Carey Mulligan in Lanvin

Posted on May 02, 2013

We have to say, it’s okay to dabble in now and then, but we’re not loving Carey’s latest “clean” look obsession. She looks like someone swapped the heads on two very different fashion dolls here:


Carey Mulligan attends the world premiere of ‘The Great Gatsby’ in New York City in a Lanvin dress paired with Brian Atwood shoes and Tiffany & Co. jewelry.

Lanvin Fall 2013 Collection/Model: Sigrid Agren (ELITE)

Our thing about a “clean” face (and we put it in scare quotes because it doesn’t refer to a face free of makeup, but in typical beauty industry style, it refers to a face that looks like it’s free of makeup, but isn’t) is: dress accordingly. If you’re wearing a fitted strapless red dress and 4-inch black heels, and you choose to complete the look by sweeping your hair back and going colorless on the face, you’re only going to look like you were halfway through your dressing routine and ran out of the house thinking you could put your makeup on while driving – and then hit nothing but greens all the way there.

She’s got the looks for it if she wants to go the airy-fairy Swinton/Blanchett route, but she’s gonna have to start picking outfits that go with that look. This is a dress that really calls for a made-up face and styled hair; not just because it’s red, fitted, and strapless; but because frankly, it’s a little dull without some help.



[Photo Credit: Getty,]

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  • Sophia Huang

    I wish she had worn the ‘cool’ necklace the model is wearing.

    • The way that word is sitting on the necklace, I thought it said Coot and my immediate reaction was “Who the HELL is gonna wear that thing??” And then my eyes adjusted….

      • Sara L.

        Exactly what I saw!

        • GorgeousThings

          Me too!

      • jetpackdino

        Well, my eyes are even worse. I saw a four-letter word that started with C, and I was gonna write a few angry emails.

        I need more coffee.

      • I was really excited, I though maybe Lanvin had a love for funny looking water fowl (coots are everywhere near my house), but alas…

      • charlotte

        It should have said “Cooties”…

      • EditKitten

        Thank GOD I’m not the only one who saw that and wondered why the hell anyone would make a necklace like that.

      • I would have liked a classic string of pearls.

      • snarkykitten

        …it doesn’t say that??

      • Guest


    • e jerry powell

      Or any necklace at all. It’s just so much empty space, and it kind of bugs.

  • Christopher McCann

    Awww, she’s as cute as a button!

    • Cousin_Rose

      And she looks like she is about 5 years old.

  • She is adorable, but her face is completely lost above all that high voltage color.

    • Anathema_Device

      And the lack of jewelry hurts, too. I don’t always like a necklace with strapless, but showier earrings and a bracelet would have punched this up.

      • Anything really, to draw the attention to her face, where it belongs.

        • Anathema_Device

          Agreed. That hair color totally washes her out. The just-out-of-the-shower “style” and no makeup aren’t helping.

      • Agree. My first thought was earrings and a cuff, too (and not a necklace).

    • VicD

      The dress is wearing her.

  • jmorino08

    She has the face for that clean look, for sure, but I agree that that’s not really the dress to do it with…

  • teensmom99

    “you’re only going to look like you were halfway through your dressing routine and ran out of the house thinking you could put your makeup on while driving – and then hit nothing but greens all the way there” = story of my life.

    • MilaXX

      It’s not PC to say and I certainly wouldn’t recommend it, but I can put on lipstick without looking in a mirror. A trick I learned in part because of driving to work sans makeup. I would make sure my foundation was on before I left the house and could do everything except mascara one handed without a mirror.

    • nannypoo

      I have noticed a strange phenomenon about makeup in the car. If I’m in a hurry I take something out of my purse that I need a red light for, like lipstick or a nail file. Every light from that point on will be green. It works every time.

      • Anathema_Device

        Haha…my daughter and I joke about that all the time. When we’re running late and hitting red light after red light, my daughter will say, “Quick, mom, try to get your lipstick out and put some on at the next light!” Works like a charm every time.

  • This look is screaming for some type of bold accessory. Also, this hair color is not working for her in the least – clashes with her skin tone something fierce.

    • Beardslee

      I agree completely. That hair color is awful on her.

      • Tatiana Luján

        So do I. it is so light on top of her forehead that she looks bald.

  • MilaXX

    She might have gotten away wit it if she had some hair going on, but really this needed more color on the face, hair and probably a different earring as well.

