The Met Gala (formerly known as the Costume Institute Gala) takes place annually at the Metropolitan Museum in New York City and it’s a red carpet event with an extraordinary point of difference.
Each year, the gala is held to fundraise for the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute. And as the gala marks the opening of the Institute’s annual fashion exhibition, it’s themed to match the upcoming show. Yep, it’s basically like one huge fancy-dress party – for an exclusive group of celebs.
Susan Sontag’s 1964 essay Notes on Camp inspired this year’s theme and the A-lister attendees went wild, bringing some of the most inventive, fanciful and all-round out-there looks we’ve ever seen.
By now you may have guessed that it’s one of our favourite red carpet events and indeed this year went beyond our wildest expectations.
From Lady Gaga’s gravity-defying eyelashes to Ezra Miller’s optical illusion-style makeup, there were some outrageously creative beauty looks to be seen.
Consider this our ode to the 2019 Met Gala. Below, we’ve rounded up our favourite beauty looks - of the weird and wonderful variety.
Kenyan-Mexican actress Lupita Nyong'o fluttered across the Met Gala red carpet looking like an actual butterfly in this drag-inspired look. Her brows have been painted to extreme new heights, creating room for extra eyeshadow and ALL of the glitter. Honestly, there’s so much glitter going on, we’re not sure how it’s staying stuck to her face! And though at first blush the combs embedded in Lupita’s hair are a fun, frivolous touch, they serve a deeper meaning. The handles are shaped as “fight the power” raised fists which represents “unity, solidarity. Also known as black power,” shared Lupita’s makeup artist Vernon Francois. Incredible.
Considering that donning Met Gala-esque looks is Lady Gaga’s preferred way to dress for regular red carpets, we’re guessing that the Met Gala is like having all your Christmases come at once for the performer. As always, Gaga went above and beyond bringing us this camped-up blonde bob, complete with little bows made from hair, and some insanely long, spiky, gold eyelashes. Seriously, you could take an eye out with those things. All we can say is Gaga, ooh la la!
Laverne Cox pulled out all stops for her first Met Gala, bringing us this incredibly extra beauty look and channelling an actual ‘80s makeup commercial. Her ombré pastel turquoise hair perfectly matched her eyeshadow and we are here for it. And get a load of her sparkly gold and black manicure. Amazing.
We’re caught between loving Ezra Miller’s twisted old-Hollywood glam look and being low-key TERRIFIED. Ezra’s makeup is actually some kind of freaky optical illusion and honestly we’re not sure where his actual eyes even are. Trippy. Ezra, not being one to skimp when it comes to costumes, has gone the whole way and capped it all off with a white mani. We’re obsessed with his look.
Gigi Hadid well and truly got the camp memo, serving us this futuristic look. Is she a bird? Is she an alien? We’re not sure but we like it. Her makeup is kept relatively low-key, letting her feathery white eyelashes do all the talking. Her streamlined look is softened by little wisps of hair left strategically peeking out from underneath her sequined cap.
English model/actress Cara Delevingne kept her eyes and base simple, paving the way for a huge orange stripe smack-bang in the centre of her face along with a lemon/pastel pink feature lip. But most of all, we need to talk about that headpiece! Between the gnashing dentures, dead-looking fingers creeping from unfurling bananas (say what??), a dangling fried egg AND eyeballs wrapped up like lollipops – the strange combo is kinda freaking us out. But like any good horror movie, we’re totally intrigued and can’t look away. Well done, Cara.
Lily Collins channelled Priscilla Presley in this quirky beauty look with one of the biggest bouffants we’ve ever seen (what’s she got hiding under there?).She aptly captioned her snap “more is more is more”. To create Lily’s exaggerated eye look, Lily’s makeup artist Fiona Stiles used not one, but THREE strips of Japanese lashes and said she would have “done more if I didn’t think another set would throw Lily off balance and make her fall over”. Love. It.
Australian actor and rising star Cody Fern wore the most perfectly formed finger waves in his hair. Seriously, silver screen sirens of decades gone by would have been PROUD. His hairstylist Koji Ichikawa created the look using actual hair glue and twisted sculptural curls down one side of his forehead. In combination with the sheer blue sheaf covering the lower half of his face, the whole thing is kinda eerie (serial killer vibes, anyone?) but we’re on board.
If you’d like to see more of the best looks from the 2019 Met Gala, check out our all-round favourites here.
Would you give any of these Met Gala beauty looks a go? Let us know in the comments.
Main image credit: Getty
Isobel is BEAUTYcrew’s Junior Beauty Writer. When she's not busy hunting for the latest beauty news, you’ll find her arranging her skincare collection in search of the perfect “shelfie.” Isobel was previously an intern in the beauty department at ELLE Australia.