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8 Unexpected Beauty Trends from the 2016 Oscars Red Carpet

Some interesting trends emerged this year.
Rooney Mara, Saoirsie Ronan, Kerry Washington. (Photos: Jason Merritt/Getty Images)

Rooney Mara, Saoirsie Ronan, Kerry Washington. (Photos: Jason Merritt/Getty Images)

Every awards season I challenge myself to try to look past the pretty updos and perfectly respectable makeup to find interesting looks and unexpected trends on red carpets. At this year's Oscars, it was easier than usual, surprisingly. Here are eight mini-trends that popped up on the red carpet.

*We will update hairstylist and makeup artist credits as they become available.

Pulled Back Middle Part (aka Mary Todd Lincoln Hair)

In quick succession, we saw several ladies with middle-parted, pulled back, slightly volumized hair walk the red carpet. I wasn't sure at first what to call it, but then former Fashionista writer Nora Crotty pointed out that it was eerily similar to Mary Todd Lincoln, alleged spendthrift and wife of Abraham Lincoln. Don't believe me? Look.

Best from the Back

These ladies looked perfectly beautiful from the front, but wait 'til you see them from behind. 

Matchy-Matchy Makeup

Matching your makeup to your dress is just easy. In the following cases, it also looked great.

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Flowy Hair

Yes, yes, so flowing, pretty hair is a staple at the Oscars, but this year it was a bit messier and more (slightly, admittedly) interesting. 


Nothing gives me more pleasure than when people on the red carpet look like pop culture figures. 

Sleek Swoop

Two blonde actresses got out the flat irons and hair gel last night. Thank goodness they parted it in two slightly different ways.


Red hair is the least common hair color, so to see four examples of it at once (although, ahem, some may not be entirely natural) on the red carpet in one night is like finding a four-leaf clover. 

Sparkly Eyelids

Gaga's pink, sparkly lids. (Photo: Jason Merritt/Getty Images)

Gaga's pink, sparkly lids. (Photo: Jason Merritt/Getty Images)

There's only one person in this category and obviously it's Lady Gaga. Makeup artist Sarah Tanno, who was also the genius responsible for Gaga's red glitter eye shadow at the Super Bowl, likes some shimmer. I support her.