The VMAs are highly-anticipated every year, since they have a reputation for being a little wild, and at times even shocking. This reputation didn't come about for naught; think back to some of the most talked-about celeb interactions, outfits, and performances in recent history. Many, if not most of those, took place at the VMAs. First, there was Britney Spears' iconic performance in 2001, during which she danced about on-stage with a giant yellow python draped around her shoulders. Then, there was that time back in 2009 when Kanye West infamously interrupted Taylor Swift's acceptance speech. A year later, Lady Gaga wore the meat dress (we're still not over that, tbh). A year after that, in 2011, Beyonce announced her first pregnancy to the world whilst performing on-stage.
It seems to be the one night each year when celebrities really let loose, and that applies to their hair and makeup as well. Historically, we've seen some of the boldest, most eye-catching beauty on the VMAs red carpet, and this year, it's no different. Keep scrolling to see our 15 favorite hair and makeup looks, from Taylor Swift's fiery vermilion lipstick to Lizzo's 60s-inspired beehive hairstyle, and beyond.
Taylor Swift's highly-anticipated new album, Lover, racked up 10 nominations this year. The country-singer-turned-pop-star hit the red carpet wearing the most intense shade of red-orange lipstick we've ever seen. She paired it with cat eyeliner and a textured hairstyle, both of which have become key aspects of her trademark look.
What stood out to us most about Camilla Cabello's look was her long, wavy hair. We only have one thing to say about, and that's hair goals.
Keke Palmer looked gorgeous with a sleek and shiny top knot and a wash of metallic green eyeshadow that made her eyes pop.
Ava Max seemed to take her makeup inspiration from an episode of HBO's Euphoria. Her graphic blue-and-black cat eye was accentuated with an arc of multi-colored sequins in the inner corner.
FKA Twigs wowed us with this dimensional copper eyeshadow and glossy lip combo. If there's one thing we know for sure, it's that metallics aren't going anywhere.
Bella Hadid made an appearance on the VMAs red carpet wearing her hair in a very '90s-esque high ponytail, which she paired with monochromatic bronze makeup. We expect them to be trendy for fall.
Did Bella and Gigi coordinate their red carpet looks or was their matching sun-kissed makeup a happy accident? We would assume it's the former.
Normani's preferred shade of colorful eyeshadow was purple. The singer paired her plum eyes with glowing skin and soft waves.
Zara Larsson also joined the colorful eye makeup bandwagon, opting for a wash of bubblegum pink pigment across each eye. We like the way her makeup artist blended her eyeshadow into the shimmery pink blush on her cheekbones.
Model Ebonee Davis looked stunning in head-to-toe green. Look closely, and you'll see what we think is the coolest part of her look: the shimmery green shadow on her eyelids.
Spanish singer-songwriter Rosalía looked radiant on the VMAs red carpet with velvety-nude makeup (we need to know what shade of nude lipstick she's wearing...).
Bebe Rexha paired her nude lipstick with ink-lined eyes and a touch of chartreuse shimmer on the inner corners. Blink and you'll miss it.
Hailee Steinfeld paired her lipstick to her vivid red dress. She kept the rest of her look simple, choosing fluttery lashes and fluffy brows.
Lizzo rocked a lacquered red lip, pink eyeshadow, and a '60s-inspired beehive hairstyle. It was easily one of our favorite looks of the night.
Whitney Port showed us how no-makeup makeup can work on the red carpet. Her complexion was bright and radiant. It was complemented with defined lashes and a touch of rosy-pink lip gloss.
Next up, check out our exclusive interview with Zoe Kravitz, in which she talks lipstick, finding balance, and her modern take on "having it all."