After winning a modeling contest in South Africa ("My mother entered me as kind of a joke"), the strawberry blond beauty moved to L.A.
Theron went Brigitte Bardot for the premiere of 2 Days in the Valley with a voluminous updo, liquid liner and baby pink lips.
For Woody Allen's Celebrity, the actress chopped her hair into a very Mia Farrow platinum pixie.
She channeled Old Hollywood for the Cider House Rules premiere with structured waves and pencil-thin brows.
Theron worked a modified Louise Brooks bob for The Yards, drawing emphasis to her eyes with artfully uneven micro-bangs.
Marilyn with a twist? For the Academy Awards, Theron paired bombshell curls with tangerine lips.
"Charlize's eyes change color with shadow," makeup artist Shane Paish said of her rock-and-roll look. "This smoky shadow made them green."
"This is the night she won her Oscar," recalled hairstylist Enzo Angileri. "Super-blond hair to match her silver dress." Neutral makeup and light brows also drew attention to her bronzed glow.
"Anyone can look good blond, but dark hair is tricky," Angileri said of the star's asymmetrical Aeon Flux cut. "She can do both."
In just over a month, Theron transitioned from the severe ebony locks she wore at the Golden Globes to a warm russet tone for the Academy Awards.
"We went Italian movie star with her hair," Angileri remembered of her Oscars beehive. "The inspiration was Claudia Cardinale."
Theron complemented her mahogany locks (tinted for her roles in Battle in Seattle and In the Valley of Elah) with well-defined brows and glossy berry lips.
Theron attended the Sundance Film Festival sporting a sleek bob.
"Her eyes are her most striking feature," Paish has said of the Hancock beauty. The makeup artist lined the star's inner rims in kohl and added soft silver shadow.
"Ponytails are our go-to casual hairstyle," Angileri said of the star of The Burning Plain and The Road. "They're easy and perfect for summer."
For the Academy Awards, Angileri created a polished bun misted with shine spray for a bit of "fairytale extra sparkle."
A wavy strand framed her features at a Dior event.
For the premiere of Young Adult, makeup artist Shane Paish used Dior products to create what he called, "a vintage French couture look."
The diamond headband Best Actress nominee Theron wore to the Golden Globes was vintage Cartier-and lives full-time in a private Cartier museum in Geneva. "Because the jewelry was so special, the hair had to be understated," hairstylist Enzo Angileri told us. Before pinning and twisting the hair into an undone bun, he spritzed on Moroccanoil Frizz Control to tame flyaways and fuzz. "I wanted to choose my own messy pieces," he said.
"This is a very simple style that is still event appropriate," Theron's hairstylist Enzo Angileri said of her twisted side ponytail. "I wanted to create a minimalist style that still had glamour."
Theron went with a mod, '60s-inspired look for the Oscars. "The focus is on the eye with the exaggerated lashes and liner, so I kept the rest of her face soft and peachy," says makeup artist Pati Dubroff.
The Oscar winner shines in a bold red lip while she promotes her film, A Million Ways to Die In The West.
The actress debuts Hollywood's favorite hairstyle--the lob.
Sultry dark shadows allow Theron's bright eyes to pop. "Her eyes enables for the possibility to go from very natural to super glamorous," says her makeup artist Francesca Tolot. For the Academy Awards in 2016, Tolot dusted a reddish toned eyeshadow "over the crease to compliment the blue of her eyes," she says.
The actress ditched her honey-blonde locks for a lighter style in 2017, wearing her lob in soft curls for CinemaCon.