Behold: Every Must-See Beauty Moment From 2021's Met Gala

It's the moment we've all been waiting for, (and for a bit longer than usual): the 2021 Met Gala. It might not be the first Monday of May when fashion's most elite typically convene (the Costume Institute's annual affair was canceled last year and postponed to this September due to COVID-19), but better late than never, and we're anxiously anticipating how our favorite designers, models, and Hollywood stars interpret this year's theme, In America: A Lexicon of Fashion, on the red carpet.

Now, the attendees will be required to wear masks once they're inside and the event is set to be comparably smaller and more intimate than years past, but there will still be a step and repeat happening on the iconic Met steps. And, most assuredly, lots of amazing fashion and beauty moments. Anyone who is familiar with the event will know that attendees pull out all the stops when it comes to what they wear, and a matching, dare we say, balls-to-the-wall hair and makeup aesthetic is more important for this red carpet than any other. We're anticipating a true feast for the eyes and will be snapshotting each and every head-turning beauty look in real time below. Keep scrolling! 


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Riri may have arrived fashionably late, but her dramatic couture gown (by Balenciaga) and crystal-studded knit beanie made the wait 100% worthwhile. Her beauty embellishments included a wine-stained lip and dramatic falsies.


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According to her hairstylist Kahh Spence, "this look was inspired by the '70s/'80s, serving Farrah Fawcett meets Cruella Deville." We see it.


Venus Williams
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And just like that, Venus took the Met Gala hair bar to new heights.


Laura Harrier
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Laura Harrier kept her aesthetic ultra-polished with a neutral makeup palette and long, stick-straight extensions with an *almost* impossible level of glossiness.


Joan Smalls
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Okay, so we officially need Joan Smalls to have this pixie 365 days a year.


Cara Delevingne
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Megan Fox isn't the only one who can do the soaking wet waves thing. (If you tuned into last night's VMAs, you'll know what we mean.) Here, the model accents with a magenta smoky eye. 


Paloma Elsesser
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How stunning are Paloma Elsesser's scarlet makeup accents; a metallic outlined lip and prismatic crimson shadow swept all the way up to her hairline. (Not to mention her Old Hollywood finger waves!)


Kim Kardashian
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So, we can't actually see Kim Kardashian's beauty look, but we do know it's under there. 


Kendall Jenner
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Jenner's aesthetic is sweet and pretty, complete with satiny pink lips, defined brows, and fluttery lashes. Her inspiration? Audrey Hepburn in My Fair Lady circa 1964.


Camila Cabello
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We're definitely sensing a Cher vibe here thanks to the singer's ultra-long locks and '70s-inspired purple eyeshadow. Plus, a large dose of mascara and lashes.


Gigi Hadid
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We love the way Gigi Hadid's powder blue shadow juxtaposes her warm, copper strands. Full-on supermodel energy here.


Hunter Schafer
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Hunter Schafer is officially the most terrifyingly perfect human on the red carpet. 


Kristen Stewart
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It's the barrel-rolled bangs for us. Which, by the way, read very vintage (aka 1960s-era) Barbie, no?


Rita Ora
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We're smitten with everything Rita Ora's dishing out: a dynamite manicure, a glittering hair comb, glossy skin and lips, a rosy flush swept from her cheeks to her temples…


Zoë Kravitz
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If you saw Zoë Kravitz's entire look, you'll know her bare-skinned beauty vibe is actually a head-to-toe moment for her.


Kate Hudson
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Kate Hudson looks radiant thanks to a no-makeup makeup look aside from a light touch of lip gloss and a hint of pink-toned shadow.


Emily Ratajkowski
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The model and actress never disappoints on the Met Gala red carpet. We love the red against her bronzed skin and lips.


Jennifer Lopez
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Eleven words I never thought I'd type: Jennifer Lopez is wearing a cowboy hat on the red carpet.


Taylor Hill
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The model kept her makeup subtle with just a hint of nude lipstick, the wispiest of falsies, and a healthy layer of liquid liner. 


Sienna Miller
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Between her radiant skin, bright blonde curtain bangs, and perfectly flicked liner, we're getting a major '60s undercurrent from Sienna Miller's Gucci-centric Met Gala look.


Emily Blunt
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Emily Blunt's celestial accessories and glimmering makeup immediately call to mind Lana Turner and Hedy Lamarr in Ziegfeld Girl circa 1941.


Gabrielle Union
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Gabrielle Union is basically wearing an upside-down ponytail, and honestly, we're here for it.


Lupita Nyong'o
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It doesn't get any more Americana than denim, right? The actress carried the fabric trend of her gown all the way up to her eyelids.


Teyana Taylor
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Major Medusa vibes, and we love it.


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Can we just say that we've missed Lorde? In her true signature fashion, the singer kept her makeup and hair aesthetic barely there and minimal. So ethereal.


Cynthia Erivo
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We can always count on Cynthia Erivo to deliver the best manicure on the whole damn carpet. 


Madison Beer
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The singer's rosy cheeks and emerald-dusted eyes are so dreamy.


