Red Carpet Beauty: Cannes Film Festival 2011

Red carpet beauty is often fickle and heavy-handed because celebrities (and their makeup artists) have to deal with harsh flashbulbs and HD-televised specials, but if there ever was an event perfectly suited to showcase natural, understated beauty, it would be Cannes. After all, who doesn’t look their best on the French Riviera? There seems to be two major schools of thought this season in terms of beauty; the look is either warm and natural with a blush lip tone or clean and fresh-faced with a bold bright lip. Here are a few of our favorites from the past few weeks: 

Kirsten DunstElizabeth Olsen

As if the buzz surrounding Melancholia wasn’t enough, Kirsten Dunst decided to come to Cannes looking her best. She is often panned for her hit-or-miss looks but this one, reminiscent of Michelle Williams’ revered 2006 Oscars look, is perfect and Dunst has never looked better. On the other end of the spectrum, Elizabeth Olsen’s warm, sultry eyes paired with a matte, neutral lip is both chic and age appropriate for the budding starlet. 

Gwen StefaniZoe Saldana

I am a huge fan of a bright lip, and have worn a color similar to this pink on Gwen Stefani, but I am also a firm believer that a bold lip doesn’t need a supporting act. If this was the Grammys, Stefani’s gunmetal eyes and defined brows would be suitable, but given the venue, the look is heavy-handed and unfortunately ages her. With natural makeup that could almost go unnoticed, it’s the blush on Zoe Saldana that caught my eye. Blush is often overlooked, unless you get the dreaded 80s cheekbone swipe, but the subtlety of this warm coral tone is what makes her beauty look. 

Rachel McAdamsBryce Dallas Howard

If there was a Prom Queen of Cannes this season, there is no doubt in my mind that it would be Rachel McAdams. From her stunning appearance in Marchesa on the first day to her sleek blowout at the photocall, this look from her second red carpet appearance is proof that you can do big hair well. The lioness look has been panned after a number of celebrities have been seen, and scorned, with their outrageous hair, but this voluminous blowout looks effortless but maintains that cool 70s feel. Her ruby pink lip paired with the warm shaded tones on her eyes round out this flawless look.

The number of daytime events at Cannes gives us a great opportunity to see celebrities in more natural makeup and Bryce Dallas Howard’s clean faced look proves that sometimes less is more. With her bright hair color, subtle highlighter and lots of mascara is all that’s needed for an exemplary day look. 

Photos:, News Pictures/