Hollywood's 25 Best Beauty Moments of 2015

5:50 AM 11/11/2015

by Meg Hemphill and Carol McColgin

For THR's exclusive photo portfolio, A-listers — Reese Witherspoon, Taraji P. Henson, Dakota Johnson, Lupita Nyong'o, Elizabeth Olsen and Kirsten Dunst — pose with the beauty experts who get them red-carpet ready.

Beauty Issue Reese Witherspoon - H 2015
Miller Mobley

This story first appeared in the Nov. 20 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.

Beauty in the eye of the beholder? No, today, beauty is in the eye of the Internet. This, 2015, was the year that beauty went fully social, when A-listers valued their looks according to their "likes" and one Instagram post could connect with millions of followers. Case in point: the Ali MacGraw-esque look created for Kendall Jenner (THR beauty moment No. 9) by hairstylist Jen Atkin. Jenner, 20, landed an Estee Lauder contract based partly on her social-media popularity (40.9 million followers on Instagram, 13.3 million on Twitter) as brands slavishly chase the Snapchat generation.

Other social-media slam-dunks? Lupita Nyong'o's fluffy donut bun at the Cannes Film Festival by hairstylist Vernon Francois (No. 2) garnered its own hashtag ("They're calling it a #fronut," the actress said on Instagram. "I like that"); THR cover star Taraji P. Henson's diva dynamism on Fox's Empire (No. 1) spawns thousands of YouTube tutorials on how to look like Cookie Lyon; and Cara Delevingne's 22.2 million Instagram followers just might have something do with high-end brow products flying off the shelves. Of course, today's hashtag culture has inspired several new beauty terms, from the hun (half-up bun, No. 12, worn by Jennifer Lopez) and the wob (the wavy bob, No. 15, on Kirsten Dunst and cut by hairstylist Cervando Maldonado) to strobing (or facial highlighting), the opposite of last year's contouring craze. Blake Lively (No. 7) used this trick to great effect at the New York Age of Adaline premiere in April.

See more Exclusive Portraits of Reese Witherspoon, Taraji P. Henson and More With Their Beauty Experts

Social media even can be used to test market a red-carpet concept, says Kate Lee, who did Keira Knightley's ethereal Oscar makeup (No. 10): "Instagram is a direct channel for people I don't know to let me know what they thought of a look." Finally, even as social media pro­liferates and language morphs, some looks remain timeless, including those of Reese Witherspoon, also on THR's cover, whose uber femininity on the red carpet (No. 3) comes courtesy of makeup artist Molly R. Stern. Jokes Witherspoon, "We bonded over a mutual love of blush." Turn the page for THR's fourth annual list of beauty moments, based on the year's biggest film, television and red-carpet looks as determined by social-media (and, yes, traditional media) impact.

  1. 1

    Taraji P. Henson as Cookie Lyon

    When: On Fox's Empire, which premiered Jan. 7 and debuted its second season Sept. 23
    Why It Matters: Not only has Cookie Lyon reinvigorated Henson's career, but droves of Empire fans are clamoring to mimic the music-maven character's fearless onscreen style.

    Fan pages devoted to Cookie's beauty, including tens of thousands of YouTube tutorials on how to re-create the diva's makeup, have flooded the Internet this year. Why the obsession? According to Ashunta Sheriff, Henson's makeup artist both onscreen and off, "Cookie is uninhibited, and that is giving women the courage to try new things. She isn't afraid of the trends, whether it's a dark plum or bright turquoise eye shadow."

    It also helps that Cookie's signature look — what Sheriff calls her "wispy lash, red or wine lipstick, winged liner and natural foundation coverage" — is easily imitated. One person not copying the Lyon-ess' makeup, however, is Henson, 45. "I definitely try to give Taraji a different look from Cookie," says Sheriff, who forgoes bold lip colors in favor of soft pink and coral glosses for the red carpet. Lips aside, all eyes are on both women right now.

