Zendaya’s Always Been Destined For The A-List & Her Beauty Evolution Proves It

She’s always shaking it up.

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For the brightest Hollywood stars, their it-factor was apparent from a very young age. From the moment a 14-year-old Zendaya flashed her signature grin on the Disney Channel, it was clear she was destined for the A-list. Here, explore Zendaya’s beauty evolution from plucky tween to leading lady.

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Zendaya’s wholesome Disney days helped make her a star, but she was acting and singing long before her big Shake It Up break. Promoting the network at an event, she’s the consummate spokeskid in long curls and a Minnie Mouse bow.Ray Tamarra/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
The truly mind-blowing thing about a teenage Zendaya is how she managed to fast-forward the shy, awkward phase, powering straight into experimental beauty looks and bold outfits. With some smoky eyeshadow and a trendy side-braid in 2013, she’s on the verge of her big crossover.Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
A newly-minted adult at age 18, Zendaya became a regular fixture on high-profile red carpets. At the 2014 Grammy Awards, she stuck with her then-signature smoky eyeshadow, but tested out a slicked-back hairstyle — one she’d regularly revisit over the years.Steve Granitz/WireImage/Getty Images
The next year, as she made the leap into more mature roles and projects, Zendaya traded in her honey-brown hair color for a sleek, sophisticated raven-black bob. With her arched brows, winged eyeliner, and petal-pink lip color, 2015 shows her direct path to beauty icondom.Frank Trapper/Corbis Entertainment/Getty Images
Behold: Zendaya in her full movie-star glory. Not only did 2017 hold her feature film debut (and Tom Holland’s), but it’s the year she fully ascended to the A-list. When she arrived at The Greatest Showman premiere in a butterfly-wing gown and retro finger-waves, you could feel everything shift.Lisa Maree Williams/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
Of course, her career was really just beginning. 2019 might have been the most pivotal year for a then-22-year-old Zendaya, officially breaking free the squeaky-clean Disney-girl mould with her gritty turn on Euphoria. Her long, natural curls would be a staple on the show and IRL on the red carpet.Newspix/Newspix/Getty Images
By 2020, a critically-acclaimed and commercially successful Zendaya had nothing left to prove — she could lead a movie, nail an ensemble, and make any red carpet her personal runway. Her long, side-parted braids and pink eyeshadow at the Critics’ Choice Awards will always be one of her best looks.Michael Kovac/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
Zendaya’s protective hairstyles are always a treat on the red carpet, made all the better with subtle nods to her movies’ themes. In 2021, to celebrate her second Spider-Man film, she paired a web-sequined gown with sharp double-eyeliner and hip-grazing straightbacks for linear, geometric touches.Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic/Getty Images
Don’t you love it when true talent is rewarded? In a sweet, timeless half-up hairstyle accented by a thick headband and minimalist makeup, Zendaya became the youngest actor ever to win the Emmys’ Outstanding Lead award — the evening’s top prize. Gilbert Flores/Variety/Getty Images
Zendaya’s greatest aesthetic strength is in her versatility. 2022 saw the mega-star regularly toggle back and forth between trendy Gen-Z hairstyles and outfits, and mature, sophisticated looks, like this voluminous, side-parted bob.Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic/Getty Images
These days, Zendaya has been favoring softer, simpler hair and makeup moments at award shows and premieres, partly to let her always-excellent fashion choices shine. As she continues to reign over Young Hollywood, keep an eye on Z — something says she’ll still rule decades from now.Frazer Harrison/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

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