No One Saw Kerry Washington’s New Haircut Coming — And That’s What Makes It So Cool

Full. Body. Chills.

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LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - OCTOBER 15: Kerry Washington attends the 2nd Annual Academy Museum Gala at...

Kerry Washington is a vocal proponent of leaving your comfort zone behind — especially when it has the potential to yield some seriously memorable beauty moments. The multitalented Washington experiments with intricate nail art, trendy eyeshadow colors, and even hair jewelry, but few of her previous looks can compare to her latest. While celebrities try daring hairstyles all the time, it takes a true lover of aesthetics to debut this major of a transformation. Kerry Washington’s pageboy haircut might be more Joan of Arc than Olivia of D.C., but that’s what makes it so exciting — even if it’s only temporary.

The short, micro-bang-accented hairstyle was unveiled at the premiere of Washington’s latest film, Netflix’s The School For Good And Evil. Dressed in a mint-green cropped polo shirt and matching wraparound skirt, she’s at once totally comfortable and completely glamorous — surely the ultimate combination for an on-the-job celebrity. Of course, it’s her surprising new hairstyle that really captures the imagination here. Though certainly a wig or hairpiece — Washington loves to play with different lengths, often directly back-to-back — the ear-length cut practically points an arrow to her chiseled cheekbones. The short bangs are laser-precise and perfectly even, stopping an inch or so above her arched brows and winged liner.

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Celebrity hairstylist Larry Sims is the brilliant mind behind Washington’s fresh cut, sharing some behind-the-scenes shots of the transformation on his Instagram page. Sims has worked on so many of Washington’s best looks, including her Rapunzel ponytail at the Producers Guild Awards and her instantly-iconic Time Women Of The Year cover — it makes sense that he’s the one responsible for such a chic, creative cut.

Of course, Washington’s makeup is just as key for the show-stopping premiere look. Celebrity makeup artist Carola Gonzalez created Washington’s perfectly complementary red lips and razor-sharp wing. The eyeliner’s angle makes the most flattering lifted effect, running the exact length of Washington’s eyebrow tail — it’s a true work of art with a meticulous, strategized twist.

Really, Washington’s been on an incredible hot streak of red carpet looks, one knockout hairstyle-makeup combo after the next. Just last week, she sported a longer bob with bangs (a hint at what was to come?) complete with sparkly silver eyeshadow at the ELLE Women in Hollywood celebration. A few days before that, she was sexy and edgy in a long, center-parted ponytail at the Academy Museum Gala.

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With so much excitement from Washington recently, it’s natural to wonder what could be coming next — but she’s already served up so much holiday-perfect hair and makeup inspiration, there’s enough to keep you busy through next year.