The 50 Best Red Carpet Beauty Moments of the 21st Century

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With awards season upon us, we decided to take a look back at some of our favorite recent red carpet beauty looks from the Oscars to the Grammys (and every movie premiere and press junket in between).


Kristen Stewart; Cannes Film Festival, 2018

Always one to push the boundaries, Kristen’s glinty eye shadow and pompadour at Cannes this year had us mesmerized.


Jennifer Lawrence; BAFTA Awards, 2018

Here’s J.Law looking absolutely regal with her red lip and center-parted strands at this year’s BAFTA awards.


Emma Stone; Venice Film Festival, 2018

Stone’s makeup artist layered five different shadows to create a stunning glittery effect on her lids (including a silver and slate blue shadow on her lower lash line). Needless to say, she sparkled.


Constance Wu; Crazy Rich Asians Press Conference, 2018

Constance looks radiant with her berry stained lips and loose waves while promoting Crazy Rich Asians.


Tracee Ellis Ross; CFDA Awards, 2018

What better way to complement your pink layered dress than a ribbon-adorned ballerina bun and fuchsia pout?


Michelle Williams; Cannes Film Festival, 2017

Michelle’s navy eyeliner and platinum pixie strikes the perfect balance between edgy and classic.


Julianne Moore; Cannes Film Festival, 2017

Julianne shows off monochromatic makeup (and hair) with her coppery lids and tawny bronzer.


Issa Rae; CFDA Awards, 2018

Rae demonstrates that a glossy nude lip complements metallic eye shadow without competing against it.


Emma Watson; Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Premiere, 2011

Ah, who can forget when Emma first cut her hair after wrapping the Harry Potter series? Here, she slicked it all back so the focus went straight to her gold-leafed lids.


Millie Bobby Brown; Stranger Things Season 2 Screening, 2018

We’re keeping an eye on Millie, who has proven to be quite the trendsetter since her debut in Stranger Things. Here she is with a modern take on a major '80s trend: blue eye shadow.


Priyanka Chopra; Met Gala, 2018

Priyanka's beauty team drew inspiration from an Italian Renaissance painting for the Met Gala this year. The result? Ruby red lips, golden lids and sculpted waves that haunt our dreams.


Reese Witherspoon; Golden Globes, 2007

Remember when Reese cut her bangs just before the Golden Globes...and we all rushed to get bangs the next day?


Yara Shahidi; Black Panther Premiere, 2018

Based on her Cleopatra-inspired cat eye (which, if you look closely, has turquoise accents along the lower lash line), we think it’s pretty safe to say that Yara will make many more “best of” lists in the future.


Amal Clooney; American Film Institute's 46th Life Achievement Award Gala Tribute, 2018

Amal keeps it classic with cascading waves and a bold matte lip.


Cate Blanchett; Venice Film Festival, 2018

There’s no denying that Cate is Hollywood royalty with her steely gaze and glamorous '20s hairstyle.


Lupita Nyong'o; Academy Awards, 2014

Remember when Lupita received her first Oscar looking like a real-life Cinderella?


Mindy Kaling; A Wrinkle in Time Premiere, 2018

Glowing skin? Check. Satin red lips? Check.


Kerry Washington; Vanity Fair Oscar Party, 2018

Kerry went all in with her bright coral lip and curled updo for the Vanity Fair Oscar Party this year.


Winona Ryder; Vanity Fair Oscar Party, 2001

Before Stranger Things, Winona was everyone's celeb crush of the Y2K. Here she is at the Oscar's party with perfectly mussed hair and candy pink lips.


Meghan Markle; Royal Wedding, 2018

A timeless beauty look for any occasion: fluttery lashes, clean skin and a nude lip.


Michelle Williams; Academy Awards, 2006

Williams won her first Oscar this year for her role in Brokeback Mountain; she forever cemented a place in our hearts with this red lip and mustard yellow dress.


Helen Mirren; Academy Awards, 2018

Behold: Dame Helen Mirren with her perfectly layered cut and cherry pink lipstick.


Mariah Carey; American Music Awards, 2003

Classic Mariah: Glamorous waves and a warm (ahem) honey glow.


