Some celebs knock their makeup out of the park, and some seem to always take things way too far.
When you’re a celebrity working on your own makeup look, it seems like it can kind of be a double-edged sword.
On the one hand, you probably have more access to high-end products and highly-skilled makeup artists than anyone else on the planet does, but you’re also subjected to a level of scrutiny that no one else ever has to endure, which can make one small mistake ruin your entire look.
And while most of us get to experiment with our personal styles and let our missteps be immediately forgotten, when a celebrity tries something new that winds up looking a mess, it’s a look that can seemingly stick around forever.
Plus, while most of us just have to plan our makeup around our every day lives, celebs often times have no idea what situations they’ll be dealing with and be photographed in, and what might look good in a normal situation might look terrible under the bright lights of Hollywood. But, of course, we’re also talking about celebrities here, and they’re all obviously the kind of people who love attention. So while some might make some makeup faux pas by mistake, many of them go for some extreme and over the top looks because they want to, or need to, stand out, and it doesn’t really matter to them if they’re standing out because they look absurd or because they look amazing. So, who are some famous faces that always seem to knock their makeup out of the park? And who seems to always take things way too far?
CARRIED AWAY: KIM KARDASHIAN
It’s hard not to give Kim Kardashian props on some of her makeup skills because she is honestly the leader of makeup trends and has redefined what is considered beautiful ever since she hit the scene. But with that said, Kim most definitely wears way more makeup than she actually needs to wear in order to accomplish her preferred appearance. She has made contouring and highlighting into one of the most common makeup trends on the makeup scene today, but Kim’s strongly contoured and highlighted look is something she could still easily achieve while using half the makeup she currently uses, and honestly, her makeup might look better if she cut down on the actual amount that she uses and solely focused on the actual look she is trying to achieve.
Kim has really nice natural skin and the look that she goes for with her makeup is generally very soft with neutral tones, so there’s really no reason for her to pile it on when she’s going for a style that doesn’t deviate very far from her natural beauty.
Also, a pretty, flirty lash is beautiful on almost anyone but falsies that are that absurdly long look completely nuts.
With a face like Zendaya’s, you don’t really need any makeup to look fabulous, but Zendaya clearly knows how to use makeup to enhance her natural beauty and add a little pizzazz to her appearance. The bronze and golden tones on her eyes perfectly match the warm undertone of her skin and the nude lip and the understated face makeup gives her a very easygoing and glamorous natural look. It’s really hard to go wrong if you go for makeup colors that are natural or enhanced versions of the tones that are already in your skin.
Going for golds and bronzes if you have a warm undertone or going for roses and pinks if you have a cool undertone is a near guarantee that you’ll look natural, fresh-faced, and pretty without looking fake or overly made up. Even if you want to go for a more amped-up and glamorous look, sticking with your natural tones is a great way to go for a strong look without looking clownish. And when it comes to a good makeup look, less is almost always more, if you’re young and new to makeup or just unsure of what to do, it’s always good to start slow.
CARRIED AWAY: CHRISTINA AGUILERA
Considering the fact that singer Christina Aguilera has consistently embraced a super over-the-top makeup look for the majority of her public career, it’s clear that it’s a look that she really loves, although, it’s hard to understand why. Aguilera has a naturally stunning face that actually looks exceptionally fantastic with a more nude and natural look to it, but she normally goes for such a heavy and overly intense makeup style that it actually diminishes her natural beauty. More isn’t always better, especially when it comes to makeup.
Going for a really strong makeup look isn’t something that should be avoided at all costs because what is the point of makeup if you can’t have any fun with it? But there’s also no reason to go for the most over the top look on every inch of your face every time you put any makeup on.
And everyone has their personal preferences when it comes to what kind of makeup they like, but it’s almost a universal guarantee that if you’re wearing ten times more makeup than you actually need, it’s not going to look good on you, and unfortunately, Aguilera seems to go overboard every single time.
