez's hair and makeup heads cast their ballot for their favorite look of the 43-year-old from season 11 of the Fox mega-hit. Makeup artist Mary Phillips' vote: the bronzed-beauty look she sported during the Top 12 live-elimination show. "A bold bronze eye with glowing skin is one of her signature looks," says Phillips. She adds that Lopez's good habits (exercise, healthy eating, drinking water, avoiding smoking and drinking) are the main contributors to the star's glow. She used Serge Lutens Blusher, Tom Ford blush in Savage, Tom Ford Cognac Sable for shadow, and YSL Golden Gloss. Hairstylist Lorenzo Martin's vote: The sleek ponytail J.Lo wore for the Top 10 live-elimination show. After blow-drying and flat-ironing the hair, he slicked it into a ponytail, secured it with an elastic and finished with L'Oreal Elnett hairspray.

25. Pop Stars' Pop of Lip Color on Album Covers

When: Various. Why It Matters: In 2012, songstresses highlighted their moneymakers -- aka their mouths -- on their album covers.

For Taylor Swift, 23, it was important that red be prominent on Red, 2012's biggest-selling album, which makeup artist Lorrie Turk accomplished with a rich lip balm, topped with CoverGirl LipColor in Hot. Also seeing red for Perry's album cover Teenage Dream: The Complete Confection was makeup artist Jake Bailey, who advises: "The key to the perfect red lip is liner." No stranger to red herself, Gwen Stefani, 43, had M.A.C makeup artist Gregory Arlt go classic for No Doubt's "Settle Down" video. Says Arlt, "She's known for a matte red pout, and we glossed it up to make it really pop on-camera." Veering off the red track was makeup artist Pamela Cochrane, who wanted orange red for Lana Del Rey, 26, on the cover of her debut Born to Die. She lined the lips with a M.A.C pencil, followed by two YSL lipsticks: one orange, one coral. "It's exotic and warm," says Cochrane of the punchy look.

 

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