  • In_Stitches

    I love that she’s rocking the simple, sexy red dress ala Johansson and Lawrence (both of whom went very simple with make-up and jewelry). I wish she’d swapped in some sparkly pumps for added drama and done something different with her hair. That cut doesn’t flatter her in my eyes.

  • That look needs a necklace, badly. And some lipstick.

  • jw_ny

    The dress is great…has a lot of interesting detailing, without looking over-worked. I agree about hair and makeup…needs to be amped up.

    She looks super tall here. (I had to search- 5′-7″…I thought she was shorter) With 4″-5″ heals on such a slight frame…I guess that’ll do it.

  • nannypoo

    I really hate her hair this way. I seldom like this hair style on anyone, but it definitely does not work for her. She’s cute. This could have been good.

  • sleepycat

    I like this and how the piping mimics (but doesn’t copy) the art deco motifs, but I can’t wait to see the movie, because i sorta slept through the book sophomore year of high school (first time I fell asleep reading and in class, but it was not assigned reading). Although the real reason is, that it is a Baz film and well, I love^infinity Moulin Rouge. So hopefully it won’t be a disappointment like Australia.

  • Caitlin O’Brien

    I have to disagree. She looks fresh and happy.

    • Kristin McNamara

      I also respectfully disagree. I think she looks beautiful. Why do lady stars need to have the war paint on for all events? If I were naturally as pretty as this young lady is, I’d probably go pretty light on the makeup a lot of the time too!

      • demidaemon

        I don’t think she needs “warpaint.” She just needs something a little more involved than “maybe there is some foundation on here.”

  • She took the “cool” out of this look. Looks like she was in the dressing room, said, “yeah, that’s good”, and walked out, leaving her yoga pants in a puddle on the floor.

  • On the other hand, I’m so glad she lost the illusion netting from the neckline. Why was that necessary in the first place?

    WANT the “Cool” necklace.

    • demidaemon

      They wouldn’t have had anything to attach the cicada brooch (sp?) to.

  • I really like the dress. She should have put more drama into her hair and makeup.

  • jetpackdino

    Someone *really* must be gunning hard to portray her as an innocent. I love this girl, but whoever is advising her against lipstick is flat-out WRONG.

    Please put some color on your face, Carey, you adorable thing. If you won’t put color on your lips, at least put some liner on your eyes and some lashes. That will still work with what you’re “going for” and then we’ll be able to see your eyes.

  • butterflysunita

    I actually love the look. Maybe because though the makeup is “natural” it’s still polished and pretty. And the earrings bump the look up a notch.

  • I think the fight is because Carey Mulligan’s features are much softer AND more animated, and that dress is clean/strict/etc. Even if she had the right makeup on, it still wouldn’t look like here – there is no movement in the dress at all, and Mulligan’s beauty lies in her expression of movement.

  • I absolutely love this dress on her, which is odd because she’s such a tiny slip of a thing that the hem length shouldn’t work, but it does. I understand the idea of putting on a full pound of makeup for an outfit like this, but I don’t hate the clean look with it. It’s doing something “different,” rather than the expected, and it makes her stand out in the crowd. I’m not saying that I absolutely love it, but it makes a statement, and in Hollywood, being interesting is better than being beautiful (even better if you’re both).

  • I don’t know, I kind of love it….

  • Carly Warnock

    I just don’t think she does a lot of the warpaint and when she has.. which was the Style magazine shoot I think, we all shot it down. I’m the kinda girl who does the fresh face too pretty much no matter what, even at gala’s and weddings because the heavy makeup doesn’t work for me so I feel for her. That being said, her dress and shoes combined are worth how much (several grand) so a bit more effort with the hair please.

  • aeb1986

    “thinking you could put your makeup on while driving – and then hit nothing but greens all the way there”

    omg, this HAPPENED to me on my way to work. you two are genius

  • carnush

    This look is crying out for a red lip. Crying.

  • Tatiana Luján

    Why would anyone want to wear a dress that makes your tits look hollow, that hits on your midcalf and that is as stiff as a scuba diving wetsuit, and then, complete the look with the ugliest and most boring platform satin ankle strap shoes you could find?
    The only thing I like about this look is the makeup. The hair is terrible too.

  • Anniebet

    Hmm, the dress is fairly nice, but like we’ve said before… the head. It needs help. Makeup, an actual hairstyle for her thin, colorless hair. The proportions are off for the head. Is there a head doc in the house!?

  • SewingSiren

    I like the clean face, but she needs a mess of jewelry. Preferably by Tom Binns.

