Compared to stars like Kerry Washington, who wore a neon yellow gown, and Kelly Rowland, who opted for a bright fuchsia minidress, Alicia Keys played it extra safe (save for her towering zebra print Christian Louboutin pumps) at the 2011 BET Awards in LA on Sunday.
The upside of the 30-year-old singer's rather basic ensemble was that it kept all eyes on her crazy cool fishtail braid and striking red lips.
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The side braid has been a hot look for months now, with practically every star rocking a version of the trend. What makes Keys' iteration so fresh is the thickness and volume at the top. It's also loose and undone, which are both essential to making it look sexy, not school girl-ish. If you have fine or straight hair, use a texturizing product like Bumble and bumble (Un) Dressing Creme ($26, sephora.com) for a tousled effect.
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Her vibrant red lip color also works so well because she kept the rest of her makeup to a minimum and went with a universally flattering shade (bright red with cool, blue undertones). Try MAC Russian Red ($14.50, maccosmetics.com)