Why Serena Williams Went Simple and Clean for the Met Gala

Serena Williams Met Gala - Getty - H 2017
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Her glam team breaks down the mama-to-be's look.

For a conceptual theme like Comme des Garcons, says makeup legend Sir John, “the goal should always be a clean, modern makeup to complement the entire look from head to toe,” making the makeup an accessory as opposed to competing with the outfit. When it came time to pair Serena Williams’ jewel-like Versace gown with the perfect accessories, he found inspiration in the label’s “cool '60s interpretation of the future” and devised a look that would create a clean canvas to highlight her glowing skin, courtesy of her pregnancy.

“I really wanted to highlight her vivacious beauty and help her embody her true self. This magnified her beauty,” says Sir John, who first mattified her skin with L’Oreal Paris Hydra Genius Miosturizer and Infallible Pro-Matte Powder, then illuminated her cheekbones ever so slightly by pressing L’Oreal Paris True Match Lumi Liquid Illuminator in Golden into them. The makeup artist used a similar golden nude palette for her whole face, ensuring she glowed seemingly from the inside out.

For her hair, Unilever celebrity hairstylist Ursula Stephen says the tennis star felt “inspired to take a chance and do something different” for the Met Gala, though “typically Serena does not like to push the envelope.” Still, she came up with a hairstyle that would speak to simplicity, as that is how she interpreted the evening’s theme: “Simple and classic with an element of surprise.”

That element of surprise was a sprinkle of edge for Williams, who has never worn her hair completely off her face or bone-straight before. The key to accomplishing that slick, frizz-free finish: Suave Professionals Luxe Style Infusion Anti-Humidity Spray, along with what Stephen calls her “dream dryer,” the Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer. For added hold and shine, she spritzed the sleek 'do with Dove Style+Care Non-Aerosol Extra Hold Hairspray. Says Stephen of why the Met Gala is glam squads’ favorite night: “It’s always fun to take your client to a different place creatively and it actually be okay.”