    See more Taraji P. Henson and Her Makeup Artist Talk Cookie Lyon’s Fierce 'Empire' Beauty Regime

  2. 2

    Lupita Nyong'o's Cannes "Fronut"

    When: The May 13 Standing Tall premiere at the Cannes Film Festival
    Why It Matters: Nyong'o's attention-grabbing fuchsia lip coupled with a hairstyle that garnered its own hashtag, #fronut, was the ultimate display of fresh glamour on the Croisette.

    "It can't just be red all the time," says makeup artist Nick Barose of veering from classic rouge to punchy purple territory when selecting a strong lip shade to complement the Oscar winner's "grasshopper green" Gucci goddess gown that rendered her a vibrant standout on the Cannes carpet. "We started with a matte electric purple, similar to something we had done during awards season, but the dress was so playful and glamorous that matte felt too serious. I added glossy fuchsia at the last minute," says Barose, who layered Lancome lipsticks in Hit List and Palpitante.

    The finishing touch was a full donut bun, courtesy of London-based hairstylist Vernon Francois, which instantly became hashtagged #fronut on social media — a nod to the natural Afro-feel Francois wanted. "I had been in Uganda, and there were lots of women in buns," Nyong'o tells THR of the inspiration. The 32-year-old, who's starring in the play Eclipsed and gearing up for the Star Wars: The Force Awakens press juggernaut, posted a photo of the look on her Instagram, saying, "They are calling it a #fronut. I like that." So did 76,223 of her followers.

  3. 3

    Reese Witherspoon's Timeless Glam at the Golden Globes

    When: Jan. 11
    Why It Matters: Witherspoon, 39, proves that unabashed Southern femininity not only has a place on the celebrity brandwagon (she launched the preppy Draper James lifestyle line in May) but also continues to go strong on the red carpet.

    It took three blushes for makeup artist Molly R. Stern to achieve "full-blown flushed cheeks that look as if Reese just got away from a ravenous make-out session."

    Stern, who used Laura Mercier's Creme Cheek Colour in a warm rose, Kjaer Weis Cream Blush in a plummy taupe and Kevyn Aucoin The Pure Powder Glow in a mango hue, says this youthful glow complemented the sophistication of Witherspoon's silver Calvin Klein Collection gown, which the Wild nominee revealed via Instagram before she left home to pre-empt the usual "who are you wearing" questions and prompt interviewers on the red carpet to #askhermore. Witherspoon's go-to hair guy, Adir Abergel, styled the soft, sideswept waves, adding to the uncomplicated vibe. "I wanted to mimic the simple but beautiful movement in the dress," says Abergel.

    See more This Is Why Reese Witherspoon Revealed Her Golden Globes Dress on Instagram

  4. 4

    Cara Delevingne's Bushy Brows

    When: All year and everywhere
    Why It Matters: A 2014 report from retail analyst NPD Group reveals that sales in the prestige brow category — including pencils and brow gels — exceeded $56 million, a 31 percent increase from the previous year.

    Call it the Cara effect. Delevingne's brows have inspired the sudden popularity in bold shapes and the launch of dozens of new products and brow bars (extensions are one way to get a full Delevingne-esque set). As Umbreen Sheikh, owner of New York City's Wink Brow Bar, has said: "Ninety-nine point nine percent of women come in asking for [brows like Delevingne's]."

    Charlotte Tilbury, celebrity makeup artist and founder of an eponymous beauty line, has known Delevingne for more than a decade and often grooms the Pan star's hairs into place with her Brow Lift pencil in the shade Cara D, an ode to the 23-year-old supermodel turned actress. Tilbury (Sienna Miller and Blake Lively also are clients) says the product has flown off shelves since its December debut, while Sephora reports double-digit growth in the brow category this year.

    Bottom line: Brows equal big bucks in 2015.

  5. 5

    Amal Clooney's Golden Globes Debut

    When: Jan. 11
    Why It Matters: Thanks to her classic-beauty looks and an immaculate fashion sense, Mrs. Clooney quickly has become the one that designers most want to dress and Hollywood women want to mimic.

