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 paid homage to Priscilla Presley with her colorful and playful style. Along with the lavender shadow and dramatic lashes, Lily's voluminous bouffant and flower accessories made it all the more vintage. 

Lady Gaga

No one does over-the-top glam quite like the Oscar winner. From her spidery gold lashes to her bright pink lipstick and glitzy face jewels, her makeup stole the spotlight. Plus, her mini hair bows were an ode to her early trademark look.


A work of art! The Fenty Beauty founder's makeup perfectly complemented her colorful architectural gown as she took her blush all the way to her eyelids.

Billy Porter

All that glitters is gold. The Pose star commanded the red carpet with his face jewels, blinding eye shadow and grand chainmail headpiece.

Amber Valletta

The supermodel channeled 18th-century glam with her flamboyant and fabulous wig. Her flushed cheeks and rosey lips tied it all together.


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

Katy Perry

Even though Katy's face was covered with a crimson-colored veil, her makeup was still on point, as she rocked shimmery red lips and ocean-blue shadow with a touch of silver.


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


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

Kate Bosworth

Sometimes, less really is more. The actress channeled the Heavenly Bodies: Fashion & The Catholic Imagination theme with her angelic look.

Alicia Keys

The Keys Soulcare founder wowed at the 2022 event, with an embellished floor-length cape that featured 200,000 crystals. And her hair was just as blinding, as it was encrusted with silver studs and shiny discs that brought new meaning to the Gilded Glamour theme.

Quannah Chasinghorse

The Indigenous model and climate activist made a swoon-worthy entrance at the 2021 Met Gala with a gorgeous melted gold cutout gown and eye-catching makeup.

Cara Delevingne

Silver siren. The supermodel pulled 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 lit up the red carpet.

Cardi B

Let's take a moment of silence to appreciate the rapper's captivating lewk. She took 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

Inspired by the famous drag queen, Divine, Lupita nailed the Camp theme with her electrfying beauty look. "We were gagging when we started drawing [her] eyebrows so high," makeup artist Nick Barose told E! News. "That's what camp attitude is. You have fun and carry on."

Gigi Hadid

The supermodel turned the 2019 fashion affair into her own personal runway, turning heads with her dramatic white lashes that resembled icicles.

Jennifer Lopez

J.Lo's unexpected updo and dark eye makeup were departures from her signature style, which proved she's not afraid to step out of her comfort zone for the right occasion.

Tessa Thompson

Pretty in pink. Tessa brought a fashion fantasy to the 2022 fashion celebration with vibrant pink eyeshadow that blended out to her cheeks and coordinated perfectly with her voluminous blush-colored tulle gown.


The Savage x Fenty founder proved why she's the queen of the Met Gala. In 2018, she stopped traffic with her Pope-inspired ensemble and equally dazzling makeup.

Ginnifer Goodwin

The actress turned heads at the 2013 Met Ball with her dramatic eye makeup.

Olivia Rodrigo

For the 2022 star-studded affair, the "good 4 u" singer fabulously rocked sultry lavender-colored makeup and mermaid waves adorned with big butterfly hair accessories.

Lili Reinhart

The Riverdale star transported us to 18th-century France with her Marie Antoinette-inspired look. From the explosion of flowers in her updo to her pink monochromatic makeup, she brought the high (fashion) tea to the 2019 event.

Sasha Lane

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

Miley Cyrus

The "Mother's Daughter" singer exuded goth-glam vibes at the 2013 event with her vibrant lipstick, spiky hairdo and mesh outfit.

Kaia Gerber

The supermodel drew attention on the red carpet with her glitzy cutout gown and va-va-voom curls that cascaded all the way down to her waist.

Ezra Miller

A sight to see! All eyes were 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 was effortless and simple, making it oh-so-timeless. Her Anna Wintour-esque hair was a nice finishing touch to her overall outfit.

Lucy Boynton

The actress is known for her playful and posh looks, which she perfectly displayed at the 2019 Met Gala. Between her mermaid green hair, pastel-colored headband and eye jewels, she ruled the red carpet.

Priyanka Chopra

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

And visit E! Online's 2023 Met Gala page for every photo and must-see moment from fashion's biggest night.