“Everything about me is fake except my cheeks,” Chrissy Teigen once proclaimed. That was back in 2017, when Byrdie reported that the Sports Illustrated swimsuit model turned Lip Sync Battle host pointed to her forehead, nose and lips as she declared: “Fake, fake, fake.”
It’s the first time a celeb has been so candid in Before & After history!
As you know, most stars deny that they’ve ever had work done, despite glaring evidence to the contrary. (Some, like Khloé Kardashian, even go as far as calling naysayers “bitches.”) So it’s very refreshing to hear Chrissy speak so candidly.
Or did she? A few days later, in a since-deleted Twitter post, she claimed she was only joking, and suggested that armpit liposuction is the only procedure she’s undergone.
Clearly Chrissy, now 35, is no stranger to plastic surgery—even if she doesn’t always own up to it. Let’s take a closer look at how her face has changed over the past decade and what she might have had done.
From 2009-2010: Before She Was Famous
At the 2009 Oscars
Although she’d been modelling since 2004, it wasn’t until 2009 that Chrissy—known back then as Christine Teigen—started hitting the red carpet on the arm of boyfriend (now husband) John Legend. She was 23 here, but this isn’t her natural skin tone. The self-confessed “spray tan addict” got bronzed every two or three days, explaining to People: “I’m very fair-skinned without a spray tan. People don’t realize how incredibly light I can get.”
At the 2009 MOCA 30th Anniversary Gala
I don’t know about you, but I had a hard time believing this was the same person. She was going for the look that so many models had at the time: big, blown-out waves, caramel highlights, spray-tanned skin, and pretty, understated makeup. It’s a far cry from the Instagram aesthetic that soon took over! As for her features, it appears that her cheeks always were round and plump, but I do suspect lip fillers were in play from way back.
At the 2010 BNP Paribas Taste of Tennis
She had the same “model off-duty” vibe here, bearing little resemblance to the Chrissy we know today. Here, her lips have their natural shape instead of the swollen look that she later embraced. Her nose is also flatter and wider, leading me to believe she had it tweaked. As for her smile, she told Harper’s Bazaar that she had her teeth “shaved away” for porcelain veneers.
From 2011-2013: Social Media Superstar
At the 2011 El Museo del Barrio Gala
As her profile grew on social media, she ditched the deep spray tan (at least for the moment) and darkened her hair with a shade close to her natural colour. Once again, she looks almost like a different person. We’d never catch her in such conservative styling now, which makes her seem older than her 25 years.
At the 2012 New York City Premiere of ‘What to Expect When You’re Expecting’
By 2012, Chrissy’s signature style was starting to emerge, what with the false lashes, bolder brows and warm, contoured skin. Although the makeup still doesn’t look dated, I’m not sure that she’d wear the pinky blush and lip gloss today. And speaking of her lips, it’s obvious that they don’t look like this anymore.
At a 2013 Vegas Magazine Celebration
A few months before her wedding, there was a bit of a style blip when she moved away from the warm shades that suit her so well. Sure, she can pull off this cool-toned brown hair, but it doesn’t have the same “wow” factor. The makeup is an even bigger departure, with the contrast of light white eyeshadow and bold pink blush. I can understand why she only wears warm tones now!
From 2014-2015: Landing on the A-List
At the 2014 Variety Power of Women Event
By the time she was 28, Chrissy was no longer just John’s date—she was a bona fide red carpet regular on her own. But as evidenced by this photo, I still don’t think she did any major cosmetic enhancements yet (aside from her teeth and the occasional jab of lip filler). Here, her look was surprisingly prim and proper, with a neat updo, understated nude makeup, and au naturel lips and skin.
At the 2015 Grammys
After her awkward crying face at the 2015 Golden Globes became a viral meme, Chrissy reached a new level of fame. To go with it, she upgraded her hair with long, beachy waves in an eye-catching honey blonde. Around this time, she also started working with makeup artists like Mary Philips, who tends to the Kardashians. So it’s no surprise that we’re seeing her in an all-nude makeup palette that is heavy on the brows, lashes, highlighting and contouring.
At a 2015 La Mer Celebration
Later in 2015, Chrissy’s glow-up was complete. She was back to her beloved spray tanning, with a full beat of shimmery, bronzey makeup. Her face and lips do look fuller, so it’s possible that she was getting more filler put in. But it could also be the weight gain that she experienced while undergoing IVF. “I looked horrible, totally not myself,” she told Self.
From 2016-2018: Embracing Motherhood
At the 2016 ‘Lip Sync Battle’ FYC Event
After having her daughter, Luna, in April 2016, Chrissy returned to the red carpet a few months later with a brand new look. Not only did she chop her hair shorter and bleach it light blonde, she also rocked trends like matte griege lips and strobed cheeks. Notice how her upper lip appears fuller than the lower one. Over-lining... or injections?
