Courteney Cox's 40-Year Beauty Evolution

The actress is a beauty and style icon — both on-screen and off.

Courteney Cox long, glossy waves and pink monochromatic makeup
Photo: Rich Fury/Getty Images

Whether she's twinning with Jennifer Aniston or sitting courtside with Kim Kardashian, Courteney Cox emits effortless beauty. Over her 40-year career, the actress has experimented with different looks but has always maintained her glamorous yet understated style. After all, who could forget the outfit inspo she served up as "Mother Hen" Monica Gellar? Heck, even Selena Gomez takes note. In fact, the brown-haired, blue-eyed beauty continues to reinvent herself both on-screen and off.

Keep scrolling for Courteney Cox's beauty evolution over the years.

01 of 25


Courteney Cox half-up half-down hairstyle in her high school graduation photo
Seth Poppel/Yearbook Library

While some of us may be cringe at the sight of our high school yearbook photo (raises hand), Cox has nothing to be ashamed of. Graduating from Mountain Brook High School in Alabama in '82, the fresh-faced and bright-eyed beauty wears a half-up, half-down 'do that's both timeless and statement-making.

02 of 25


Courteney Cox feathered bob and pearl jewelry
Walter McBride/Retna

Cox was pulled into the public eye, shaking her short feathered crop alongside Bruce Springsteen in his "Dancing in the Dark" video. Want to get the look? Ask your stylist for a lot of layers — as long as your hair is medium to thick in density, that is.

03 of 25


Courtney Cox teased '80s shoulder-length hair
Joe McNally/Getty Images

The long-time model (and her appropriately big '80s mane) landed superhero show Misfits of Science. This look is all about the volume; fortunately, it can be achieved even if you've got fine, limp locks.

04 of 25


Courtney Cox cool-girl hair flip and brown lipstick
Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage

Cox's Ace Ventura: Pet Detective-era style is indicative of the times. Brown lipstick (and liner), cool-girl hair flip, and those on-point arches remind us of why we will forever love the '90s.

05 of 25


Courteney Cox voluminous bob with dark red lipstick and brown eyeshadow
Michael Ferguson/Globe

After landing her iconic role as Monica Gellar on Friends, Cox can be seen with neat waves à la bob and dark lipstick. Consider it a '90s take on '40s style.

06 of 25


Courteney Cox spiky updo and side-swept bangs with dark lipstick
Jim Smeal/Galella

"Courteney is the type who'll grow out her bangs and say, 'Don't let me cut my bangs again,'" hairstylist Chris McMillan has said of her on-again, off-again fringe. "But then two years later she'll be like, 'I want bangs. I have to have them!'" If you're debating bangs but are the low-maintenance type, opt for Cox's side-swept version which will keep styling time to a minimum.

07 of 25


Courtney Cox with a box with crayon-bright highlights at the MTV Movie Awards
Steve Granitz/WireImage

Cox went wild at the MTV Movie Awards with crayon-bright highlights. "That was [to play] Gale Weathers, my character from Scream," she told InStyle. "Those magenta streaks are pretty tacky. For some reason I thought that was a good choice for that particular character." To modernize this look, we suggest going for face-framing caramel highlights instead.

08 of 25


Courtney Cox sleek updo and silver sparkly eyeshadow
Steve Granitz/WireImage

The Scream 3 lead rocked a sleek updo and showed off silver lids. "I am not a big fan of sparkly eye shadow," she admitted about this look. But honestly, she could've had us fooled. She pulls off her metallic lids with ease.

09 of 25


Courteney Cox dewy skin and long wavy hair in 2003
Lisa Rose/JPI

Talk about a glow-up. Cox looks fresh and hydrated with her dewy skin and lustrous wavy locks.

10 of 25


Courteney Cox long, straight hair and pink monochromatic makeup
Evan Agostini/Getty Images

The new mom (to Coco Riley Arquette) played up her auburn mane with pink monochromatic makeup and we can't get enough. With her long, glossy mane she proves that "mom hair" can still be glamorous. To get her movement and body, ask your stylist for long layers.

11 of 25


Courteney Cox long straight hair and taupe lipstick
David Fisher/Rex

For the Golden Globes, the Dirt star went clean with taupe lips, shimmery bronze shadow, and stick-straight locks. The neutral earth toned-makeup really makes her blue eyes pop.

