These Met Gala Beauty Looks Prove Fashion Isn't the Only Way to Stand Out

From Cher's ultra-glam lewk at the 1985 Met Ball to Rihanna's standout makeup at the 2017 gala, take a look at all of the swoon-worthy beauty moments.

By Alyssa Morin Sep 13, 2021 6:54 PMTags
Watch: 2021 Met Gala: By the Numbers

As Tiffany Pollard famously said: "Gorgeous is gonna, you know, devour cute."

When it comes to the Met Gala, the goal is to be called something other than cute. Why? Because when it comes to the fashion extravaganza, it's all about the more is more approach. After all, the Met Ball is the one event where larger-than-life ensembles, in-your-face accessories and exaggerated poses are encouraged.

And it's safe to say clothes aren't the only way to stand out at the star-studded affair.

Yes, wearing a theatrical design for the special occasion will certainly turn heads, especially if it complements the theme. However, that doesn't mean the look ends there, as beauty plays a major role in one's ensemble.

In fact, it can act as the perfect finishing touch to a swoon-worthy outfit.

Case in point? Lady Gaga shut down the 2019 fête with her spidery gold lashes, matching face jewels and bright pink lipstick. It added edge and glamour to her multiple costume changes on the red carpet.

Most Unforgettable Met Gala Moments of All Time

Rihanna, Cher, Cardi B and Zendaya are just a few other celebrities who have rocked show-stopping beauty looks at the Met Gala. But don't just take our word for it!

Scroll through our gallery below to see all of the best hair and makeup moments at the fanciful event.

Lily Collins

A nod to mod! The actress pays homage to Priscilla Presley with her bright and bold beauty. Along with the lavender shadow and exaggerated eye makeup, Lily's voluminous bouffant and flower accessories give her glam a retro feel.

Lady Gaga

No one does over-the-top glam like the Oscar winner. From her spidery gold lashes to her bright pink lipstick and glitzy face jewels, this is a makeup look to remember. Plus, her petite hair bows are an ode to her early days.


A work of art! The Fenty Beauty founder's makeup perfectly complements her colorful architectural gown as she takes her blush all the way to her eyelids, making everything cohesive and playful. 

Billy Porter

All that glitters is gold as the Pose star drips in the opulent color. From the face jewels to the blinding shadow to the chainmail headpiece, Billy is shining brightly from head-to-toe.

Amber Valletta

The supermodel channels 18th-century glam with her flamboyant and fabulous wig. Her flushed cheeks and rose-colored lips tie it all together.


The Homecoming star serves face and bawdy at the 2014 event with her seductive black beaded fascinator, wine-colored lipstick and sultry eye shadow.

Katy Perry

Even though Katy's face is covered with a crimson-colored veil, her makeup is still on point. She rocks shimmery red lips, ocean-blue shadow with a touch of silver on her inner corners and bold brows.


The queen of glitz and glamour! Cher brings the theatrics to the 1985 Met Gala with her majestic purple shadow, extreme contour and holographic lips.


Zendaya shuts down the red carpet with her vivacious makeup and hair. Her rich orange lipstick packs a punch while her Afro adds elegance and grandeur to her ensemble.

Kate Bosworth

Sometimes, less really is more. The actress channels the Heavenly Bodies: Fashion & The Catholic Imagination theme with her angelic look. Her soft rosy cheeks, barely-there eye makeup and pale pink lips make it all the more romantic and ethereal.

Cara Delevingne

Silver siren. The supermodel pulls out all of the stops for the 2017 fashion extravaganza. From her silver-painted head to her dazzling face jewels and blinding body glitter, Cara most certainly lights up the red carpet.

Cardi B

Let's all take a moment of silence to appreciate the rapper's captivating lewk. She takes us to church with her larger-than-life headpiece and bold makeup at the 2018 ceremony—with the theme being Heavenly Bodies: Fashion & The Catholic Imagination.

Lupita Nyong'o

The actress brings the drama to the 2019 Met Ball with her electrifying beauty look. Inspired by the famous drag queen, Divine, Lupita nails the Camp theme. "We were gagging when we started drawing [her] eyebrows so high," makeup artist Nick Barose tells E! News. "That's what camp attitude is. You have fun and carry on."

Gigi Hadid

The supermodel makes the 2019 fashion affair her own personal runway. And naturally, she turns heads with her stark white lashes that resemble icicles.

Jennifer Lopez

J.Lo's over-the-top hair and dark eye makeup are unlike anything she's ever done, proving she's not afraid to step out of her comfort zone for the right occasion.


The Savage x Fenty founder once again proves why she's the queen of the Met Gala. She stops traffic at the 2018 gala with her Pope-inspired ensemble and equally dazzling makeup, which fabulously matches her jewel-adorned design.

Ginnifer Goodwin

All eyes are on the actress, who turns heads at the 2013 Met Ball with her dramatic eye makeup.

Lili Reinhart

The Riverdale star transports us to 18th century France with her Marie Antoinette-inspired beauty. From the explosion of flowers in her updo to her pink monochromatic makeup, Lili brings a fashion fantasy to the 2019 event.

Sasha Lane

The Utopia star dazzles at the 2018 event with a chandelier-like hair accessory and glimmering gold eye makeup.

Miley Cyrus

The "Mother's Daughter" singer exudes goth-glam vibes at the 2013 event with her vibrant red lipstick and spiky hairdo.

Ezra Miller

A sight to see! All eyes are on the Justice League star at the 2019 star-studded affair...quite literally. 


Solange's shimmery eyelids and high-shine lips perfectly complement her braided halo headpiece and sleek do-rag.


You better Vogue! Madonna's makeup is effortless, timeless and simply swoon-worthy. Her Anna Wintour-esque hair is a nice finishing touch to her overall outfit.

Lucy Boynton

The actress is known for her playful and posh looks, which she perfectly displays at the 2019 Met Gala with her mermaid green hair and pastel-colored headband. Her silver-studded eye jewels are a chef's kiss. 

Priyanka Chopra

The Matrix 4 star brings the razzle-dazzle to the 2018 fête with a gold embellished headpiece and bold wine-colored lipstick.

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