The Video Music Awards are always a sight to behold. Do you remember 2013? It was the year Miley Cyrus twerked her way across the stage and into the general consciousness of American pop culture. What about 2015, when Taylor Swift brought her entire squad? The VMAs have always been surprising and dramatic (we’re thinking of Britney Spears kissing Madonna on stage and Kanye West infamously interrupting T.Swift), whether that’s in pop culture or beauty.
The year Miley Cyrus made headlines was the year she introduced us to her new blonde pixie cut. Similarly, the year of the squad was the year of Taylor Swift’s graphic cat eye and slick, side-parted hair.
This year’s VMAs looks were just as memorable (if not more so). Celebs of every age, gender, and musical genre debuted new hair and makeup looks that left us speechless. Keep reading to see our favorite beauty looks from the 2017 MTV VMAs!
Hailey Baldwin went for an allover golden highlight (which was thanks to Urban Decay Afterglow 8-Hour Powder Highlighter in Fireball, $26, by the way). That, paired with her sleek hair, gave us Malibu Barbie vibes in the best way. Hairstylist Florido Basallo from Nine Zero One salon started prepping for this look by applying L’Oréal Professionnel Volume Envy Extra Mousse ($26) to Baldwin’s roots. Then, he blow-dried her hair and set the top with rollers. Finally, he sprinkled L’Oréal Professionnel True Grip ($20) into the roots for even more volume and bounce.
Actress Olivia Munn has a long history of walking down the red carpet and right into our hearts. (Seriously, a beach-waved bob and a bold burgundy lip are two of our all-time favorite things.) Celeb makeup artist Patrick Ta used Chanel Rouge Allure Intense Long-Wear Lip Color in Ultraberry ($37) and Le Crayon Lèvres Precision Lip Definer in Seduction ($31) to get the look.
Hailee Steinfeld went for a monochrome bronzed look. We love that she perfectly matched her eye and blush shade to her lipstick. Celeb makeup artist Vincent Oquendo used Laura Mercier Matte Radiance Baked Powder Bronzer in 01 and 04 ($42 each). For her taupe eye shadow, he used Laura Mercier Caviar Stick Eyeshadow in Caramel ($29). Finally, for the last touch of bronze, he applied the Crème Smooth Lip Colour in Milky Way ($28). As for her long, flowing locks, celeb hairstylist Gregory Russell kept it in place with Kenra Shaping Spray ($19).
Yara Shahidi went for an Old Hollywood look with a 1940s-inspired gown, a gorgeous low pony, and olive-green eyes. Celeb makeup artist Emily Cheng used Chanel Beauté for Shahidi’s makeup. First, she filled in the lid and the lower lash line with Chanel Le Crayon Yeux Precision Eye Definer in Khaki Dore (currently sold out, but the Long-lasting Eyeliner in Céladon, $33, is a great substitute). Next, Cheng “pressed the top left green shade from Chanel Les 4 Ombres Multi-Effect Quadra Eyeshadow in Tisse d’Automne ($61) over the top of the liner and used the bottom right darker green shade from the palette on the outer corner.” Finally, she finished Shahidi’s eyes by pressing Chanel Ombre Première Longwear Powder Eyeshadow in Poudre d’Or ($30) on the center of the eyelid and the inner corner to catch the light.
Victoria’s Secret veteran Alessandra Ambrosio wore a simple cat eyeliner and a slightly undone ponytail. In true bombshell nature, she kept her strands tousled and volumized. For texture and volume to get the look, spritz Living Proof Instant Texture Mist ($27).
Wait, did you think we wouldn’t include Eleven? Though Millie Bobby Brown is but a young woman, she really knows how to rock a red carpet. She kept a smoky eye age-appropriate by leaving the rest of her face fresh and muted. A little pink gloss never hurts either.
In case you missed it, Lorde was an IRL princess at the VMAs, wearing an ethereal, feathered purple gown. Her makeup and hair were kept just as princess-esque, with half-up, half-down waves and a bright pop of pink on her lids. We like the cool undertone of Sephora Collection Colorful Eyeshadow Single in Prom Queen ($10).
Are you starting to notice a trend here? Celebs were all about bright beauty looks at this year’s show. Paris Jackson wore one of our favorite looks—under-eye liner. The inverted smoky eye is playful and unexpected. Plus, the wash of turquoise makes her green eyes pop.
Honestly, Vanessa Hudgens might take our first-place award for VMAs beauty. Pairing a bold red eye shadow (with glitter, no less!) with the same color gown sounds risky but looks drop-dead gorgeous. To replicate her look, try MAC Red Glitter ($22).
What was your favorite look from the VMAs? Tell us in the comments. Then, see the lipstick that Jennifer Aniston wore throughout filming Friends (and you can still buy today).