12 of 25


Courteney Cox long, voluminous lashes, pink blush and lips, and straight hair
James Devaney/WireImage

Flushed cheeks and pink lips create natural warmth in a fair complexion like Cox's. Meanwhile, a subtle smoky eye and lots of lashes (lengthening mascara, anyone?) bring the focus to her famous blue eyes. A pared-down hairstyle is the perfect accompaniment to this simple yet stunning beauty moment.

13 of 25


Courteney Cox messy updo and smoky eye at the 2010 Golden Globes
Jason Merritt/Getty Images

Here, Cox proves that a messy updo is incredibly versatile. "Great hairdo," the first-time Golden Globes nom said of her big-night style. "I think it's sexy. It looks like it started out very prim and then things got a little dirty." Her smoky eye plays into the sultry vibes.

14 of 25


Courteney Cox wind-swept long layers and "no makeup" makeup
Tom Betterton

Cox appeared on the August cover of InStyle with windswept long layers and "no makeup" makeup. Choppy edges add some interest to this otherwise simple and straight style.

15 of 25


Courteney Cox with a tight updo, glossy lips, sculpted brows, and liner
Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic

A pulled-back updo keeps Cox's sculpted brows and liquid liner front and center. But don't think we didn't take notice of that shiny pink pout either. (By the way, has anyone seen where we put our lip gloss?).

16 of 25


Courteney Cox shimmery eyes, nude lip, and long, loose waves
Kevin Mazur/Getty Images

Cox celebrated Cougar Town's switch from ABC to TBS wearing loose, sultry waves. This style not only creates movement and body — which is great for thin or thinning hair — but it also lends a certain softness that complements her jet-black tresses.

17 of 25


Courteney Cox long, loose curls and neutral makeup
Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

Cox looks relaxed and natural with minimal makeup and laid-back, loose curls. To pull off her neutral makeup, you'll want to reach for a nude palette. Then, grab a 1.25-inch curling iron and curl away from your face to land her undone waves.

18 of 25


Courteney Cox long, tousled waves and thick-rimmed glasses
Angela Weiss/Getty Images

Cox accessorized with tousled waves and thick-rimmed glasses at the Tribeca Film Festival. Whether she uses her glasses because she actually needs them, merely for fashion's sake, or perhaps both, we're here for it.

19 of 25


Courteney Cox with a choppy bob and neutral makeup
Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic

Cox showed off her freshly cropped lob at the Just Before I Go premiere in Hollywood, California. She delivered equal parts sophistication and ease with a soft wave and side-swept part, along with petal pink makeup.

20 of 25


Courteney Cox with a tousled lob and eyeliner in 2016
Chris Haston/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Cox wore a tousled lob for the An All-Star Tribute to James Burrows TV special. To get her texture, invest in a sea salt spray or texturing spray — trust us, you won't be disappointed.

21 of 25


Courteney Cox shimmery burgundy eye makeup and straight, glossy hair
Todd Williamson/Getty

We're in awe of Cox's flawless complexion. After taking care of her skin, she knows that applying the right base (read: foundation and concealer) for her fair skin tone is key to building any beauty look. Here, that would be a pink-tinted lip and bold shimmery eye makeup.

22 of 25


Courteney Cox shimmery copper eye makeup and wavy mid-length hair
Rich Fury/Getty Images

For a Chanel NRDC benefit dinner, Cox styled her medium-length tresses in loose waves and wore shimmery copper eyeshadow. Applying color on both her top and lower lash line serves to showcase her blue eyes.

23 of 25


Courteney Cox mid-length raven waves and shimmery eye makeup

Steve Granitz / WireImage

Cox loves a middle part. It's classic, polished, and complements her raven waves. Switching up your part is also a quick and easy way to change up your look. When deciding which hair part is right for you, consider your face shape.

24 of 25


Courteney Cox with middle-parted tousled waves wearing a blazer

Jean Baptiste Lacroix / Stringer / Getty Images

Whip out your trusty blazer to capture Cox's sophisticated style. Then, opt for tousled waves and a swipe of pink blush to complete this visually effortless look. When going for a healthy flush, you'll need to decide between cream vs. powder vs. cheek stain, just FYI.

25 of 25


Courteney Cox messy updo and shimmery eye makeup

Steve Granitz / FilmMagic / Getty Images

Today's updos favor a more cool and undone finish — just look at Cox as proof. Her swept-back style with face-framing tendrils achieves actress off-duty perfection.

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