Celebrity Makeunders That Made Our Jaws Drop

Maybe it goes without saying, but the R29 beauty team fancies high-voltage beauty looks as much as we do Bagel Fridays. From next-level liner to betta-fish hair, chances are we've covered it (and rushed home to try it ourselves).

But nowadays, bold beauty can sometimes feel a little... been there, seen that. What really makes us do a double-take is when celebs debut a more dialed-back version of themselves or what we like to call the makeunder. So, we figured it was time to call out some of their most notable, toned-down transformations.


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Photo: Kristen Callahan / Everett / Rex USA.
Lady Gaga
This woman has tried every bold beauty look in the book (and even invented some of her own). From over-the-top hair and makeup — and the occasional meat hair accessory — you'll never miss an entrance from this one.
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Photo: Larry Busacca / Getty Images.
Sure, her brows are bleached and her cheeks are contoured to perfection, but this is downright tame for a woman who refers to herself as Mother Monster.
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Photo: Picture Perfect / Rex USA.
Taylor Swift
Back in T. Swift's Fearless days, the pop star rarely strayed from her signature ringlets and heavy eyeshadow, which she sometimes casually matched to her dresses (pretty sure we were in the same boat at 18, minus the number of 0's in our bank account.).
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Photo: Bauer-Griffin / Getty Images.
Seven years and three albums later, Swift has gone from teen country princess to full-blown pop queen — complete with a sleek, sandy-blonde lob, minimal makeup, and signature red lips. We can't think of a look that suits her better.
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Photo: Matt Baron / BEimages.
Jenna Dewan-Tatum
Before tying the knot with Channing, and giving birth to baby Everly, the Step Up star was all about the beachy tans, center-parted waves, and SoCal highlights.
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Photo: Matt Baron / BEimages.
Nearly a decade later, Dewan-Tatum has swapped the fake tan for luminous skin, and the wild waves for a sleek, modern chop. She's never looked so on point.
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Photo: Michael Buckner.
Kourtney Kardashian
Two years into their hit reality show, the oldest Kardashian sister was living a faux-tanned life — with the heavy bronzer to match.
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Photo: Denise Truscello / Getty Images.
Now, with the exception of the occasional trip to Vegas, the mom of three has nixed the aggressively bronzed skin and heavy makeup for a more laid back beauty vibe.
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Photo: MARC LARKIN/REX USA.
Jessica Alba
Prior to kicking ass on Dark Angel, Alba experimented with dramatic shadow, frosty lips, and overly plucked brows akin to almost every '90s girl at the time.
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Photo: Michael Loccisano / Getty Images.
Fast forward 14 years, Alba is running her own empire, and looking fabulous doing it. Fuller brows, an effortless bob, and a pop of pink gloss are glamorous, yet practical.
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Photo: Jim Smeal / BEimages.
Solange Knowles
The singer/actress sported less-than-subtle silver shadow and lots of loose waves at the Johnson Family Vacation premiere in 2004.
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Photo: Larry Busacca / Getty Images.
With no-makeup makeup and natural hair, Knowles proves that sometimes less really is more. Doesn't she look stunning?
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Photo: AFP.
Lucy Hale
In the early episodes of Pretty Little Liars, Lucy Hale piled on bold blush paired with red lips — a combo that can appear clown-like.
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Photo: Rob Loud.
Four years later, and Hale has come a long way in her beauty evolution, swapping the theatrical-like shades for softer rose tones and lush lashes. Shout-out to homegirl for maintaining those amazing brows the entire time, though.
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Photo: Erik Pendzich / REX.
Leighton Meester
Back in the prime of her Gossip Girl days (xoxo), Leighton often experimented with heavier makeup and hair extensions galore.
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Photo: Chelsea Lauren.
Now married to The O.C.'s resident hottie, Adam Brody, Meester opts for the au natural thang — proving she doesn't need to wear makeup à la Blair Waldorf to look like a million bucks.
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Photo: Lamb/Pwire / BEImages.
Gwyneth Paltrow
Gwyneth is undoubtedly one of the most notable natural beauties in Hollywood (and always has been), so when she showed up to an event in 2003 wearing an oxblood lip and intense falsies, we couldn't help but wonder, why?
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Photo: Rob Latour / Getty Images.
In 2015, Paltrow is rarely seen rocking anything but muted makeup or nude hues. And into her early 40s, she's looking as fresh-faced and youthful as ever.
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