FLAWLESS: SHAY MITCHELL
Pretty Little Liars star, Shay Mitchell, seems to enjoy glamming herself up nearly any time she goes outside, so it shouldn’t be that much of a shock that she has become a master of rocking a flawless makeup look at all times. While she does like to change things up a bit from time to time, she seems to stick to on-trend makeup styles that are flattering and that she knows she’s good at, which is a pretty foolproof way to make sure you’re always looking awesome without looking totally overdone.
What really makes Mitchell’s makeup consistently work well is that she highlights and contours her face in the way that you’re actually supposed to, so it brings out her facial features beautifully instead of looking like she’s wearing a ton of contour and highlight. Today’s makeup trends actually take a lot of inspiration from classic drag queen looks, but what a lot of women seem to forget is that they already have feminine features, so while contouring and highlighting can definitely be used to enhance a lady’s look, it’s not necessary to carve out fake feminine features with contouring when you already have a female face.
CARRIED AWAY: KATY PERRY
Singer, Katy Perry, has clearly always been a fan of a lot of looks, but when it comes to her makeup, it seems like she has lost sight of the actual look and is wearing a ton of makeup just for the sake of having a ton of makeup on. Even if you’re going for a more off-the-wall makeup look, like a bold lip or unusual eye look, that doesn’t automatically mean that you have to have as much makeup all over the rest of your face as you do on the parts of your face that are supposed to be the strong statement parts of the makeup look.
Obviously, wearing a strong look on top of an otherwise completely bare face would look bizarre, but if you want your makeup to look like a fun departure from the norm on top of some normal human skin then you need to make sure the basic parts of your look actually do look like normal human skin.
Makeup is meant to be used as an enhancer to your overall appearance, but there really isn’t anyone on earth who looks better with so much thick face makeup on that it doesn’t look even remotely realistic.
FLAWLESS: JENNIFER LOPEZ
Jennifer Lopez kind of originated the whole shiny golden glowing goddess look, so it’s no big surprise that it’s a makeup style that she has stuck with for a couple of decades. And having that kind of signature look can work out really well for some people and wind up looking very dated for others, but luckily, Jennifer’s soft glam style is muted enough that it hasn’t really ever gone out of style. Lopez manages to wear a lot of makeup without looking like she’s wearing a lot of makeup because each aspect of her makeup style serves to enhance her features instead of looking like she’s trying to pile it on and cover something up.
While she consistently goes for a strong eye, lip, and cheek look, she goes for a more natural glamorous look and she doesn’t put on extra makeup where she doesn’t need it.
Not to mention, she avoids one of the biggest pitfalls that so many celebs and regular people seem to fall into when they’re going for a heavier makeup style— her foundation is applied flawlessly enough that it looks like her actual skin, instead of looking like a thick base layer covered in even thicker detailing makeup.
CARRIED AWAY: NICKI MINAJ
Considering Nicki Minaj’s obvious preference for bubblegum pink colors it’s no surprise that she tends to go for a more colorful and intense makeup style, but enjoying bright pops of color doesn’t mean that you need to apply your makeup with a trowel in order to make it look good. If you want something, in particular, to really stand out, it makes sense to apply it with an extra heavy hand, but if there are parts of your look that you don’t need to look extreme, then you’d be much better off reeling yourself in. Nicki is obviously a fan of some bold lips and bold eyeshadow looks, but she still takes everything else overboard when she really doesn’t need to.
A thick layer of foundation followed by some extreme contouring and highlighting is a heavy makeup look, even without the heavy shadow or super intense lip, so wearing the most extreme looks on every portion of your face looks way too crazy and over the top. And Minaj has a naturally beautiful face, so carving out all of her facial features with a heavy dose of makeup is a completely unnecessary step.
FLAWLESS: LUPITA NYONG’0
Actress, Lupita Nyong’o, has some incredibly dewy and beautiful skin naturally, and she executes some near perfect makeup application, in the sense that it’s nearly impossible to tell whether or not she’s actually wearing makeup or if that’s her natural, insanely fabulous skin. Achieving a natural look that actually looks natural is no easy feat, and while starting off with a beautiful natural base certainly helps, it’s a surprisingly easy style to mess up. A natural makeup look usually looks good on everyone, but the minute you put on just a smidge more makeup than you actually need, your natural makeup look can start looking completely unnatural.