Kirsten Dunst; Academy Awards, 2002

Kirsten Dunst’s soft palette of pinks and purples matches her dress perfectly.


Rihanna; Oceans 8 Premiere, 2018

Who but Rihanna can make purple lipstick look this good?


Gwyneth Paltrow; Academy Awards, 2002

Gwyneth stole the show (the “show” in this case being the Academy Awards) with her navy blue smoky eye and accent braid.


Jennifer Connelly; Academy Awards, 2002

Jennifer Connelly makes a strong case for minimalist hair and makeup here.


Jada Pinkett Smith; Girls Trip Premiere, 2017

Jada’s creamy pink lipstick is offset by her golden eye shadow and twisted updo.


Julia Roberts; People's Choice Awards, 2002

Sleek hair meets simple barrette.


Rooney Mara; UNA Screening, 2017

Fact: Rooney Mara dons a bright red lip better than anyone.


Gemma Chan; GQ Men of the Year Awards, 2018

Brb, adding Gemma Chan’s plum smoky eye and rosy cheeks to our Pinterest board.


Halle Berry; Academy Awards, 2002

Presenting the pixie cut that inspired countless others for years to come.


Hilary Swank; Academy Awards, 2005

When you have an enviably toned back like Swank, a simple bun is more than enough.


Jennifer Aniston; Academy Awards, 2013

Classic Jen: Soft touchable hair, bronzed skin and a slick of nude gloss.


Zendaya; Academy Awards, 2015

Zendaya’s Vivienne Westwood dress and dreadlock hairstyle was so memorable that Mattel decided to create a Barbie in her exact image.


Gina Rodriguez; Golden Globes, 2017

Gina shined at the Golden Globes last year with her glowing skin and a pop of silver liner along the inner corners of her eyes. (OK, the sequined dress helped.)


Penelope Cruz; Academy Awards, 2009

Penelope channeling some serious Audrey Hepburn (à la Breakfast at Tiffany's) vibes.


Sarah Jessica Parker; Academy Awards, 2009

We’re not sure what we love more here: SJP’s mermaid waves or her kohl-rimmed eyes.


Emily Ratajkowski; Academy Awards, 2017

We’re pretty sure the whole monochromatic makeup trend blew up after Emily Ratajkowski showed up at the Academy Awards looking like a bronzed goddess.


Angelina Jolie; Academy Awards, 2009

The voluminous half-up hairstyle, soft cat eye and plush lips: This, ladies and gentlemen, is why we watch the red carpet.


Britney Spears; MTV Video Music Awards, 2001

2001: When Britney ruled all with her smoked-out eyes and bombshell waves.

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Rashida Jones; Vanity Fair Oscar Party, 2012

Rashida’s sleek angled lob and eye-skimming bangs prove that red carpet hair doesn’t always look stuffy.


Evan Rachel Wood; Academy Awards, 2009

Evan Rachel Wood’s swept-up bun and fluttery lashes evoke another era.


Janelle Monae; Vanity Fair Oscar Party, 2017

Janelle Monae is a red carpet queen (with a crown as proof).


Natalie Portman; Academy Awards, 2011

When Natalie Portman showed up at the Academy Awards in 2011, we no longer questioned whether pregnancy glow was a real thing.


Freida Pinto; Past Forward Premiere; 2016

We love the way Freida juxtaposed her soft blue dress with bright magenta lips and rows of braids.


Uma Thurman; Academy Awards, 2006

Uma arrived at the 78th Academy Awards looking every bit as gilded as one of its coveted statues.


Tessa Thompson; Annihilation Premiere, 2018

Tessa Thompson kept it modern at a recent premiere with a slash of graphic eyeliner on an otherwise bare face.


Olivia Munn; Past Forward Premiere, 2016

Browns and taupes will always be classic, but there’s something to be said for electric blue liner.


Madonna; Academy Awards, 2001

Saving the best for last: Here’s Madonna as Marilyn Monroe at the 63rd Academy Awards.

Jenny Jin Headshot Vertical 2023
Jenny Jin

Beauty Director

Jenny Jin is PureWow’s Beauty Director and is currently based in Los Angeles. Since beginning her journalism career at Real Simple magazine, she has become a human encyclopedia of...
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