The 20 best Met Gala beauty looks of all time
The 2022 Met Gala is just days away – and thanks to the “Gilded Glamour” dress code, we expect beauty to be as extra, crazy and absurd as humanly possible. But wild Met Gala beauty looks are nothing new. Outrageous glamor has long been on the agenda at fashion’s biggest night. Whether it’s bizarre hairstyles, jaw-dropping hair transformations (thanks to Jennifer Lopez’s 2019 crystal wig) or insane makeup looks, celebrities aren’t shy about making a statement.
In recent years, stars and their expert beauty teams have only raised the bar, with many eschewing stereotypical “pretty” makeup and hair in favor of shocking looks that leave us speechless. Take last year’s Met Gala, for example. Euphoria Star Hunter Schafer donned milky white contact lenses to complete her alien-inspired outfit, while co-host Naomi Osaka worked with hairstylist Marty Harper to create a structural hairstyle that pays homage to her Haitian and Japanese roots.
But these wild looks don’t even scratch the surface. From painted metallic hairstyles to Lady Gaga-style gold lashes, there are tons of wild Met Gala beauty looks that are sure to make your jaw drop. And we gather them, in front.
Naomi Osaka, 2021
The tennis star’s structural hairstyle stole the show thanks to Harper’s genius work. Since the theme of the year was In America: An Anthology of Fashion, Osaka chose to pay homage to her Haitian and Japanese roots. Her hairstyle was complete with three braids, flower embellishments and slicked back pigtails.
Hunter Schaefer, 2021
With milky contact lenses and an alien-inspired accessory smack dab in the middle of her face, the Euphoria the star’s beauty look was shocking.
Maisie Williams, 2021
the The iron Throne the actress changed just about everything for the big night. Not only did she bleach her typically brown eyebrows, but she also dyed her blonde locks jet black. Her hair, inspired by the style of The matrixwas then transformed into a shiny, multi-dimensional bun by hairstylist Vernon François.
Lady Gaga, 2019
Hands down, one of the most iconic looks in Met Gala history is the Haus Labs founder’s golden lashes at Camp: Notes of Fashion Met Gala. The lashes, which took days to execute, were paired with a bubblegum pink lip, blonde bob and graphic liner.
Lily Collins, 2019
Inspired by Priscilla Presley’s wedding makeup, the Emily in Paris star brought all the drama to the red carpet. Hairstylist Gregory Russell revisited the hair look with flower appliqués, while makeup artist Fiona Stiles gave the actress retro purple eye makeup.
Jennifer Lopez, 2019
In keeping with the garish theme of the evening, J. Lo showed up wearing a crystal wig that perfectly matched her Versace dress. As for makeup? She opted for a smoky purple eye and a nude lip.
Lupita Nyong’o, 2019
When it comes to eye makeup at the Met Gala, Nyong’o’s 2019 look trumps creativity. Her makeup artist, Nick Barose, revealed he was inspired by drag queens, while Francois took a page from Marie Antoinette’s playbook.
Billy Porter, 2019
To go with his 24K gold ensemble from The Blonds, the Laid the actor rocked golden gold eye makeup with rhinestone accents.
Cynthia Erivo, 2018
Rather than wearing a headpiece or crown like many stars did for the Heavenly Bodies theme, Erivo opted for jeweled eyebrows. Makeup artist Giselle Ali mixed and matched gemstones of different sizes to mimic a natural shape.
Jasmine Sanders, 2018
The model’s braid was anything but boring at the 2018 Met Gala. It featured real (!!) red roses, gold garlands and strands of pearls.
Cara Delevingne, 2017
Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons’ theme was all about being bold – and Delevingne delivered. Just weeks after shaving his head to life in a yearthe model had hairstylist Mara Roszak paint her head a metallic silver shade.
A year before releasing Fenty Beauty, the singer secretly wore the now-famous brand to the Met Gala. Makeup artist Lora Arellano gave RiRi an over-the-top pink face beat. It was later revealed on Fenty Beauty’s Instagram that the product used to create the look was Killawatt Foil Blush.
Lily Aldridge, 2016
The Manus X Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology theme saw a decent amount of metallic fabrics, but Aldridge took the gold look to the next level: she painted her eyebrows gold.
Miley Cyrus, 2015
the Hannah Montana alum channeled the China: Through the Looking Glass theme with a black cutout dress and a freshly dyed blue pixie cut.
Joan Petits, 2014
For the first white-tie Met Gala, which was themed Charles James: Beyond Fashion, the model wore a stunning Vera Wang gown. But it was her glossy purple lip (courtesy Sir John) that had everyone buzzing.
Nicole Richie, 2013
In keeping with the Punk: Chaos to Couture theme, the former reality TV star showed up with her shoulder-length locks styled in a messy silver and white bun.
Serena Williams, 2011
For the Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty themed event, the tennis star accessorized her look with an opalescent tie. As for makeup, Williams rocked a rosy cheek and a pink lip stain.
Jessica Alba, 2010
For the theme American Woman: Shaping a National Identity, the Honest Beauty founder channeled Old Hollywood with her updo, which was styled by Renato Campora.
The “Like a Virgin” singer embodied the “Model as Muse” theme in a Louis Vuitton ensemble with a silky, structural blue headpiece that drew comparisons to an oversized scrunchie and a pair of bunny ears.
Tilda Swinton, 2008
Swinton committed to a golden hue for the Superheros: Fashion and Fantasy theme, rocking the metallic pigment on her lids and brows.