    Mrs. Clooney, 37, commissioned A-list makeup artist Charlotte Tilbury and hairstylist Danilo (devotees include Gwen Stefani and Selena Gomez) to work with her for the Globes, her first major red-carpet turn following last September's nuptials to her husband, George, in Italy. While the Twittersphere went wild over her white gloves that she said "are just my own," her sophisticated look was unmistakable. Danilo, who calls Clooney "the new Jackie O.," wanted to focus on "gorgeous sheen, body and softness" for the hair. And Tilbury, who also did the human rights lawyer's wedding day makeup, "went into it knowing what Amal likes — makeup that naturally accentuates her gorgeous features."

    To illuminate her complexion, Tilbury used her own brand's Goddess-Skin Clay Mask to prep the skin, followed by Magic Cream moisturizer and Wonderglow primer, which reflects light to make skin look extra luminous. "Amal wanted a retro beauty look inspired by the silver-screen sirens," says Tilbury. Fun fact: Clooney's favorite lip hues are Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Lipsticks in Walk of Shame, Bond Girl and Amazing Grace. Says Tilbury, "She also loves wearing a bombshell red lip."

  6. 6

    Adele's "Hello" Beauty

    When: Her hit music video, released Oct. 23
    Why It Matters: The video, with its mesmerizing sound and look, set a new Vevo record for most views in 24 hours — 27.7 million — knocking out Taylor Swift's previous record of 20.1 million for "Bad Blood."

    The haunting lyrics, the voice and the alluring eyes — defined with winged liner, thick lashes and pristinely groomed eyebrows — are flaunted in six entrancing minutes of director Xavier Dolan's video for the first single off 27-year-old Adele's much anticipated album. "He wanted it to be very much Adele, which is always a polished beauty look," says the chanteuse's longtime makeup artist, Michael Ashton, of Dolan's vision for the black-and-white shots.

    L.A.-based brow artist Kristie Streicher had groomed the brows into a signature feathered look that tapers at the end. And Ashton did the liner as he so often does: using gel liner from the inner to outer eye corner for outlining the desired shape, then filling in with a precision-tip liquid liner and winging it at the end. He's using a new technique for lips, however: "Defining the mouth with lip liner, then blending it with nourishing lip balm into the natural lip tone, which gives a beautiful freshness that doesn't look too overdone."

  7. 7

    Blake Lively's "Strobing"

    When: The Age of Adaline premiere in New York on April 19
    Why It Matters: Lively's highlighted face replaced contouring, last year's hot trend.

    The look might embody old Hollywood glamour — a red lace Monique Lhuillier gown, cascading blond waves courtesy of hairstylist Rod Ortega and timeless makeup by pro Elaine Offers — but it also involves one of the year's buzziest beauty trends: strobing. The term (with nearly 77,000 hashtags on Instagram) refers to highlighting areas on the face to achieve a glowing, lit-from-within look and is less harsh than last year's contouring trend.

    On Lively, 28, Offers started with a matte foundation, then "reintroduced some radiance into the complexion" with L'Oreal Studio Secrets Magic Lumi Highlighter applied to the apples of the cheeks, down the center of her nose, on the brow bone and the inner corners of the eyes. Strobing is popular now, Offers says, "because women want to have the look of healthy, glowing skin and added dimension." With an abundance of strobing tutorials online — including a how-to video Kim Kardashian posted on her website — and a slew of new highlighters hitting the market, a seeming inner glow never has been easier to achieve.

  8. 8

    Cate Blanchett's Grace Kelly Homage

    When: Carol, which hits theaters Nov. 20
    Why It Matters: Two timeless muses, Grace Kelly and Audrey Hepburn, inspired the beauty of two modern talents, Blanchett and Rooney Mara, in director Todd Haynes' love story.

    In Haynes' film, set during early 1950s Manhattan and based on Patricia Highsmith's book The Price of Salt, Blanchett plays Carol, the older love interest to Mara's store clerk Therese. To establish Carol's elegance, the hair and makeup team based her look on Kelly, "a cool, sophisticated, beautiful blonde," says Morag Ross, who did Blanchett's makeup. "Lipstick is key. Women always wore a lip during this period," says the artist, who applied Chanel Rouge Allure in Excentrique, a highly pigmented tangerine shade, then added a swipe of Chanel's red-orange Coromandel lipstick to intensify it or pink-coral Enjouee lipstick to soften it.

