The 24 Best MTV VMA Beauty Looks of All Time

From Lizzo to Madonna.

Naomi Campbell

Getty Images / Dimitrios Kambouris  

For nearly four decades, the MTV Music Video Awards have been home to some of the most iconic moments in pop culture history. Not only are the performances larger than life every year, but the beauty looks are too. Hollywood’s hottest stars always show up to the award show decked out in some of the most mesmerizing hair and makeup looks we’ve ever seen. From Madonna’s Marie Antoinette-inspired look to Lizzo’s take on old Hollywood glamour, there have been so many memorable moments that we will be singing the praises of for years to come.

Ahead, scroll through our pick of the 24 best VMA beauty looks of all time. 

01 of 24

Madonna, 1990


Getty Images / Jeff Kravitz

For her performance of Vogue, Madonna tapped Marie Antoinette as inspiration. Her thin eyebrows and towering curly wig were the focal points of this over-the-top look. 

02 of 24

Janet Jackson, 1994

Janet Jackson

Getty Images / Jeff Kravitz

Janet Jackson took home the award for Best Female Video in 1994. Her vibe for the night was sporty and casual, wearing box braids and a bright red lip. 

03 of 24

Drew Barrymore, 1995

Drew Barrymore

Getty Images / Mitchell Gerber

Actress Drew Barrymore looked stunning on the red carpet with her blonde bob decorated with daisies. Her thin eyebrows were right on trend for the decade.

04 of 24

Spice Girls, 1997

Spice Girls

Getty Images / Terry McGinnis 

The beauty of the Spice Girls is that they exude individuality and girl power. Here, the group wore everything from high ponytails to dark lipstick. 

05 of 24

Lil Kim, 1999

Lil Kim

Getty Images / Scott Gries

When it comes to her hair and makeup, expect the unexpected with Lil Kim. Her all-purple look was a show-stopper in 1999 and we’re still obsessed with it today. 

06 of 24

TLC, 1999


Getty Images / Trevor Gillespie

There are three words to describe TLC’s 1999 VMAs looks: crazy, sexy, and cool. Each group member paired their soft makeup looks with hairstyles that complemented their personalities. 

07 of 24

Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera, 2000

Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera

Getty Images / Dave Hogan 

From crimped hair to dark eyeshadow, Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera took to the stage rocking all of the buzziest 2000s trends.

08 of 24

Gwen Stefani, 2004

Gwen Stefani


Gwen Stefani accessorized her updo with a red floral headpiece. Her hair adornments paired perfectly with the bold red lipstick she wore.

09 of 24

Jennifer Lopez, 2006

Jennifer Lopez

Getty Images / Evan Agostini

J-Lo was shining bright like a diamond at the 2006 VMAs. To play off of her shiny ensemble, Lopez went for a smokey eye, fluttery lashes, and a subtle lip. 

10 of 24

Cher, 2010


Getty Images / Steve Granitz 

You know the saying, “Go big or go home?” Well, that’s exactly what the legendary Cher did. Her over-the-top curly hair is a look we’ll remember forever.  

11 of 24

Nicki Minaj, 2011

Nicki Minaj

Getty Images / Steve Granitz 

Nicki Minaj’s pink and yellow beehive updo is a work of art. Her teal eyeshadow is another touch that makes this look even more fun.  

12 of 24

Rihanna, 2012


Getty Images / Frederick M. Brown 


Rihanna debuted her chic pixie cut at the 2012 VMAs. The Barbadian-beauty kept her makeup simple this night, opting for a glowy complexion and a red lip.  

13 of 24

Kesha, 2014


Getty Images / Frazer Harrison 

All eyes were on Kesha when she hit the carpet with her multi-colored hair and radiant skin.

14 of 24

Taylor Swift, 2015

Taylor Swift

Getty Images / Jason Merritt

Taylor Swift kept her hair pulled back so we could focus our attention on the star of this look: the intense cat-eye.

15 of 24

Beyoncé, 2016


Getty Images / Nicholas Hunt 

Beyoncé showed up and showed out on the 2016 VMAs red carpet. The record-breaking entertainer wore very natural makeup and her hair in a double-sided french braid.

16 of 24

Kim Kardashian, 2016

Kim Kardashian

Getty Images / Nicholas Hunt

Kim Kardashian brought beach hair to the red carpet with this wet and wavy look. From her hair to her makeup, her look felt effortless and fresh.

17 of 24

Naomi Campbell, 2016

Naomi Campbell


Getty Images / Dimitrios Kambouris 

Naomi Campbell’s red sparkly lip and voluminous lashes immediately grabbed our attention back in 2016. 

18 of 24

Cardi B, 2017

Cardi B

Getty Images / Gregg DeGuire 

All eyes were on Cardi B when she attended the VMAs for the first time in 2017. Her tousled bob was coupled with a neutral makeup look.  

19 of 24

Yara Shahidi, 2017

Yara Shahidi


Alberto E. Rodriguez / Getty Images 

It was all about the glow for Yara Shahidi at the 2017 VMAs. She wore gold pigment on her eyes and pulled her beautiful curls back into a low ponytail. 

20 of 24

Lizzo, 2019


Getty Images / Dimitrios Kambouris 

Lizzo showed us her modern take on old Hollywood glamour with this coiffed updo and a vibrant red lip.

21 of 24

Halsey, 2019


Getty Images / Jim Spellman 

Halsey has never been scared to experiment with her hair. She looked absolutely gorgeous at the 2019 VMAs with her rainbow roots. 

22 of 24

Keke Palmer, 2020

Keke Palmer

Getty Images / Jeff Kravitz

As the host of the 2020 MTV Video Music Awards, Keke Palmer switched up her look a few times. But, this neon eye moment is one of our favorites.

23 of 24

Bella Hadid, 2020

bella hadid

Getty Images / Jeff Kravitz

Bella Hadid channeled the 90s for this year’s award ceremony. Her throwback beauty look boasted dark eyeliner and a Lizzie McGuire-inspired updo.

24 of 24

Doja Cat, 2020

Doja cat

Getty Images / Frazer Harrison

Doja Cat hit the red carpet rocking a beautiful braid, slicked baby hairs, and hot pink eyeshadow. See how to recreate her slime green performance hair here.

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