The MTV VMAs are a veritable playground for celebrities to show out in their most fun, over-the-top, and sometimes just plain crazy looks. The award show has given us such iconic moments as Lil’ Kim’s purple wig and matching pasties, Gwen Stefani’s face gems, and Christina Aguilera’s Dirrty era black and red streaks. Now, after over a full year of socially-distanced award shows, everyone is going all out to deliver the drama for the 2021 VMAs. And lucky for us, that includes some truly fabulous beauty looks.
Purple might be the reigning color of the evening. Host, Doja Cat kicked off the tone with her Y2K-reminiscent magenta streaks and sunset blue and purple eye shadow. Hot off the release of her new album, Kacey Musgraves arrived wearing an enormous purple feathered hat and matching glitter eyeshadow topping her signature winged liner. Even pop icon Cyndi Lauper came to present at the awards with her lavender hair in messy rocker waves.
Another trend that emerged during the night was a theme of changing up old Hollywood classic looks with a wild twist. Saweetie channeled and exaggerated Marilyn Monroe with her platinum blonde hair in pin curls. Camila Cabello brought her 2021 princess energy, but with hot pink geometric eye makeup and bold fuchsia blush. Paris Hilton showed up to the carpet rocking a high ponytail that was larger than her beloved Pomeranians. Red carpet beauty is back and refuses to be ignored.
Below, see all of the best beauty moments from the 2021 MTV VMAs.
Doja Cat is giving us Scary Spice vibes with her hair and makeup — and we are loving it. Hair stylist JStayReady created the hair look using Joico products (including Joico Color Intensity Semi Permanent Hair Color in Ruby Red for the streaks) and ghd hot tools. For Doja Cat’s immaculate glam, makeup artist Ernesto Casillas first prepped her skin with the Dermaflash Luxe exfoliating and peach fuzz removal device to smooth her complexion and then created this violet smokey eye with Pat McGrath Labs makeup and KISS lashes.
This look is anything but subtle, but iridescent purple glitter eyeshadow adds just the right hint of sparkle. Her longtime makeup artist Moani Lee created the makeup look using Pat McGrath Labs makeup. By the way, the eyeshadow shade is Astral Amethyst Moon from the Mothership IX Palette.
Girls just want to have fun, and that includes their hair color.
Saweetie is the picture of a modern Marilyn from head to toe with this look.
Camila brought an ’80s makeup moment to the red carpet with abstract neon eye makeup and dramatic blush draping on her temples. To get her graphic eye look, makeup artist Patrick Ta for L’Oréal Paris actually used the Pro-Matte Liquid Lipstick in Red Affair and Framboise Frenzy for the high-pigment design. Her super shiny, center parted pony tail was created by hairstylist Dimitris Giannetos using ghd hot tools.
It’s not really the VMAs unless Paris Hilton is there, and this massive silky ponytail announces her arrival.
Black rhinestone hair accessories elevate girlish pigtails to gothic glamour.
Billie Eilish’s Happier Than Ever era look is more low key than we’ve ever seen her before at the VMAs, but the singer still looks radiant with her tousled platinum hair and glowing skin.
Olivia Rodrigo looks sweet in her sherbet dress with matching pink lipstick and super glossy hair. Makeup artist Molly Greenwald created the makeup look using Byredo makeup; she blended two tones of Byredo Lipstick (in shades Tokio Rose and Semi-Formal) to find the perfect color. Hairstylist Clayton Hawkins styled her long hair using Matrix products, including A Curl Can Dream Lightweight Oil for the high shine.
Billy Porter showed some rock and roll style with a smokey eye and a metallic silver manicure.
Halle & Chloe Bailey
The Bailey sisters look equally stunning with lush lashes, nude lipstick, and extra-long locs.
Blink and you’d miss it, but Avril Lavigne wore a hint of hot pink shadow with her signature punk black eyeliner and thick lashes. Makeup artist Adam Burrell used KVD Beauty to create the look, particularly the Super Pomade in Aubergine for the pop of color.
Lil Nas X
Megan Fox & Machine Gun Kelly
A couple that glams together stays together? Megan Fox and Machine Gun Kelly both were bringing under-the-sea vibes: Megan with her wet-look hairstyle and MGK with pearl detailing on his face. Hairstylist Andrew Fitzsimons created Megan’s mermaid hair with Hidden Crown hair extensions and a healthy helping of Living Proof No Frizz Vanishing Oil and Flex hairspray to make her look drenched.
With Barbarella hair, sharp-as-knives liner, and 3-D ruby rhinestone nails, Charli XCX looked dangerously hot.
Normani’s combination of a wrapped ponytail, perfectly arched brows, and winged liner looks like chic architecture.
Bretman Rock looked incredible rocking Farrah Fawcett-esque ’70s curls and a multicolored French manicure.
Even with a partially obscured face, we can appreciate Kim Petras’s strong brows, petal pink lips and sleek high ponytail.