17 for 17: These Celebs Ruled the Beauty Scene This Year
Throughout the year, these 17 women put their best face forward, delivering hair and makeup looks that made us do a double-take. Here, we—and the pros that know them best—salute their commitment to creativity.
Zendaya: The Red-Carpet Maverick
The star has been known to do her own hair and makeup, but when she needs backup, she calls pro Allan Avendaño. “Her beauty style is often a reflection of how she’s feeling,” he told InStyle. “Red carpets are a way for her to play dress-up and show her creativity.”
Cara Delevingne: The Risk-Taker
The model’s stunning silver crop was painted and bedazzled. It was a rare moment when her signature full brows were upstaged.
Karlie Kloss: The White-Hot Model
“Karlie’s like the Pink Panther of beauty: She’s a smooth operator. And her icy blond hair makes her look even cooler,” says makeup artist Sir John.
Kristen Stewart: The Crop Star
Stewart’s chill vibe extends to her hair. “She’s had it chopped, shaved, and bleached this year. She just loves the process of it all,” says pro Adir Abergel. “With her, it’s not about how it starts—it’s about what the look becomes.”
Rihanna: The Eternal Icon
The ultimate fashion rule breaker, Rihanna recently launched her own makeup line, Fenty Beauty, which includes 40 shades of foundation and multitexture contouring sticks. All the easier for us to mimic her ombré blush and highlights.
Kendall Jenner: The Ideal Canvas
“It’s unique to have defined your beauty look at such a young age,” says Estée Lauder’s global makeup artist Victor Henao. “She’s found her stride with beautiful skin and the occasional pop of red lipstick.”
Yara Shahidi: The Ingénue
The Black-ish actress favors mixed prints and bold colors in her wardrobe yet keeps her makeup game perennially fresh by showing off her gorgeous, dewy skin.
Selena Gomez: The Color Chameleon
Whether she goes for fuchsia eye shadow or oxblood lips, Gomez can balance a bold feature by keeping the rest of her makeup natural.
Zoë Kravitz: The Breakout
“Zoë was born cool,” says her hairstylist Nikki Nelms. “She’s not trying to fit into a formula. When she went blond, she did it for herself.”
Beyoncé: The Beauty Queen
“I have so much love for this girl, it’s like I’m talking about my sister,” says makeup artist Sir John. “Sometimes she’ll say, ‘Do what you feel.’ Other times it’s so specific that I’ll get a 100-page mood board. I don’t embrace trends. When you have a client who can do something that will be seen now and 50 years from now, you have to think about the long run.”
Olivia Palermo: The Mix Master
“Olivia’s fashion sense tends to be more uptown, so she likes to add a little edge with lived-in smoky eyes or plum lips,” says makeup artist Daniel Martin.
Issa Rae: The Fresh Face
“Her skin is to die for,” says Rae’s makeup artist Joanna Simkin. “And her smile is amazing too. I try not to distract from it too much by applying a lot of color, so most of the time we keep the lips neutral. Smoky eyes on her are beautiful as well.”
Diane Kruger: The Modern Classic
“Diane’s bone structure is straight out of a painting,” says makeup artist Gita Bass. “She’s got gorgeous high cheekbones that require zero contouring.” Bass focuses on enhancing Kruger’s “feline eyes,” unless the mood strikes for a berry lip.
Helen Mirren: The Timeless Beauty
“Helen’s style is effortless, because she’s so comfortable in her own skin,” says her hair pro Joey Silvestera. “Her complexity and desirability just keep increasing.”
Emily Ratajkowski: The Siren
Her look is anything but predictable. She may hit the carpet with peacock eyes one night, then clip in a set of faux bangs the next. “For the Met Gala, we actually toned it down a bit,” makeup artist Hung Vanngo told InStyle. “She wanted to swap eye shadow for eyeliner.” The resulting teal cat eyes looked simple yet no less striking.
Lupita Nyong'o: The Statement Maker
“She’s always willing to experiment with color,” says her makeup artist Nick Barose. “But the basis is always luminous skin.”
Janelle Monáe: The Accessories Player
“Confidence helps,” admits pro Nikki Nelms when asked about how Monáe pulls off pins, headbands, and even googly eyes. “Also, I make sure it doesn’t look like a costume.”