Although the stars definitely brought capital-L Looks to the Emmys last year — like Kerry Washington's super sleek bob and Rachel Brosnahan's kill cat-eye — that indescribable red-carpet je ne sais quoi was notably missing from the almost entirely remote ceremony. This year, with COVID-19 precautions still being taken, the Emmy red carpet is back, and with it comes so much more opportunity for celebrities to dazzle fans with their fashion, hair, and makeup looks.
It's our job to focus on the latter two (we love a gorgeous getup, but beauty is kind of our thing at Allure) so, as per usual, we've put together a roundup of the most creative, bold, fresh, intricate, trend-setting — in other words, our favorite — looks from the 2021 Emmys. As nominees, presenters, and other guests gather to celebrate TV's best, we're celebrating beauty's best. Here's what we're loving from the award show's long-await return to the red carpet.
Yara Shahidi was a truly gorgeous example of one of the biggest trends of the night: matching your eye makeup to your gown. Her off-the-shoulder Dior dress was clearly the inspiration for her shimmering green shadow, which reached around to her lower waterline and was topped off with a precise black wing. Her rosy cheeks and peachy-nude lips also got plenty of attention thanks to a sleek, pulled-back updo styled by Lacy Redway, who kept it in place with Nexxus Weightless Hold Ultra Fine Hair Spray.
Another, even brighter example of the matchy-matchy makeup trend at the Emmys: the eternally striking Michaela Coel. Her highlighter yellow two-piece ensemble was echoed by her winged neon eyeliner, which was layered above black eyeliner. Mauve cheeks and glossy lips let the bold swipes really stand out.
It's not quite the same as matching your eye makeup to your dress, but it's arguably as bold, if not more so. Anya Taylor-Joy's pale yellow Dior gown is a nearly perfect match for her platinum-blonde hair, which elongates the already statuesque nominee by being in a crown-like, middle-parted updo created by stylist Gregory Russell. Her lipstick was the main element of her makeup that stood out — a bold Dior Beauty red that added Old Hollywood glamour to the vibe with the help of makeup artist Georgie Eisdell.
If you're used to seeing Elizabeth Olsen's super long hair in her nominated turn in WandaVision, her Emmys look will come as a big — but beautiful — surprise. Adir Abergel used the GHD Curve Classic Curl Iron to style it in a sleek, slightly wavy, deeply parted lob hitting right between her chin and her shoulders, one side tucked behind an ear that revealed an incredible chandelier earring. Her muted brownish-berry lip — makeup artist Pati Dubroff combined Chanel Rouge Allure Laque in Fidélité and Le Crayon Lèvres Longwear Lip Pencil in Nude Brun — worked wonderfully with her moody, rust-toned eye shadow.
Tracee Ellis Ross
Of course Tracee Ellis Ross's hair looked incredible at the Emmys — exactly what we'd expect from the founder of Pattern. Her voluminous curls were a red-carpet show stopper, sweeping her partially bare shoulders. She went for a more muted lip than usual, but no less beautiful — a soft brick-red shade.
When is a ponytail a bombshell updo? When it's worn by Mandy Moore with thick, piece-y bangs, that's when. The fringe was bookended by face-framing tendrils, glowing with the same subtle highlights that brighten the brunette of her long, loose, yet high-set pony. Like so many others at the Emmys, Moore did some makeup matching, too — but this time, makeup artist Kindra Mann paired her red dress with the perfect red lipstick: Beautycounter Color Intense Lipstick in Girls' Night.
Taraji P. Henson
We can't remember a single red carpet in recent history when Taraji P. Henson wasn't an instant member of our best-beauty-looks roundups, and far be it from the actor to fall short for the 2021 Emmys. Her lofty top knot flaunted tight curls, but the base of the updo was even tighter. She opted for subtle makeup, but her nails were among the boldest manicures of the night, with red gems covering the red polish on the pointed shape.
The iconic Angela Bassett never goes unnoticed, but she was especially eye-catching at the Emmys thanks to a voluminous ponytail that exploded out from the based of her sleek, side-parted base. Stylist Randy Stodghill created the look with the help of the Olivia Garden Ceramic + Ion Hair Dryer, which he followed with Phyto Phytolaque Solie for hold. Makeup artist D'Andre Michael ensured her eyes stood out with sparkle thanks to the Pat McGrath Labs Mothership III: Subversive Eye Shadow Palette.
Kaley Cuoco was a vision in neon at the Emmys, but from the neck up, she was a masterpiece of romantic neutrals and soft, easy-to-recreate beauty. Her long, low, sandy blonde ponytail with bangs was created by stylist Christine Symonds using Hidden Crown clip-ins and prepped with Clairol Shimmer Lights Thermal Shine Spray. As for her makeup, "To complement Kaley’s show-stopping Vera Wang dress, we kept her makeup look soft and subtle," makeup artist Jamie Greenberg explained. "Charlotte Tilbury's Super Nudes collection helped to bring Kaley's natural beauty to life with a lit-from-within complexion, sultry eyes, and a naturally-pigmented nude lip."