Most Memorable Facial Hair Of 2012

Tick, tock, tick, tock…hear that? It’s the sound of the end of 2012 creeping closer and closer! (cue the dramatic soundtrack). But before we usher in a whole new era of style and music madness, we’re NOT finished with the current one quite yet. For the next few weeks, join us on a trip down memory lane where we wax nostalgic about all the awesome things 2k12 had to offer. We’ve already hit mag covers, nail art, and just yesterday, Instagram selfies. Next up, let’s hear it for the boys.

Unless they happen to change up their looks as much as, say, Adam Lambert or Jared Leto, it’s a fact of life: we just don’t talk about the beauty and grooming habits of the dude portion of the population as much as we do the ladies. But now that we’re officially wrapping up the year, it’s time to give the guys some cred for their killer grooming game…namely, their facial hair. 2012 has seen some WILD moments, from the failproof five o’clock shadow on Zac Efron and Robert Pattinson, to creative designs (hey, Riff Raff!) to looks that literally require a double-take (coughJaredLetocough). So we’ve combed through the photos over the past 365 days to bring you the boldest mustache, beard, and brow incarnations from some of our favorite boys. It’s a tough job, but someone’s gotta do it….


Zac Efron at a screening of ’The Lorax’ in February.
Photo: Getty Images

Sure, he may flex his biceps and a teeny ’stache in the steamy John John Denim commercial, but this year Zac Efron was really ALL about the clean cut scruff. Kicking things off way back in February at the premiere of The Lorax, the actor offset his perfectly tousled hair with just enough stubble from swaying too far on the pretty boy spectrum. This Disney star is all grown up (but not TOO much, moms!).


Kanye West at Cannes Film Festival in May.
Photo: Getty Images

There’s no question that Kanye flexed his fashion chops in a whole new way this year, wearing a mishmash of outfits ranging from metalhead sweatpants to a leopard Givenchy topper. The main constant throughout Kanye’s varied wardrobe (aside from the Air Yeezy 2s, obviously) was his OH SO PERFECT circle beard. His highly groomed mustache continues along his jawline to meet up with the rest of his facial hair, and the result is seriously sharp. Talk about technique!


Shia LaBeouf at the ’Lawless’ premiere in August.
Photo: Getty Images

Whereas Kanye takes a super stylized approach to his facial hair, Shia LaBeouf swings in the complete opposite direction. We’ve been tracking Shia’s beard growth over the past few months, and the actor’s appearance at the Lawless premiere back in August shows him at his shaggy peak. He may have toned down the hair a bit since then, but this look is forever burned into our memories.


Ed Westwick at the Philipp Plein runway show in June.
Photo: Getty Images

We’ve always suspected Chuck Bass- er, Ed Westwick– to have a secret male model dream, and the actor finally got to fulfill it this summer when he worked the runway at Philipp Plein’s runway show. Sure, the event was ~officially~ about the clothes, but we were way more focused on Ed’s little mustache than anything else. Can you really blame us? I mean, just LOOK AT IT.


Zayn Malik in October.
Photo: Getty Images

Google “Zayn Malik beard” and you’ll see all sorts of controversy happening in the 1D universe about whether or not Zayn should attempt a full-grown beard or go totally clean-cut. But the One Direction singer has managed to please BOTH sides on the argument when he turned up this winter, sporting a kinda-sorta shaved beard and meticulous mustache. Slightly more prominent than a five o’clock shadow but decidedly more coiffed than going all the way, his spontaneous stubble starts at his sideburns and makes its way around his jaw. The result frames his face, and complements that blonde streak and swooped hair nicely, we might add.


Robert Pattinson in October.
Photo: Getty Images

To put it mildly, this has been a huge year for Robert Pattinson… movie and fashion-wise. Along with a little film called Twilight, the Brit actor (and ex model) also mugged for Dior fragrance and worked Gucci’s signature suits like nobody’s business. And it should go without saying that he looked really, really, ridiculously good-looking every step of the way. We’re chalking at least a little bit of the attractiveness quotient up to his permanent five o’clock shadow. Not too shaven and not too bushy, it’s the perfect middle ground.


Riff Raff at the MTV Video Music Awards.
Photo: Getty Images

We admire Riff Raff for the courage and creativity to rock this squiggly design day in and day out (clearly, James Franco does, too). That is all.


Kristen Stewart promotes ’Twilight in Japan’/models in the Louis Vuitton SS13 runway show.
Photo: Terry Richardson/ Terry’s Diary

By now, we’ve already spent plenty of time mourning the loss of Jared Leto’s eyebrows. Just mere days ago the 30 Seconds to Mars frontman traded his woodsman locks for absolutely ZERO face fuzz, all for his role in Dallas Buyers Club. We’re still kind of in shock over the change, but Jared seems to have embraced the new look entirely (click here if you’re curious)…so props for that, J!


Frank Ocean at the ’GQ’ Men of the Year party.
Photo: Getty Images

Um, if you’re lucky enough to be born with puppy dog brown eyes and a slight smile like Frank Ocean, then it’s kind of impossible to make yourself look bad. Needless to say, the singer’s subtle beard and ’stache that he’s been sporting lately have become as synonymous with the singer as his bandanna and best-selling album, and we’re not complaining one bit.


Ezra Miller at the Hollywood Film Awards Gala.
Photo: Getty Images

Ezra Miller is clearly a guy who doesn’t take the whole fashion thing TOO seriously, and we respect him for that. Plus, let’s be honest: the dude looks just as good in an unbuttoned top, slouchy pants, and disheveled ’do as he does in designer. So is it really any surprise, then, that he’s taking the same blase approach to his grooming habits as he does to his wardrobe? Instead of a woodsman beard or a clean-shaven face, the actor instead has sported a couple of placement patches (most noticeably on his chin). And strangely enough, we’re not mad…not at all.

Big & Best of 2012: A Year End Celebration Presented by T-Mobile goes LIVE at 12pm on 12/12/12. Watch at for 8 hours of LIVE performances by Grace Potter, Metric, Alt-J, Thompson Square, First Aid Kit, and Dustin Lynch; surprise guest appearances, prize giveaways, special editions of Rapfix Live, Big Morning Buzz Live, MTV News After Hours, You Oughta Know and much more

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