    Hair department head Jerry DeCarlo used wigs for Blanchett, 46, and "a sexy yet tomboyish" Hepburn-inspired look for Mara, 30. Following its Cannes debut, adulations poured in for the film, its stars and Blanchett's enviable look. Explains Ross, "People love this period because it's glamorous, and there is a certain amount of escapism in the perfection of the look."

  9. 9

    Kendall Jenner's Sleek '70s Redux

    When: Opening Ceremony x Calvin Klein Jeans launch party on April 23
    Why It Matters: With 40.8 million followers on Instagram and 13.3 million on Twitter, the reality star turned model's trend-setting powers via social media proved unparalleled.

    With 1970s-style platform heels back in fashion, hairstyles followed suit, including choppy shags (Taylor Swift) and long, thick fringe (Kerry Washington), but it was Jenner's ode to Ali MacGraw that felt the freshest. Hairstylist Jen Atkin, who works with all of the Kardashian-Jenners, created the sleek, center-parted strands. "Kendall was wearing a Calvin Klein nude turtleneck and miniskirt that had a '70s feel, so we wanted to do something to complement it," says Atkin, keeping in mind the model's preference for "understated, unfussy styles."

    The social sphere approved: Jenner clocked 1.1 million likes for a shot she posted. The 20-year-old's social-media popularity has shown its reach elsewhere in the beauty world: After Estee Lauder announced her as its newest spokesperson last November, the brand's Instagram page went from roughly 258,000 followers to nearly 310,000 in just three days.

  10. 10

    Keira Knightley's Ethereal Oscars Beauty

    When: The Feb. 22 Academy Awards
    Why It Matters: The Imitation Game nominee and her beauty pros showed that natural, understated makeup and hair can have the most dramatic impact — and win best Oscar look.

    For Chanel celebrity makeup artist Kate Lee and hairstylist Ben Skervin, building a look was about not competing with Knightley's flowing, floral Valentino dress and diamond, sapphire and opal Chanel headpiece with 489 brilliant-cut sparklers. "I always feel a responsibility to be timeless in my approach to the Academy Awards because the pictures will be around forever," explains Lee.

    Timelessness here meant soft, cascading waves, matte lavender shadow on the eyes and a medium rose hue on the lips; Lee was repeatedly asked post-ceremony what lipstick she used on then-pregnant Knightley, 30, who welcomed daughter Edie (with husband James Righton) in May. Answer: Chanel Rouge Coco in Marie. "It's a little more intense version of Keira's natural lip shade," says Lee.

  11. 11

    Mad Men's Women Transform Post-Show With New Hair Hues

    When: Promoting the AMC show's final season at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City on March 22
    Why It Matters: Just as Jon Hamm ditched clean-cut Don Draper for a full beard after the series, co-stars January Jones, Elisabeth Moss and Christina Hendricks opted for new hair colors once the drama wrapped, signaling the end of an era.

    "Actors definitely crave and need a change after being a character for so long," says Jennifer J., owner of Juan Juan salons in Brentwood and Beverly Hills. For her client Jones, that meant sampling pastel pink and later strawberry blond after seven seasons of Betty Draper blond. For Mad Men co-star Moss, it was a trip to longtime colorist Caroline Buckler of New York City's Marie Robinson Salon to swap Peggy Olson's mousy brown for "a bold blond that's on the sun-kissed side," explains Buckler.

