Beauty evolutions are always fun, but Taylor Swift's is a particular treat thanks to those iconic curls. For years they were her signature—a somewhat symbolic connection to her country roots, often paired with breezy sun dresses, cowboy boots, and a whole lotta glitter eye shadow. But over the years, as Swift's music and career have evolved, so has her look: She's gradually shed her Nashville-centric style, becoming the icon-in-the-making that she is today. Click through the gallery below to see how Swift has changed over the years, plus enjoy some serious beauty inspiration from her more recent years (or earlier years, if you're into that kind of thing).
At one of Swift's earliest red carpet apperances, for the Country Music Association Awards in November of 2006, she went for deep side-parted curls with a serious smoky eye.
At the 2007 CMT Awards red carpet, Swift looked fresh and decidedly prom-y in a sequined tube gown with shimmery eye makeup and her signature curls on cascading display.
Backstage the same night, she amped up the metallic smoky makeup.
2009 was the first year Swift started to rock a semi-red lip, as she inched closer to making it a part of her beauty identity. Her 2009 version of it was still soft and girly, nothing like the femme fetale, crisp and clean hyper-defined red lips of later years.
In December 2009, Swift honored her curly roots for one of the last times (tears!), with a parted updo and face-framing tendrils.
2010 ushered in a new era for Swift, when she dramatically debuted a banged, super-straight new hair style that made it clear she was growing up in front of our eyes. One thing that hasn't changed since the beginning (straight through to today) is Swift's penchant for dramatic eye makeup.
In 2012 Swift had pretty much nailed down her new go-to beauty look: a sharp black cat eye and some variation of a red lip, with, at this point, her blunt bangs blown straight.
Later in the year, she experimented with wearing her hair on softer waves, paired with a sharp, matte red lip and one of our personal favorites: the smoky cat eye.
2013 was another year of beauty experimentation for swift. Here she opted for a bubblegum pink lip and her hair pulled back with a fierce cat eye.
In one of our very favorite looks of hers to date, Swift went fully outside of her beauty comfort zone with tousled, mussy waves, bare lips, and bronze-gold cheeks and eyes. We also daresay Swift bares a striking resemblance to bestie Karlie Kloss in this smouldering look.
In February of 2014, Swift made a defining beauty decision and cut her hair into a bob that we've been loving ever since. At the Teen Choice Awards in August of that year she wore it with loose, unstudied texture along with her typical black feline eye makeup and a fresh watermelon lip—and looked cooler and sexier than ever.
It was a formula that worked, as she repeated the imperfect texture plus fresh watermelon lip look.
At the Victoria's Secret Fashion show where she famously performed, Swift opted for classic glamor with a red lip and retro-inspired waves.
Taylor of 2009, is that you? Swift's makeup at the Golden Globes after party was an elevated nod to the curly updos of her yesteryears.
In February 2015, Swift shook things up and showed the world she can take a beauty risk. Looking like a total smoke show, she wore her hair hair slicked back with bare skin and lips.
Which brings us to present-day-Tay, with a side-swept lob and never-ending iterations on her beloved smoky eye. What will be next? Only time will tell, but one thing's for certain, we're excited to see.
What was your favorite look of Swift's? Sound off in the comments!