2021 Met Gala Best Beauty Looks on Rihanna, Emma Chamberlain and More – WWD

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While much attention at the 2021 Met Gala surrounded the celebrities’ red carpet looks, many stars made as much of an impact with their hair and makeup.

Naomi Osaka, Billie Eilish, Lupita Nyong’o and more used beauty to tackle the year’s theme of “In America: A Lexicon of Fashion,” referencing different decades, old Hollywood glamour and Black culture.

Here, WWD breaks down seven of the best beauty looks at the 2021 Met Gala. Read on for more.

Billie Eilish

2021 Met Gala Best Beauty Looks

Billie Eilish at the 2021 Met Gala.
Sipa USA via AP

Met Gala co-chair Billie Eilish’s old Hollywood glamour Oscar de la Renta look was furthered with her hair and makeup, which gave a nod to starlets like Marilyn Monroe. Eilish worked with Charlotte Tilbury for her beauty to create a smokey eye, nude lip and accented cheekbones to exude “the ultimate Hollywood glass-like glow,” according to the brand.

Eilish’s recently bleached blonde hair was styled into a voluminous bob that gave a nod to Monroe’s signature hairstyle.


2021 Met Gala Best Beauty Looks

Rihanna at the 2021 Met Gala.
Sipa USA via AP

One of the most anticipated attendees at the Met Gala, Rihanna complemented her Balenciaga couture outfit with a sultry makeup look created with her Fenty Beauty brand. Rihanna worked with Fenty Beauty global makeup artist, Hector Espinal, to create a pink, smokey eye accented with long spidery lashes, and a deep cherry-colored lip.

Naomi Osaka

2021 Met Gala Best Beauty Looks

Naomi Osaka at the 2021 Met Gala.

Co-chair and tennis champion Naomi Osaka’s Met Gala look paid homage to her Japanese and Haitian heritage. She worked with makeup artist Jessica Smalls to further the reference with a Geisha-inspired beauty look that consisted of a red eye shadow that extended to her cheeks and a matching lip.

She also worked with hairstylist Marty Harper for a sculptural hairstyle that paid homage to her heritage. Harper explained that “the look is all about cross-pollinated conversation of culture, fashion and homage, cognizant of youth, fantasy and a new American — a new us.”

He used products from Japanese hair-care brand NatureLab to create the hairstyle, which was embellished with red flowers and jewels.

Lupita Nyong’o

2021 Met Gala Best Beauty Looks

Lupita Nyong’o 2021 Met Gala. 
Evan Agostini/Invision/AP

Lupita Nyongo’ emphasized the American West theme of her Versace gown with her beauty look. Makeup artist Nick Barose, using Lancôme, worked with the actress for the look, taking inspiration from 1990s Versace makeup, Femme Fatale looks and 1940s western films. Nyong’o’s makeup focused on the eye with a blue eyeshadow drawn in a cat-eye style. Her look also included strong brows and a cherry-hued lip.

For hair, Nyong’o worked with Redken ambassador Vernon François to give a nod to conceptual artist, Lorna Simpson.

“Her take on texture is powerful, and I wanted to imitate the effortless wave and movement that she conveys in her work,” François said in a statement. “This technique gives a stunning contradiction of strength and fragility, highlights and shadows. The transparent folds conjure a feeling of tulle material from romantic American fashion, inspired by the theme of this year’s Met Gala.”

Amandla Stenberg

2021 Met Gala Best Beauty Looks

Amandla Stenberg at the 2021 Met Gala.
Lexie Moreland for WWD

Amandla Stenberg’s beauty look focused on the hair, which was also created by François. Stenberg and François chose to reference the durag for her hairstyle to pay homage to Black culture. Instead of using silk, François used Stenberg’s own hair to create a reimagined durag and a dramatic train.

Her makeup was inspired by the ‘80s New York ballroom scene, according to makeup artist Kali Kennedy, who used Byredo makeup. The makeup artist created spidery lashes with false lashes and the Byredo Tears mascara, as well as a thin black eyeliner on the upper and lower lashes.

Emma Chamberlain

2021 Met Gala Best Beauty Looks

Emma Chamberlain at the 2021 Met Gala.
Getty Images

YouTube star Emma Chamberlain made her Met Gala debut in a custom Louis Vuitton look that was complemented by her youthful Byredo makeup. Chamberlain worked with makeup artist Kelsey Deenihan to create a neon green eyeliner look.

She also worked with hairstylist Laura Polko to further the youthful vibe. Polko gave Chamberlain a sleek, straight hairstyle with waved ends.

Whitney Peak

2021 Met Gala Best Beauty Looks

Whitney Peak at the 2021 Met Gala.
Lexie Moreland/WWD

“Gossip Girl” actress Whitney Peak paid homage to Black beauty at the Met Gala with a natural hair look created by Amika global artistic director, Naeemah LaFond.

“When I think of things that are innately American, afros and natural hair are at the top of my list,” LaFond said about the look. “The aesthetic and beauty of Black women have heavily influenced the American fashion industry throughout the years.”

Peak’s makeup exuded a youthful and playful vibe that focused on the eyes with a neon green, dotted eyeliner above her upper lashes created by Chanel makeup artist, Tyron Machhausen.


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