Most Beautiful at Every Age
GIGI HADID, 20
Fashion's newest 'It' girl (and 2015's Model of the Year) swears by regular boxing sessions with her trainer to stay fit. Hadid, who has almost 3 million Instagram followers, also has a few tips for taking beautiful selfies: "Good lighting. Always be near a window if you're inside. Natural light. And then when you're outside, it's always good to be in a sunny place but in the shade facing the light so you're not overexposed."
ARIANA GRANDE, 21
The 21-year-old pop star is already taking a wise approach to beauty. Case in point: Her signature ponytail look. "My actual hair is so broken that it looks absolutely ratchet and absurd when I let it down," she explained about those super-long extensions. "As annoying as it is for y’all to look at the same hairstyle all the time, it's all that works for now (and I'm comfortable for the first time in years)."
SELENA GOMEZ, 22
SHAILENE WOODLEY, 23
MARGOT ROBBIE, 24
You know you're a true beauty when you can dramatically dye your hair and still stun on the red carpet. Another sign the Aussie actress is comfortable in her own skin? Those nude scenes in The Wolf of Wall Street. "By the end of the film there was so much nudity nobody was fazed about undressing," she said.
NINA DOBREV, 26
Sure, she's beautiful but it takes brains to land this Vampire Diaries stunner. "You either have chemistry or you don't, but a lot of what attracts me is a guy's mind and humor and talent," she told Cosmopolitan. "I need to get to know all those things before I fall for someone. I'm not a one-night-stand kind of girl. I'm a relationship girl."
ALLISON WILLIAMS, 27
LEA MICHELE, 28
Glee's leading lady has to-die-for body confidence, but that wasn't always the case. "I was one of the only girls in my high school that didn't get [a nose job]," she revealed to GQ. "And if anybody needed it, I probably did. But my mom always told me, growing up, 'Barbra Streisand didn't get a nose job. You're not getting a nose job.' And I didn't."
AMBER HEARD, 29
Landing choice movie roles doesn't come without hard work. No one knows this better than the recently married actress, who doesn't hide the fact that she works at maintaining her Hollywood good looks. "I watch what I eat and drink," she explained to Women's Health, crediting running, tennis and Pilates for her fabulous figure. "There's no 'I don't diet, I eat what I want, and this is how I look.'"
KATY PERRY, 30
Though she's already gone through a few beauty phases – blue hair, pink hair, purple hair – Perry's makeup artist says she's still evolving. "I think she's only begun to tap the surface of all the different looks she's going to do in her career," Jake Bailey told Style.com, insisting his client has "more fun than anyone else" when getting dolled up.
MILA KUNIS, 31
The beautiful new mother has no illusions about Hollywood. "This industry is based on looks, but hopefully also talent," she told Allure. Knowing this, the Ukrainian-born beauty said, "You have to have other passions in life, and then it doesn't eat you up."
JAMIE CHUNG, 32
That face. Those curves. The hair! In fact, her makeup artist Francesca Tolot told Into the Gloss that the hardest part of her job is making the singer look bad. "Can you imagine … Somebody with perfect skin, beautiful almond-shaped eyes, very luminous and happy and full of joy – to make her look so bad?" No, we're pretty sure no one can.
OLIVIA MUNN, 34
MINDY KALING, 35
The Mindy Project star is always making us laugh on her show. Her attitude toward makeup is equally funny. "On like Saturday afternoon, on one eye I'll do a shimmering Lady Gaga green eye, and on the other one I'll do more like a Kim Kardashian – just a fuller, lighter eye," she explained to Allure of her night-out makeup.
KATE HUDSON, 36
JANUARY JONES, 37
For Jones, it all comes down to the hair. "If put into a set of rollers, [it] just bounces into the Betty [Draper] look," the Mad Men star explained to Allure. Though she's admitted her hair has started to fall out a bit because of damage, she'll work her hardest to keep it blonde. "My son recognizes me in photos when I am blonde," she said. "He says 'mama.'"
KERRY WASHINGTON, 38
The Scandal star loves to see beauty through the lens of different cultures. "I can feel beautiful naturally when I'm on vacation," she told PEOPLE. "I don't even bring makeup with me. But I do love to shop for products in other countries – you get a sense of what beauty means in a different society."
CHARLIZE THERON, 39
If there's one star that doesn't seem to age, it's Theron. But even she admits that getting older isn't always easy. "There are days when I definitely look in the mirror and go, 'All right, I need to find a cream,'" she told Interview. "It's hard in this industry, because I think so much importance is put on how you look."
PENéLOPE CRUZ, 40
The bombshell oozes sex appeal – and even has her own lingerie line to show for it. Luckily, the Spanish star takes care to protect her assets. "I'm very careful [about my skin]," she told PEOPLE. "I go in the sun with like 50 protection. I like being in the sun, being on the beach and lying there with a book, but I put on protection no matter what."
VICTORIA BECKHAM, 41
SOFIA VERGARA, 42
"I've always had a very good relationship with makeup; it's one of my favorite things," Vergara told PEOPLE. "My mother used to do her makeup every day, and I used to watch her, just fascinated." And joining the CoverGirl family in 2011 gave the Colombian-born star a welcome beauty platform. "Latin girls can relate to me, see what I'm wearing, see my makeup, my hairstyle," she said.
JENNIFER GARNER, 43
Although one of the most naturally beautiful stars in Hollywood, the actress and mom of three knows that there are things more important in life than beauty. "What my mom did that I valued so much was to not place beauty high on the list of priorities," she told Southern Living. "It was a shock when I got to college to hear people say I was pretty."