    As for Hendricks, she set aside her box of Nice 'n Easy 6R/110 Natural Light Auburn — a shade she used to maintain her Joan Holloway red — and shifted to 8G/104 Natural Medium Golden Blonde in March, and then to her strawberry blond hue, 8SC Sandy Copper Blonde. (Clairol learned of Hendricks' affinity for the brand and offered a Nice 'n Easy spokesperson contract, which kicked off in January.) "I was born a natural blonde. I started playing with hair color when I was 10 years old — I was inspired by Anne of Green Gables and loved how red hair made her stand out," Hendricks tells THR. "After Mad Men, it was a perfect time to explore a new shade. I'm red for a role, but planning to go back to strawberry blond once it wraps."

  12. 12

    Jennifer Lopez's Half-Up Bun

    When: Her American Idol appearance on May 6
    Why It Matters: The Idol judge wore a half-up bun, igniting a worldwide "hun" obsession.

    It came from a simple beauty dilemma: to wear hair up or down?"We couldn't decide, so we landed somewhere in the middle," says Lopez's hair guru Lorenzo Martin of his decision to twist the top part of Lopez's hair into a knot while leaving the rest cascading down.

    Although not entirely novel (Martin had seen the look in fashion editorials months earlier, and Margot Robbie rocked a version at Sundance in January), the trend took off in a major way thanks to Lopez, 46. Beauty influencers dubbed her look "the hairstyle for summer." Says Martin, who styled it with a gel serum, "It's a nice alternative to a top knot."

  13. 13

    Emma Stone's Graphic Blue Eyeliner

    When: The July 9 Irrational Man premiere at the Writers Guild Theater in Los Angeles
    Why It Matters: With hundreds of red carpets behind her, the 27-year-old remains one of Hollywood's most watched style chameleons and Stone's edgy flick of blue liner proved she can still set trends.

    Stone's makeup artist of more than eight years, Chanel's Rachel Goodwin, loves that a beauty moment such as this "resonates with women." The look she's referring to is the bolt of electric blue on the outside corners of Stone's eyes, drawn in a V-shape with Revlon PhotoReady Kajal Matte Eye Pencil in Marine.

    That, paired with hairstylist Mara Roszak's relaxed updo (a horizontal braid with textured waves) and an embroidered Giambattista Valli dress, created a "young, cool, modern" look, says Goodwin. Between Goodwin, Roszak and red-carpet stylist Petra Flannery (who topped THR's 2015 Power Stylists list), Stone's glam squad has her looking fresh from hair to heel for every red-carpet turn. "We're like a band. We've been traveling the world together for almost a decade," says Goodwin. "Emma's a risk-taker, which is a fun thing to be a part of."

  14. 14

    Sarah Jessica Parker's Head-Turning Headdress

    When: The May 4 Costume Institute Gala in New York
    Why It matters: Parker wholly embraced the Chinese-inspired theme on fashion's most fabulous red carpet, proving once again she's the maven of the Met Gala.

    Every year, Parker, 50, and her trusted team — makeup artist Leslie Lopez and hairstylist Serge Normant — embrace the Met Gala theme (this year was "China: Through the Looking Glass") with an appropriately over-the-top look. Although the night's co-sponsor, Vogue, called it a "thematically tricky year," Parker nailed it with a poppy-embellished gown made of recycled materials that she co-designed with H&M and a dramatic, custom-made Philip Treacy headdress. Lopez then used emerald-hued Laura Mercier products — Caviar Stick in Jungle and Luster Eye Colour in Sherazade — to "create that jewel tone" on the eye, with the aim of "complementing and not overpowering" the pompom- and tassel-adorned headpiece.

    Normant had the same goal: "to make the hair go with the headpiece and not take away from it." Although he considered a ponytail or bun, he and Parker felt a "simple, loose wave with movement" worked best. "Sarah Jessica and I always talk and have ideas, but have nothing set ahead of time. … We prefer to leave a little to last-minute inspiration," Normant tells THR. "When she put the headpiece on, it had a personality of its own and needed its own moment."

  15. 15

    Kirsten Dunst's "It" Haircut

    When: Her summer cut has been making waves ever since she got it on Aug. 12.
    Why It matters: Last year's pixies and long bobs morphed into wobs (wavy bobs) with Dunst's being the gold standard: natural, sexy, modern.

