15 Of Beyoncé's Most Beautiful (And Influential) Moments

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Beyoncé. She’s beautiful, talented, uber-famous, and ultra-adored. It is without question that she lives up to the monicker Queen Bey.

Although she often sticks to her long honey-blonde waves, when she tries out a new lipstick shade or hairstyle, the masses follow suit. “She can morph into so many different faces, whether its '20s vamp [or] '80s pop,” says L’Oréal Paris celebrity makeup artist Sir John, who worked with Bey on the Mrs. Carter and On The Run world tours.

Her beauty looks often involve a range of bright colors, retro-inspired throwbacks, and ever changing hair lengths. Sometimes it's no makeup at all — but no matter what she does, it's always #flawless. Here, we revisit 15 of her most iconic looks, and the standout moments we believe will go down in Bey-eauty history.
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Photo: Courtesy of Giphy.
Bootylicious
They started as an ambitious, young girl group in Houston, and after a few big breaks and some lineup changes, Destiny’s Child (originally Girl’s Tyme) were on their way to international success. In 2001, the girls were settling in nicely as a trio — featuring Bey, Kelly Rowland, and Michelle Williams — and experimenting with the best of the early aught beauty trends from maroon lipstick to purple eyeshadow to major shimmer.

We see it more than ever in their memorable “Bootylicious” video from the Grammy-winning Survivor album. In the video, their outfits range from golden yellow to bubble gum pink with makeup to match. Beyoncé sports long, straightened blonde hair dyed bright pink at the ends.

Other memorable touches: the gold tooth, the perfect mauve lipstick, and of course, the word bootylicious itself. Originally coined by Snoop Dogg, the portmanteau term celebrating beautiful, curvaceous women made its way to the mainstream, thanks to Destiny’s Child. It even earned a spot in the Oxford English Dictionary in 2004.
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Photo: Courtesy of Giphy.
Honey-Blonde Stage Waves
Beyoncé ditched the straightened look (well, mostly) but has kept the blonde color for a majority of her career — adding in honey highlights and beach-y waves. Wildly flinging her flowing strands as she stomps across the stage is a trademark of the Queen.

Pantene celebrity stylist Kim Kimble, who has been doing Beyoncé's hair regularly for the past 15 years, agrees it is her most iconic, and most coveted style. “Tousled, unperfected hair — it’s her look,”says Kimble.“I get lots of requests to duplicate [it].”

Years ago, on a mission to find the look, Kimble and Bey experimented with different styles, but nothing felt quite right, until one day on set, the clouds parted. “I came up with this [long, wavy] hairstyle and she liked it! So she kept that going…”
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Photo: Courtesy of Youtube.
Sasha Fierce
In 2008, Beyoncé released her third solo album, I Am… Sasha Fierce. Formatted as a DualDisc, the album was meant to reveal the two-sided coin that is Queen Bey. Her more shy, sweet self faced off against her no-holds-barred stage presence, Sasha Fierce.

Though we love her natural, no-makeup makeup style, we're still obsessed with her high-fashion, alter-ego look — especially that hair. “I was inspired by the men who used to wear pompadours, back in the '50s,” says Kimble. “I took that and made it more feminine, adding the length to it. It was kind of like [a take on] James Dean.”

Moments like these are one of the many reasons Kimble loves working with Beyoncé. “I love creating fashionable hairstyles… creating trends. I like when she’s open to changing it up.”
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Photo: Courtesy of Giphy.
Single Ladies
Under the guise of Sasha Fierce, Beyoncé released the irresistible all-girl anthem “Single Ladies.” The music video, directed by Jake Nava, set one million impersonations in synchronized motion. Her beauty look also left an indelible mark: long, half-up hair with a how-the-hell-does-that-stay-in-place bouffant, and a shock of black eye makeup.

Beyoncé's mom, Tina Knowles, designed the asymmetrical black leotard revealing strong, shimmery legs, and toned arms. Lorraine Schwartz designed the titanium roboglove and her engagement ring.