At the 2017 World Premiere of ‘Beauty and the Beast’
Chrissy traded her blonde hair for a more natural brown shade in 2017, worn here in a simple updo. She also departed from her favourite lighter lip tones with this dark, matte blackberry mouth. The colour, however, makes it hard to tell whether her lips have been enhanced or not. The rest of her face is definitely fuller again, but we know she used IVF to conceive her second child as well (who was born in 2018).
At the 2018 Front Row Fashion Awards
Just a month before giving birth to her son, Miles, she showed off a new “bronde” hair colour (in between brunette and blonde). She’s also rocking paler skin than we’ve seen in years. “I haven’t been doing [spray tans] for a long time because I just don’t f—ing care anymore with the baby!" she said in 2017. Since most doctors don’t consider fillers safe during pregnancy, her lips may have deflated... but that wasn’t to be the case for long!
From 2019-2020: More Plumped Up Than Ever
At the 2019 Los Angeles Premiere of ‘Between Two Ferns: The Movie’
Post-pregnancy, a 33-year-old Chrissy emerged looking a little different. Okay, a lot different—thanks to her generously plumped-up lips! They’re bigger than ever, with no sign of a natural Cupid’s bow (indicating fillers). Something about her nose seems a little more angular as well, although that may be from clever contouring and highlighting.
At the 2019 Baby2Baby Gala
As if the fillers weren’t enough, Chrissy took things a step further here by enhancing her mouth with a ring of lip liner. This is one makeup technique that really only “works” from far away! While I do like this styling otherwise (especially her retro waves and fluttery lashes), I suspect her lips weren’t the only feature injected. Her forehead is super smooth, and her eyebrows are looking more arched.
At the 2020 Grammys
I actually gasped when I saw Chrissy on TV, because I’ve never seen her looking so “enhanced.” Her lips are swelling with filler (complete with the ring of lip liner again), her brows seem lifted with Botox, and her nose appears to have acquired a stronger bridge and pointier tip. Even her cheeks seem to be getting bigger, which tends not to happen naturally. It’s too much!
From 2021: Filler Fail and Cheek Surgery
On Instagram in 2021
Things may have gone too far in early 2021, when she shared this photo of her lips looking suspiciously swollen. But she was quick to deny a “filler fail,” instead claiming that it happened after biting into “a suspicious orange.” Do you believe her?! (For the record, Dr. Sandra Lee, a.k.a. Dr. Pimple Popper, chimed in that it was an “allergy of course.”)
On Instagram in 2021
While Chrissy’s lips soon calmed down, she emerged in September with a new look that is even more startling. In an Instagram story, she revealed that she “did that Dr. Diamond buccal fat removal thing,” which involves surgically removing the fat pads from the lower cheeks. So that’s why she has hollows there now, like she’s sucking them in, and a dramatic new “V” shape to her jawline.
Chrissy Teigen Before and After
Chrissy in 2009 vs 2021
In the past, Chrissy has been accused of having cheek implants. “Women are like, ‘those fake-ass cheeks,’ and I’m like, ‘No! This is my real face,’” she said to Allure in 2017. Then, in a (deleted) Tweet, she added: “Don’t u think that if I took the time to get cheek implants I would have also had my jaw shaved down?”
In retrospect, that quote is telling, since her jawline has now been radically re-shaped and comes to a pointed “V” under her chin. Dr. Frank Agullo confirms that this indeed can be done with buccal fat removal surgery. “Buccal fat pad removal is one of the ways to obtain this look,” he told Yahoo Life. “It helps change a round face into a more triangular and slender aesthetically pleasing shape.”
Well, that last part is debatable. According to Dr. Tijion Esho, this “rapidly will age her. The main issue from photos was her over treated jaw. I would have removed her jaw line filler and used Botox to the masseters for better effect and reassessed from there.... It’s definitely a trend... the amount of girls that want this removed [has] gone wild!”
Besides this latest surgery, Chrissy has apparently been dabbling with Botox and fillers for years. “Although she specifically states she’s never done anything to her cheeks, her cheeks look much fuller as she’s gotten older, which is usually not typical for aging,” Dr. Rachael Nazarian told the Daily Mail. “[Her lips look] fuller and more plump, which likely means she had hyaluronic acid injections done for enhancement. Botox helps prevent wrinkling during facial expression, and even though she’s smiling in the photos, her forehead is smooth and her crow’s feet are diminished.”
And what about the changes to her nose (which are obvious from her 2020 photo)? Either her nasal bridge and tip were built up with filler, too—it’s called a non-surgical nose job—or there’s been a rhinoplasty that she’s not telling us about!