Let's hear it for the comeback queen! The MTV Video Music Awards marks the first event at which Cardi B has graced us with her presence since the birth of her daughter, Kulture Kiari Cephus. Everyone was eagerly anticipating her return, so it's no surprise that Cardi B's 2018 VMAs look had to be a statement designed to turn heads — and spoiler alert: It totally did.
Prior to VMAs day, fans were more than a little curious as to what role Cardi B would play in the awards show itself. After posting to her Instagram Story that she would be opening the show, but clarifying that she would not be performing during it, many were confused, wondering how else she could possibly open the event. MTV promoted her appearance with the tagline, "Everything might happen," and Cardi was quick to clarify that they meant everything except a performance.
Even though fans were bummed that they wouldn't get to see their fave take the mic in the way they'd hoped, they knew Cardi would still deliver, and of course, deliver the looks she did on the red carpet.
Cardi stepped out in an ensemble totally unique from any I've seen her in before, featuring a beautiful dress, elaborate statement earrings, and a super cropped hairdo.
This look is so perfect in every way, from the green earrings and high dress slit to the velvet draping of the dress. The entire jewel-toned vibe feels rich and luxurious, and I'm a fan of how regal our girl looks striking a pose on the carpet.
Even though I normally love to see Cardi in a flowing, dramatic wig, the super short pixie cut is almost a bigger statement for her, in my opinion.
And let's not forget to discuss her makeup, which perfectly complements her overall look.
Makeup artist Erika La Pearl used all Pat McGrath Labs products to create Cardi's look, and paired with a nude lip, the focus was all about the eyes. The not-yet-available MOTHERSHIP V: Bronze Seduction Palette ($125, coming soon to Pat McGrath) was applied to give Cardi glittering light gold lids, with a smoked-out plum color on her lower lash line to complement the shade of her dress. The Perma Precision Liquid Eyeliner ($28, Pat McGrath) also helped Cardi achieve her razor-sharp winged liner. Finished off with fluffy falsies — the Kiss Lash Couture Triple Push-Up in style "Teddy" ($7, Ulta), to be exact — this look has me on the floor. BTW, the brand reports that these are the same lashes she wore to the MET Gala, and we love a budget-friendly beauty favorite! How did she manage to work in so many eye makeup trends without looking like she overdid it? I don't know, but I'm impressed and a teeny bit jealous of this totally epic beat.
Cardi even Instagrammed her red carpet look as a mother with the caption, "K mom." On her Instagram post, Cardi B tagged two designers, Lebanese designer Nicolas Jebran and sustainable designer Alexander Acosta. She also credited her 200 carats of bling to Lorraine Schwartz. Cardi also shouted out Madame Paulette, a garment cleaning service, and Nigerian-Cameroonian photographer, Flo Ngala, by tagging both in the photo.
I have to admit, Cardi is constantly changing up her look, so I really didn't know what version of her we'd be seeing at the VMAs. She's a true chameleon of style, always reinventing herself via wigs, makeup, accessories, and silhouettes. I don't think there's any look Cardi B can't pull off, and she's got the wigs to prove it.
Typically, Cardi rocks long, dark hair as her standard...
...but she's definitely down to experiment with some other shades!
Prior to giving birth, Cardi was sticking with her dark hair for most appearances, including her MET Gala glam and the Billboard Latin Music Awards, so I really wasn't sure what look she'd rock for her post-pregnancy debut, or whether or not she'd pull a 180 and surprise us with something new.
Her Met Gala locks were flowing, free, and stunning.
But TBH, I'm loving this cropped cut, too.
I think the shorter strands really put the focus on her stunning facial features — not to mention, they allow for the most gloriously highlighted collarbones I've seen on the VMAs carpet all night. Long live Cardi B, queen of pixie cuts!