Kate Hudson's Beauty Evolution Is A Lesson In California Cool

Photo: Venturelli/Getty Images.
It’s hard to talk about Kate Hudson’s beauty MO without bringing up her IRL vibe. When the actress cruised onto the scene in 2000, playing the free-spirited and magnetic Penny Lane in Almost Famous, we collectively fell in love with her unflappable joie de vivre (one that seemed inseparable from the character she played). That image has only grown as we’ve gotten to know Kate more and more — but her beauty evolution is far from one-note.
The public’s picture of Kate could easily be described as a woman who smiles, laughs, and beams light — and it’s something that typifies her approach to beauty, too. That is, the actress looks most at home with dewy skin and soft, golden makeup. But when she wields color? It’s often fresh and fun, like bright blue underliner or a hit of fuchsia lipstick — and something many of us just may have overlooked through the years. That's right, beneath the actress’ patent on relaxed, Cali-cool beauty is a penchant for major risk taking.
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Just in time for her birthday tomorrow, we've rounded up the looks you simply can't miss, all of which form a master course in experimenting with different looks — but never abandoning your signature style.
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Photo: Walter McBride/Corbis/Getty Images.
1997

At 18-years-old, we weren’t exactly hitting up a Tommy Hilfiger show like Kate Hudson, but we were rocking shimmer eyeshadow and frosted peach lipstick, too.
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Photo: Ron Galella Ltd/WireImage.
1999

The actress showcases two '90s staples with this look: barely there makeup and pencil-thin brows.
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Photo: Ron Galella, Ltd/WireImage.
2000

One year later, Kate reveals a more grown-up look: a modern take on Veronica Lake’s peek-a-boo waves and a soft smoky eye.
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Photo: Steve Granitz/WireImage.
2001

The Almost Famous actress tries a bolder makeup look — and wins! — thanks to a berry lip stain and fluttery lashes.
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Photo: J. Vespa/WireImage.
This electric lilac underliner has staged a major comeback as of late. The updated way to wear the look? Paired with nude lips.
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Photo: SGranitz/WireImage.
When Kate Hudson turned up at the Academy Awards with corkscrew curls — a strong departure from her typically straight locks — many were shocked, but we love the risk-taking move.
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Photo: SGranitz/WireImage.
2002

Give us a curling iron and we can replicate those bouncy, red carpet waves. One thing we can’t have? That Kate Hudson (by way of Goldie Hawn) signature smile.
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Photo: Getty Images.
2003

Years before they became mainstream trends, Kate wore monochromatic makeup in now-popular peach shades.
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Photo: Jeffrey Mayer/WireImage.
We barely recognize the actress in this 2003 shot. Tanned skin, flat ironed hair, and ultralight concealer worn around the eyes signal the perfect beauty throwback to the time.
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Photo: Gregg DeGuire/WireImage.
2004

Peach-toned nudes and wavy hair are two of the actress’ go-to looks. But check out her décolletage: the subtle, glowing highlight is the perfect antidote to the body contour that we’ve been seeing on the red carpet as of late.
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Photo: George Pimentel/WireImage.
2005

No-makeup makeup with a hint of glow paired with soft waves is Hudson's go-to look, no doubt about it.
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Photo: Paul McConnell/Getty Images.
2006

A sleek pony, bronzed skin, and glossy lips tweak the building blocks of laid-back, Cali style into the perfect night out look.
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Photo: Lester Cohen/WireImage.
2007

Up until this point in her red carpet journey, Kate has typically reserved eye makeup for statement looks only (think: bright colored liner). Here, a simple cat-eye rendered in black, with fluttery lashes, make for a more pulled-together vibe (particularly when paired with a textured updo).
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Photo: Jason Merritt/FilmMagic.
2008

Just like mom Goldie Hawn, the actress (seen here at a Fool’s Gold screening) wears wispy bangs well, but it's her blue, tightlined eye look that we can't stop staring at.
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Photo: Dimitrios Kambouris/WireImage.
2009

The best armour for the Bride Wars premiere? Full-on, smoky eyes, a look that's become something of a Kate-on-the-carpet staple.
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Photo: Bryan Bedder/Getty Images.
2010

Proof that kohl-rimmed eyes and bright red lips can work together. The trick? Keep the liner confined to a precise point, drawn in the waterline.
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Photo: Steve Granitz/WireImage.
2011

At the Something Borrowed premiere, Kate wears a signature look: bronzed skin with a touch of glow, accented by a wash of apricot on the cheeks and lips.
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Photo: Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic.
2012

The actress gives loose S-waves a refreshing spin, wearing them brushed back (with no part) and away from her face.
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Photo: Steve Granitz/WireImage.
2013

This is a study in how to make green eyes pop: Black liner stops short of the inner corners, but is exaggerated on the outer ends of the eye, giving an illusion of an almond shape. Then, a hint of olive eyeshadow is lightly layered on the outer corners, intensifying the actress’ green irises.
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Photo: Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic.
2014

This is the stuff of #topknotdreams — and exactly what we try to get right when styling our hair for Sunday brunch. The bun is textured for volume and has a few loose ends, but looks anything but messy.
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Photo: Jason Merritt/Getty Images.
For most of her red carpet appearances, Kate has chosen to play up her eyes, rather than wear a bold lip color, but here it’s the bright berry lipstick that steals the show.
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Photo: Robin Marchant/WireImage.
2015

The recipe for a fresh-faced look that will never expire? Glowing skin, white shadow (to help eyes look more awake), and bright-red lips that pops against the actress’ yellow top.
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Photo: Larry Busacca/Getty Images.
In 2015, the Met Gala’s theme was China: Through The Looking Glass and Kate represented with a headpiece and topknot that we’re still fawning over. While we may not be able to replicate the fancy headgear, we can keep this style tip in mind: fuchsia lipstick looks incredible when paired with shimmering gold.
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Photo: Dave Benett/WireImage.
2016

It’s rare to see the actress wearing a dark, almost vampy lip color on the red carpet — and we want more. This look is a knockout, particularly when paired with fluttery lashes and loose curls.
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Photo: Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic.
Kate wears one of last year’s biggest red carpet trends well: the slicked-back lob.
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Photo: Venturelli/Getty Images.
Half-up hair gets a dressy updates thanks to an inky smoky eye.
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Photo: Jeffrey Mayer/WireImage.
Monochromatic makeup, done in shimmering shades of tan, is giving us major '70s vibes.
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Photo: Steve Granitz/WireImage.
2017

Slicked-back hair with voluminous roots and vampy, matte lipstick — all topped off with a cool-girl cartilage piercing? Kate exhibits the pinnacle of beauty with an edge at the 2017 Screen Actors Guild Awards.
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Photo: Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images.
We love the brushed-out waves and loads of mascara that the actress wears in this look — and that she busts out one of our favorite beauty-sartorial pairings: matte red lips with a mustard yellow dress.
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