These Celeb Transformations Will Make Your Jaw Drop

This story was originally published on Aug. 23, 2016.

It's easy to assume that celebrities wake up in the morning with perfect skin, hair, nails — you name it. But the reality is, nearly every aspect of their looks has been carefully developed over the course of years, if not decades. Especially makeup.

Believe it or not, J.Lo's glow took quite a bit of practice to get just right. And KStew's smoldering gaze? Let's just say it required some reigning in. Ahead, we've rounded up 15 celebs who were once victims of the same makeup mistakes as the masses — unflattering shades, too much blush, visible contour — and then juxtaposed their "befores" with recent moments when they truly soared.

Don't get us wrong: All the ladies on this list are beautiful, both before and after a makeup artist gets his or her talented hands on them. Still, it's nice to remember that everyone's in need of a little makeup help sometimes. Now, prepare to pick up your jaw off the floor — because these transformations are good. here.

Photo: SGranitz/WireImage/ Getty Images.
Before:
Jennifer Lopez has always been partial to steely, gray shadow and brown lipstick, like she wore to the 1998 Academy Awards toward the beginning of her career.
Photo: Gregg DeGuire/WireImage/ Getty Images.
After:
But it wasn't until years later that she perfected the tone and depth needed to make the color combo ultra-flattering — like she did here in 2015. The trick? Her soft shadow is a more earthy shade and slightly smoked out, while her lip color is the perfect creamy beige for her skin tone.
Photo: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images.
Before:
In 2009, years before you had "Hello" on repeat, Adele knew exactly which look she wanted the world to remember: full, '60s-inspired lashes.
Photo: Larry Busacca/Getty Images.
After:
By the time the singer started raking in the Grammys in 2012, she'd also perfected that signature look, ditching the gray shadow and defining her brows to create the perfect frame for her cat-eye lashes.
Photo: Jim Spellman/WireImage/ Getty Images.
Before:
Gold eyes! Gold lips! Gold cheeks! Gold hair! The Midas touch was strong with Beyoncé in 2001.
Photo: Johnny Nunez/WireImage/ Getty Images.
After:
Years later, in 2013, she toned down the gold, keeping it to just the inner corners of her eyes and cheekbones. And somehow, she looks even more radiant.
Photo: SGranitz/WireImage/ Getty Images.
Before:
Since breaking onto the scene in 2005, Blake Lively has looked every bit the quintessential California girl, preferring shimmery shadows and rosy colors over smoky eyes and red lips.
Photo: Gary Gershoff/WireImage/ Getty Images.
After:
By the time Gossip Girl (RIP!) reached its 100th-episode party in 2011, Lively had made her beachy look red carpet-appropriate, thanks to coordinated peach-toned lips and cheeks, accented with subtle highlighter and heavy lashes.
Photo: Michael Buckner/WireImage/ Getty Images.
Before:
Everyone's favorite funny girl Mindy Kaling isn't afraid to take a beauty risk, and she often shares her love for the products she discovers along the way. Of course, she'll be the first to admit it's a journey to figure out exactly what works — and it started here, in 2009.
Photo: Jason Kempin/Getty Images.
After:
Now, Kaling is a master of the strong-eye-and-bold-lip combo, a look she wears regularly on the red carpet. We particularly love this 2013 version: a deep-wine stain paired with inky liner and dramatic lashes.
Photo: SGranitz/WireImage/ Getty Images.
Before:
Scarlett Johansson has tried every beauty look under the sun: a smoky eye, red glossy lips, ruddy cheeks, matte skin...and sometimes all at once, like she did here in 2001.
Photo: Mike Marsland/WireImage/Getty Images.
After:
After some finessing, it's safe to say that by 2012, Johansson had mastered the perfect iteration of her earlier look. The secret: Less is more.
Photo: Theo Wargo/WireImage/ Getty Images.
Before:
Although Kerry Washington seemed to have her beauty game pretty much figured out in 2009, there was a little something (or two somethings) missing...
Photo: Jason Merritt/Getty Images.
After:
In 2015, the Scandal actress proves that finding your beauty look can be as simple as paying your brows some extra attention. (Let us not forget that there was a time when it was popular to over-pluck them...)
Photo: Jim Smeal/WireImage/ Getty Images.
Before:
Behold the beauty of teenage experimentation! Kirsten Dunst was just an adolescent when she attended the Kids' Choice Awards in 1996 wearing frosty-blue eyeshadow. (Cue the "awww.")
Photo: JB Lacroix/WireImage/ Getty Images.
After:
Years later, she learned the power of a reigned-in makeup look. Still holding onto her love of experimentation, she smolders in smudgy liner and big lashes.
Photo: Jeffrey Mayer/WireImage/ Getty Images.
Before:
Even in 2006, Kim Kardashian had an affection for a full face of makeup.
Photo: Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images.
After:
But even she's learned, thanks to a team of talented makeup artists, that sometimes one must take a step back. Now, in 2015, she has hordes of fans following her specifically for her beauty advice.