    After months of contemplating a cut, the Fargo actress lopped off 10 inches of long blond hair, resulting in a chin-grazing bob that flaunts her natural wavy texture while showcasing the year's "It" style: "I had bleached my hair the year before, and Cervando was like, 'Let's cut this shit off!' " Dunst tells THR.

    The 33-year-old's longtime hair stylist, Cervando Maldonado, who did the chop, says actresses are craving "a short cut that's still casual, sexy and loose," especially when it comes to wearing elaborate red-carpet gowns. Jennifer Lawrence and Anne Hathaway (both have grown-out pixies) as well as hairstylist Mark Townsend's clients Rachel McAdams, Dakota Johnson and Elizabeth Olsen also are sporting the style. "Kirsten's so beautiful and can wear any style, but I like her with a bob — it suits her face very well," says Maldonado. His key for "defining waves and getting pieciness" is Oribe Curl by Definition Creme: "It's about a bob with Brigitte Bardot texture."

    See more This is How Kirsten Dunst's Hairstylist Creates an "It" Cut

  16. 16

    Julianne Moore's 1940s-Inspired Bombshell

    When: The Feb. 8 BAFTA Awards
    Why It matters: The Still Alice star had a jam-packed awards season and a myriad of looks, but one moment across the pond really stood out.

    Jetting from a Los Angeles photo shoot — where the hair reference for Moore, 54, was Rita Hayworth — to London, the Oscar winner and her longtime hair pro Marcus Francis knew they wanted to re-create those iconic brushed-out curls for the red carpet.

    When Moore's A Single Man director Tom Ford, who designed her BAFTA gown, suggested a Hayworth hairstyle to complement the plunging red velvet-and-crepe dress, "we knew it was the perfect time to do it," says Francis, who applied mousse from roots to ends to create texture and hold. Emma Lovell, Moore's go-to makeup artist in Europe, kept the look simple with lilac eye shadow and berry lips.

  17. 17

    Lady Gaga's Gothic Glam

    When: On FX's American Horror Story: Hotel, which premiered Oct. 7
    Why It Matters: She still dominates music (Billboard is honoring her as 2015 Woman of the Year). Now she's bringing new fans to season five of Ryan Murphy's series: The premiere attracted 9.1 million viewers, making it the second-most-watched FX show ever.

    The big magnet for Hotel's fifth-season opener was vampire-socialite Countess Elizabeth, played by Gaga, 29, who teased the episode beforehand to her 52.3 million Twitter followers. Gaga's character — with immaculately styled blond hair, red lips and dramatic eye makeup (crystals, glitter, faux lashes) — seems to have followed the singer offscreen, as she trades in her signature outrageous outfits for old Hollywood glamour, including elegant turns in Brandon Maxwell at the Emmys and Valentino at the amfAR Inspirations Gala.

    Though the countess maintains her beauty by imbibing human blood, in reality, makeup artist Sarah Tanno relies on Tom Ford Shade & Illuminate Palette for Gaga's complexion and Besame Vintage Reds Pro Palette for lips, while hairstylist Frederic Aspiras counts GHD curling irons and tongs as hair must-haves "to get the waves, curls and shapes." AHS creator Murphy couldn't be more pleased with his new leading lady. He tweeted: "Lady Gaga is everything I dreamed of and more."

  18. 18

    Elizabeth Olsen's French Twist

    When: The Tokyo premiere of Avengers: Age of Ultron on June 23
    Why It Matters: Olsen's "French twist with a twist" solidified Mark Townsend's rep as the updo master.

    Townsend first tamed Olsen's tresses for a high school dance: "It was my freshman year winter formal, and Mark had just done my sisters' [Mary-Kate and Ashley] hair; we were all going to the same dance," the 26-year-old tells THR. "He gave me an updo, and I had the best hair in my class." Fast-forward 12 years to the twosome traveling to Tokyo for the star's Avengers press tour. "We were inspired by a woman at dinner the night before the premiere," recalls Olsen. The result? An unconventional French twist with fanned-out hair at the ends.

