CHANGE UNIVERSE: Magazine Jewels
PeopleDecember 27, 2011

Red Carpet Best Dressed Beauties

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After months of hype and endless speculation, Hollywood's biggest night finally arrived, and for the most part, it didn't disappoint (beauty-wise, anyway).

While many like Refinery 29 certainly wished they'd seen more fashion and beauty risks there was just enough stunning on that red carpet to keep them and everyone else including me satisfied.

The dresses will discussed all over the media today, but what really stoke me last night was the  hair and makeup on our fave stars — like Emma Stone's dramatic cat-eye, Gwyneth Paltrow's deconstructed ponytail, and Kristen Wiig's refreshing, low-key style.

Find below Refinery 29 10 A-listers whose beauty looks earned their  red-carpet stamp of approval with my comments below.

Rooney Mara She may be a relative newbie to the red carpet, but Rooney Mara has this thing down better than some seasoned pros. Her sleek bangs, matte red lips, bold brows, and flawless skin, paired with a Givenchy dress, gave us major Audrey Hepburn déjà vu.

The expression in her eyes is stunning and the deja vu is from an Alice in Wonderland kind of look. Photo: Jim Smeal/BEImages

Emma Stone

We'll remember this awards show season as the year of Emma Stone. She's been absolutely killing it with her looks, and last night was no exception. We loved her elongated liner, and her giant, swirly bun was a unique, gorgeous way to pull her hair up. J.Lo should take notes: This is how you do an oversized bun (meaning not perched on the top of your head like a weird flotation device). Well-played Emma.

I totally agree with R29 , her Gianbattista Valli red dress matches the overall lipstick and hair tone.

Peter Brooker/Rex/Rex USA

Gwyneth Paltrow We were starting to worry that we weren't going to have a major gasp moment, but then Gwyneth showed up in all her regal, Tom Ford-swathed glory. We absolutely loved her hair, which was a deconstructed take on a plain old ponytail. From the front, it gave her the illusion of a sleek, short bob, yet from the side it was revealed for the low, bumped up 'do that it was. We love it when a hairstyle shows off its range.

Photo: Jim Smeal/BEImages

Gwyneth washed face is an appealing look to many, she remains American sweetheart in the unpaired simplicity of her look that makes her so grand.

Viola Davis

For many African-American actresses, the pressure to wear weaves on the red carpet is immense. We can only imagine how much that is amplified when you're not only at the Oscars, but you are nominated for one of the lead acting prizes. Which is why it's all the more commendable that Viola Davis chose to ditch her signature wig in favor of her natural texture, or as she put it, "hair by Mae Alice Davis, my mama." We're so glad she did, because we don't think she's ever looked better–forgoing the faux hair made her look younger and fresher than she has in years. We can only hope this is a look she keeps for many red carpets to come.

Photo: Jim Smeal/BEImages

Viola's stunning earrings and green eyeliner enhance her soft features and expressive look.

Berenice Bejo Leave it to the lone Frenchwoman to bring the chic. The Artist's adorable Berenice Bejo wore a gorgeous, slightly structural updo that showcased a beautiful, swooping braid that we instantly fell in love with. We'd like to cop this one for our own hair asap.

She has a European self confident decontracte attitude, how can you go wrong? Michelle Williams Michelle's Louis Vuitton dress was the talk of the red carpet and rightfully so — the fashion-forward peplum was right on trend for spring and the coral hue was a much needed burst of color in a parade of black and white frocks. We love that she kept the rest of her look simple so as not to overwhelm her statement dress —her texturized pixie and fruit punch pout were the perfect accents to her ah-mazing gown. "“Ladies in Hollywood are either fashionable or glamorous. Michelle is fashionably glamorous,” said her stylist Chris McMillan, for Couture Colour. Hear, hear!

Photo: Jim Smeal/BEImages

Michelle when asked about the color of her dress replied  that she did not know exactly, yes she is glamorous , but I would define her fresh fashionably glamorous.

Kristen Wiig Her "casual" hair may have irked the E! Red Carpet Posse (and we all know they are the end all, be all of what constitutes taste in fashion), but we think Kristen Wiig was the embodiment of chic in her loose, effortless waves. We've never understood why red carpet hair had to mean stiff, over-styled strands, so we take issue with the argument that her hair wasn't formal enough for her dress. We thought she looked plenty stylish because she didn't try to gild the lily. “I was in love with Kristen's J. Mendel dress as soon as I saw it," said Dove celebrity stylist Mark Townsend, who did Kristen's hair. "I was so inspired by the silhouette and color. We wanted Kristen's hair to be full with voluminous waves and have an edgy and sexy texture."


Jessica Chastain In a welcome turnaround from her stuffy, dowdy Golden Globes look, Jessica Chastain smartly opted to accentuate her ornate McQueen gown with a soft, half-up hairstyle and a mod makeup look consisting of lots of black line and a nude lip. Suave Professionals celebrity stylist, Jenny Cho, who created Jessica's look, said, "My inspiration for Jessica was to give the whole look a romantic feel that was free and easy with a slight, sexy bump in the crown." We wholeheartedly approve.

Photo: Peter Brooker/Rex/Rex USA

My second favorite one!

Angelina Jolie Once again, Angie brought down the house with her look, this time mixing things up by pairing her usual red lip and black liner with a sexy, tousled 'do. We love it when she goes full bombshell on us.

R29 forgot the uncovered knee, quite sexy I must say.

Photo: Peter Brooker/Rex/Rex USA

Rose Byrne It's amazing what a simple part switch-up can do. After perplexing us with her Dutch Boy bob at the SAG awards, Rose Byrne showed off the versatility of her hairstyle by creating an asymmetrical part that added some much-needed edge to her retro bob. Her stylist, John Frieda International Creative Consultant Harry Josh, wanted the hair to be simple, clean and chic. "We wanted it to be all about shine and a high-gloss finish," he said. Mission accomplished!

Photo: Brian Lindensmith/

A total school girl  wearing a costly evening dress!

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The Source: Refinery 29

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