Tessa Thompson's Beauty Evolution Is One For The Books

Sure, Rihanna got her own LVMH-backed fashion brand, and Drake's on the brink of seeing his beloved basketball team win the NBA finals, but some people would say it's actually Tessa Thompson who's having the best 2019 thus far. On the heels of reprising her role of Valkyrie in Avengers: Endgame, Thompson is currently promoting her latest film Men in Black: International, and she's set to be the voice of Lady in the Disney remake of Lady and the Tramp later this year. All this comes after her breakout roles in Westworld, Annihilation, and Sorry To Bother You. (2018 was clearly her year, too.)

But even when Thompson steps out of her eclectic roster of characters, it's her real-life persona that tends to grab people's attention — especially when it comes to her statement-making fashion and beauty choices. Now, with all eyes on her, there's no better time to walk through Thompson's impressive Hollywood transformation, from a fresh-faced actress to a bold boundary-breaking star. Check it out, ahead.

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Photo: Jeffrey Mayer/WireImage.
2005

From the very beginning of her career — and a quick appearance on Cold Case — Thompson never shied away from a bold lip, starting with this classic red.
Photo: Kevin Winter/Getty Images.
2007

Before her days of graphic eyeliner and elaborate updos, Thompson stuck to natural makeup ands loose curls for almost every red carpet.
Photo: Jean Baptiste Lacroix/WireImage.
2010

With every additional role, it seemed as though Thompson was gaining more and more confidence with her look — and this bold orange lipstick was no exception.
Photo: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images.
2011

Sticking to classics like a black cat-eye and muted orange lip, Thompson looks like a Hollywood star in the making.
Photo: Jim Spellman/WireImage.
2012

A year later, Thompson lightened up her ends with some auburn highlights.
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Photo: Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic.
2014

Fast forward to 2014 and Thompson rocked — for the first and last time — a warm honey-blonde hue.
Photo: Unique Nicole/Getty Images.
2015

While attending the 6th Annual AAFCA Awards, Thompson let her shiny curls take center stage, complementing the look with a glowing base and a burnt-orange lip.
Photo: Anthony Harvey/Getty Images.
2016

For the European premiere of Creed, Thompson opted for something sleek and sexy: a tousled blowout, bronze smoky eye, and wash of nude gloss.
Photo: J. Merritt/Getty Images.
2017

Certainly in the top five of her best looks, this blunt bob and brown monochrome makeup combo turned heads at the 69th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards.
Photo: Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic.
Thompson and her hairstylist Lacy Redway channeled Frida Kahlo with a modern take on her classic floral updo. Her makeup artist Kirin Bhatty stuck to soft browns and pinks to keep her look feeling soft and romantic.
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Photo: Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images.
2018

Thompson looked fresh as hell at HBO's Golden Globe Awards after party, where Bhatty gave her a glowing makeup look and Redway topped her off with a set of cornrows.
Photo: Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images.
According to Redway, you're looking at Thompson's glorious natural texture here. The modern cut and shape — not to mention that killer wine-stained lip — makes this one of our all-time favorite looks on her.
Photo: Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images.
Thompson's first time at the Met Gala was nothing short of memorable — and it was all in the dramatic details, like her face and body pearl embellishments, upside down white liner, and three-tiered bun.
Photo: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images.
Thompson rocked her own twist on '60s makeup while promoting her film Sorry To Bother You in New York City. Makeup artist Bhatty gave her a dramatic cat eye, and kept the rest of her makeup relatively minimal with a slightly shimmery nude lip.
"Pearls for my girl," Redway wrote on Instagram, showing fans that Thompson was getting in on the pearl hair trend yet again for a Sorry To Bother You screening. This time, rather than have them run down her back, Redway weaved the white pearl beads through her braids for an elegant look fit for a red carpet beauty icon.
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Photo: Charles Sykes/Invision/AP/Shutterstock.
2019

Thompson and Redway nailed the 2019 Met Gala theme — which was all about the intersection of camp culture and fashion — by turning her 12-foot braid into a latex-wrapped whip.
Thompson's looks have remained both dramatic and inspiring throughout her long global press tour for Men In Black. For an appearance in Beijing, her team looked to Prince for inspiration, pairing a tight pompadour with bronze shadow and a plump burgundy lip, courtesy of makeup artist Alex Babsky.
While in Beijing, Thompson also showed us how to bring our cat-eyes into the 21st century. Rather than having them draw out to a point, Babsky left them blocked off at the ends. Redway finished off the look with knotless, knee-length (yes, knee-length) box braids.
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