Heading into a new year is all about change, right? We’re dusting off the last bits of the dumpster fire that was 2017 as this year winds down and hopeful to embrace all that’s new and awesome to come. Sometimes, we reflect back on what we did over the past 12 months to see how much we’ve changed, how far we’ve come, and how much we’ve grown. When you’re an over-photographed celebrity with a style team and cash to burn, that also means reflecting on how you’ve transformed your style over the past year – and some have definitely impressed us more than others.
With so much of their lives spent in the spotlight, we see every change they make to their hairstyle or wardrobe, and some stars like to play around more than others. With drastic haircuts and colours to total overhauls of their overall looks, we’ve got eight celebs who knocked our socks off when they switched up their looks and eight others who have left us yawning. That’s not to say that the eight who kept their looks the same don’t look great, they just look like they have for as long as we can remember. So, in the spirit of change, check out who looks blah and who looks bomb!
16 BLAH: Bella Thorne
Yes, okay, Bella Thorne changes her hair a lot. This year alone, she’s had blue hair, fuchsia strands, magenta streaks, rainbow extensions, and navy locks. However, while her hair has certainly changed shades, Bella remains, boringly, the same.
Following the tried-and-true route of most ex-Disney stars, Bells became a good girl gone bad, hooking up with Scott Disick at Cannes, wearing increasingly provocative outfits on the red carpet, getting unnecessary lip injections to her naturally gorgeous face, and basically looking like a bit of a dumpster fire. It’s just so EXPECTED, it’s hardly a shock. Seeing a former Disney kid try to shake off the shine of their origins by showing some skin, getting involved with “bad boys”, and taking on more adult roles is so tired, and, frankly, we’ve seen enough of Bella’s Lindsay Lohan impression. If she wants to truly turn our heads in 2018, we expect some maturity that doesn’t mean more makeup.
15 BOMB: Cara Delevingne
Going from high fashion model to actress took some time for Cara Delevingne, who is a lot edgier and more interesting than simply acting as a clotheshorse. Perhaps to eschew some of our expectations of what a model should look like – while also proving her commitment to her newest film role – Cara went from golden blonde to platinum, before chopping it all off and buzzing her head completely!
Her newest film, Life in a Year, has Cara playing a terminal patient, and so the bald head was as much of an acting decision as a stylistic one. With her trademark brows and gigantic eyes, though, she’s able to carry it off like the top model she is! Since filming is winding down, Cara has also been able to grow out her hair a little, with a pixie cut that’s been dyed brown for fall. Challenging our idea of what qualifies as the model look? We’d say that’s pretty bomb!
14 BLAH: Kylie Jenner
Like Bella Thorne, Kylie Jenner hasn’t met a hair colour that she’s disliked. She’s been pink, green, blue, turquoise, orange, peach, blonde, black, and brown, thanks to her extensive collection of wigs, but has she really changed up her style in the past couple of years. Granted, the reality star and entrepreneur has definitely changed her look since we first met her on Keeping Up With the Kardashians, thanks to facial fillers and revealing outfit choices, but it’s all so much of the same, she can’t really shock us anymore. Adding to that is the fact that Jenner – and the entire clan – has been playing coy with the press over her maybe-maybe not pregnancy, so we haven’t exactly been given much opportunity to see if she’s truly transformed this year. Pouty lips? Check. Tight crop-tops? Check? Sky-high heels? Check. Raking in millions over her multiple endeavours? Check! We can’t deny that Kylie’s had an exceptional year, but when it comes to any personal transformation, it’s been a pretty uninteresting one.
13 BOMB: Allison Williams
We’ve been so used to seeing Allison Williams as Marnie Michael’s throughout the six seasons of HBO’s Girls that it was more shocking than we thought it would be when she stepped out as a blonde. Marnie – and, by extension, Allison – was at times put-together and a mess, but her brown hair was always the same. Even in her role as the (spoiler alert!) psycho racist girlfriend in Get Out had her as a brunette, perhaps because she was chosen as a representation of the girl you fell in love with at summer camp, according to director Jordan Peele.
Now, moving on from Marnie after Girls ended this past spring, we have Allison as a blonde, looking better than we thought she would, thanks to the dark roots that keep this shade looking vibrant and laid-back, rather than icy and something that requires a ton of maintenance. A small change in the grand scheme of stylish Hollywood transformations, but a big one for Allison, and a great one at that!
12 BLAH: Gwen Stefani
You know that old saying, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”? Well, that couldn’t be more true than when it comes to Gwen Stefani, who has been rocking the exact same look for decades. The platinum blonde hair, the dark arched eyebrows, and the vibrant lip colour: all textbook Gwen. Even as she’s reinvented herself as arm candy for country singer Blake Shelton, Gwen still isn’t without her bold lippie and blonde hair. Sure, she looks great, but it’s all a bit boring, wouldn’t you say?
