The 28 Best Met Gala Beauty Looks of All Time
Since its first “Fashion Plate”-themed event in 1971, the Met Gala has remained an annual playground for the kind of visionary, boundless glamor that’s otherwise reserved for photo shoots. It’s no wonder, then, that the Metropolitan Museum of Art has also been the site of iconic beauty makeovers that are sure to set trends — and more than a few headlines.
At the 2015 “China: Through the Looking Glass” party, Dakota Johnson grabbed attention with her ingenuous long ponytail cut to an elastic chin length and arguably sparked the wave of bobs that always sweeps the world. Instagram set. Gisele Bündchen’s scorching bronze glow in 1999 was equally prescient, elevating bombshell nudes to the gold standard of summer makeup.
And yet, for a certain type of red carpet regular, the Met Gala is less about perfecting a signature look and more about crossing the line between whimsical and dramatic. Take Cher, who teamed sparkling Bob Mackie confection with sculptural earrings and lavender eyeshadow in 1985, while Beyoncé went from Sasha Fierce to fashion-forward vamp with the help of a slicked-back style and a smoldering purple lip in 2014—and Rihanna won the 2015 red carpet with the help of a gold coif and a set of transformative brows.
Possibly the most repulsive gala yet, 2019’s ‘Camp: Notes on Fashion’ themed festivities inspired bright palettes and even outfit changes as Lady Gaga stepped onto the red carpet wearing a set of oversized gold lashes and a head-turning platinum bob.
This year, the Met Gala returns with the second installation of “In America: An Anthology of Fashion.” Ahead of the big night, we’ve rounded up the best beauty looks that have made their gala debuts over the years. From impeccably detailed updates to next-level makeup, they’re still iconic even decades later.