TINA FEY, 44
The triple threat – she's got brains, beauty and a sense of humor – is the first to laugh at her own "quirks." "I wouldn't trade the small thin-lipped mouth that makes me resemble my nephew," she wrote in her 2011 memoir Bossypants. "I wouldn't even trade the acne scar on my right cheek, because that recurring zit spent more time with me in college than any boy ever did."
CATE BLANCHETT, 45
If anyone could win an award for aging gracefully, it would be the Oscar winner. "I'd be too frightened about what it means long-term," she's said about plastic surgery. "Looking at women in their 20s doing this stuff, in the end all you see is the work. It doesn't fill me with admiration; it fills me with pity."
NAOMI WATTS, 46
Speaking with PEOPLE in 2002, Watts was quite humble. "I don't think I came into any attractiveness until I was in my late 20s," she said. "I had a moon face and my mum kept saying, 'Oh, your cheekbones will come.'" But the actress didn't seem to care; perhaps a byproduct of her Aussie upbringing. "In Australia people tend to play their looks down," she revealed, and "in America people play them up."
JULIA ROBERTS, 47
Of course she's still got the radiant smile everyone loves, but what makes Roberts gorgeous is what's on the inside, according to good pal George Clooney. "There's a reason why Julia is a timeless beauty, and it has nothing to do with the way she looks," he told PEOPLE in 2010. "It has everything to do with who she is."
HALLE BERRY, 48
Berry believes she's her "best self" with short hair – but her manager didn't see it that way when she made the big cut years ago. "He said, 'You're never going to work, you're not what [casting directors] want!' And I said, 'Good. Let me be something different then,'" she recalled to PEOPLE. "It was the way I kind of rebelled against the notion that you have to have long hair to be beautiful."
ROBIN WRIGHT, 49
Between her engagement to actor Ben Foster and her leading role in the hit Netflix drama House of Cards, Wright is hotter than ever. "I think I grew up late," she told PEOPLE last year. "Women always say [that] about men over 40. I was a late bloomer. Now I know I'm 48, but I feel like I'm 30. I feel like I am going to live my thirties again."
SANDRA BULLOCK, 50
"We all grow into the beautiful person that we're supposed to be – some earlier, some later," Bullock told InStyle.com. And for this actress, that means (supposed) flaws and all. "People think [I had] a nose job," she revealed to PEOPLE, "but seriously, why would I choose this one? The truth is, my sister Gesine broke it. I've been stuck with it ever since."
MICHELLE OBAMA, 51
KELLY PRESTON, 52
"You are as old as you feel and I feel like I'm 25," Preston told PEOPLE in 2013, after losing nearly 50 lbs. since welcoming son Benjamin in 2010. Her secret? "I'm running after a 2-year-old and keeping up completely! Ben runs around and three, four, five times a day we go outside and find frogs, millipedes and lizards. It's always, 'Mama, get it! Mama, get it!'"
SHERYL CROW, 53
Between running half marathons and playing with her kids, there's a lot to keep Crow feeling young. "I definitely am embracing aging," she told Health. "When you shoot your face with Botox and stuff, you rob yourself of your ability to have youthful expressions, and that's why sometimes people look a lot older."
JULIA LOUIS-DREYFUS, 54
"Push the worry down, and pull the Spanx up!" The Veep comedienne seems to have achieved full body confidence – and we're definitely jealous! "It's like, 'Yeah, this is who I am, f--- off.' As opposed to, 'This is who I am, I'm sorry,' " she told Health. "You know, there's something about getting older and owning who you are that is a good thing."
PATRICIA CLARKSON, 55
The Academy Award nominee, who still hasn't stopped doing nude scenes, should be the poster girl for graceful aging. "I don't know if I think of 50 as the new 40 … But I think I'm comfortable with my age. I think women do struggle with age and maybe I have tried not to," the actress told WebMD Magazine. As for when she feels most beautiful? "When I'm laughing with people I love."
MICHELLE PFEIFFER, 56
"I have to be honest, for a woman there's not a lot about turning 50 that is fun," the actress half-joked to InStyle. But Pfeiffer admits it's not all bad. "[Part] of feeling sexy is feeling comfortable in your own skin, and less inhibited, and that goes along with getting older."
ELLEN DEGENERES, 57
"We put the wrong emphasis on what beauty is and what health is," DeGeneres once told Katie Couric. "Health is being vibrant and having energy and being happy – if you're healthy, it's got nothing to do with how much you weigh. The way that magazines airbrush everything, women are looking at bodies like that going … 'I'm supposed to look like that?' It's not important."
KATIE COURIC, 58
The TV journalist has quite the funny outlook on aging. As she joked to Harper's Bazaar, "I think God has a wonderful way of making your eyes start to go as your face does. I really can't see very well. I always worry after I've done my makeup that I'm gonna look like What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?"
After retiring in 1994, the Somali-born model-turned-mogul launched an eponymous cosmetics line with a mission to celebrate beauty of all color, shapes and sizes. "Beauty is being comfortable and confident in your own skin," she told Seventeen. "I want my legacy to be that I've opened the gates to what's considered beautiful now."
ELLEN BARKIN, 60
At 60, Ellen is proud to say she's never had a facelift. "My whole face is crooked," she admitted to O, The Oprah Magazine. "Any plastic surgeon would look at me and try to even it out, and to do that he'd have to change everything, straighten my nose, make my eyes rounder. I don't want to do that! I'm way too scared of looking like a different person."