Photo: Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic/ Getty Images.
Before:
Taylor Swift's look was on the juvenile side back when she was still singing country music in 2008. Cute? Definitely. Suited for one of the biggest pop stars of today? Maybe not.
Photo: Eamonn McCormack/WireImage/ Getty Images.
After:
Swift has graduated to a series of tried-and-true looks she rotates: matte red lips, colorful eyeshadow, and full lashes. They all have something in common — they're wonderfully understated. (We especially love this one from 2014.)
Photo: Jeffrey Mayer/WireImage/ Getty Images.
Before:
Katy Perry has beautiful, vibrant green eyes, but she was still figuring out how to show them off back in her early days in 2004.
Photo: Lester Cohen/Getty Images.
After:
Boom: lashes! Perry mastered the art of the false lash by 2014, and has never looked back.
Photo: Steve Granitz/WireImage/ Getty Images.
Before:
Kristen Stewart loves an edgy red carpet look, as seen here in 2009, when she smudged gray shadow all around her lashline. But she would soon learn she could take it a step further...
Photo: John Shearer/WireImage/ Getty Images.
After:
Sometimes less is more, but for Stewart more is more. After some trial and error, she proved that she could rock a serious smoky eye in a variety of colors, like this navy rendition in 2015. And just like that, a signature look is born.
Photo: Todd Williamson/WireImage/ Getty Images.
Before:
Lauren Conrad has built a multifaceted brand, and along the way she turned her Orange County vibe (seen here in 2008) into something much more refined.
Photo: Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images.
After:
Of course, we're talking about the subtle cat-eye that girls will forever copy — and for good reason. It's universally flattering and works for any occasion. What would Pinterest have done if she and her team hadn't cracked the code on this one?
Photo: Jun Sato/WireImage/ Getty Images.
Before:
When was the last time you saw Rihanna with a smoky eye? Probably back in 2007, before she realized how dynamite she looked when keeping it simple and playing up a different feature.
Photo: Bryan Bedder/Getty Images.
After:
We're talking about her lips. Red, pink, purple — even green — the singer kills a bold lip, so it was only natural that it became her go-to look (seen here in 2015). Thank you makeup artists, for the constant lip-spiration.
Photo: Jeffrey Mayer/WireImage/ Getty Images.
Before:
Jennifer Lawrence knew early on, in 2008, that she had an affinity for black liner and peachy colors...
Photo: Pascal Le Segretain/WireImage/ Getty Images.
After:
...But it wasn't until she found her glam squad that she got all the tricks to really make her look pop. In 2015, that means: white liner on her waterline, a softer shade of black eye makeup, and peachy lipstick that's just bright enough.
Photo: Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage.
Before:
What nineties baby didn't have an obsession with frosty eyeshadow and butterfly clips?
Photo: Michael Loccisano/Getty Images.
After:
These days, Mila is swapping out her blue shadow for browns and golds — and it makes her eyes smolder.
Photo: Kurt Krieger/Corbis/Getty Images.
Before:
We're pretty sure Zendaya was put on this Earth wearing bronze smokey eyes. She rocks them like no other — including this fire version from 2014.
Photo: Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic.
After:
By 2017, she was still rocking the bronzey shades — but in a soft, diffused way that looks even more effortless and cool.
Photo: Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic.
Before:
"I did my own hair and my own makeup, as you can see by the freakish amount of powder that I did not blend," Gabrielle Union once told us, reflecting on her March 2006 glam. "Yeah, way to just not blend out your concealer... if you're not a professional makeup artist, this is what can happen. Make sure you blend, guys. This is a cautionary tale."
Photo: Steve Granitz/WireImage.
After:
These days, Union turns to artists like Fiona Stiles to do the blending — and opts for warmer shades to complement her complexion, like the ones she wore to the 2017 Emmy Awards.
Photo: Michael Loccisano/FilmMagic.
Before:
"I'm pretty sure I was doing my own makeup back then. I wasn't going to events very much, wasn't working very much. It looks like I'm wearing some blush and maybe some eyeliner," Zoë Kravitz revealed to us of this February 2008 look.
Photo: Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic.
After:
Now, Kravitz still rocks a similar fresh faced look — but with a touch more eyeliner, well-placed highlighter, and brow pencil to really make her features pop.
Photo: Gregg DeGuire/FilmMagic.
Before:
For a 2009 carpet, Selena Gomez looked sweet as candy with big curls and natural-looking makeup.
Photo: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images.
After:
Soft is still the statement at this 2017 event, but Gomez added drama with dark lashes and more lipstick.
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