    The look ("one of the all-time favorite hairstyles I've ever done," says Townsend) worked with the actress' black silk faille dress and white gold and diamond jewelry, both Dior. "The dress was a new take on a very classic silhouette, so I wanted the hair to feel the same way," says Townsend. The Instagram devotee posts his #MarksEyeView pics for 32,900 fans. "I take pride in the updos I create for red-carpet events, and through Instagram I can show my followers close-ups of the hairstyle from different angles."

    See more Elizabeth Olsen on Her "Updo Master" Hair Stylist

  19. 19

    Charlize Theron's Bronzed Skin

    When: The May 7 Mad Max: Fury Road premiere in Los Angeles
    Why It Matters: Much like she did when promoting Monster more than a decade ago, Theron offset her onscreen badass persona with a red-carpet 180. This time, the 40-year-old's glam antidote included bronzed skin, plenty of lashes and voluminous hair.

    For Theron's L.A. premiere, hairstylist Enzo Angileri wanted a "blond Ava Gardner" moment that would contrast with her Mad Max character, Imperator Furiosa. "She plays someone with no hair and a masculine energy, so we wanted her to look as feminine and glamorous as possible."

    Likewise, makeup pro Pati Dubroff didn't want any hard lines on the eyes or mouth, "just this gorgeous glow." To "amp up the warm skin tone," she mixed a drop of Dior Bronze Self-Tanner Natural Glow Face into the foundation and followed with Diorskin Sun Powder bronzer across the top of the brow, tops of cheeks and bridge of the nose. For eyes, Dubroff defined the brows and coated lashes with Diorshow Mascara and a few faux lashes for the resulting "fluttery lash and sun-kissed skin" that had a "sweet, cool surfer-girl vibe."

  20. 20

    Kerry Washington at the Emmys

    When: Sept. 20 
    Why It Matters: Soft, subtle hair and makeup allowed the Scandal star's Marc Jacobs dress to shine, creating the strongest look at the 2015 awards show.

    Makeup artist Carola Gonzalez explains that Washington's dress "called for simplicity" because of its intricate detailing. "So I kept the makeup to a bare minimum, especially on the eyes," save for multiple coats of Neutrogena Healthy Volume Mascara on top and bottom lashes. Hairstylist Takisha Sturdivant-Drew took the same approach, opting for a faux bob that would show off the bold shoulders of the chainmail-inspired frock: "It was a modern twist on the Roaring '20s," she says.

    To avoid a "forced" look, she left strands loose and kept the style frizz-free with Neutrogena Triple Moisture Silk Touch Leave-In Cream. She also gave Washington golden brown highlights to "be a great balance to the dress." Says Washington of her team, "What's fun about a red-carpet moment is that we really work together to make sure that it works from head to toe." Though the media buzzed, nothing topped the praise Sturdivant-Drew received from Washington, 38: "She told me, and also sent a text expressing, how she loved her hair as she left for the red carpet. There's no better feeling than that."

  21. 21

    Dakota Johnson's Eye-Popping Orange Shadow

    When: The Sept. 14 Black Mass premiere at the Toronto Film Festival 
    Why It Matters: Johnson's makeup artist, Pati Dubroff, drew inspiration from iconic '70s brunettes, using a bold peachy-orange shadow that wowed.

    "I was looking at photos of brunettes from the '70s, specifically Jaclyn Smith and Anjelica Huston, and I kept seeing orange makeup," recalls Dubroff about what prompted her to reach for a vivid peach eye shadow in her kit. She brushed Chanel Illusion D'Ombre Eyeshadow in Rouge-Gorge from eyelid to brow on the 26-year-old, who was wearing a floral Alexander McQueen gown. The pop of orange against Johnson's flawless complexion with a soft lip was an acclaimed "peaches and cream" moment.

    Says Johnson: "That was something new for me. Pati made me feel fresh and like I really belonged in that dress." Dubroff, who usually accentuates the actress' mouth ("She likes her natural lip bumped up a few shades, so I had to convince her to go softer on the lip"), veered from what worked so well earlier this year while promoting Fifty Shades of Grey. Was it worth it? Says Dubroff, "Dakota loved it, and social media went crazy over it!"

