The marathon of awards season has come to its well-deserved home stretch, with the 2023 Oscars corralling Hollywood’s best and brightest to celebrate the year’s top honors in film. Sunday’s parade at the Dolby Theatre served up eye candy aplenty, as the rollout of red carpet fashion proved—but the word glamour might best be reserved for what accompanied those familiar faces, by way of expertly finessed hair and makeup. After all, stars are made for closeups.
But the criteria for entry in this “best beauty” contest isn’t narrowly defined by a hardened notion of Hollywood glamour—however much Elizabeth Olsen made a case for crisp scarlet lipstick as a de rigueur staple. Here, our selection committee has an eye as much to an unexpected, easy-to-miss detail (hand-stitched thread highlighting Janelle Monae’s braids) as to the pitch-perfect unified whole (Jessica Chastain giving her best Jessica Rabbit). Points for ingenuity, points for staying power, points for inspiring copycat moves among us.
Unsurprisingly, the 2023 nominees who have caught our collective breath onscreen continued to do so with their Oscars looks. Michelle Yeoh, a best actress contender for her role as the multiverse-saving laundromat owner in Everything Everywhere All at Once, took an ethereal turn, with cascading waves accented by a jeweled hairpiece. Fellow nominee Michelle Williams, of The Fabelmans, paired her soft-styled platinum pixie with a bright mouth. Has there ever been a time when Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’s Angela Bassett did not leave you slack-jawed in admiration? Sunday night was no exception, with loose waves and pink eye shadow giving carefree ’80s-era optimism.
And that is only the beginning, with head-turning moments occasioned by Andrea Riseborough’s Victorian-doll poise, Florence Pugh’s punkish (and perhaps divisive) faux bang, and Jessie Buckley’s jagged red bob—the kind of style gumption one associates with the late Vivienne Westwood. Here, take a tour through the evening’s singular beauty looks. May they sow the seeds of future nostalgia—and, sooner still, inspire next weekend’s night out.