Proof Solange Is The Ultimate Beauty Icon

Photo: Getty Images.
I'm about to say something that might make the Beyhive swarm me, but here goes: Solange is, by far, the cooler Knowles sister in my book. Beyoncé is an icon, plain and simple, but Solange is the friend I'd let have the final say in everything, from makeup and styling to music and art.

I (and everyone I know) fell for A Seat At the Table, her latest album that dropped in September, almost immediately. In celebration of this release, and the many appearances she is making to promote it, we're taking a look back at her beauty evolution. Because, after all, the same words that describe her music work for her looks as well: polished, innovative, and downright cool.

As you'll see in the slides ahead, her teens and early 20s were a parade of trendy looks, but then she broke away from the crowd by transitioning her hair to its natural texture, embracing a monochromatic signature look, and distinguishing herself from her older sister with edgy style that's all her own.

Click through the slideshow for proof that Solange is the queen of the cool girls.
Advertisement
1 of 22
Photo: Getty Images.
2001
Solange hit the scene early, thanks to older sister Beyoncé. At 15, she attended the 14th annual Kids' Choice Awards with frosty eyeshadow and glossy lips, two early-aughts trends.
2 of 22
Photo: Getty Images.
2003
Two years later, she attended the American Music Awards with her older sis. She kept the shimmery shadow and red box braids with curly ends going strong.
Advertisement
3 of 22
Photo: Getty Images.
2005
The experimentation cruised right into 2005. Here, Solange had traded in her red braids for long, caramel-highlighted waves.
4 of 22
Photo: Getty Images.
2009
Solange is hardly recognizable here with side-swept bangs and bouncy curls.
5 of 22
Photo: Getty Images.
A month or so later, she was dipping her toes into eye makeup she'd later revisit: vibrant swipes of color fit for a night on stage — that matched her outfit, to boot.
6 of 22
In one fell beauty swoop — a buzz cut, to be exact — the singer started on a path of style experimentation that cemented her identity as an artist.
7 of 22
Photo: Getty Images.
2012
More than three years later, she's honed a look that will become her hair signature: big, natural texture with a center-part and bangs.
Advertisement
8 of 22
Photo: Getty Images.
2013
The next year, Solange stepped out for the premiere of Beyoncé: Life Is But a Dream in New York with glossy ringlets and vibrant red lips.
9 of 22
Photo: Getty Images.
In June of that year, she sported the same red lips (and a matching mani — a recurring theme for her) while performing at the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival.
10 of 22
Photo: Getty Images.
Just three months later, Solange rocked an Afro and no-makeup makeup during Fashion Week.
11 of 22
Photo: Getty Images.
In November of that year, Solange stepped out with box braids that had loose ends, a look she's sported on and off, and a vibrant, matte lip color.
12 of 22
Photo: Getty Images.
2014
During New York Fashion Week, she was a street style favorite. One glance at her hair and makeup, and it's clear why.
Advertisement
13 of 22
Photo: Getty Images.
In a rare appearance with a choppy, grown-out pixie, Solange pushed herself out of her own box for the Charles James: Beyond Fashion Costume Institute Gala — an event that calls for something novel.
14 of 22
Photo: Getty Images.
2014
In a Diana Ross-inspired moment at the CFDA Fashion Awards, the singer shines with full, voluminous texture and a center-part, bushy brows, and soft-pink lipstick. Long live disco!
15 of 22
Photo: Getty Images.
One of our favorite looks is this one, where she wears an undereye swipe of vibrant, orange-red shadow.
16 of 22
Photo: Getty Images.
2014
Did you think badass Solange would take the traditional route for her New Orleans wedding to director Alan Ferguson? The hair! The lipstick! The jumpsuit!
17 of 22
Photo: Getty Images.
2015
The next year, Solange had found her trademark: a monochromatic palette. Here, she offsets the rusty-orange hue with a pop of colorful liner during New York Fashion Week.
Advertisement
18 of 22
Photo: Getty Images.
Later that year, she called upon the same avant-garde eye look from 2009 for FYF music festival in L.A.
19 of 22
Photo: Getty Images.
At the end of the year, she debuted long box braids that the internet went crazy for — paired with orange-red lips coordinated to her dress, of course.
20 of 22
Photo: Getty Images.
2016
In a truly iconic moment in her career, Solange appeared on Saturday Night Live in November with braids that were a work of art.
21 of 22
Photo: Getty Images.
Perhaps in an ode to her hair on her album cover, she artfully sported classic barrettes along her hairline for the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Awards. In the same hue as her outfit, obviously.
22 of 22
Like this post? There's more. Get tons of beauty tips, tutorials, and news on the Refinery29 Beauty Facebook page. Like us on Facebook — we'll see you there!
Advertisement