You Won't Believe How Much Julia Roberts Has Changed

Photo: Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage/Getty Images.
For one of the most recognizable faces in the world, Julia Roberts has never stuck to one look for long. Under the guidance of hairstylist Serge Normant, she's gone from brunette to strawberry blonde to auburn to honey blonde, and then back again. She's had bangs that were straight, and bangs that were side-swept. She's even rocked a rather unfortunate quasi-mullet, but let's blame that on it being 1985.
The actress, who's also the keeper of a truly pure Instagram account, has always been reliable for shaking it up — flipping her hairstyles, hair colors, and makeup looks from one extreme to another before finally landing on a style that fits the actress just right. "She's not afraid to experiment," Normant told Refinery29. "[Her hairstyle] just has to be something that's easy and effortless, not contrived."
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To say that looking back at her first few red carpets is thrilling would be an understatement. See how far Roberts has come, ahead.
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Photo: Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage/Getty Images.
1985

This is Roberts' first major red carpet appearance and, well, wow. What would you call this hair? A fluffy mullet? A hair helmet? Blame it on being 1985. Julia really had no choice.

As far as the makeup, it's pretty subtle by '80s standards — with a touch of blue liner, rosy lipstick, and thick brows, which clearly run in the family (that's her brother and sister, Eric and Lisa Roberts, to her left and actor Jon Voight to her right.)
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Photo: Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage/Getty Images.
1989

Right around the filming of 1990's Pretty Woman is when Julia Roberts' iconic hair came to life. With strawberry blonde curls that'd make Botticelli weep and relatively minimal makeup, I personally refuse to stop bringing this photo to my hairstylist.
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Photo: Richard Perry/Sygma/Getty Images.
1991

A star is born, and with it, so is the quintessential Hollywood blonde makeover. With Kiefer Sutherland on her arm, Roberts channelled Marilyn Monroe at the 1991 Oscars. The makeup in this look is quite pretty, with rose-colored lips, slightly flushed cheeks, and just the right amount of eyeshadow.
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Photo: Ron Galella/WireImage/Getty Images.
1993

After three weeks of dating, Roberts married Lyle Lovett in 1993 (Pete and Ariana could never). Among other major life changes, Roberts started wearing her hair straight, with slightly flipped ends that were peak '90s.
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Photo: The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images.
1995

We're extremely here for this smoky eye. For the premiere of her film Something to Talk About, Roberts inched back to her Pretty Woman auburn hair, and then added a long bang. The makeup for this premiere was more dramatic than she'd ever worn before, with a dark black smoky eyes and glossy red lips.
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Photo: Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage/Getty Images.
1997

Did your mom (or, better yet, Stepmom) also have this exact hair in 1997? Us too, and maybe that's why we kind of love it.
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Photo: Jim Smeal/WireImage/Getty Images.
1998

Still unable to let that blonde hair go, Roberts attended the 1998 Golden Globes with her straightened hair pulled back on both sides with neat little bobby pins. To match her glittery dress, she wore shimmery eyeshadow and a glossy mauve lip.
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Photo: Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage/Getty Images.
2000

Roberts returned to her signature auburn color, this time styling it in tighter ringlets cut right to her shoulders. Squint and you can see that her eyeshadow matches her dress, which is a very 2000s move.
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Photo: Chris Weeks/Getty Images.
2001

This is the moment Roberts ascended into beauty icon status. At the 2001 Academy Awards, where she'd win best actress for Erin Brockovich, Roberts stepped out looking like a modern Audrey Hepburn, with her dark hair styled straight into a voluminous, sculpted updo. As for the makeup, it was all about a smoky cat eye and glossy lips, with just a hint of blush on her cheekbones.
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Photo: LUCY NICHOLSON/AFP/Getty Images.
2002

Roberts went back to a strawberry-blonde hue into 2002, pairing it with a pinky-peach gloss that fit her laidback L.A. life.
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Photo: Gregory Pace/FilmMagic/Getty Images.
2003

For the premiere of her film Mona Lisa Smile, Roberts kind of channeled Mona Lisa herself, with dark hair and luminescent skin. Though she did wear a little more makeup, swiping on pink lipstick, pink blush, and a few sweeps of light green eyeshadow.
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Photo: Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic/Getty Images.
2004

Going back to her beloved honey-blonde hair, Roberts wore it styled in bouncy curls for the 2004 Oscars, and again matched her eye makeup to her dress, wearing a smoky champagne eye with light pink lipstick.
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Photo: Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic/Getty Images.
2007

It looks like the inspiration for this hair color might have actually been the color of her eyes, which is a trend we wouldn't mind becoming a reality. Now with far more of a red tint in her hair, Roberts started wearing her hair in loose waves in 2007, and it quickly became a favorite hairstyle of hers.
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Photo: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images.
2009

See? Even with blonde hair, she knew these face-framing waves fit her like a dream.
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Photo: James Devaney/WireImage/Getty Images.
2010

For the Eat, Pray, Love press cycle, Roberts ditched the light blonde hair she wore in the film for chocolate brown strands with reddish highlights. Still rocking her favorite curls, we've noticed that she tends to wear heavier makeup when she's a brunette.
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Photo: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images.
2014

At the 2014 Golden Globes, Roberts wore a rare updo, with her hair piled into a voluminous, '60s-inspired bouffant. The makeup was all about the eyes for this event, with dark smudged liner flared out into a cat-eye.
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Photo: Venturelli/WireImage/Getty Images.
2016

While most of the press at the Money Monster Cannes premiere focused on the fact that Roberts went barefoot on the red carpet, we think this hair is just as inspiring. With a truly glorious mane of golden waves, Roberts went full glam for this event, wearing eyeliner around her entire eye and shimmer eyeshadow, as well as that perfect, omnipresent pink lipstick.
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Photo: Emma McIntyre/Getty Images.
2018

We haven't seen Roberts this blonde since 1991, and we're loving it. The shorter, straighter, brighter lob might be new, but the volume and strategic layering is 100% Julia. When you know what works, why change it?
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