The 2021 Met Gala Beauty Looks That Stole The Damn Show

Though attendees got creative with the 2021 Met Gala mask mandate, the open-air red-carpet arrivals were fair game for guests to showcase the boldest in beauty.

Marking the event's triumphant return, we've seen the star-studded lineup set themselves all over the spectrum. From Hailey Bieber's lived-in beach waves and natural makeup to Gigi Hadid's gloriously retro high ponytail and graphic eye combination, there were plenty of defining moments to behold in the hair & makeup department. And while some guests took extra precautions, such as Kim Kardashian who wore a head-to-toe Balenciaga covering, we haven't stopped talking about the rest of the lot.

With the theme of “In America: A Lexicon of Fashion” mostly addressing attire, the beauty didn't follow a cohesive theme like 2019's Camp looks. Instead, we saw a melting pot of personal style, some bold and futuristic, some elegantly channeling Old Hollywood glamour, and others taking a cue from the '60s mod movement.

Hair was a particular spectacle, with so many of our favorite red-carpet regulars showing off dramatic color changes and sky-high headpieces to make up for a year with so few events. As for makeup, it was well and truly all about eyes and radiant skin.

Click through for the grandest exhibition of larger-than-life hair and cutting-edge makeup to spark joy, courtesy of the 2021 Met Gala red carpet.
Venus Williams served us a real look with this bubble updo.Getty Images
Gigi Hadid debuted a new burgundy hair color, pairing the kitschy look with some retro glam on her eyes.Getty Images
With lightly tousled hair and a refined bronze smokey eye, Hailey Bieber opted for a more pared-back look — well, for the Met Gala, anyway.Getty Images
Cynthia Erivo wins best nails with these diamond-encrusted claws.Getty Images
Cara Delevingne made a statement in more ways than one. Her dramatic burgundy eyes and fresh dark hair paired well with that "Peg The Patriarchy" vest.Getty Images
Lupita Nyong'o never puts a foot wrong and here she is, taking her hair and eyeliner to new heights.Getty Images
Alicia Keys has made it her mission to normalize real-looking skin on the red carpet, and in doing so has gone sans makeup for many a star-studded affair. For the Met, though, the singer stunned with a swipe of red lipstick and pearls in her slicked-back hair.Getty Images
Kendall Jenner let her dress do the talking with a simple updo and her trademark glam makeup. The inclusion of flyaways gives the look a more natural, lived-in vibe.
Naomi Osaka's hair was a structural masterpiece, while her makeup was all about the eyes.Getty Images
Rihanna. Where do we begin? We simply can't talk enough about the Fenty mogul's ability to perfectly match her hair & makeup and sartorial ventures, so we're just going to allow the look to speak for itself.Getty Images
Emily Blunt was radiant, not just because of her luminescent makeup but because she nailed her headgear with this starry piece.Getty Images
Megan Fox traded in her usual center part for some faux bangs for the occasion. Getty Images
Zoë Kravitz provides us with the ultimate evening glam look to replicate this fall.Getty Images
Kehlani gave the "skunk" hair trend her seal of approval with this Farrah Fawcett-meets-Cruella hair look.Getty Images
Yara Shahidi's intricate protective design deserves some kind of award.Getty Images
With the lilac blush and penciled brows, Barbie Ferreira looks straight out of a Marie Antoinette film.Getty Images
Lorde radiated some serious savior energy with this headpiece.Getty Images
Maisie Williams rocked bleached brows and Queen of Hearts-esque makeup to go with her Gothic-chic look.Getty Images
For her first Met Gala, Kamala Harris' step-daughter Ella Emhoff nailed the brief with slick hair and pearl-embellished eyes.Getty Images
Amandla Stenberg took on '90s lined lips along with some freshly bleached locks.Getty Images
Kaia Gerber channeled old Hollywood with sweet curls and pared-back makeup.Getty Images
Regina King went cobalt blue to match her gown and cape.Getty Images
Another newbie to the Met, Emma Chamberlain ticked all the right boxes with this graphic mod eye and a flicked blowout.Getty Images
Keke Palmer looked glamorous and powerful with this golden retro look.Getty Images
Teyana Taylor won best headpiece with this diamond ethereal look that no doubt took hours to construct.Getty Images
Model Paloma Elsesser put an avant-garde twist on pinup-girl hair and makeup and we're absolutely here for it.
Hunter Schafer upped the ante with this decorative spider and white-out contacts. Will we be recreating at home? Most likely not. Do we love? Absolutely.
Though it's hard to look away from her dazzling smile, poet Amanda Gorman shone with this dramatic updo.
Kristen Stewart as we've never seen her before. We're obsessed with this bumper-bang ponytail.
Complimenting her vibrant dress, Camila Cabello channeled Cher with cascading hair and soft purple eyes with dramatic lashes.
Who says a dramatic dress calls for a simple beauty look? Simone Biles looked effortlessly glamorous with this slick and voluminous hair.

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