A Look Back at the Most Over-the-Top Beauty Looks From Past Met Galas
With the first Monday in May right around the corner, there's one thing everyone in the beauty world can look forward to: the Met Gala — and all the best, most out-of-the-box beauty looks born from it. An annual tradition since 1948 (save for 1991, 2000, 2002, and 2020), the celebration always manages to gather the biggest stars in Hollywood. 2022's theme was "Gilded Glamour," 2021's was "American Independence,", and now, for the 2023 Met Gala, the dress code is "Karl Lagerfeld: A Line of Beauty," for the late designer. With that as guests' guide, it's safe to say there will be many hair and makeup moments to look forward to. That also means there's no better time to reflect on the best beauty moments to hit the red carpet over the past few years.
Past Met Galas have provided us with more than enough beauty inspiration to reminisce on. There have been multitier updos adorned with precious jewels, stereotype-defying manicures, truly transformative makeup displays, and even body makeup that doubled as clothing. Some moments are purely theatric, while others are full of meaning. With its fashion-centric overarching theme, this event produces some of the most unique beauty moments we've seen.
This is all to say that it's going to be hard to top the wildly creative hair, makeup, and nail looks we've from some of our favorite celebrities in past. Ahead, we're looking back at some of our favorite Met Gala beauty moments from the last decade.
— Additional reporting by Jessica Harrington
Blake Lively's Hair at the 2022 Met Gala
Blake Lively's tiara was punctuated by the crown braid that sat just below its base.
Kaia Gerber's Hair at the 2022 Met Gala
Kaia Gerber's hair was the star of her 2022 Met Gala look. The model had voluminous, bouncy curls that went well below her back for a dramatic hairstyle that was fitting for the night's opulent theme.
Quannah Chasinghorse's Makeup at the 2022 Met Gala
Quannah Chasinghorse's eyeshadow was the perfect shade of blue to match her dress and accompanying accessories.
Alicia Keys's Hair at the 2022 Met Gala
Alicia Keys put her own spin on "Gilded Glamour" hair accessories, wearing crystal-encrusted discs along the length of her ponytail.
Megan Fox's Hair and Makeup at the 2021 Met Gala
Baby bangs were the name of Megan Fox's Met Gala game: she walked the red carpet with (presumably) clip-in retro pinup bangs.
Amanda Gorman's Hair at the 2021 Met Gala
Amanda Gorman's crystal laurel headpiece had a very special meaning to her. It was inspired by the spirit of the Statue of Liberty, which bears a significant meaning to poets because it's the headpiece worn by the god Apollo, who's the patron of lyrical poetry.
Hailee Steinfeld's Hair and Makeup at the 2021 Met Gala
Hailee Steinfeld was nearly unrecognizable with her bluntly cut blond bob.
Lupita Nyong'o's Hair and Makeup at the 2021 Met Gala
Drawing inspiration from the '90s with a mix of Old Hollywood Western films, Lupita Nyong'o's sculptural Met Gala hairstyle featured gravity-defying volume with looped pieces of hair at her forehead.
Barbie Ferreira's Hair at the 2021 Met Gala
Barbie Ferreira pulled out a completely different look at the 2021 Met Gala, trading in her signature black hair for a "bronde" color and middle-part jewelry.
Gigi Hadid's Wispy Lashes at the 2019 Met Gala
Makeup artist Erin Parsons applied individual feathers to Gigi Hadid's lashes to create this wispy, otherworldly look.
Priyanka Chopra's Hair and Makeup at the 2019 Met Gala
Priyanka Chopra arrived at the 2019 Met Gala looking like a sexy version of the Mad Hatter from "Alice in Wonderland" with a silver crown and creative eye makeup.
Elle Fanning's Nails at the 2019 Met Gala
Tiny charms dangled from Elle Fanning's neon nails, serving up major "I Dream of Jeannie" vibes.
Harry Styles's Nails at the 2019 Met Gala
Defying gender stereotypes yet again, Harry Styles wore mismatched blue nail polish on the red carpet.
Lady Gaga's Hair and Makeup at the 2019 Met Gala
We can't decide which part we like better from Lady Gaga's 2019 Met Gala look: her over-the-top eyelashes, graphic eyeliner, giant pink hair bow, or tiny hair bows underneath it.
Lily Collins's Hair and Makeup at the 2018 Met Gala
Lily Collins's gothic makeup at the Met Gala was a tribute to the "dark arts," according to her makeup artist, Fiona Stiles. Paired with a sculptural, braided updo, Collins's look for the evening was unforgettable.
Tessa Thompson's Hair at the 2018 Met Gala
A line of eye-catching pearls started at the nape of Tessa Thompson's neck and trailed up her three-tier, beehive-like hairstyle.
Jasmine Sanders's Hair at the 2018 Met Gala
We can't help but stop and stare at Jasmine Sanders's romantic, rose-adorned braids at the 2018 Met Gala.
Rihanna's Makeup at the 2017 Met Gala
Rihanna's magenta blush was swept from her cheekbones to just below her eyebrows.
Lupita Nyong'o's Hair at the 2016 Met Gala
Lupita Nyong'o took her hair to new heights with her architectural updo in 2016.
Amandla Stenberg's Hair at the 2016 Met Gala
Amandla pushed back their Afro with a silver, diamond-studded headband and paired it with minimal makeup.
Janelle Monáe's Hair at the 2015 Met Gala
Let's never forget Janelle Monáe's iconic, multilayer braid at the 2015 Met Gala.
Miley Cyrus's Hair and Makeup at the 2013 Met Gala
Miley Cyrus's interpretation of 2013's theme — "Punk: Chaos to Couture" — was spot on with her spiked-up hair and bold red lip.