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Pop’s reigning princesses put their beauty chops to the test during November’s music awards marathon. First came the MTV Europe Awards, hosted by Eva Longoria and held in Madrid. The antics are usually every bit as crazy as those at the American show, and the hair and makeup followed suit. Rihanna’s ﬂaming scarlet hair infused her classical French-twist updo with a punk edge, while Taylor Momsen went Goth with Rocky Horror rimmed eyes and a crimson mouth. Ke$ha (winner of Best New Act) hit the red carpet artfully mussed, then added tribal-inspired glow-in-the-dark body paint for her performance later in the evening.
More staid—much more staid—was the hair and makeup at the CMA Awards, hosted by country superstars Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley. On hand were actresses and Nashville newcomers Gwyneth Paltrow and Leighton Meester, who star in the upcoming Country Strong, Julianne Hough, the Dancing With the Stars beauty who’s a country music sensation, too, and Taylor Swift. Beautywise, almost everyone played it safe, with gently tousled hair, softly smoked eyes and a natural mouth.
Justin Bieber took the top honors at the American Music Awards in late November, but the real star of the show was Taylor Swift, who unveiled a mod new look with blunt bangs and poker-straight hair. Rihanna, too, proved change is good, with a halo of pretty red ringlets, and Avril Lavigne, who sported an Op Art–inspired manicure patterned after her dress, was another standout beauty winner.