Compared to other awards shows like the Grammys and the VMAs, the Oscars red carpet is a relatively conservative, straight-laced affair. If you were to google “Oscars beauty looks,” you’d see a screen full of pretty much the same thing repeated over and over: gently smoked-out eyeshadow, nude lipstick (with a few classic reds thrown in), and elegant, loose waves. As lovely and timeless as that sort of beauty look is, it does tend to get rather boring after a while. That’s why we’re grateful for the few adventurous souls who decide to bring something unexpected to the Oscars when it comes to their hair and makeup. It’s easy to wear a bold, colourful dress; it’s not that easy to be willing to take a risk with your face or hair.
Still, a few stars took memorable beauty risks over the decades. Some paid off while others tanked, but they all succeeded in the sense that we’re still talking about them today. Perhaps some of these looks will inspire you to start taking more risks with your hair and makeup this year. And as for the trends that haven’t stood the test of time very well (or weren’t particularly flattering even in the year that they were debuted), try to keep in mind all of your own beauty faux-pas before you judge too harshly.
Most of all, let’s have a round of applause for every woman on this list for daring to have some fun with beauty. After all, whether you’re on the red carpet or walking down the street, it’s just makeup and it’s supposed to be fun. It’s a great time to be a beauty lover because it has become more and more acceptable for women to experiment with bold makeup looks and make a statement with one’s hairstyle–just look at Lady Gaga and Zendaya. It’s women like that who will be remembered years later for the beauty risk that they took, instead of all the other attendees who looked the same with their hair and makeup in the usual tasteful but dull Hollywood glam mode.
Here’s hoping that we get to see even more beauty risk-taking at the 2016 Oscars on Sunday night–and in the meantime, enjoy these looks from the past.
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