In addition to its infectiously catchy chorus, the video revealed the powerful simplicity of a single look, shot in black and white, and paired with strong, complicated choreography.

Thierry Mugler, who designed the costumes for all of Beyonce’s performances on the I AM… tour told WWD her Sasha Fierce look was about “the duality between being a woman and a warrior.”
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Photo: Robert Duyos/Getty Images.
The Topknot
As many of us know, the topknot came onto the millennial scene with huge trending momentum – and when Bey started sporting the look, it was apocalyptic for ponytails everywhere.

The casual updo has become one of Beyoncé's signature off-duty styles. She is often photographed on the streets of New York or court-side at basketball games donning the easy updo — sometimes with bangs, sometimes without. Here, she takes in a Miami Heat game with Jay Z in 2012, looking casual yet glam.

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Photo: Instagram/@beyonce
Braids
Beyoncé has been sporting braids off and on since she was a pretty, young thing growing up in Houston. Since then, we’ve seen lots of cool variations on her — micro braids, cornrows with beads, thigh-length blonde box braids, box braids worn in a topknot (à la her trip to Cuba), and again worn long and down in her "I Was Here" United Nations promotional video for World Humanitarian Day. While this trend doesn’t begin or end with Beyoncé, we do love when she revisits it.
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The Faux Pixie Cut
On August 8, 2013, we woke up to a photo that sent a shockwave across Instagram. Beyoncé. Had. A. Pixie. This photo of Bey gazing into a brightly lit vanity, all high cheekbones, killer brows, and short hair, set off a tidal wave of commentary and speculation. Had her hair been caught in a wind machine? Did she just want a fresh start? Was it a wig?

It turns out it was the latter. That set of selfies were three of maybe four images we ever saw of her short ‘do. A week later, she stepped out with a sleek, graduated blonde bob, proving that Beyoncé moves on from trends as fast as she sets them. (Do you remember how many pixies we saw that year?)
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Photo: Chelsea Lauren/Getty Images.
The Wavy Bob
Speaking of that bob… After revealing a pixie and a bob within the matter of a week, the world was on the edge of its styling chair wondering just what the Queen would show us next. The wavy bob was a pretty easy transition from her straight one.

When she debuted the look, it was dubbed the "mom bob," but soon enough, the above-the-shoulder look became one of the season’s most sought-after lengths — putting thousands of stylist shears to work. The hairstyle soon dropped its more dowdy nickname and became known as “the wob” (wavy bob) and celebrities like Emma Stone, J Law, and Kerry Washington gave their stylists the cue to cut away.
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Photo: Instagram/@beyonce
#flawless #iwokeuplikethis
What we already knew (or assumed) before her hit song "Flawless" was released in 2013: Beyoncé wakes up flawless. What we didn’t know: “I woke up like this… flawless” would become one of the most repeated, catch-all phrases for women, and men, of the moment.

At the time this article was written, the hashtag #flawless had almost 9 million posts on Instagram, and #iwokeuplikethis had 1.3 million. This doesn’t include the endless stream of memes, parodies, tributes, and merchandise hailing the phrase/s. This is the definition of a trend. So what does it mean? And why all the fuss? Is Beyoncé bragging that she wakes up a 10? If we know Bey, that’s probably not the intent.

The-Dream, who co-wrote the song along with Beyoncé, Chauncey Hollis, Rey Reel, and Rashad Muhammad, told The Atlantic in 2014 that no, it’s not to be taken literally. “Nobody wakes up flawless. It’s an oxymoron. But the meaning behind it, to say ‘I just woke up feeling good,’ is what it’s about.” This year, the New York Times Magazine wrote a piece on “flawless", saying, "It’s perhaps our first untroubled word for human beauty, free of the whiff of sexism that clings to many others.”

