From Sleek Bobs to Pink Eyeshadow: 5 Biggest Beauty Trends of Award Season 2019

8:00 AM 2/23/2019

by Meg Hemphill

From sleek bobs and hair bows to colorful smoky eyes and makeup in elevated neutrals, here are our predictions for winning beauty looks at the 91st Academy Awards on Sunday.

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Five trends—equally wearable and beautiful—have dominated the red carpet repeatedly this award season: Pink eyeshadow, hair bows, colorful smoky eyes, sleek bobs and elevated neutrals. But will they show up on the Oscars red carpet, where bourgeois looks such as tried-and-true Veronica Lake waves and classic red lips reign?

The pros behind the trendsetting looks on Charlize Theron, Nicole Kidman and others weigh in on whether the Academy Awards will go to the strongest hair and makeup already killing it this season.

  • Pink Eyeshadow

    As Seen On: Emily Blunt and Laura Harrier at Critics’ Choice, Lucy Boynton at Palm Springs International Film Festival and BAFTAs, Emmy Rossum at Golden Globes, Katy Perry at the Grammys.

    Why It’s Everywhere: Whether they’ve taken inspiration from sherbet, candy and pink wafer cookies—as makeup artist Jo Baker did for Boynton—or simply the dress, pros have dipped into their pink palettes from the word go this year. From fuchsia to bubblegum, there’s a shade of pink to suit everyone, as well as a way to apply it, depending on the vibe a client is going for—from romantic to audacious.

    Is It Oscar Worthy? Definitely. Hollywood’s top pros can’t get enough of this shade right now. It can have a rocker-meets-romantic feel, so could be a stunner on nominee Lady Gaga.

  • Hair Bows

    As Seen On: Nicole Kidman at the Golden Globes, Lucy Boynton at SAGs, Thomasin Mckenzie and Gemma Chan at Critics’ Choice, Amy Adams at BAFTAs.

    Why They’re Everywhere: “Even though bows make a big statement, they feel more like a casual and carefree accessory,” says Kidman’s hairstylist Kylee Heath. “And it’s so feminine.” Statement-making but casual: A match made in low-key L.A.’s red carpet heaven.

    Are They Oscar Worthy? Even though it’s a prim, girly look, it’s still a risk, so don’t expect to see it on every other head bobbing along the red carpet. And definitely don’t bet on the likes of front-runner Glenn Close popping one into her pixie. But someone like nominee Emma Stone—whose hairstylist Mara Roszak loves adding hair flair by way of accessories—could rock the look.

  • Colorful Smoky Eyes

    As Seen On: Emily Blunt (pewter), Lili Reinhart (red) and Camilla Belle (emerald) at the Golden Globes. 

    Why They’re Everywhere: Charcoal smoky eyes are sexy-cool but a bit snooze. This season was awake with a barrage of rainbow hues smoking eyelids. Makeup artist Adam Breuchaud wanted “a younger, fun, fashion edge” when he used Blitz Flame red from Pat McGrath Labs' Mothership V:Bronze Seduction Palette on Riverdale’s Reinhart. He says that using the same shade as Reinhart's fiery Khyeli dress also “played on the color matching trend we are seeing right now,” with gowns and makeup color coordinating. So while a classic smoky eye isn't going anywhere, expect the envelope pushers to experiment with a spectrum of colors.

    Are They Oscar Worthy? For smoky eyes, expect safe shades: Gold, bronze and deep navy are all contenders for smokies, as will be the traditional charcoal. But a sea of bold greens, reds and canary yellows? It’s more likely Roma will go home empty-handed. In other words, not likely. 

  • Sleek Bobs With Side Parts

    As Seen On: Charlize Theron, Irina Shayk and Saorise Ronan at the Golden Globes. 

    Why They’re Everywhere: Adir Abergel, who’s grooming Theron for the Oscars says: “Sleek bobs showcase your features and highlight healthy, shiny hair when all the flashes hit.” He also points to the “minimal” appeal—it’s not overly fussy and can beautifully balance an ornate gown or complement a head-to-toe simplistic style.

    Are They Oscar Worthy? Without a doubt. Says Abergel: “They’re classic, timeless and here to stay.” Expect someone to debut a fresh chop on the red carpet, as Ronan did last year, courtesy of Abergel’s clippers. 

  • Makeup in Elevated Neutrals

    As Seen On: Julia Roberts at the Golden Globes, Thandie Newton at BAFTAs, Constance Wu and Michelle Yeoh at SAGs, Halle Berry at the Costume Designers Guild Awards.

    Why They’re Everywhere: Newly welcome to the arena are soft lavender, subtle olive and metallic nude. These neutral shades showed finesse and then some. As opposed to last year’s subdued red carpets, this year’s gowns have been full of embellishment and color. “When you wear a spectacular dress, your makeup should complement, not clash,” says Daniel Martin, who used Dior neutrals on Yeoh at the SAGs. He adds that her look was “polished, sophisticated and confident.”

    Are They Oscar Worthy? Absolutely. Neutrals are classic and safe, so expect to see them, especially on presenter Jennifer Lopez, who’s known for her affinity for nudes.