The VMAs have changed so much in the last 37 years that MTV has been doing the award show. Hell, it changed a lot in just the last two years with the limitations prompted by COVID-19, going from a huge party-meets-concert to a strictly limited event with socially distanced interviews and no live audience to this year's cautious yet uproarious hybrid. But one thing remains the same: Celebrities always have and always will bring bold, and trend-setting beauty looks to red carpet — in person or otherwise — with hairstylists, makeup artists, and nail techs on hand to get eye-catchingly creative.
With nominees, performers, and presenters like Doja Cat, Lil Nas X, and Normani slated to appear, we've been looking forward to this night since it was announced. They've never let us down before, and they definitely didn't tonight. Ahead, check out our favorite beauty looks of the 2021 MTV VMAs.
Before Doja Cat took on her hosting duties as a blonde all night, she showed up on the red carpet wearing super long, black and burgundy curls, dyed by stylist Jared Henderson using Joico Color Intensity Semi-Permanent Hair Color in Ruby. Makeup artist Ernesto Casillas created one of the most stunning eye-makeup looks of the night with incredibly intense shades of purple that smoked out into an awesome ombré effect.
Lil Nas X
Lil Nas X truly channeled the iconic Little Richard with his mullet. Although it disappeared after the red carpet, we'll always remember the style for its luscious, loose curls and fluffy bangs, which hit mid-forehead. The superstar's skin was also glowing — likely a reflection of pride over all of his well-deserved nominations.
Charli XCX brought the retro Barbella look to life with both her hair and makeup. Her impossibly voluminous curls made her several inches taller, cascading past her shoulders with fullness. To really bring home the retro '60s feel, she wore an almost graphic cut crease that extended out into a wing. But the look was definitely an updated take — just look at those sparkling, sharp, metallic red nails.
We need to know what eye shadow Normani's makeup artist used, because the stunning silver look didn't budge despite a high-intensity performance with a ton of dancing. Her metallic lids were matched by her manicure, but stood in contrast with her '90s-inspired, rich brown lipstick.
Machine Gun Kelly
Machine Gun Kelly keeps bring the creative beauty looks to award shows, and the VMAs are no exception. He arrived on the red carpet with abstract pearl art adhering to his face, along his temple, the side of his nose, and under his cheekbone.
Her boyfriend, Machine Gun Kelly, is becoming a beauty icon in his own right, but Megan Fox has long been known for consistently stunning on the red carpet. At the VMAs, she wore her extra-long hair in wet-look waves that couldn't hold back the shine. She kept her makeup in neutral tones, with her black eyeliner pairing perfectly with her hair color.
Billy Porter's metallic leather look would have been fabulous on its own, but it went to the next level with matching metallic eye shadow. The gunmetal smoky look drew all the attention to Porter's eyes, and his skin glowed with high-set, bold blush.
Jennifer Lopez's appearance on the VMAs may have been a surprise, but the fact that she looked gorgeous definitely wasn't. True to JLo form, her brightly highlighted hair was worn in voluminous beachy, layered waves that reached her ribs. In addition to her hair, we'll definitely be looking to recreate that glossy nude lip, too.
Best New Artist Olivia Rodrigo wore one of the biggest hair trends of 2021: two dainty, face-framing braids. They were given a '90s feels with the cutest little butterfly charms, but they also blended in beautifully wth her super long, glossy waves. Also long: her lashes. The wispy look came care of Byredo Tears in Rain Mascara.
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Originally Appeared on Allure