Back when she was the front-woman for No Doubt, Gwen was rocking the red lips and blonde hair, but she also had more fun with her fashion. Sometimes, she’d step out in a furry bra or braces, with pink or turquoise hair. Now, it’s more of the same and, while she looks impeccable, it’d be nice to see her try something a little different.
11 BOMB: Kate Hudson
We’re so used to seeing Kate Hudson in films and on the red carpet rocking some blonde hair like the California cool girl she is, which is why it was such a shock so see her with her lush locks completely buzzed off this past summer!
Probably of no shock to anyone, Kate pulled a Charlize Theron in Mad Max and chopped her hair for a role, for the upcoming film Sister, which is directed by style chameleon Sia! Most of the time, we see the sweet and beautiful Kate in gauzy, boho-chic gowns with the occasional structured outfit making an appearance, but it seems like her new dark cropped ‘do will open up the possibility of an edgier style – something she’s bound to be familiar with, considering her string of rocker boyfriends! For looking totally unlike herself – and killing it – Kate Hudson is definitely entering 2018 a new woman.
10 BLAH: Taylor Swift
If the old Taylor is dead, why does the “new” Taylor remind us of her? Probably because the old Taylor and the new Taylor really aren’t as different as she’d have us think.
When Taylor Swift first entered onto the music scene, she was a country girl, prone to wearing cowboy boots with dresses, a big sparkly guitar in her hands. As she progressed to a poppier sound, she country duds disappeared, replaced with crop tops and red lipstick. If we were talking about 2013, Taylor would definitely be entering the new year on a new note, but this time around, she’s really not that different. Despite claiming to have killed her old identity, Taylor hasn’t changed much from the same girl who has been writing songs about those who have wronged her for over a decade. Her new album, Reputation, is arguably her pettiest yet, and while there are synth riffs and darker lipstick, it’s still what we’re used to, which makes the whole promise of a “new Taylor” that much more disappointing.
9 BOMB: Kristen Stewart
2017 was clearly the year of the buzzcut for ladies, with Kristen Stewart being one of the most notable members of the Chop Club. With her signature rocker chick style, Kristen took things up a notch by buzzing off her blonde (formerly brunette) locks in March. While this is a notoriously difficult look to pull off, Kristen did it with a swagger and confidence that you don’t often see in the actress, and she succeeded in giving a lot of women a girl crush on her moody self!
Following up the blonde buzz, Kristen grew her hair out just a little bit and gave us some serious ‘00s boy band vibes with frosted tips. On most people, this would be a major style don’t, but Kristen, yet again, managed to pull it off with a degree of comfort that we’re not used to seeing on the infamously awkward actress. For rocking a daring style that perfectly complements her DGAF attitude, Kristen is a clear style winner in 2017!
8 BLAH: Lauren Conrad
Like most of the ladies on this list, Lauren Conrad knows what works for her. When we first met LC on MTV’s Laguna Beach, she liked black eyeliner and blonde hair, with over-plucked eyebrows that were symptomatic of the early ‘00s. Now, in 2017, we have Lauren as mom and businesswoman, still a fan of black eyeliner, now in a classic cat eye that’s become her trademark, still with blonde hair, but now with better eyebrows. Sure, she got her hair cropped into a lob, and then into an even shorter angled bob, but she hasn’t changed much from the Pinterest-perfect woman we know her to be, which is, frankly, kind of dull.
Look, we know we probably won’t ever see Lauren with a darker dye job or rocking some edgy clothing, because that California cool girl is still her vibe and at the core of who she is, and while it’s enjoyable, it’s not particularly ground-breaking. We imagine we’ll see her the same as she is five, ten, or twenty years from now, and that’s fine, but it’s not exciting.
7 BOMB: Ariana Grande
Ariana Grande’s brunette ponytail is as synonymous with the singer as her powerhouse voice, which is why it was such a shock to see the star lighten things up with lavender-grey locks and pull out her ponytail for real mermaid tresses!
Ariana has been open about the fact that her ubiquitous hairstyle is the result of years of damage from dying her hair fire engine red during her Nickelodeon days, which made it a pleasant surprise to see her switch things up after years of wearing her locks the same way for their protection. Taking to Instagram to unveil her new hue this past October, Ariana has also added some baby bangs, which may or may not be clip-ins, but look adorable nonetheless. The new style looks a lot more fun and a lot less expected, and since she’s been looking the exact same since she first rose to prominence as a singer, we’re relieved and thankful to see a new Ariana head into 2018.
6 BLAH: Jennifer Lopez
Almost all of the headlines surrounding J.Lo are about her age – or perceived lack thereof. She looks incredible, period, no matter what age she is. She’s toned and gorgeous, all skin-baring ensembles and tight abs. Her skin is always glowing and her hair is always lush. She always makes best dressed lists and her style is a far cry from her Fly Girl days, or even her “Jenny From The Block” era. But in the past few years? Eh, same old, same old.
