You're Welcome: Every OMG Beauty Look From the 2021 VMAs Red Carpet

Over the years, MTV's Video Music Awards have played host to some of the most iconic celebrity moments of all time. Think Rose McGowan's 1998 "naked" dress (aka a barely there, drippy beaded ensemble by Hanson’s label, Maja), Lil Kim's 1999 lavender, sequined nipple pasties, Britney Spears' 2001 onstage python moment, Lady Gaga's 2010 raw meat venture… Need we say more? 

Noting what our favorite entertainers choose to don for the festivities is always a wild and exciting ride, but their chosen aesthetic in the beauty department is just as important. (For instance, what would Lil Kim's aforementioned outfit have been without her matching lavender wig!?) We're expecting nothing but the best from this year's roster of attendees, and lucky for you, we'll be cataloging each and every jaw-dropping beauty look in real time so you don't miss a beat. Keep scrolling!


Rita Ora
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It's official: Rita Ora's leaf-adorned twisted buns and her sultry black lids deserve their own award.


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To really make that smoky eye sing, the singer keeps the rest of her makeup subtle via a flawless glow and satiny pink lips. 


Simone Biles
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The gymnast makes a stunning case for eyebrow-scraping falsies and waist-length strands. 

Key beauty product: Garnier Fructis Sleek & Shine Anti-Frizz Serum ($5)


Travis Barker + Kourtney Kardashian
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Kourtney Kardashian does her signature so well: slicked-back hair with patent-level shine coupled with A) ultra-bronzed skin and B) Travis Barker. 

Key beauty product: KVD Beauty Good Apple Skin-Perfecting Hydrating Foundation Balm ($38)


Megan Fox + MGK
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Megan Fox and Machine Gun Kelly look like they've just exited the deep dark depths of the ocean—what with his complexion encrusted with pearls and her slicked-wet waves. Now we're just waiting for their siren song. 

Key beauty product: Living Proof No Frizz Vanishing Oil ($30) 


Billie Eilish
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Billie Eilish's face-framing fringe and baby blonde bob is the sweetest accent for her peachy makeup aesthetic. 


Avril Lavigne
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Look closely, and you'll see how the singer carried her black-and–hot-pink color scheme to her lashed-up eye makeup look. 

Key beauty product: KVD Beauty Super Pomade Vegan Eyeliner, Shadow and Brow Pigment in Aubergine ($21) 


Paris Hilton
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A voluminous high ponytail? Sun-kissed skin? Lashes for days? That's (all) hot. 


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Platinum hair is trending on the VMAs red carpet. We love Saweetie's classic take: a pin-straight side part with retro curls. 


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Can we just have a moment of silence to appreciate the perfection that is Normani? Between that pulled-out cat-eye, those expertly laid edges, and the ponytail of all ponytails, we're pretty much speechless. 


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FYI: This is how you execute the ultimate gray smoky eye, folks. We're also loving her mix of loose strands, twists, and braids, which her hairstylist Malcolm Marquez says had a definite '90s era inspiration to it.

Key beauty product: Got2B Flex Insta Hold Hair Spray ($5)


Doja Cat
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Doja Cat didn't disappoint as one of the most highly anticipated red carpet arrivals. This glittery ombré purple eye shadow vibe is everything.

Key beauty product: Pat McGrath Labs Mothership IX Eyeshadow Palette - Huetopian Dream ($125)


Kacey Musgraves
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While it's hard to peel our eyes from the country singer's crown of purple feathers, Musgrave's shimmering lilac lids and 10/10 liquid liner job are definitely worth a screenshot (or five).

Key beauty product: Pat McGrath Labs PermaGel Ultra Glide Eye Pencil in BLK Coffee ($28)


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Bia proves that the high-ponytail–and–baby-tendrils trend isn't going anywhere fast. 


Madison Beer
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Beer's glowing skin, glossy lips, and rolling barrel curls put a fresh spin on Old Hollywood glamour. 

Key beauty product: Pat McGrath Labs Skin Fetish: Divine Powder Blush in Cherish ($38)


Olivia Rodrigo
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The singer is a mermaid-esque vision with her back-grazing waves, fluttering lashes, and berry-stained lips. 

Key beauty product: Byredo Lipstick in Tokio Rose ($42) 


Dove Cameron
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We've recently re-claimed crimped hair à la the early aughts as one of our favorite re-emerging hair trends. Dove Cameron epitomizes.


Camila Cabello
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And just like that, we predict Cabello's magenta-embellished gaze will take the cake as one of the best beauty looks on this year's VMA red carpet. 

Key beauty product: L'Oréal Paris Paradise Enchanted Scented Eyeshadow Palette ($9)

Up next, The MTV VMAs Red Carpet Looks That Shocked and Amazed Us

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.