Makeup

The 13 Best Beauty Looks in the History of Politics


I know what you're thinking: we're talking about politicians' hair and makeup? At first glance, it might seem frivolous. But crafting an imageВ that will resonate with the public is not somethingВ to dismiss. For female politicians especially, thisВ is a challenge that must be tackledВ with strategy and skill; andВ as both beauty connoisseurs and admirers of powerful women, we are fascinated by how it's done.В

What's often overlookedВ is how uniquely tricky it is for female politiciansВ to nail downВ an aesthetic that communicates all the right messages to a societyВ thatВ is used to men in positions of authority and women in less powerful roles. Scholars agree that toВ appeal to mainstream society, women running forВ public officeВ must achieve aВ delicate balance between professionalism and softness. An image that's too traditionally feminine won't seem authoritative enough, while one that too closely mirrors her male colleagues will be perceived asВ harsh. Behind the scenes it takes a dedicated team of stylists, makeup artists, and other experts to nail down an image that will play successfully. And today,В we are honoring some of those looks.

history.com

Benazir Bhutto

BhuttoВ served as theВ 11th prime minister of Pakistan, the first woman to head a majorityВ Islamic nation, and the only womanВ to serveВ two terms. Her beauty lookВ communicated aВ femininity, tradition, and power that complemented her work in-office.

Malay Mail Online

Yingluck Shinawatra

Businesswoman and politician Shinawatra was the first female prime minister of Thailand. HerВ polished beauty aestheticВ was (and continues to be) admirable.В ThinkВ sleek buns, matte pink lips, and jeweled earrings.

Everything-PR

Maria Rosaria Carfagna

A former model, this Italian politician had experience in the beauty world before servingВ in public office. Once she made the career switch, she cropped her hair into a neat pixieВ and kept her makeup minimal and classic.

Hello Travel

Sethrida Geagea

As a politician and businesswoman, Geagea has made a fierce impression on theВ political landscape of Lebanon, havingВ served as the acting president of the Lebanese Forces party during the imprisonment of their party leader and contributing to efforts toward making roads safer for citizens. Throughout her career, Geagea's beauty look has remained consistently chic, feminine, and breathtaking. Soft curls, graphic winged eyeliner, bold brows, and stylish manicures are a few of her trademarks.

Bruce Glikas/Getty Images

Nancy Pelosi

Having servedВ as speaker and minority leader of the House of Representatives, Pelosi is one of the world's most accomplished, intelligent women (and a personal hero). Her feminine yet highly professional beauty look, complete with shiny brunette bob and rosy lip colors, has always served her perfectly.

Tribune

Shazia Marri

As aВ member of the National Assembly of Pakistan, Marri works extensively on budget and finance, while also rocking perhaps the single best brows in politics.

Vanity Fair

Aung San Suu Kyi

This Burmese politician and diplomat's list of achievementsВ is a mile long. Throughout serving in many powerful political roles, she's always adornedВ her hair with a swath of flowers, a signature lookВ she adopted from her mother.

Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Gloria Steinem

Political activist Steinem pioneeredВ the feminist movement in the late '60s and early '70s, but the community couldn't help but embrace her incredible aesthetic as well-OG proofВ that feminists can indeed be beauty icons. Over the past 40 years, Steinem has continued to champion women's and LGBTQ rights aroundВ the world, while sporting some of the best hair (and eyeglasses) in politics.

Segorama

SГ©golГЁne Royal

France's minister of ecology, sustainable development and energy has had a long political career supportingВ social and environmentalВ issues. She's always managed to embody so many of the French beauty qualitiesВ that we admire here at Byrdie, principally, an ability to appearВ at once totally chic and mysteriously effortless.

Britannica

Laura Chinchilla

Until 2014, ChinchillaВ served asВ the first female president of Costa Rica. Her clean, minimalistic beauty look, complete with sleek blowoutsВ and natural makeup, accurately representedВ her conservative politics.

Desiree Navarro/Getty Images

Huma Abedin

I have always admired Hillary Clinton's campaign vice chairwomanВ for so many reasons: her composure, her loyalty, and yes, her unfailinglyВ gorgeous makeup. If I were in any sort of political position, I imagine I'd model my look after hers-the mile-long lashes, clean skin, and statement lip colorsВ achieveВ the perfect balanceВ of professionalism and personality.

(Get Abedin's stunning lip color with RevlonВ Super Lustrous Lipstick in Wine with Everything Creme, $9.)

Ranker

Margaret Thatcher

Britain's first female prime minister was known for her boldness and aggressiveness, both personally and politically. Her shock of fiery hair and monolithicВ pearl earrings accuratelyВ reflected this persona.

Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Hillary Clinton

Our inspiring presidential candidate has gone through quite the beauty evolutionВ over her many years of public service. Over this election season, herВ neat blond bob and glowing skin have evoked pitch-perfect energy, approachability, and authority.