Every awards show brings with it intrigue, drama, and enough jaw-dropping hair and makeup to fill a thousand mood boards, but none more so than the Oscars. Arguably the crown jewel of awards season, the evening typically brings high-drama glamour, both on the red carpet and on stage. But, of course, there's nothing typical about this year's show. With multiple presentation locations, satellite and remote call-ins, and a COVID-safe "red carpet" approximation without a press bullpen or screaming fans, this year's Academy Awards is still delivering the all-out beauty looks we've come to expect from the show—albeit, in a slightly different format.
Considering this is Hollywood's biggest night, no A-list arrival can resist an all-out beauty risk, whether it's a take on Old Hollywood classics or something new altogether. Here, we're rounding up the best of the best in beauty from the 2021 Oscars—along with more than a few tips, tricks, and hacks, straight from the pros.
No one does old-school Hollywood glamour like Glenn Close, and apparently, no one pregames like she does, either. The actress, nominated tonight for her role in Hillbilly Elegy, shared a relatable getting-ready pic from her hotel room before emerging on the carpet with a smoldering metallic blue and black eyeliner look, created by makeup artist Angela Levin. Naturally, the whole thing matches her custom Armani Privé gown.
Always the picture of elegance, Viola Davis stuns in an ornate, snow-white gown and radiant makeup courtesy of L'Oréal. Long, lush lashes were constructed with the L'Oréal Voluminous Original Mascara ($9) as she shared on Instagram. Davis finished off the look with a warm, rosy lip color.
Up for the evening's most prestigious acting award for her turn as legendary blues singer Ma Rainey, the star's hairstylist is also nominated for an Oscar of her own. Jamika Wilson styled Davis's hair in the film and for the Academy Awards.
When you first see Andra Day's blindingly radiant skin, know it's due to two things: the inside-out glow that comes with being an immensely talented star on the rise and La Mer. Lots of La Mer. Day is wearing a full face of La Mer products applied by celebrity makeup artist Porsche Cooper for a fresh-faced, breathtaking look. Day's curls tumbled out of her high-pulled bun and framed her stunning makeup for maximum romance. To create the up-do, hair stylist Tony Medina used the ghd Helios Hair Dryer ($249) with the diffuser to perfectly form Day’s curls.
Reese Witherspoon gave us plenty of her signature glam for this year's Oscars. Makeup artist Tracey Levy led with a smoky eye, courtesy of Armani Beauty. Levy also used the Armani Luminous Silk Foundation ($64) to give Witherspoon a lit-from-within glow, and then sculpted out her cheekbones and jawline by applying the Armani Beauty Luminous Silk Glow Setting Powder ($64) as a bronzer. Levy used the Artis Elite Oval 6 brush for Witherspoon's contour, a brush she calls the "all-around perfect face brush."
Every inch of Regina King's ice-blue Oscars moment—from her sleek, middle-parted bob to her neutral manicure, simple jewels, and powder blue shadow—works together to create one of the most stunning looks of the night, if not in Oscar's history. Her makeup artist, Latrice Johnson, used a set of Artis brushes for King's face and body.
Golden girl Carey Mulligan looked like a literal Oscar in her glimmering two-piece set by Valentino Haute Couture. A casual windswept bun and a face full of Chanel cosmetics applied by artist Georgie Eisdell finished off the look. Before applying any makeup, Eisdell used the CurrentBody LED Light Therapy Mask ($375) to prep and calm Mulligan’s skin. For her deep, brick red lips, Eisdell first applied the Chanel Hydrating Conditioning Lip Balm ($40), then lined Mulligan's lips with the Chanel Longwear Lip Pencil in Pivoine ($32) before applying a finishing coat of Chanel Rouge Allure Laque in Ultimate ($40). As for her elegant up-do, hair stylist Jenny Cho first created texture using the ghd CURVE Creative Curl Wand ($200) and the René Furterer Texture Spray ($32). She then split the top and bottom sections of her hair into two separate ponytails, emulsified some of the René Furterer Modeling Paste ($26) in her hands, and twisted the two ponytails into an effortless-looking knot.
Made from over 1,000 yards of tulle, Laverne Cox's neon fuchsia-and-black Christin Siriano gown might be the only thing on earth that could distract us from her hair and makeup tonight. Her buttery blonde hair was combed back into a high Tinkerbell bun by hairstylist Dee TrannyBear-Marino, allowing two curled tendrils to fall on either side of Cox's face. Meanwhile, makeup artist Deja Smith brushed shimmering reddish-pink eyeshadow on Cox's lids, adding matte black on the outer corners for lift and drama.
A silver-clad Margot Robbie embraced a new 'do on the Oscars red carpet with her honey color, demure bangs, and deceptively casual ponytail. Robbie’s dark gold hair, styled by Bryce Scarlett, is warmed by a “bronzey, sunshine glow,” as described by makeup artist Pati Dubroff for Chanel. The makeup artist shared the Chanel Les Beiges Foundation ($60) and matching rosewood-brown liner, lipstick, and gloss used for Robbie's look in a shot shared to Instagram.
Zendaya’s mermaidy, center-parted waves are the beauty star of this ensemble. Her soft, warm hair is an earthy contrast to a modern neon-yellow Valentino gown (complete with a matching mask, of course). A complementary rust-and-copper makeup palette, applied by Lancôme makeup artist Sheika Daley, set Zendaya’s look a world apart.
Amanda Seyfried channeled Marion Davies—the starlet she's nominated for portraying in David Lynch's Mank—on the red carpet. A 30s-style deep red velvet lip from Lancôme's new L'Absolu Rouge Drama Ink ($32), applied by artist Genevieve Herr, pairs with a sleek, side-parted bun and lots of lashes for Seyfried's very Old Hollywood look.
Leave it to Halle Berry to completely steal the show (not for the first time, either) with her textured new chop. The shoulder-clearing bob, complete with tousled baby bangs, adds casual sex appeal to her liquid-looking lavender gown.
Equal parts classic glamour and performance art-level drama, Best Original Song-nominated H.E.R. has some seriously enviable cat eye makeup hiding underneath her signature purple-lensed Lennon frames. Makeup artist Marissa Vossen created a blue, indigo, and purple gradient winged liner framed by a lush row of lashes alongside a retro-glam cascade of curls by hairstylist Nina Monique.
Angela Bassett looks, as always, elegant on the red carpet in a scarlet, puffed-sleeved gown. But, her steely blue shadow, bronzed cheeks, and foxy eyeliner applied by makeup artist D’Andre Michael were the real standouts of this look. As for Bassett’s sleek middle part, hair stylist Randy Stodghill used the ghd Platinum+ Styler ($259) to straighten her hair and give it a glossy shine.
Deep red lips and minimal, shell-pink eye makeup emphasize Vanessa Kirby’s luminous complexion and rose-colored gown. Makeup artist Jo Baker used the Tweezerman Rose Gold Slant Tweezer ($23) to define Kirby’s sharp brows, and then amplified her lashes with the Tweezerman Rose Gold Classic Curler ($17) before applying mascara. Her hairstylist, Adir Abergel, shared the secret to Kirby's sleek off-the-neck updo: apply Virtue Labs Healing Oil ($42) all down the hair shaft before styling. Abergel then used the ghd Platinum+ Styler ($259) to give her hair a super sleek look.