We’ve been inundated with the “naked dress” trend, with strategic coverings of all your lady bits but a mostly sheer dress, which J.Lo rocks. She also hasn’t departed from her smokey eye and nude lip makeup look for as long as we can remember. Then, of course, there’s her hair, which can be long or short, wavy or straight, but is always with its expensive-looking honey highlights. We’re not saying she doesn’t look amazing – she does, consistently – but we wonder if her style evolution had ended.
5 BOMB: Selena Gomez
When you end a relationship, you can do one of two things: Sob while watching rom-coms into a pint of ice cream, or pick yourself up by your bootstraps and get back out there. If you’re Selena Gomez, you have a style team to rely on, and show up on the red carpet as the perfect example of the ultimate breakover.
Following her recent split from The Weeknd, Selena traded in her brunette locks (which she’d chopped into a long bob earlier this spring) for a tousled blonde look with brown roots. The first major hair colour change that Selena has ever done, despite living almost her entire life in the spotlight, the makeover turned heads _ and took nine hours to pull off! With a grungy, ‘90s chic look that is giving us life, Selena was just edged out by one other former Disney star who did a complete 180 with her style choice, but Selena wins for our favourite hair hue of the year!
4 BLAH: Heidi Klum
Like Jennifer Lopez, Heidi Klum knows what works for her, but we’re not alone in saying that when she gets dressed for red carpet events, it’s a huge yawn. Both of these images were taken this year, one at the beginning of the year and one just this month, and both show what Heidi does best – or worst, depending on your perspective.
We’ve got the hair, which is almost always down. We’ve got the dark eyeliner and sun-kissed skin. We’ve got the clingy, deep-cut dress, which shows that Heidi hasn’t let herself go since her time as a Victoria’s Secret Angel, and we don’t have much else. Her red carpet style is a total snoozefest, and you’d think for someone who hosts Project Runway, she’d spice things up a little with some interesting silhouettes. It seems, however, that Heidi reserves her creativity for her Halloween costume, because everything else she wears the rest of the year is totally blah.
3 BOMB: Miley Cyrus
Just barely beating Selena Gomez’s fantastic breakup makeover, we have Miley Cyrus, who rediscovered love, put aside her wild child antics, and embraced her country roots with a look that has let us sigh with relief and also bask in her new sunny disposition.
Following her split from Liam Hemsworth, it seemed as though Miley really couldn’t be tamed. With barely-there outfits and a penchant for espousing all the benefits of her frequent marijuana use, Miley sought to distance herself as far as possible from her Hannah Montana past. This year, however, after rekindling her relationship with Hemsworth and quitting both drugs and alcohol, Miley seems to be in a better place, creating music that hearkens back to her country upbringing while showcasing her powerhouse vocals. Understated and ethereal, Miley has definitely grown up and out of her juvenile display of rebellion, and we couldn’t be happier for her or more excited to see what she does next!
2 BLAH: Blake Lively
Blake Lively is beautiful. She’s consistently gorgeous on the red carpet and one half of our favourite couples in Hollywood, with husband Ryan Reynolds. She knows how to rock bodycon dresses and glitzy jewels, but is she all that interesting in terms of style? Well, not really.
Like many of the “Blah” ladies on this list, we won’t deny that Blake looks incredible, and maybe that’s part of the reason why it would be fun – or at least interesting – to see her show up on a “Worst Dressed” list, or else step out in something that doesn’t totally flatter her model figure. Her hair is usually in some elaborate ponytail/braid, or down. It is usually blonde, with expensive-looking highlights. Her makeup is rarely over-the-top, because her jewellery usually is. We’re just kind of used to the whole thing, since her style hasn’t changed in the past few years. It works for her, sure, but it seems we’ll have to wait for the years to come to see if she switches things up.
1 BOMB: Katy Perry
Say what you will about Katy Perry, but girl knows how to kill it as a blonde! When we first met Katy, she was a raven-haired vixen, all candy-coloured getups and outlandish concert gear. Her black hair became one of her defining features, and part of the reason she was so often compared to actress Zooey Deschanel. Fast-forward to early 2017, when Katy first dyed her hair platinum blonde, then chopped it off in April to a shaggy-in-the-front Miley Cyrus-style, before finally buzzing it into a look that few can pull off, but she manages to!
Look, we know that a lot of people take issue with Katy and whether or not she remains relevant in this era, but we can’t deny that her excellent bone structure and newer edgy styles make this hair transformation a killer one. Trading in some of her more ridiculous outfits in favour of this sleek version definitely gets our seal of approval, and is proof that the singer can look just as gorgeous without all the extras.