Mandy Moore shows “Dedication” to a new look

I really like Mandy Moore. I’ve already made that abundantly clear here. I think she is wonderfully grounded in an industry that all too often celebrates its unapologetic train wrecks. She is mature, healthy, hard-working and, above all, talented. And nice, good heavens, she is so nice. Which is why, of course, it pains me greatly to show you this.

Oh, honey. Honey. Her eyelids, they looks so … heavy. Now I appreciate the smoky, sultry thing Mandy is going for here. I’m all for vamping it up now and then. But the pancake makeup and the I-vant-to-suck-your-blood lipstick just seems off. Plus, she just doesn’t look like herself. (Seriously, from a distance I thought, “Has Jennifer Tilly done something different with her hair?”) The dress and its accompanying cleavage, however, can stay.

Perhaps, since Mandy is at the premiere of her latest film, Dedication (a dark romance co-starring Billy Crudup), she is just practicing her method acting. Because it sure seems like she is trying out looks for her upcoming guest spot on the sitcom How I Met Your Mother next season. The role is described as “the ultimate bad decision … a tattooed, vodka-swilling train wreck” who catches the eye of lead character Ted. Hmm, the outfit is starting to make more sense now.

Speaking of trying something different, the 23-year-old singer/actress recently covered Rihanna’s inescapable summer hit “Umbrella.” Mandy’s versions dials down the danceability and amps up the earnestness. But, you know what, it works better than you might expect. See for yourself:

(Yahoo!)

Granted, I’m predisposed to like anything Mandy does. (Well, almost anything. Even I didn’t go see License to Wed). You see, I actually met Mandy last month and she was lovely, simply lovely. So lovely that if I got the Oxygen network, I would have totally watched her I Am Mandy Moore one-hour reality special this week. So go ahead, call me an embarrassingly smitten kitten. I am one. But, really, why aren’t you?

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