RED carpet beauty is different to the catwalks. It’s not about being edgy. Our brief is simple: Actresses just want to look as gorgeous as possible,” says celebrity makeup artist Emma Day, known for working with Sienna Miller, Keira Knightly and Lily Allen, among others. “We pull out all the tricks so that people go: ‘Wow, you look amazing.’”
And – as the world’s best makeup and hair gurus descend on the Cannes Film Festival this week – there’s plenty of inspiration to be had.
“Strong red lips have been a recurring trend,” says Day. “It looks great in the light there. Also lots of actresses have been sporting pale dresses, so a red lips are a great way to give the look some punch.”
Day recommends getting the look by layering lipstick in a strong shade by Nars or Chanel and blotting several times. “It gives a great depth of colour that way.”
Minimal fresh-facedness has also been a key trend at the Cannes, as sported by Mia Wasikowska and Clémence Poésy who both have worked nude lips and barely there makeup for events.
“That’s a look a lot of French girls go for,” says Day. Although, she cautions: “It involves a surprising amount of effort to achieve that low-maintenance style. I put on false eye lashes, a subtle eye liner, cover-up and illuminator.”
The natural look has been echoed in hair, which – outside of the usual 1940s set curls – has taken an altogether more tousled note with loose flowing curls and thrown-together (but so not) updos. Sarah Jessica Parker, Diane Kruger and Uma Thurman have all sported versions. “There’s a new informality,” says Tara Smith, hair guru to Demi Moore, Rosario Dawson and Vanessa Hudgens. “Whether it’s up, or down, the vibe has been laid back and textured. Actresses have also been playing with more extreme side partings.”
Luckily, celebrity stylist Chris Sweeney says it’s easy to achieve. “Brush mousse through wet hair and give a quick blowdry to smoothe, then use large tongs to curl the hair,” he says, adding of the benefits when this is tied back. “It’s such a great antidote to the formal fixed looks that can make girls look like Imelda Marcos. This is younger and fresher,” he says. So, what red carpet style will you be trying out?
Emma Day’s top red carpet beauty products
The perfect highlighter
“It really brings out the cheeks.” Laura Mercier Mineral Powder SPF 15, £31, Harrods.com
“I just started working with this. It gives an amazing finish.”
Lumising Moisture Tint, $38 (or, £23), www.jouercosmetics.com
Lips with impact
“Pick a great deep red shade.”
Chanel Rouge Allure, £23, www.selfridges.com