Red Carpet Beauty: Understated Makeup DOs and DON’Ts from the Met Ball 2013

by Janine on 9 May 2013 · 5 comments

Jessica Biel_Met Ball 2013_nose ring and a smileMost of us have no immediate plans to hit a red carpet at a major fashion-centric shindig with a “Punk: Chaos to Couture” theme. But we can all take inspiration from the range of beauty looks at Monday night’s Met Ball 2013 in NYC. From best-you to classic glamour to bold lips to dramatic graphic eyes, we saw examples of looks that worked — and some that didn’t work quite as well. This post features celebs who took an understated approach — too understated? — to fancy-shindig makeup.


DO Alexa Chung always looks as though she did her own makeup. But it’s a good thing — this is her signature look. Less understated than the rest, it’s still careless hair, sheer foundation (or tinted moisturizer or BB cream or CC cream) that lets skin show through, slightly smudgy defined eyes, healthy cheeks and a bitten-lip mouth. Sometimes it works to do what you always do, instead of taking out all your makeup and wearing it all at once. (I have to fight that urge for special occasions — sheesh.)

Emma Watson_Met Ball_2013DO Emma Watson is all luminous skin, subtly shimmering lids, falsies-enhanced lashes and groomed brows. God I love an ultra-simple red-carpet makeup. This could be back-of-the-cab (limo?) makeup, so of course it appeals to me. It’s so easy!

Emma Watson_full-length_Met Ball 2013Here’s the Prabal Gurung gown Emma wore with that face — it’s my favourite dress of the evening. Do you think she needs more makeup? More colour?

Jessica Biel_Met Ball 2013_nose ringDO-ish Jessica Biel also went the minimalist route as a backdrop for her faux nose ring (amazing!). Under softly filled-in brows, a rub of rust-hued shadow around her eyes sharpens their natural green just a bit; mascara is the only obvious definition. Sculpted cheeks, a nude lip, and a high, chic ponytail makes up the rest of the look. I want to dab a little Maybelline New York Baby Lips Lip Balm in Cherry Me on the apples of her dewy cheeks so she doesn’t look quite so… gaunt. But overall, I like. You?

Chloe Sevigny_Met Ball 2013DON’T Chloe Sevigny is in dire need of just a touch of luminizer, blush and at least tinted lip balm to alleviate this sour-puss look. Don’t do what looks like just mascara if you’re going to wear an ensemble as harsh as this. And don’t forget to smile.

Are these DOs for you for a night out? Or are they more for a grocery-store run?

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Nicole 9 May 2013 at 7:55 pm

I think I agree with all these. I think Emma looks gorgeous. I agree Jessica could use a little color on her cheeks but I honestly can’t get past the nose ring. To me it just looks ridiculous. Some of us just can’t pull that kind of thing off.


Janine 13 May 2013 at 9:49 am

I confess, a nose ring isn’t high on my list of coveted accessories either! Love that Jessica tried, although it’s definitely not a look I’d copy. Emma’s look, though — yes, gorgeous.


TrishB 9 May 2013 at 8:52 pm

I’m still having difficulties reconciling the Met with punk esthetics, or lack there of (Punk was ugly and messy. Westwood sold out). Once you have to pay to for haute couture to rebel, rebellion loses.


Emily 10 May 2013 at 9:29 am

Totally agree with your thoughts on these looks! Jessica needs some colour and Emma looks flawless. I loved her dress so much – definitely in my top picks of the night!


Janine 13 May 2013 at 9:51 am

In my next life I want to be able to wear a dress like Emma’s. That is all.


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