Vanessa Hudgens looks over the years

Anyone who follows Vanessa Hudgens on Instagram knows she does her own thing. Whether traveling, going all out for Coachella, or debuting on Broadway, the actress lives life with a freewheeling spirit — and that vibe guides her beauty looks, too. A neon-pink raver wig on the red carpet? Sure. Metallic copper lipstick? Why not? Because the actress carries each wildly different style with such aplomb, they all feel organic, not contrived.

If anything, Hudgens’ signature is switching it up. Going from short to long hair, curly to straight, or vampy to sweet has never looked so seamless (or fun). Ahead, see her best looks, from her High School Musical days to now — and just try not to get inspired to try something different tonight.


In 2004, Vanessa Hudgens was wearing staple teenage makeup, including peachy blush, pink lip gloss, and black eyeliner.

Photo: Jim Spellman/WireImage.


In 2006, the High School Musical star goes for a curl-piled updo (that would have been perfect for prom) paired with a playful cat-eye.

Photo: Stephen Shugerman/Getty Images.

Tightlined eyes and ruby-red lips give the actress a more grown-up vibe in the same year.

Photo: Michael Tran/FilmMagic.

How perfect does her peachy-bronze makeup look with that dress? The pop of highlight in the center of the lids add a nice finishing touch.

Photo: John Sciulli/WireImage.


This look checks all of the trend boxes for 2007: icy-blue eyeshadow; long, tousled waves; and glowy skin.

Photo: Jeffrey Mayer/Jeffrey Mayer.

The actress bumps up the standard smoky-eyes-and-red-lips combo by working a little aqua-blue line into her lashline.

Photo: Eamonn McCormack/Getty Images.


This sleek hair look is a departure for Hudgens, who typically favors waves on the red carpet.

Photo: Steve Granitz/WireImage.


With the soft waves swept to the side, bedroom eyes, and just-bitten lips, Hudgens is giving us major bombshell vibes.

Photo: Jeff Vespa/VF1/WireImage.


This nod to ‘60s beauty — volume at the roots, Twiggy-inspired lashes, and a smoky eye done in blue — is a fresh change of pace for the increasingly edgy Hudgens.

Photo: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images.

And just like that, the actress switches up her look completely, thanks to smooth, side-swept bangs.

Photo: Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images.


During this period of her career, Hudgens uses red carpet opportunities to experiment with bolder beauty looks — and this exaggerated cat-eye does the trick.

Photo: Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images.

This kicky crop, styled with soft volume, is the last thing we would have expected from the Spring Breakers actress in 2012 — and we love that she keeps us guessing.

Photo: Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic.

Vanessa’s wavy updo is playful and gorgeously face-framing.

Photo: Valerie Macon/Getty Images.


You can take the girl out of the music festival, but you can’t take the festival out of the girl. How cute is Hudgens in a neon-pink wig and glittery lips?

Photo: David Livingston/Getty Images.


This waved ombré lob, worn here with her signature smoky eyes and nude lips, helped launch a ubiquitous hair trend.

Photo: Steve Granitz/WireImage.

Two simple style changes — a bold, berry lip and sleek hair — switches the actress’s vibe from playful to sexy.

Photo: Steve Granitz/WireImage.

Fire-engine highlights to match electric-red lips? Yes, please.

Photo: Tibrina Hobson/Getty Images.

With bangs, a pony, and bright red lips, Hudgens foreshadows a look fit for Grease Live!

Photo: Bruce Glikas/FilmMagic.


A rare side-part, sleek hair, and strong brows signal major star power.

Photo: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images.

We can’t tell which we love more: the actor’s braided updo or her coral lipstick, which brings out the vibrancy in her dress.

Photo: Walter McBride/WireImage.

This copper eyeshadow has us swooning a year later.

Photo: Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic.

Her graphic cat-eyes, violet-tinged lipstick, and space buns make for quite the attention-grabbing look.

Photo: Steve Granitz/WireImage.

Vanessa Hudgens or Mia Wallace?

Photo: Steve Granitz/WireImage.


We love that Hudgens is not one to play it safe. Metallic copper lips and slicked-back hair create an edgy look that pays off.

Photo: John Shearer/Getty Images.

Finger waves, smoky eyes, and nude lips? That’s how you do a Vanity Fair Oscar party.

Photo: John Shearer/Getty Images.

Hudgens goes back to her beauty roots, with long hair worn in curls, eyes dressed up with a pop of blue, and her trademark nude lips.

Photo: Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic.

How dope are those space buns and the ’90s child curly tendrils?

Photo: Gregg DeGuire/WireImage.

Flower-adorned halo braids and ruddy shadow make for a perfect spring look.

Photo: Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic.

This topknot has an unexpected addition: a braid that runs up the center back.

Photo: David Crotty/Patrick McMullan/ Getty Images

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