Beyoncé and her squad weren’t just writing songs about feeling hot, they were creating a feminist beauty movement.
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Photo: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images.
The Wet Look
When it comes to performing — be it live or in a music video —Beyoncé' pulls out all the stops. For her 2006 “Check On It” video she had Kimble do nine different hairstyles. “That was a lot to come up with in one day,” Kimble laughs. “All under time constraints.” For the Oscars in 2005, Kimble gave her five looks: one for the red carpet, three for each performance, and one for the after party.

So when she performed “Drunk in Love” at the Grammys in 2014, there was no doubt it was going to be spectacular. The style was reminiscent of her look for the song’s music video, dancing on the beach with wet hair. “Re-creating that moment was the vision behind doing the wet hair ” says Kimble. “The wet thing was so different from anything she’d ever done.”

The style blew up. Hundreds of "wet look" tutorials emerged across the web and we've seen the look on the runways in abundance ever since. Bey even wore a similar style on the cover of Vogue’s September 2015 issue.
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Photo: Larry Busacca/Getty Images.
Dark Lipstick
“A statement lip is her go-to look for sure,” says Sir John. Indeed, Beyoncé loves a cherry red, a bright pink, or a summery coral lip. But we're especially into it when she taps into her darker side and dons an almost-black, berry hue, like at the 2014 Met Gala. She also wore a similar shade to the Made in America Festival in 2013 and in her “Partition” music video.

Sir John can attest to Bey's ability to push herself (and others) when it comes to beauty. “She’s been the best schooling in aesthetic,” says Sir John, “She gives me the sense of, ‘I know you think you’re great, but there’s more greatness inside.’ That non-verbal look helps me to be better than I was yesterday.” If only she could package and sell that look. It’d be on mirrors everywhere.
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Photo: Courtesy of Instagram/@beyonce
Baby Bangs
Beyoncé stepped out on several occasions in 2014 with a super-short fringe reminiscent of the '50s pin-up Bettie Page. Similar to the reaction of her radical new pixie chop, the baby bangs sent another torrent of confusion across the web. But whatever you thought of the look, this was more proof of Beyoncé's fearlessness when it comes to trying something new — even if her risky styles only last a few weeks.

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Photo: Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images.
Nail Art
One thing that everyone can probably agree about Beyoncé is that she seems super detail-oriented and always next level with execution.
Just take a look at her down-to-the-tip outfit details, which always include tricked-out nails — ranging from bejeweled to talon-style —that are often as elaborate as her outfit.

Manicurist Lisa Logan is largely responsible for the bling, designing nail looks for countless red carpets, performances, and videos like “Single Ladies.” In 2014, Beyoncé launched her own selection of nail wraps in collaboration with beauty company NCLA and Logan. The looks ranged from plaid to jewel-toned mosaics named after her notable lyrics.
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Photo: Instagram/@davidguetta
Flower Crowns
Flower crowns, which originated in Ancient Greece, and have been worn in some variation every era since, are absolutely nothing new. However, the romantic simplicity of them caught major wind in the past few years — especially by girls at Coachella, boho-chic brides, and Beyoncé.

But despite Bey's backing and their sweet, feminine charm, this is the story of a trend turned cliché and anti-trend. WhoWhatWear even claimed that the look was “done-to-death.” But leave it to Bey to turn things on their petal-adorned heads. At Coachella this year, she donned a tee that read “Burn Your Flower Crown” with a....wait for it... flower crown. You see, Bey does what she wants — mixed messages included.
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Photo: XPOS/AKM
Vacation Beyoncé
Beyoncé knows how to work hard, and damn it, the woman knows how to relax. Bey on holiday really deserves its own new set of 15 slides — her coasting along on a luxury schooner, nonchalantly laying across a stack of surfboards, or posing in front of a Parisian landmark.

Her vacation steeze is one to copy. Lately, Bey has been all about accessorizing her bathing suit with flash tats —she's even created her own line. The five-sheet collection includes black and gold temporaries of lyrics, guns, and beehive-inspired images.

Other looks that usually indicate Bey is off-the-radar: au natural curls, no makeup, colorful head wraps, and delicate hair jewelry. Because even when she’s on vacation, Bey is still working it.
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