Taylor Swift's Best Beauty Looks During Every Era
Whether you love to hate her or hate to love her (or just downright love her, full stop), it's undeniable that Taylor Swift is a beauty icon in her own right. Since entering the public eye in 2006, her signature look has evolved from simple to superstar. In fact, over the years — and in between sold-out stadium tours, famous friend dates, new albums (Taylor's version, of course), and high-profile relationships — Swift has honed in on her classic hair and makeup style, going from soft makeup during her "Teardrops on My Guitar" days to today's power look of platinum-blond hair and her go-to red lip.
It first began when she ditched her curly hair for a straight, shaggy lob in 2010. Then, she picked up liquid liner and turned the cat-eye into her signature — but not before she experimented with black lipstick, orange-red wigs, and plenty of other bold beauty choices. These days, Swift continues to mix it up with different hair and makeup moments (and sometimes even fun nail art) for music videos and during performances, but we still love revisiting her beauty looks of yore.
Take a trip down memory lane with us by remembering Swift's best beauty looks over the years.
The Early Days
The star sometimes shares snippets of her childhood growing up in Pennsylvania on Instagram and YouTube. In her "The Best Day" video, Swift shows off all her best pigtail hairstyles and baby-blond hair.
A fresh-faced Swift arrived at the Academy of Country Music Awards back in 2006, the same year her debut album was released. Her now-famous curls were parted to the side, and she went with a youthful, shimmery blue shadow to bring out her eyes. This was a signature look she stuck to during her time in the country music genre.
Nominated for best new artist, a glowing Swift walked the 2008 Grammys red carpet in polished curls. Periwinkle shadow, an obvious favorite, matched the cool-toned hue of her gown.
Despite Kanye West stealing some of her thunder at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards, the singer stole the spotlight in her own way at the show. Clad in a beautiful sparkling gown, she topped the glistening style off with winged liner, bright red lips, and a loose, wavy bun.
Trading in her curls for straight-across bangs and straight hair, Swift was almost unrecognizable at the 2010 American Music Awards. It was the first time she hit a major red carpet without her signature curls. Plus, she amped up the edge factor with dark, smoked-out eyes and a nude lip.
Swift arrived at the 2011 Vanity Fair Oscar party in a glistening gown, which she opted to dress up with a polished faux bob and one of signature makeup looks: red lips and winged liquid liner.
This year was all about redefining her beauty look. Swift worked the 2012 MTV Video Music Awards red carpet in a white suit with a plunging neckline. She stayed true to her red lips and winged liner preferences but remained committed to her straightened hair and face-framing bangs.
At the 2013 Golden Globe Awards, Swift opted for a modern take on a vintage updo. Her golden hair was pulled back and twisted into a low roll. To accent the look, she wore a purple smoky eye and soft pink lipstick.
Swift wore a boho-inspired minibraid to the 2013 Grammy Awards, which looked extra ethereal paired with her signature middle fringe.
Signature red lipstick? Check. Effortless waves? Of course. A winged eyeliner look? Duh. Swift stuck with her favorite beauty trio for the 2014 iHeartRadio Music Festival, only this time with a blunt bob cut.
On the December 2014 "Wonderland" cover, Swift debuted a mermaid-esque beauty look with wet waves, bold brows, bronzed skin, and visible freckles.
Swift's shaggy haircut made her look like a total rock star at the 2015 Billboard Music Awards, which she paired with a bronzed smoky eye and neutral makeup.
At the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards, Swift showed up with bold, metallic jewel-tone eye makeup — making for absolutely perfect inspiration for New Year's Eve fetes.
At the Grammy Awards, Swift channeled Anna Wintour with her short bob haircut — the shortest the star had gone up until this point.
At the 2016 Met Gala, just three months after her big chop, Swift completely stepped out of her beauty comfort zone with dark lipstick and a contrasting bleached bob.
Swift remained relatively out of the limelight in 2017, but then kicked off her Reputation tour with her staple red lipstick, wispy bangs, and bronde hair color.
Swift looked head-to-toe futuristic at the 2018 American Music Awards, thanks to the frosted lipstick and silver eye shadow she coordinated with her sparkly dress.
Hello, throwback: Swift showed up to the the Time 100 Gala looking primed for a "Love Story" music video remake, courtesy of her whimsical updo, minimal makeup, and bejeweled headband.
We're loving how Swift's shag haircut looks with this lighter shade of blond at the 2019 MTV Video Music Awards.
It's rare to see Swift without her signature bangs, but she swept them up into a romantic updo for the 2020 Golden Globe Awards.
Swift leaned into "Folklore" vibes for the 2021 Grammy Awards. At first glance, you might notice her bared-back makeup and soft updo, but when she turned around you could see her hair was parted into two intricate twists tied up in low pigtails.
At the 2023 MTV MVAs, Swift kept her makeup simple, opting for soft waves and her signature winged liner.