Tracee Ellis Ross
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We love the actress's penchant for a bold, structural hair vibe. 


Addison Rae
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Addison Rae kept her Met Gala beauty look soft and warm. Just glossy pink lips, brow-grazing lashes, and a few healthy sweeps of bronzer and blush.


Karlie Kloss
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The model's pin-straight middle part and slicked-back strands really emphasize her orangey red lip.


Zoey Deutch
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It's all about the eyes (and waist-length hair!) for Zoey Deutch. Her shimmering lilac lids are the perfect complement to her gown. 


Taraji P. Hensen
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One look at Hensen's natural curls and shining, technicolor eyelids, and all we can think about is Studio 54.


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Ciara has had some of the most epic hair moments at the Met Gala, and this year's gargantuan ponytail lives up to our expectations. 


Megan Fox
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Just when we start recovering from her VMA appearance last night, Megan Fox gives us bangs. We're also feeling this dominatrix-esque braid she's swinging.


Kaia Gerber
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With retro-styled strands, fanned-out lashes, and a muted rose lip, the model proves that more isn't always more. (Even at the Met Gala!) While Gerber was dressed in Oscar de la Renta, her look was an ode to Bianca Jagger’s 1981 Met Gala look, originally created by Dior.


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Iman arrived looking like the actual sun, so it's not surprising her strands and skin impart the ultimate sun-kissed glow. 


Kim Petras
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Kim Petras really gave the term "ponytail" a whole new meaning at this year's Met Gala. We're equally captivated by the pastel wash of baby blue eye shadow across her lids and temples.


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Now this is a look. Pink metallic coiled strands, chunky black liner, and some light pearl embossing (on the complexion, of course)? Grimes really delivers, and the whole thing feels pretty Dune-esque, no? Not pictured: her very own sword.


Jennifer Hudson
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With her piled-high updo as the focal point, the singer and actress keeps her makeup classic—a bold red lip brings it all together. 


Storm Reid
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What better way to enhance a glowing graphic eye than a champagne-toned pixie cut? Obsessed.


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You're going to notice a trend on this red carpet—glittering stones on the hair, face, and body. Here, Saweetie epitomizes it. 


Serena Williams
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Williams's ultra-deep side part gives an extra punch of drama to her shimmering pink lids, glowing skin, and matte nude pout.


Yara Shahidi
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The actress is a vision in a wash of monochromatic makeup (that earthy rose color is everything) and a nod to Old Hollywood glamour à la Josephine Baker.


Barbie Ferreira
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And just like that, Barbie Ferreira has us impulse buying bright purple eye shadow. Swoon.


Billie Eilish
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Is it just us, or do Eilish's peachy complexion, bleach-blonde bob, and sultry liner job make her look like Marilyn Monroe incarnate?


Naomi Osaka
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We're seeing red, red, and more red. Osaka opted for glimmering crimson hair accessories to amplify her scarlet lips and magenta-washed gaze.


Julia Garner
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Garner accented her striking platinum curls with icy highlighter and a cat eye that's (literally) sparkling.


Maisie Williams
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The actress is pretty much unrecognizable between her Matrix-inspired dress, bleached brows, architectural updo, and burgundy pout. 


Amanda Gorman
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From her waist-length braid to a drizzle of head-to-toe crystals, the co-chair knows how to make an entrance. The inspiration? "A re-imagined Statue of Liberty."


Emma Chamberlain
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How do you take a quintessential '60s beauty vibe and make it 2021, instead? Neon green eyeliner, of course. 


Nia Dennis
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The gymnast accented her sporty Met Gala getup with lots of jewels and lots of sapphire eyeliner.


Keke Palmer
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Diana Ross, is that you? Swathed in what looks like liquid gold, Palmer's natural hair, winged-out shadow, and twinkling, gilded lids feel very disco era, and we're very into it. 

Next: The Breathtaking 2021 Met Gala Looks We'll Be Talking About for Years

Beauty Director

Erin has been writing a mix of beauty and wellness content for Who What Wear for over four years. Prior to that, she spent two and half years writing for Byrdie. She now calls Santa Monica home but grew up in Minnetonka, Minnesota, and studied writing, rhetoric, and communication at University of Wisconsin, La Crosse. She studied abroad in Galway, Ireland, and spent a summer in L.A. interning with the Byrdie and Who What Wear family. After graduating from UW, she spent one year in San Francisco, where she worked as a writer for Pottery Barn Kids and PBteen before moving down to L.A. to begin her career as a beauty editor. She considers her day-to-day beauty aesthetic very low-maintenance and relies on staples like clear brow serum (from Kimiko!), Lawless's Lip Plumping Mask in Cherry Vanilla, and an eyelash curler. For special occasions or days when she's taking more meetings or has an event, she'll wear anything and everything from Charlotte Tilbury (the foundations are game-changing), some shimmer on her lids (Stila and Róen do it best), and a few coats of the best mascara-type product on earth, Surratt's Noir Lash Tint.