The Best Met Gala Beauty Looks of All Time

Never sleep on the hair and makeup.

Met Gala Lead Rihanna, Cher, Lady Gaga
Rihanna, Cher, Lady Gaga. Photo:

Jackson Lee/FilmMagic, Vinnie Zuffante/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images, John Shearer/Getty Images for THR

The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute Gala, a.k.a. the Met Gala, tends to be all about fashion. But that doesn’t mean that the beauty looks are any less interesting. In fact, many of the most memorable Met Gala looks, full-stop, have been paired with some of the best hair and makeup that we've ever seen on the red carpet.

But don't just take our word for it. Below are 17 of the best Met Gala beauty moments of all time. Scroll down and take a glamorous walk down memory lane. 

01 of 17

Bianca Jagger

Met Gala Bianca Jagger
Biance Jagger.

Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

The theme for the 1981 Met Gala was the Eighteenth-Century Woman, and Bianca Jagger stuck with it. She paired her Dior gown (which Kaia Gerber later emulated with her own Oscar de la Renta version at the Met Gala in 2021) with a voluminous bob with retro curls pinned back. Classic and elegant, it's a vintage hair look that has become a red carpet-staple.

02 of 17


Met Gala Cher

Vinnie Zuffante/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

The Costumes of Royal India exhibit at the Met in 1985 was all about vibrant color and rich embellishments. Cher wore the prettiest lavender shadow and lined her eyes with a simple black liner to match her jeweled ensemble.

03 of 17

Christy Turlington

Met Gala Christy Turlington
Chrisy Turlington.

Fairchild Archive/Penske Media via Getty Images

Channeling the iconic Audrey Hepburn for the 1992 Met Gala, the theme for which was Fashion and History: A Dialogue, Christy Turlington kept her makeup minimal and swept up her hair with a sleek, curled updo.

04 of 17

Princess Diana

Met Gala Princess Diana
Princess Diana.

Richard Corkery/NY Daily News via Getty Images

Princess Diana's one and only Met Gala appearance was in 1996, which was a celebration of Christian Dior. She wore a classic red lip and kept her feathered cut naturally undone for a refreshingly relaxed look.

05 of 17

Amber Valletta

Met Gala Amber Valletta
Amber Valletta.

Evan Agostini/Getty Images

For 2004's theme of Dangerous Liaisons: Fashion And Furniture In The 18th Century, Amber Valletta went all out with her Marie Antoinette-inspired look. To bring back the pouf, Valletta swept her blonde strands high above her head, flanked by smaller curls pinned on their side. She kept her makeup relatively simple, keeping the focus on the deep-pink lip.

06 of 17


Met Gala Iman

LAN/Corbis via Getty Images

2010's Met Gala of American Woman: Fashioning a National Identity showcased a lot of soft, romantic looks. Iman styled her hair in finger-wave curls and a low bun paired with sultry makeup — think a deep, smokey eye and oxblood-red lip.

07 of 17

Naomi Campbell

Met Gala Naomi Campbell
Naomi Campbell.

Kevin Mazur/WireImage

An ode to one of the most legendary fashion designers, 2011's Met Gala celebrated Alexander McQueen. Naomi Campbell's blunt bangs and high updo served as a sleek backdrop for all the baubles.

08 of 17


Met Gala Beyonce

Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images

The 2014 Met Gala celebrated American couturier Charles James, for whom Beyonce went full-on femme fatale with a vampy plum lip and a beaded veil on top of her slicked-back updo.

09 of 17

Lupita Nyong’o

Met Gala Lupita Nyong'o
Lupita Nyong'o.

Taylor Hill/FilmMagic

Lupita Nyong'o's structural updo at the 2016 Met Gala was the moment. Nyongo's stylist Vernon François swept Nyong'o's natural hair up high above her head in a stunning tower, which he told Fader was meant to highlight the versatility of textured hair and pay tribute to the structured hairstyles that have existed throughout traditional African culture.

10 of 17


Met Gala Rihanna

Jackson Lee/FilmMagic

We might be able to trace back the blush renaissance to Rihanna's 2017 Met Gala beauty look. Created by makeup artist Lora Arellano, Rihanna's makeup featured bright magenta blush with a slight shimmer finish. The color was draped boldly across her cheeks and blended upwards into her eyeshadow for the ultimate monochromatic pairing.

11 of 17


Met Gala Zendaya

Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images

Another memorable beauty look from 2017's tribute to Comme des Garçons's Rei Kawakubo, Zendaya wore her natural hair in a brushed-out, voluminous afro that almost overshadowed the bright, coral-orange lip.

12 of 17

Cardi B

Met Gala Cardi B
Cardi B.

Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images

The 2018 Met Gala, for which the theme was Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination, marked Cardi B's first time attending — and, no surprise, she ruled the red carpet. Makeup artist Erika La’ Pearl gave the rapper a bold red lip paired with thick winged liner, perfectly complementing her embellished hairpiece.

13 of 17

Lily Collins

Met Gala Lily Collins
Lily Collins.

Taylor Hill/FilmMagic

With a theme of camp, the beauty looks exceeded everyone's expectations at the 2019 Met Gala. Lily Collins channeled Priscilla Presley circa her wedding day to Elvis Presley. The camp came through: Collins wore bright lavender shadow, and adorned her long brunette hair with a white headband and flower decals.

14 of 17

Lady Gaga

Met Gala Lady Gaga
Lady Gaga.

John Shearer/Getty Images for THR

The 2019 Met Gala continued to serve all the right looks. Lady Gaga walked the red carpet in a retro wavy bob with some strands tied into tiny bows at the crown of her head, as well as a neon-pink lip. But the real star of her beauty look was the spiky gold and silver lashes.

15 of 17

Gigi Hadid

Met Gala Gigi Hadid
Gigi Hadid.

Theo Wargo/Getty Images

Gigi Hadid debuted Jessica Rabbit-inspired red hair on the red carpet at the 2021 Met Gala. She pulled it into a high ponytail, and makeup artist Erin Parson kept the va-va-voom vibe going with the '60s vibes with periwinkle shadow and winged liner.

16 of 17

Olivia Rodrigo

Olivia Rodrigo
Olivia Rodrigo.

Kevin Mazur/MG22/Getty Images for The Met Museum/Vogue

Part '90s nostalgia and part '20s Old Hollywood glamour, Olivia Rodrigo's beauty look for the 2022 Met Gala was as whimsical as it gets. Celebrity hairstylist Clayton Hawkins styled her hair in loose waves with butterfly decals while makeup artist Lilly Keys splashed lilac and lavender on her eyes for an ethereal feel.

17 of 17

Kaia Gerber

Met Gala Kaia Gerber
Kaia Gerber.

Gotham/Getty Images

Kaia Gerber debuted voluminous, '70s-era disco curls at the 2022 Met Gala, which celebrated Gilded Glamour. She added two jeweled pins on each side to match her silver dress, amping up the drama with ease.

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