    See more This is Why Dakota Johnson (and Her Glam Team) Like Orange Eyeshadow

  22. 22

    Felicity Jones' Persimmon Pout

    When: Palm Springs International Film Festival on Jan. 3
    Why It Matters: An orange lip helped Jones transform from ingenue to edgy young player.

    Dior celebrity makeup artist Sabrina Bedrani knew as soon as she saw The Theory of Everything actress' navy-and-black Monique Lhuillier gown that a bold lip was needed. She went right for Dior's Diorific Lipstick in Dolce Vita, which coupled with a textured French twist (courtesy of Alex Polillo) became a standout look. "The pop of orange-red was more fun and modern than classic red," says Bedrani.

    She complemented the striking lip with shimmery pink shadow and fully lined eyes to make them stand out "without being heavy." The look — a departure from the 32-year-old's pale pink lip and subtle smoky eye during awards season — was one of Jones' personal bests, according to beauty bloggers who compared Jones to Lupita Nyong'o for impeccable red-carpet style.

  23. 23

    Emily Blunt's Edge

    When: Sicario's Sept. 14 New York City premiere
    Why It Matters: Blunt, whose Sicario role is garnering awards buzz, consistently delivers unexpected red-carpet style choices, making her one to watch, both onscreen and off.

    To get a beauty look worthy of her avant-garde Ulyana Sergeenko quilted blue dress at the New York Sicario premiere, Blunt, 32, called upon L.A.'s three Streicher sisters, who own Striiike salon in Beverly Hills. The goal for makeup artist Jenn and hairstylist Ashley was a "sleek and modern" look with "minimal hair and makeup to keep it fashion-forward," says Jenn, who used a deep berry Bobbi Brown lipstick on her longtime client (they shared a cover of last year's THR Beauty issue). Says Blunt, "We always come up with something fresh and edgy."

    Ashley pulled the star's hair into a knot at the nape, "but not a bun," she says. "That would be too precious." Brow guru Kristie perfected the actress' "strong, naturally beautiful" brows. The beauty of working with these three pros (Kiernan Shipka and Lily James are both clients), says Jenn, is that they offer a "similar aesthetic, and we can communicate very honestly about a look."

  24. 24

    Kristen Stewart's Extreme Winged Eye

    When: The Aug. 18 American Ultra premiere in L.A.
    Why It Matters: Stewart demonstrated how to wear this year's graphic eyeliner trend like a pro.

    "What started out as a basic concept" — an Edie Sedgwick eye, says makeup artist Jillian Dempsey — "gravitated into a much stronger eye than planned." Just as well, as Stewart's cat eye became a definitive example of one of the year's biggest trends.

    Dempsey applied jet black khol eyeliner from her own eponymous brand, and the fierce eye combined with the plunging, sequined Zuhair Murad playsuit and a textured, slightly disheveled updo created a rock 'n' roll vibe that was sig­nature Stewart.

  25. 25

    The Women From 'The Man From U.N.C.L.E.'

    When: The TV series' big-screen reboot hit theaters Aug. 14.
    Why It Matters: While the late summer tentpole earned only $100.5 million worldwide, its glam '60s looks lined up with major beauty trends for 2015.

    In Guy Ritchie's campy spy thriller, based on the mid-1960s TV series, Henry Cavill and Armie Hammer play a CIA agent and KGB operative, res­pectively, trying to protect Alicia Vikander's Gaby from Elizabeth Debicki's Victoria. To differentiate between heroine and vixen, the film's hair and makeup designer, U.K.-based Sarah Monzani, gave Vikander "a 1960s version of no-makeup makeup" — clean complexion, hint of blush, doe-eye lashes on the upper lashline.

    Debicki stood apart with heavy liner, pop-of-pink lips and nails, and thick upper and lower lashes. Monzani used her time living in the era as inspi­ration and says part of these looks' appeal now is that it's "possible to re-create them and still look good."