With the Oscars as the last stop on the awards-show circuit, it's the perfect excuse for Hollywood's leading ladies to go full tilt. While most of the attention is fixed on fashion, no floor-sweeping gown is complete without a glamorous beauty look. We can't imagine Lupita Nyong'o's pleated Prada dress without her lit-from-within glow and Fred Leighton headband, and Gwyneth Paltrow's pale pink Ralph Lauren number wouldn't be the same minus her matte raspberry lip. In anticipation of this year's red carpet, we selected the most unforgettable hair and makeup moments in Academy Awards history.
Lauren Bacall, 1952
The '50s-era actress was known for her provocative glamour, and she didn't disappoint at the 24th annual Academy Awards, with her short, soft waves and dewy complexion as the backdrop for extravagant jewels and fur.
Audrey Hepburn, 1954
Hepburn may have won Best Actress for her role in the film Roman Holiday, but we can't help but think that the flashbulbs went off to capture her iconic thick brows flawlessly framed by short, piece-y bangs.
Grace Kelly, 1955
Princess Grace of Monaco added an extra layer of femininity to her simple bun by weaving in small yellow roses. And her makeup was similarly subtle and soft, with a flick of eyeliner and a swipe of coral lipstick.
Barbra Streisand, 1969
The movie icon won her Academy Award for Funny Girl wearing fluffy bangs and a bob teased high at the crown. Cut crease eye makeup finished the glamorous look.
Elizabeth Taylor, 1970
Elizabeth Taylor wasn't famous just for her diamonds. Her violet eyes were truly captivating, and she enhanced their hue by applying periwinkle eye shadow, as pictured here.
Lauren Hutton, 1975
Before the lob was the haircut du jour, Hutton wore the blunt style effortlessly, curling her locks so they would just barely skim her shoulders.
The singer tried her hand at acting but didn't let go of her showmanship, wearing a beautiful Bob Mackie headpiece that matched her smoky eyes.
Winona Ryder, 1996
Short finger waves combined with art deco–inspired earrings and a flapper-like dress made Ryder the epitome of 1920s chic.
Nicole Kidman, 1997
Kidman's relaxed French twist paired well with her Dior gown's high neckline, and her dark berry lip added an unexpected edge to an otherwise buttoned-up look.
Gwyneth Paltrow, 1999
Paltrow showed us color coordinating done right. From her Ralph Lauren dress to her rosy cheeks, the actress wore several shades of pink.
Julia Roberts, 2001
Now, this is a winner's updo. Roberts stunned on the red carpet with a two-tiered, voluminous beehive.
Halle Berry, 2002
The actress proved that a textured pixie cut and barely-there makeup is all you need to accompany a showstopping dress like her see-through Elie Saab number.
Jennifer Lopez, 2003
J.Lo opted for a middle-parted tight, low "donut" bun. What really stood out about this look, however, was the mint green eyeshadow matching with her dress.
Charlize Theron, 2004
Charlize Theron went all out with a 1920s-inspired wavy bob, smoldering eyes, and sun-kissed skin.
Penélope Cruz, 2005
Cruz pulled back her brunette strands into a pompadour with tons of volume, letting her sideswept bangs glide just above her charcoal-smudged eyes.
Michelle Williams, 2006
Williams balanced the romantic vibes of her low chignon and canary yellow Vera Wang gown with glossy red lips and a pop of bright pink on her cheeks.
Reese Witherspoon, 2007
Witherspoon looked golden with her super shiny, straight strands and eyebrow-grazing bangs.
The singer, who opened the show in a musical number that year, opted for a classic cat eye and a tight, slicked-back low ponytail with curls let out.
Zoë Saldana, 2010
The Avatar star paired extra glowy, rosy skin with a classic, romantic updo with plenty of volume up top.
Hailee Steinfeld, 2011
The Best Supporting Actress nominee—then only 14 years old—kept her look youthful and fun with an artful updo, wispy lashes, and a bejeweled headband.
Kristina Rodulfo is the Beauty Director of Women's Health—she oversees beauty coverage across print and digital and is an expert in product testing, identifying trends, and exploring the intersections of beauty, wellness, and culture. Prior to Women's Health, the Filipino-American, NYC native and NYU alumna was at ELLE.com for four years. As Senior Beauty Editor, she reported and co-produced the Webby Award-nominated documentary Beat: How Drag Queens Shaped the Beauty Industry and hosted the millions-viewed video series "Beauty Haul." She can never decide whether or not to get bangs, feels naked without winged eyeliner, and will never shut up about running the NYC Marathon.
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