Great Outfits in Fashion History, Beauty All Stars Edition: Barbra Streisand

She's not just an American treasure — she's also a beauty icon for the ages.
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There are perfectly good celebrity style moments, and then there are the looks that really stick with you, the ones you try desperately to recreate at home. In 'Great Outfits in Fashion History: All-Star Edition' Fashionista editors are revisiting their all-time favorite lewks from the stylish stars who make regular appearances on best-dressed lists.

In 1996, ahead of the premiere for the film "The Mirror Has Two Faces," The New York Times published an article titled "Barbra Streisand, Still Not Pretty Enough". The story quotes Babs herself saying that her looks had always been "talked about in some strange way" since childhood. "On the one hand I'll be compared to an Egyptian sculpture and on the other hand people think I'm awful looking," she told the publication at the time. "My opinion of myself is probably a little bit of both." 

There's a whole hell of a lot to unpack there: the extent to which we, as a culture, place unhealthy, unfair and unrealistic expectations on famous women; the way women's value is directly linked to their appearance; the misogynistic, xenophobic history of "othering" those who don't fit a specific mold of what it means to be "beautiful"; the tragic reality that even someone as talented, revered and seemingly self-assured as Barbra Streisand can have her self-image (and self-worth) so easily manipulated by the public gaze. All this loaded discourse about Streisand's appearance aside, there's no denying that in her more than half a century in the public eye, she has solidified her status not only as an American treasure, but also as a beauty icon for the ages. 

After all these years, Streisand remains a driving force in pop culture and in fashion. Need proof? As recently as 2019, she inspired the beauty look on the Marc Jacobs runway and a sweatshirt on the Coach runway. It's no wonder why: She's a beauty chameleon. Over the years, she's worn scores of trendsetting hairstyles, plenty of dramatic eye makeup looks, an abundance of outfit-making hair accessories and many nude lipsticks. We've seen her sporting a perfectly polished '60s bob while hanging with JFK, wearing a cat-eye that still inspires makeup artists to this very day, dabbling in voluminous disco waves in the '70s and even testing the crimped-texture waters of the 2000s. Still, she's also managed to make each of these looks uniquely, authentically hers.

In the gallery below, we take a look back at some of Streisand's most memorable beauty moments through the years:

Feeling inspired? Shop these Streisand-inspired beauty picks:

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