The Best Met Gala Beauty Moments of All Time

Lady Gaga wearing dramatic eyelashes at the 2021 Met Gala
Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris via Getty Images

The storied Met Gala red carpet is first and foremost about fashion and star power. But in the decades since it began in 1971, a number of A-list attendees have proven that no standout look is complete without the right beauty. Indeed, the perfect hairstyle or eye makeup has the power to turn a walk down the red carpet into an iconic moment. Case in point: Lady Gaga’s inches-long lashes and hair bows made of actual hair at the gala’s comeback late last year. The drama has gone up a notch in the past decade or so, but that’s not to say that attendees didn’t get unconventional—or simply nail a classic look like a smoky eye or red lip—in the past. If those headed to the 2022 gala this upcoming Monday are in need for inspiration, we’ve got it for them here. From all the way back to when Jackie O’s hair reached new heights in 1981 to Kim Kardashian’s pony tail trailing on the red carpet in more recent years, take a look back at the event’s best beauty moments over the years.

Jackie Kennedy
Photo by Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

Jackie O balanced the drama of her ultra-teased hair with next to no makeup at the gala in 1981.

Bianca Jagger
Photo via Getty Images

Jagger paired the strapless gown that Kaia Gerber would go on to pay tribute to three decades later with a sleek head of voluminous curls in 1981.

Photo via Getty Images

Cher paved the way for celebrities making a statement on the museum’s red carpet—not to mention even attending the gala in the first place—when she turned up in purple eye shadow blush that accentuated her cheekbones in 1985.

Christy Turlington
Photo via Getty Images

The supermodel was luminous when she sleeked her hair back into a bun to show off her pearl choker in 1992.

Princess Diana and Liz Tilberis
Photo by Anwar Hussein via Getty Images

The late royal sported a cropped version of her signature feathered hair when she crossed the pond to attend the gala in 1996. Meanwhile, her date, fashion editor Liz Tilberis, became one of the few women to ever walk the Met Gala with a buzzcut.

Photo by Rose Hartman via Getty Images

The supermodel, seen here with Christian Lacroix, piled her hair to a braided updo and went with the slimmest of brows when she attended that same year.

Liv Tyler
Photo by Robin Platzer/Twin Images via Getty Images

The actor celebrated the Met Gala’s 50th anniversary in 1998 while sporting an angular pixie.

Lil’ Kim
Photo by Mark Peterson/Corbis via Getty Images

The rapper was all about pink in 1999.

Gwyneth Paltrow
Photo by Robin Platzer/Online USA/Newsmakers via Getty Images

The actor had major ‘90s vibes when she dyed her hair a dark brown and made like Lil’ Kim with tweezed brows that same year.

Naomi Campbell and Iman
Photo via Getty Images

The supermodels were radiant when they paired up at the 2001 gala, where Iman showed boasted an enviable head of curls.

Gwyneth Paltrow
Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

Long before she declared the Met Gala “un-fun,” Paltrow walked the red carpet in 2001 with an ultra-straight, somewhat edgy blowout.

Kate Hudson
Photo by Rich Lee/PA Images via Getty Images)

Hudson looked as if she had stepped straight out of a Renaissance painting when she styled her hair into angelic ringlets in 2003.

Victoria Beckham
Photo by Marcel Thomas/FilmMagic via Getty Images

Beckham fully ignored the 2008 edition’s superhero theme and channeled an old Hollywood movie star with an elegant chignon and red lip.

Kate Moss
Photo via Getty Images

For what turned out to be her last Met Gala for nine years after reportedly getting banned from a U.S. visa, Kate matched her ensemble with a bronzed smoky eye in 2009.

Sarah Jessica Parker
Photo via Getty Images

The And Just Like That... star sported perfectly wavy hair and a glossy nude lip in 2010.

Naomi Campbell
Photo via Getty Images

There were no flaws to be found in the supermodel’s fringe and winged liner in 2011.

Emma Stone
Photo via Getty Images

Meanwhile, the actor broke with the traditional red version of a bold lip with a rather uncommon shade of pink.

Emma Stone
Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage via Getty Images

Stone again stood out in 2014 when she swept her hair into a messy side braid.

Photo via Getty Images

Bey kept things subdued up top beneath her veil and dialed up the drama with wine-red lip in 2014.

Photo via Getty Images

You may have been too distracted by her gigantic Guo Pei dress to take note, but Rih changed things up with bold brows and red hair in 2015.

Dakota Johnson
Photo by Rabbani and Solimene Photography via Getty Images

The actor’s winged liner was flawless at the gala’s 2015 edition, which she attended wearing pink lipstick and a tousled bob.

Photo by Jamie McCarthy/FilmMagic via Getty Images

Who could forget the towering ponytail Bey paired with her naked dress in 2015?

Kristen Stewart
Photo via Getty Images

K-Stew once again mastered the messy updo in 2016, when she also nodded to the “Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology” theme with angular silver eye shadow.

Cara Delevingne
Photo via Getty Images

Since she didn’t have any hair at the time, having shaved it off for her role in Life in a Year, the model painted some on in a silver hue that matched her rhinestones and body glitter.

Lady Gaga
Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris via Getty Images

When acing the “camp” theme in 2019, Lady Gaga took dramatic lashes to an extreme and wore hair bows made of actual hair.

Kim Kardashian
Photo by Neilson Barnard via Getty Images

“He envisioned me as this California girl stepping out of the ocean, wet, dripping,” Kardashian said of the look that Thierry Mugler designed for her to wear in 2019. Thanks to her hairstylist, Chris Appleton, her hair also appeared to be wet.

Hamish Bowles
Photo by Bauzen/GC via Getty Images

Elsewhere on the red carpet, the fashion editor got notably playful, dying his hair a pale yellow and blue.

Dua Lipa
Photo by Theo Wargo/WireImage via Getty Images

Meanwhile, Dua Lipa boosted her height a few inches by dramatically teasing her locks.

Billie Eilish
Photo by Theo Wargo via Getty Images

The singer then known for slime green roots took the world by surprise when she transformed into a modern-day Marilyn Monroe.

Kim Kardashian
Photo by Gilbert Carrasquillo/GC via Getty Images

As if she weren’t already making a statement by completely obscuring herself in black Balenciaga, the reality star topped off her ensemble with a ponytail long enough to reach the floor.