Celeb Makeunders That Blew Us Away

We love anti-normcore beauty looks, whether they be complete with technicolor hair, clumpy mascara, or divergent liner. That being said, we still believe in the power of a toned-down beauty look — a slightly zhushed-up version of what your mama gave you, if you will.

Since celebs often fall victim to the temptation to wear super-glam beauty looks like armor on every single red carpet, we're always pleasantly surprised when someone dials back their hair and makeup. After all, when Nicki Minaj ditched her wigs, Angelina said goodbye to the brow pencil, and Kim K threw out the self-tanner and body glitter — that's when we appreciated not just how talented their glam squads must be, but also how beautiful these women really are.

Click through for the best, chicest, most surprising celeb makeunders — and maybe use this as an excuse to finally master that whole no-makeup look thing everyone's been shouting about lately.

Photo: Jim Smeal/BEImages.
Nicki Minaj
When she burst on the scene, Nicki Minaj was almost as famous for her technicolor wigs and rainbow makeup looks as she was for her impossibly fast beats.
Photo: Rob Latour/REX USA.
After a few years of pushing her beauty look further and further, Minaj admitted that she realized that the most shocking look she could debut on the red carpet was neutral makeup paired with her natural hair color. And, guess what? She looks better than ever.
Photo: Carolyn Contino/BEImages.
Emilia Clarke
Was this the anti-Daenerys look? Clarke was almost unrecognizable in this beauty getup, which involved smoky eyes, a bright lip, and super-defined brows.
Photo: Stewart Cook/REX USA.
Ah, there's the Emilia we know and love. After all, when you have skin that perfect and brows that full, why spend hours messing with them?
Photo:Dave Lewis/REX USA.
Angelina Jolie
Remember when Girl, Interruputed-era Jolie was all about the pencil-thin brows, heavy foundation, and brown lipstick? (It's okay, Angie — we all fell prey to the harsher side of '90s beauty.)
Photo: REX USA.
Angelina will always be our favorite vamp, but she's a little more subtle about it these days. The elements of her now-signature beauty look are glowing, almost-bare skin, a hint of eyeliner, and a swipe of lip balm.
Photo: Matt Baron/BEImages.
M.I.A. The rapper layered the makeup on thick for an event back in 2010.
Photo: Rex/REX USA.
M.I.A. debuted a monochromatic makeup look and soft, air-dried waves at the Topshop Unique show this past February. Stunning.
Photo: Peter Brooker/REX USA.
Gwen Stefani
Back at the time when "Don't Speak" ruled the airwaves, Gwen was the master of maximalism. Who can forget her blue hair (fashioned into mini-buns), along with matching furry bra worn as a top?
Photo: Picture Perfect/REX USA.
RIP, Manic Panic: Gwen eventually found the makeup look that works for her (i.e. red lipstick, mascara, and not much else) — and she sticks to it.
Photo: Erik C. Pendzich/REX USA.
Katie Holmes
Back when she had Tom at her side (ah, memories), Katie had a Louise Brooks bob. Here, at the 2008 Met Gala, Holmes apparently thought it would be a great idea to also sport red-orange makeup on eyes, lips, and cheeks. Listen, we love rorange as much as the next girl, but this might have been taking that love a bit too far.
Photo: Erik Pendzich/REX USA.
Now, a few years into single life, Katie is back to the Joey Potter-esque beauty look that we all fell in love with from her Creek days. Doesn't she just look lovely?
Photo: Matt Baron/BEImages.
Kim Kardashian
Before Keeping Up With The Kardashians, Kanye, 20-carat diamonds, wedding planning, and North West were all a regular part of Kim's life, the star made appearances in heavy makeup, serious self-tanner, and flat-ironed-within-an-inch-of-its-life hair.
Photo: D. DaSilva/Rex/REX USA.
Nowadays, Kim is still...well, Kim, but all things considered, she's looking downright fresh-faced. Kardashian has said goodbye to lifeless locks and pounds of body shimmer. Instead, she's rocking the natural beauty (for her, anyway) that she's had all along.
Photo: Kazden/REX USA.
Taylor Swift
For the first few years of Swift's music career, we found ourselves marveling at the teenager's pixie-like beauty — if only, we thought, she'd ditch the heavy eyeliner and cakey foundation to simply let her youthful glow shine through.
Photo: Everett Collection/REX USA.
Apparently, Taylor got the natural-beauty messages we'd been telepathically sending her all along. She's ditched about half of the makeup and almost all of the hair gel. We're thrilled to be able to appreciate Swift's pretty all over again; she must be thrilled about how much time she's saving every day.
Photo: Carolyn Contino/BEImages.
Rashida Jones
In the early aughts, the lovely and talented Rashida Jones fell victim to the siren call of the blush/bronzer duo.
Photo: im Smeal/BEImages.
Jones has toned down on the cheek products, letting her natural rosiness and flawless skin take center stage. So much pretty — all of the pretty.
Photo: Henry Lamb/Photowire/BEImages.
Ke$ha
Oh, you thought you'd get through a celebration of celebrity makeunders without talking about Ke$ha? Who do you think we are? Amateurs? Exhibit A: Glitter face art...
Photo: Jim Smeal/BEImages.
And, Exhibit B: fresh-faced and hotter than ever. Look, even her bum is making an appearance to show its support!
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