And on the other side of that coin, sometimes, making a natural makeup look work for an evening event can be tough, because you don’t want to look glam from the neck down and then look like you just forgot to put on your makeup or ran out of time. But with a naturally flawless face like Lupita’s it’s easy to rock a dewy face with a pop of peach on the lip and still look totally ready and appropriate for the red carpet, and ultimately, a classic and natural look never goes out of style.
CARRIED AWAY: LADY GAGA
Obviously, going for some exceptionally wild makeup styles is a part of Lady Gaga’s artistic expression, and honestly, there’s nothing wrong with wanting to go really off the wall with your makeup if that’s the look that you like and that suits you. However, where Lady Gaga seems to fall short is in the fact that she seems to go for the most extreme look that she can manage under any circumstance, even if there doesn’t seem to be any thought or reason behind it.
Going for a strong and intense style can work if you know how to work it, but piling on a face full of makeup just for the sake of having a lot of crazy makeup on your face will still leave you looking overworked and overdone, and trying out more experimental makeup just for the sake of looking different from everyone else isn’t the kind of artistic statement that Gaga seems to wish it was. If you want to go outside of the box with your makeup look then you should at least have an idea of where exactly you want to go stylistically, because that can easily be the difference between looking artistic and looking desperate for attention.
FLAWLESS: PRIYANKA CHOPRA
It’s pretty hard to imagine a style that would make Indian actress, Priyanka Chopra, look bad, so it’s not a huge surprise that she seems to enjoy experimenting with her makeup looks a bit. Chopra seems to reliably rock a very classic fresh-faced look as her usual makeup fallback, but she also likes to change things up with the occasional bold lip, bold eyeshadow, or both. So why does she look so reliably awesome even though she likes to play with her makeup? Well, obviously, her stunning face helps out a lot, but Priyanka also seems to play it safe when she wants to play because she’ll normally go for a statement eye look but keep everything else more muted, a bold lip with everything else toned down.
If she wants to go for a strong statement look on both her eyes and lips, she makes sure that they’re at least coordinated with each other.
If you want to go for a strong look, then you actually want to go with one particular look, so going bold with two clashing colors or styles is an easy way to look overdone, but going with two bold looks that match each other can leave you looking glam without looking like a clown.
CARRIED AWAY: KYLIE JENNER
Kylie Jenner has built a career around makeup so it’s no surprise that she loves to wear it, but her typical makeup look exemplifies why less can be more and why you shouldn’t wear more makeup than you actually need. Kylie does her makeup so intensely that it honestly makes her face look like it has been photoshopped already, but seeing someone look like that in everyday situations looks really bizarre.
When young girls pile on their makeup, it usually makes them look older than they are, which you can see in how much older Kylie looks than her big sister, Kendall.
It’s understandable that Kylie wants to show off her makeup products on her own face, but the older and unnatural look of her usual makeup doesn’t seem like it would be the best advertisement for her product line since most people aren’t trying to look that way when they’re doing their everyday makeup. Not to mention, if you can stand out among the Kardashian clan and look like you’re wearing super heavy makeup even in comparison to super heavy makeup wearers then you have definitely gone too far, and clearly, the young and pretty, Kylie has gone way further than she needs to.
FLAWLESS: JANELLE MONAE
Wearing fun and daring makeup isn’t an automatic ticket to looking overdone, so long as you play it like Janelle Monae and don’t actually overdo it. Some bright shocks of color can definitely be fun to experiment with, and while it’s the kind of look that could easily veer into clown territory it’s easy to make it look fresh and fun, instead of intense and scary, if you make sure that you’re using powerful pops of makeup, instead of coating your entire face in bright and shiny.
The blue eyeshadow Janelle is wearing obviously stands out like it’s meant to, but by keeping it solely on the lid and going for a very natural look in the rest of the eye area, it looks fun instead of overdone.