  • alyce1213

    There’s a slight fit issue at the bust, but I kinda like this, and I think the peep toe shoes are well used here.
    I’m just glad she’s not poledancing in ’20s costumey dresses.

  • She looks okay, but she could have used a piece of impact jewelry.

    Is it just me or are her arms beginning to look like toothpicks? Carey seems to be one if those girls who are naturally svelte and lean, but her shoulders look like ball joints.

    • CT14

      I really hate pointy shoulders. They scare me.

      Actually, I hate that talented people have to starve themselves to get the A roles. And that the starved look becomes “normalized”.

  • Pterodactyl111

    I like it.

  • Qitkat

    I think that Carey wished to have a sophisticated, clean look here, but her sweet pixie face undermines that, and in fairness, it’s going to be difficult for her to achieve until she is older. But the red is a great color on her, although I see Madeline Stowe wearing it with more attitude. The hairstyle needs to be changed though, it looks unfinished on just about everyone. I also always want dresses like this to have a necklace.

  • decormaven

    Such a dramatic dress color, and such a muted makeup palette. It, and the absence of statement jewelry, are a disconnect for me. On a more shallow note, is she a smoker? If not, perhaps it’s the hue of the dress that gives the teeth a less-than-pearly-white appearance.

  • Winter_White

    I love the way the linear detailing of her dress looks against that deco backdrop.

  • ashtangajunkie

    I love the dress, but really wish it hit her at the knee rather than below. I think that even a touch of colour on her lips would have brought up the look a lot. As it is, Ms. Mulligan fades into the background, which she never should.

  • Heather

    … on the other hand, we can celebrate the lack of illusion netting.

  • CT14

    I HATE her hair.

    It does horrible things to her face. It’s aging her. Just no.

  • lbl

    It’s a nice dress, but I expected more for the premiere of such a flashy movie. And I agree about the clean face makeup, I like it, but only with the right looks. Also, her shoes are hideous and she should try wearing her hair down sometimes. It looked nice in that Harper’s Bazaar photo.

    P.S. Lady in the background, your shoes are hideous too.
    P.P.S. Carey remains adorable.

  • Pants_are_a_must

    She is so darling, I’d say the dress and heels, though well-fitted, are not in her wheelhouse at all. Ship this off to Eva Green, darling, and call Givenchy for some frills.

  • She looks boring, that’s the word. Totally plain.
    If your not going with a strong makeup, go with fantastic accesories.
    Come on, girl! It’s thw world premiere of your film!!!!

  • Anathema_Device

    I agree with everything you said here TLo, but she is so DAMN cute I can’t stand it.

  • fursa_saida

    Man, I dunno–I actually think she looks sort of minimalist and fabulous.

  • Not applicable

    She looks 12.

  • Little_Olive

    “thinking you could put your makeup on while driving – and then hit nothing but greens all the way there”

    Murphy is a bitch.

  • I detest this color on just about anyone, but blondes especially.

  • tereliz

    She’s adorable but a little like an unfinished portrait. If she’d just worn a stronger lip I think this would be fab!

  • TheAmericaness

    Yeah, she does look like a red dress has abducted her body.

  • I think she looks spectacular, clean face and all. She can do no wrong in my book. Love her. I do wish she wore the “Cool” necklace as many are saying…

  • She needs jewelry and a new face. I don’t mind the hair. Love the dress.

  • GoAwayKardash


  • I had to google her age because I think she looks like a teenager in these photos. Not bad, just super young. For the record, she’s 28.

  • I love the dress, but I agree that she needs some color on her face.

  • I think she looks classic and amazing. I’m trying really hard to imagine how a little extra color would look on the face, and I think it wouldn’t improve the look all that much.

  • pop_top

    I wish her shoes were like gold or something, because they seem to be heavy, or maybe it’s how they blend into the carpet. Otherwise I think she looks lovely. I can imagine that her goal was to look nothing like her character.

    I am loving the excitement of the woman in the twinset with the silver platform hooves though.

  • Orange Girl

    Fine, inoffensive, and boring.

  • e jerry powell

    One thing that’s cool about this look is that the deco background combined with the heels makes her look about twenty feet tall.

  • kathrineb

    She is so pretty! This look really does cry out for either a red lip or a statement necklace.

  • lalahartma

    It makes her look tired and dried out.

  • Hamboni

    Different Carey, but from the same night: Can you help a girl figure out what shoes Carey Lowell was wearing to this shindig??? They were divine and the internet has been holding out!