What These Oscar Nominees Looked Like On Their First Red Carpet

Photo: Jeff Vespa/WireImage.
With so many killer actresses dominating the Oscars ballot every year, we always anticipate some big beauty moments. After all, it's the awards show that closes out the season — might as well go out with a memorable bang, even if it's without a golden statue. Of course, red-carpet veterans like Meryl Streep and Frances McDormand are usually in attendance, but there's also some relative newcomers, like Margot Robbie. Which got us thinking: What did these stars do with their beauty look the first time they arrived for the biggest night in film? Did they have a totally different haircut? Experiment with a bold lip color?
Advertisement
We’ve dug up old photos of all the Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress nominees on their first Oscars red carpet — and, no surprise, they all looked amazing back then, too. Although there are few famous faces missing (somehow nominees Lesley Manville and Laurie Metcalf have never been on this red carpet before), the upcoming looks are still worth the pang of nostalgia. Click ahead to take a trip back in time with the A-list crowd.
1 of 9
Photo: Jeff Vespa/WireImage.
Saoirse Ronan

Ronan's beauty game has been strong while promoting Lady Bird (like this ponytail and this modern liner), but she also excels at natural makeup. Our prime example: Her first Oscars appearance in 2008 where every last freckle was on display.
2 of 9
Photo: Tony Barson Archive/WireImage.
Allison Janney

The first time Janney graced the Oscars red carpet was for the 2004 Vanity Fair Party, and she rocked the kind of choppy shag we've been asking our stylists for for at least a year.
Advertisement
3 of 9
Photo: Jeff Vespa/WireImage.
Octavia Spencer

Last year, Spencer was nominated for Hidden Figures; this year, for The Shape of Water. Naturally, we remember her first Academy Awards appearance in 2011 like it was yesterday. In our minds, she stole the show with her sophisticated chignon and simple smoky eye.
4 of 9
Photo: Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic.
Margot Robbie

After her appearance as blonde bombshell Naomi Lapaglia in The Wolf of Wall Street, Robbie went her darkest shade of brunette for the 2014 Oscars. Not everyone was a fan of her bold color change, but we certainly loved the smoldering look.
5 of 9
Photo: Russell Einhorn/Liaison.
Frances McDormand

As luck would have it, McDormand's first appearance in 1997 was the same night she earned her very first Oscar for Best Actress in Fargo. Critics predict that 2018 will be the year she snags the golden statue once again.
6 of 9
Photo: David Livingston/Getty Images.
Mary J. Blige

Somehow, Blige has never attended the Oscars, but she did manage to attend Elton John's viewing party back in 2006. Now, she's nominated again — and making history in the process. Hopefully, she brings this timeless eye look with her.
7 of 9
Photo: Ron Galella/WireImage.
Meryl Streep
Streep is an Academy Awards veteran, having made her first appearance in 1979 as a Best Supporting Actress nominee for Deer Hunter. She looked great in a subtle cat-eye and voluminous, '70s-era curls parted deeply to the side. This year, she's in the running for Best Actress for The Post.
8 of 9
Photo: Steve Granitz/WireImage.
Sally Hawkins

After being nominated for in 2014 for her role as Ginger in Blue Jasmine, Hawkins rocked a subtle smoky eye spotlighting a blend of bronze shadows to her first Academy Awards.
9 of 9
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