Natalie Portman Just Gave A Masterclass In Understated Red Carpet Glamour

She’s done it again, folks.

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Natalie Portman Dior 2024

It’s actually kind of staggering to think about the number of premieres, award shows, and red carpets Natalie Portman’s attended in her young life — that’s just the way of the beloved-child-star-to-acclaimed-actor pipeline. But part of what makes the May December leading lady such an enduring, endearing A-lister to watch is how she can toggle between extreme, editorial beauty choices and more accessible aesthetics alike. It can really be summed up by Portman’s center-parted ponytail at the 2024 Film Independent Spirit Awards on February 25.

The Dior ambassador traded in big, billowy gowns and intense eye makeup for more low-key choices at the Santa Monica ceremony, an event honoring the best in independent filmmaking over the past year. Though the crowd is always a top-tier crop of boldfaced industry names, the nature of the event usually calls for a more understated red carpet, and Portman delivered with a crimson-colored Balmain SS24 RTW skirt-jacket set, defined eyes, and the perkiest ponytail in recent memory. It’s a somewhat straightforward look, but Portman’s signature polish is what sets it apart — and makes it such an aspirational (but so attainable) style to try for virtually any type of event or gathering coming up on the calendar.

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So much of the appeal in Portman’s cheerful, red-on-red look is the ponytail’s actual placement on her head as well as the makeup colors and undertones she uses to complement her outfit. The hairstyle is notably perk, secured just south of her crown. It’s a center-parted take, with the sleekness around her scalp giving way to fuller, voluminous waves through its length. Celebrity hairstylist Bridget Brager constructed the unreal updo for Portman’s Independent Spirit Awards appearance, very aptly describing her finished look as “stunning” over on Instagram. Ponytails are usually synonymous with a more effortless feel in general — by taking that concept but infusing it with shine-enhancing products, curls with just enough structure, and that ever-alluring side-part, it’s the best of both worlds.

Celebrity makeup artist Lisa Storey rounded out the whole affair with just-dark-enough eyeshadow and the faintest nude-peach lip to ensure the focus stayed on Portman’s features and her outfit’s eye-popping color. The actor’s been on an aesthetic roll since 2024 began, but no doubt she’s saving the best for the tail end of Fashion Month and award season.