And going for a bright lip and a bright eye can be a bit of a risk, the overall natural look of the rest of her face makes her lips and eyes stand out like she wants them to without looking like she’s wearing a face full of slap. And if you ever want to go for a fun look like this, then you need to make it actually look fun and not like you spent hours poring over every inch of your face.
CARRIED AWAY: GWEN STEFANI
Singer, Gwen Stefani, certainly seems to love a particular old Hollywood makeup look, but while the red lip and doe eyes are flattering on her, in general, she also puts on way more makeup than she actually needs. Her foundation and face makeup is applied so heavily that it actually looks quite bizarre in contrast to the skin on her body, and her finishing powder is thick enough that it makes her face look dry and cakey. But what’s more, even beneath that thick layer of makeup, it’s easy to see that Gwen’s natural skin is in pretty good shape, and if her neck and chest are any indications, it doesn’t look like she has any major problems with blotching or discoloration, so putting that much makeup on her face is almost certainly unnecessary.
Face makeup that evens out your skin tone and then highlights and enhances your facial assets is a great way to look flawless and polished, but putting on makeup just for the sake of putting it on is pointless and usually winds up making you look worse instead of better.
And unless you’re dealing with some major skin issues, having some of your natural skin peeking through beneath your makeup easily avoids looking unnatural.
FLAWLESS: ZOE KRAVITZ
Zoe Kravitz certainly got lucky by winning the genetic lottery, and that will certainly give anyone a leg up on discovering and perfecting their own personal style. Zoe’s favorite go-to look seems to be a smoky eye with soft and muted colors on the rest of her face, and after seeing the look on her again and again, it’s easy to see why it’s one she likes to rely on for nearly every event. And the fact that she manages to rock a smoky eye without looking like she’s wearing eight pounds of makeup just goes to show that you can still go for a powerful and dramatic look without making yourself look ridiculous or borderline inhuman.
Usually, it helps to pick a specific feature that you want to be the focal point of your overall look, and if you concentrate your makeup intensity in one particular area and leave everything else looking more subtle it’s pretty hard to make yourself look overly made up. But one thing to remember about a smoky eye is that it can easily venture into the land of raccoon eyes, so make sure that you’re choosing to smoke out your eyeshadow with a color that actually suits you.
CARRIED AWAY: LILY COLLINS
Rocking a vampy look when you have fair skin can look awesome if it’s done right, but if any aspect of it looks a little off, it can really look like a mess. Lily Collins’ foundation makeup does appear to be a good color match for the skin on her body, but it looks like she may have put on too much powder or something because her face still looks too ghostly white. And while the lip is a dark color, especially on someone as light as her, the kind of faded look that it has seems to make her look even more washed out.
Lily is actually probably best recognized for her super thick eyebrows, but in this instance, it looks like she may have filled them in too much, and the color of whatever eyebrow product she used looks like a much ashier color than her natural hair is. Perfecting a look for an entertainment industry event can be a tricky business because the drastically bright photography lights can bring out subtleties in makeup that you normally wouldn’t even know were there, but unfortunately, it’s those little mistakes that can completely throw off how your face looks overall.
FLAWLESS: EMILY RATAJKOWSKI
Pulling off this kind of ultra-natural looking makeup style actually takes an enormous amount of effort and skill, but clearly, in the case of Emily Ratajkowski, it’s worth all of the trouble. Ratajkowski’s makeup is so subtle that it barely looks like she’s even wearing makeup, but what she has really done is paid incredibly close attention to what colors and textures match her face perfectly and then made sure that it’s subtly and flawlessly applied from top to bottom.
When it comes to makeup, you don’t ever want to be wearing more than you need, but an essential aspect of a natural makeup look is not having any obvious signs that you’re wearing makeup.
That might seem absurdly obvious, but applying too much foundation or powder, having too heavy a hand with your contour, finishing your makeup in a way that’s overly matte or overly dewy, or letting any part of your face makeup crease or look dry, will immediately kill any illusion of a naturally flawless face. But one thing that luckily makes this tough to achieve look a little easier is that ultimately you want to end up with a makeup look that actually looks like you.
