The nineties and most of the earlier part of the noughties was not a good time for makeup and hair trends. Among the sins committed: too much eyeliner, too thin brows and glitter in the hair. And celebrities and their counsel (or team of hair and makeup artists) were not immune to these embarassing trends. Some like Christina Aguilera seem to be stuck in that era — wearing waaay too much makeup even in 2016. But others have changed for the better. Here are five celebrities who have definitely improved their facepainting skills — or fired their makeup artists — and the no-nos they committed in the past.
WEARING MAKEUP THAT AGED HER BY TEN YEARS
What she did wrong: Before the Queen Bey ruled every arena from HBO to the Super Bowl half-time stage, she was a member of Destiny's Child. And besides ugly, coordinated outfits that looked like they were sewn at home by her then-stylist, mum Tina Knowles, she was guilty of another crime against aesthetics. Her makeup was way too heavy. Greyish foundation and bold, unflattering colours on her face — sparkly brick lipstick and grey eyeshadow anyone? — aged her way beyond her years. Beyoncé was only 19 in the photo on the left.
What she does now: Although Beyoncé still wears heavy makeup on occasion, she sticks to highlighting just one feature at a time. Her makeup artist now uses a sheerer and better-matched foundation as well. Another change? She has softened her brows — matching them to her hair colour especially when she goes blonde.
TOO MUCH TANNING, EYELINER AND TOO THIN BROWS
What she did wrong: We all know that Megan Fox has killer baby blues, but when she rims her entire eye with liner, the effect is as subtle as a Taylor Swift breakup song. Coupled with too much time tanning under the sun — which brings out freckles and causes skin to look uneven — she looked less stone cold fox, more trashy starlet.
What she does now: Although Fox has, ahem, matured, she focusses on keeping her skin looking as smooth as possible using foundation with better coverage. Another big difference? Her brows are fuller and better proportioned to her face. And her smoky eye makeup, which combines touches of shimmer with darker shades, highlights her blue eyes in a softer, less obvious way.
SLOPPILY APPLIED MAKEUP
What she did wrong: You would never have guessed it judging by her prim and perfect appearances in Louis Vuitton campaigns, but there was a time when Michelle Williams looked more dowdy than dreamy. Firstly mousy brown hair is definitely not her colour. But beyond the unkempt hair, her no-makeup makeup just looks lazy. Here her cheeks look ruddy, not rosy, and her faded lip gloss seems almost like an afterthought. Did she just run here from an audition?
What she does now: Interestingly, the fundamentals of Williams' makeup has not changed that much. She is still wearing barely-there balm and eyeliner, but the application is much more skilled. Her complexion is where there is the biggest improvement. It has a sheen to it, but it looks glow-y not sweaty — thanks to subtle illumination and just a hint of blusher. Never understimate the importance of some blotting paper and powder. Also she was born to be blonde.
USING THE WRONG EYESHADOW COLOURS
What she did wrong: It seems almost like another lifetime when Nicole Richie was pleasantly plump and wore OTT makeup. It's a far cry from the pencil-thin, perfectly put together fashion plate she presents herself as now. Richie has always had beautiful hazel eyes, but using a combination of shimmery seashell pink shadow and harsh black liner is not doing much for enhancing them.
What she does now: Richie is still rocking her skinny brows — proof that you should stick to what works rather than blindly copying trends — but she's changed up her eye makeup. A combination of bronze, chocolate and coppery tones, are smoky but sophisticated. Notice how the heavy eyes are complemented with satiny skin and matte lips? Trés chic.
MISMATCHED TONES AND BAD BLENDING
What she did wrong: Scarlett Johansson first burst onto the silver screen in the late 90's as a child star, and while she usually wore natural makeup at red carpet appearances, her forays into bolder shades usually ended in disaster. Here her makeup looks patchy and mismatched — an overdose of strawberry pink blusher, glossy cherry lipstick and pale eyeshadow. It looks amateurish, almost like a teenaged friend applied it from her Caboodles kit.
What she does now: Johansson is a bonafide movie star and it shows. Now sporting a cool girl short haircut, her makeup is much more sophisticated. Her lipstick is precisely applied — use a balm, liner and lipstick to achieve that polished effect. Also her eye makeup — gold shadow with eyeliner — doesn't overpower her bright lips and looks balanced.