Makeup is a girl's best friend. Just ask Best Actress in a Leading Role winner Meryl Streep who stepped up the podium with her golden Oscar and thanked her longtime makeup artist, J. Roy Helland, for transforming her face for the past 37 years. Helland won the night's award for Best Makeup Artist for his part in transforming Streep in British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher for The Iron Lady.
Thus, the importance of makeup should never be diminished.
Actresses looked absolutely stunning on Sunday night's red carpet, beautified to the nth-degree. Surely it took hours of primping and prodding to make each look perfect.
The beauty trend of the night seemed to be more au natural than usual. Actresses looked fresh-faced, with lightly shadowed eyes and pink lips (except for Rooney Mara and Angelina Jolie, go figure). The major hair trend was undone and casual. Most actresses wore their hair down in soft waves or pinned back in loose buns.
But who looked the best? Here are the top hair and makeup contenders of the night, with ways to recreate the look yourself.
Never one for subtly, Rooney Mara stood out from a crowd of neutrals with blunt raven bangs and matte red lipstick. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo actress was a sight for sore eyes in white Givenchy and her hair and makeup complemented the gown further. Try NARS' Pure Matte Lipstick in Vesuvio (Sephora, $25) for her dramatic look.
The Artist star Berenice Bejo sported a flirty braid and soft, natural makeup. Wearing a braid to the Oscars is certainly not unheard of (a la Anna Kendrick in 2010). However, it is a nod to boho casual that is often ignored at such a shi-shi event. Get a braid similar to Bejo's by following this YouTube hair tutorial by Wendy's Lookbook.
Viola Davis showed off her natural locks at Sunday's Oscars and matched her makeup to her dress. Davis' closely-cropped hair was complemented by large emerald earrings, which matched her emerald Vera Wang gown. Davis' eye makeup went along with this color trend. Matchy-matchy is no longer a fashion no. Correspond your makeup to any hued clothing with Kat Von D's True Romance Eyeshadow Palette (Sephora, $36).
Missi Pyle looked like a bona fide prom-queen at the 2012 Oscars. It was not only her electric blue dress (which was made by Red Carpet Green Dress contestant winner Valentina Delfino), but also her frosty makeup that made her look like a Teenage Dream. Get Pyle's look with the Milani Lipstick by L'Oreal (Drugstore.com, $4.49).
Known for her pixie cut and sweet smile, Michelle Williams made a lovely impression on the Oscars red carpet Sunday night. Williams complemented her coral Louis Vuitton gown with a freshly cropped platinum pixie cut and bright raspberry lips. For Williams' lip color, try Chanel's Levres Scintillantes Lipgloss in Chelsea (Chanel.com, $28.50).
Emma Stone was super sultry at the Oscars in a crimson Giambattista Valli gown with an oversize neck bow. Stone wore a simple bun in her hair to offset the drama around her collar. She opted for neutral lips and a cat-eye for her makeup. Get Stone's cat-eye with M.A.C's Liquid Eye Liner (M.A.C, $18.50).
Actress Penelope Cruz looked like a princess in a sea blue Giorgio Armani organza, off-the-shoulder evening gown. The beauty wore her hair in timeless pin-curls and chose soft, smoky brown shadow for her makeup. Tom Ford's Eye Color Quad in Coco Mirage (Bergdorf Goodman, $75) will give you that perfect mocha tone.
Angelina Jolie usually goes with vibrant red lips for awards shows. So, it was not surprise that she turned up at the Oscars in a black velveteen Versace gown with glossy red lips and softly curled hair. Jolie's pout might be unparalleled but you can certainly match her color. YSL's Golden Gloss in Golden Cherry (Saks Fifth Avenue, $30) will make your lips just as tempting.
Singer, actress, dancer and super diva Jennifer Lopez is never without a bronzed glow. For the Oscars, the beauty wore her hair in a high, slicked-back top bun. She accented her amazing cheekbones with dewy bronzer that showed off her natural caramel skin tone. Smashbox's Fusion Soft Lights Bronzer in Baked Starburst (Sephora, $30) will illuminate your skin and have you glowing all night long.
*Check out the photos of the best hair and makeup looks from the Oscars red carpet. Vote for your favorite below!