#WCW: Charlize Theron

Alle Connell
#WCW: Charlize Theron
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When it comes to women who never fail to inspire us with their brilliance, Charlize Theron is right at the top of that list. Not only is she unbelievably talented (yeah, she’s one of those incredible actress-producer-humanitarian powerhouses), but she takes the most amazing risks with her look. Whether she’s rocking bleached brows to the Oscars or a shaved head, Charlize shows us that edgy can always be elegant.

While we wait anxiously for Dark Places to come out, let’s enjoy a retrospective of some of Charlize’s most iconic beauty looks. Because hey: anyone who can make a buzzcut look this glam is definitely deserving of the Woman Crush Wednesday crown.

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Anyone who can make a buzzcut look this glam is definitely deserving of the Woman Crush Wednesday crown. Click through to see Charlize's most iconic beauty looks!

At the 10th Anniversary of Dirty Dancing, 1997.

Charlize had had splashy but smaller roles in a number of films, but wasn't yet considered a star in 1997. Her short blonde hair and that bone structure definitely set her apart from many other aspiring starlets of the 90s; this voluminous pixie was absolutely on our inspiration boards in '97.

Photo: Sam Levi / WireImage

At the Devil's Advocate premiere, 1997.

With her super-short blonde crop, lightly smoky eyes and dark red lipstick, Charlize made a huge splash at this premiere.

Photo: SGranitz / WireImage

At the premiere of American Pie, 1999.

Her first foray into dark hair, and we love it! The super-feathery baby bangs are definitely a bold choice, but we salute for taking a hair risk.

Photo: SGranitz / WireImage

At the premiere of Reindeer Games, 2000.

And less than a year later, Charlize was sporting long, blonde locks with even longer wispy bangs! It's a Hollywood hair miracle! We love this long blonde style paired with neutral lips and glowing skin (although, PSA: if you're going to tan this summer, make sure it comes from a bottle. Skin cancer is real and very scary).

Photo: SGranitiz / WireImage

At the Oscars, 2000.

This was the first instance of one of Charlize's go-to red carpet looks: the vintage-inspired vamp. We love the medium-brown pin curls (so Liz Taylor!) and major smoky eyes. Once again, Charlize takes a beauty risk and matches her lipstick to her gown, but we salute her for taking it!

Photo: KMazur / WireImage

At the Sweet November premiere, 2001.

Even though this movie was a flop (Charlize was nominated for a Razzie for her performance), Theron looked like several million dollars at the premiere. The wavy bob! The plum lips! The lightly peachy shimmery eyes! This look would still totally kill on a red carpet today.

Photo: SGranitz / WireImage

At the world premiere of Monster, 2003.

This was the year that everything changed for Charlize: her performance in Monster was universally hailed as one of the greatest in movie history, she was nominated for every award ever, and her look evolved right along with her skyrocketing career. Her makeup became more streamlined and elegant, her hair became sleeker; she found what worked and ran with it. This is what you call a true transformation from starlet to A-lister.

Photo: Jon Kopaloff / FilmMagic

At the Oscars, 2004.

Let's first address the elephant in the room: yes, Charlize is very tan. But if you were rounding out an awards season where you won literally EVERYTHING and had a hot boyfriend, you'd probably spend a week on the beach pre-Oscars, too. (But again: sunscreen. Always wear sunscreen!) We love Charlize's modernized 20s look here and the way it played against her champagne gown: the bleached brows, copper smoky eyes and modified Marcel waved hair. A golden look for 2004's Best Actress.

Photo: Frank Micelotta / Getty

At the closing night of the Cannes Film Festival, 2004.

If there's one thing this woman loves, it's matching her makeup to her outfits. Here we have seafoam green eyeshadow (and major liner!) with a co-ordinated satin dress. On anyone else we might say this is too much, but on Charlize we say YES GIRL YES.

Photo: Carlo Allegri / Getty

At the Golden Globes, 2005.

This asymmetrical black cut was for her role in Aeon Flux, but we kind of wish she'd make this her default hairstyle. The dark is so striking, and the angular shape does amazing things for her bone structure. Haircut inspiration for sure.

Photo: Jeff Vespa / WireImage

At the 12th Annual Premiere Women in Hollywood, 2005.

Though the black is gone, Charlize was still rocking an amazing asymmetrical cut in September of 2005. we LOVE the dramatic angled long bob, especially paired with the deep red lip.

Photo: Jon Kopaloff / FilmMagic

At the Oscars, 2005.

Nominated for her role in North Country, Charlize once again went bold with both her hair and makeup at the Oscars. Though this towering beehive was mocked pretty hard at the time, we think it's a beautiful example of elegant originality—and her eye makeup has seriously never looked better.

Photo: Jeffrey Mayer / WireImage

At the Dior Haute Couture runway show, 2007.

This is a look we'd expect to see in a magazine editorial, so it's a little starting to see it in the front row of a fashion show. However, if you can't do a huge look for a Dior couture show, when CAN you? Go for it, Charlize.

Photo: Michel Dufour / WireImage

At the Hollywood Domino Tournament hosted by De Grisogono, 2008.

More retro waves, here worn with Charlize's favorite satiny-nude lip and smoky bronze eyes. Hey, when you find a signature look (and it's this beautiful), you stick with it. Small tweaks,

Photo: Jean Baptiste Lacroix / WireImage

At the Oscars, 2010.

The question of what lipstick to wear with a bold colored gown is one that plagues many of us come wedding season. Charlize's answer? Go unexpected. A warm-toned red lipstick with a cool lavender gown creates a gorgeous contrast.

Photo: SGranitz / WireImage

At the Gotham Independent Film Awards, 2011.

If you're looking for a grown-up way to wear a headband, this is it. Smooth at the scalp with lots of volume behind the band creates a modified beehive that is sleek, chic and modern. The addition of killer pink lipstick and (finally!) slightly thicker brows doesn't hurt, either.

Photo: Michael Loccisano / WireImage for IFP

At the Critics' Choice Movie Awards, 2012.

If you love braids half as much as we do, you will be STUNNED by this majestic work. A modified upside-down waterfall braid twisted and coiled into a French braid on the other side? Flawless.

Photo: Jeff Kravitz / FilmMagic

At the Cinema For Peace Gala, 2013.

After shaving her head for her role in the Mad Max remake, Charlize showed us that yes Virginia, buzzcuts CAN be totally elegant when worn with striking brows and glossy wine lips. Excuse us as we reach for the clippers.

Photo: Vittorio Zunino Celotto / Getty Images for Cinema For Peace

At the Oscars, 2014.

This is some impeccable liquid eyeliner application here, highlighted by delicate fake lashes and a hint of light peach lipstick. Gone is the brown crop, replaced with an elegant long blonde pixie with subtle shampagne highlights. Bonus points for THOSE CHEEKBONES, GIRL.

Photo: SGranitz / WireImage

At the Paris premiere of Dark Places, 2015.

The combination of a dusty rose lip and dramatic cat eye is serious perfection. Also, whatever she's doing to her skin, can we have a bottle of it? Girl has had flawless skin since 1997!

Photo: Pascal Le Segretain / WireImage

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