Rihanna has rewritten the rules of beauty and fashion so many times that you could basically say it’s a hobby of hers. And this year has certainly been no exception: Since revealing she’s expecting a child with A$AP Rocky back in January, the singer-slash-entrepreneur has been credited with pioneering the “sultry” pregnancy look, a style that went on to dominate this year’s Paris Fashion Week and even the cover of Vogue.
Thus, it’s no surprise that Rihanna’s red carpet glam so regularly breaks the internet — especially when it comes to the Met Gala. Along with notable outfits like a menswear tuxedo and a lengthy princess gown (and so much more), Rihanna’s Met Gala makeup and hair looks have equally spurred dropped jaws and heart eyes to all who have caught sight of her. And so, since the 2022 Met Gala is just around the corner (aka next week!), fans are awaiting the daring entrepreneur’s debut of yet another show-stopping ensemble and iconic beauty moment.
Be sure to tune in on Monday, May 2, for what will surely be a visual feast. In the meantime, keep scrolling for a look back at Rihanna’s best Met Gala makeup and hairstyles that we can’t stop thinking about.
2009: Bold Pixie
Rihanna switched the script for 2009’s “The Model As Muse: Embody Fashion” Met Gala theme and donned a menswear ‘fit. But what really stood out about the look was her hair and makeup: The singer wore a layered pixie with a deep side part and blonde highlights, and her glam consisted of bright blue eyeshadow and eyeliner in the form of a fierce, smoked out cat eye.
2011: Red Mermaid Braid
In 2011, Rihanna wore her radiant red hair in one lengthy braid, and braided the hair around her face for even more of a romantic touch (à la early 2000s tendrils). As for glam, the singer’s bright hair hue matched her deep red lips. Paired with her black lace Stella McCartney gown and matching black manicure and pedicure, she was definitely giving punk mermaid vibes.
2012: Sculptural Buns
Rihanna wore a crocodile Tom Ford gown to the 2014 “Shiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations” themed Met Gala along with a sculptural updo made out of multiple puffy buns that showed off her partially shaved ‘do.
2014: Perfectly Messy Updo
At the 2014 “Charles James: Beyond Fashion” themed Met Gala (where her two-piece outfit essentially led the charge on red-carpet crop tops), Rihanna made a messy updo — complete with curled face-framing tendrils — incredibly chic and elegant. For her makeup, she sported thick black liner, defined brows, and baby pink lips.
2015: Crimson Flipped Bob
Rihanna’s 2015 Met Gala look is definitely one of her most memorable, considering it inspired countless memes that year. Not only did she bring back her iconic red hair — in a stunning deeper shade — but she cut it into a short bob and flipped her ends out for a retro-chic look. The singer also wore monochrome pink eyeshadow and blush to complement her ‘do.
2017: Rosy Radiance
For the 2017 “Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garcons: Art Of The In-Between” Met Gala, Rihanna took the monochromatic pink glam up a notch with her perfect execution of blush draping. With her hair pulled into a chic topknot and straight across bangs, she was able to flaunt that jaw-dropping candy-colored glam.
2018: Angelic Aesthetic
In yet another internet-breaking fashion moment, Rihanna followed the 2018 “Heavenly Bodies: Fashion & The Catholic Imagination” Met Gala theme by dressing as… a literal sexy pope. She completed her look with a smoky eye, pink pout, and two single hair tendrils flowing beneath her headpiece.
2021: Goth Glam
Rihanna’s most recent Met Gala look was the epitome of goth glam. To match her elaborate black Balenciaga gown and beanie, the star rocked a deep plum lipstick, lengthy lashes, and hints of pinks and purples on her lids. Utter perfection.