CARRIED AWAY: KATIE PRICE
English glamour model, Katie Price, has made a career out of her beauty, so it’s completely unnecessary for her to pile on pounds of makeup when her starting off point is already extraordinarily pretty. She has always been a fan of the over the top look, but she has kept the same exaggerated makeup style for almost her entire career, so aside from being way more than she needs, it’s now a look that’s starting to appear distinctly dated on her. A touch of bronzer can certainly warm up the face a bit, but when you bronze up the entire face, it immediately makes you look overdone, not to mention, that it hearkens back to a particular sort of Paris Hilton/Britney Spears/Lindsay Lohan ultra mystic tan era that was already out of style nearly a decade ago.
There’s nothing wrong with loving a glam look, but if you want to consistently wear really strong makeup then it’s essential that your style evolves with the times.
And now that Price isn’t aiming at an audience solely of young guys it would probably benefit her to just ease up a bit and go for a more classic beauty makeup look.
FLAWLESS: GIGI HADID
If there’s anyone in the world who shouldn’t be stressing about tweaking their face with cosmetics, it should definitely be a young twenty-something supermodel, who literally makes a living off of her good looks. So while Gigi Hadid is clearly one girl who really doesn’t need a lot of makeup to look good, it’s definitely a huge plus that she actually seems to realize that. When you’re young, it’s pretty much a guarantee that capitalizing on your natural fresh face and dewiness will leave you with a winning makeup look, and avoiding anything too harsh or stark on the face will keep your assets looking enhanced without looking overworked and overdone.
What’s extra awesome about a look like Hadid’s is that while, obviously, she has more experience and skills than most, her basic look is also a very achievable everyday look. A nice base, a light touch of eye makeup, a lip stain, and a nice highlighter is all that anyone would really need to emulate this kind of an overall look, and the makeup application is so subtle and subdued that even the most inexperienced makeup wearer would have an incredibly hard time screwing it up.
CARRIED AWAY: TAYLOR MOMSEN
Well, at least it’s clear that actress and singer, Taylor Momsen, really, really wants to sell herself as a genuine hard rocker chick. And while Momsen’s ultra-dark eye looks are definitely a unique signature makeup look, sometimes, it’s good to ask oneself if a particular look is unique because it simply does not look good and most people wouldn’t want to wear it. Unfortunately, that seems to be the case here, because baby-faced Taylor just looks like a cute teen who is desperately trying to appear older, edgier, and more mature than she really is. And while her dedication to her band, The Pretty Reckless, is undeniable, her overall appearance reads more Avril Lavigne than Joan Jett.
Sure, she has the quasi-gothic raccoon eyes, but nothing about her face looks genuinely unusual or rebellious. It looks like a preened and nearly perfect attempt to look radical and like she doesn’t really care. But girls who really don’t care don’t have flawlessly applied face makeup, in fact, they probably wouldn’t bother with perfecting any of their makeup skills at all. And there’s nothing wrong with wanting to look red carpet ready, but pretending that you’re too cool to care when you obviously do is never a good look.
FLAWLESS: GAL GADOT
If you’re the type of girl who prefers a more natural makeup look, then clearly, it doesn’t hurt to start off looking as spectacular as Wonder Woman star, Gal Gadot, looks. Makeup usually looks it’s best when someone is simply using it as a tool to enhance their natural appearance, covering up or minimizing whatever someone might not like and highlighting any features that are particularly striking, and Gadot’s typical looks are doing just that. Whether she’s rocking a red carpet or is just sporting something casual for an everyday look, Gal’s makeup pretty much always looks like the best, most perfected version of her actual normal face.
Going glam and changing up your style can definitely be fun and there’s nothing wrong with experimenting, but if you want to look reliably fantastic, then classic and simple is a foolproof method of achieving that. Gal does some very basic enhancement with her eyes, lips, and cheeks, but overall, sports a makeup look that is beautiful and classic enough for a major event but fresh and easygoing enough to wear on a quick trip down to the grocery store. But again, when starting with a base like that it’s pretty impossible to not look great.