For more than half a century, cinephiles and silver-screen darlings have flocked to the Cannes Film Festival, which debuts the biggest and most boundary-pushing new films of note. Wardrobe choices have run the gamut throughout the event’s 72 years—who can forget the epicene effect of Aymeline Valade’s Pallas tuxedo, worn at the premiere of 2014’s Saint Laurent biopic with a freshly platinum dye job? While hair and makeup have trod a similarly versatile line between glamour and ease.
Perhaps it was Elizabeth Taylor, with her glittering diamond tiara, who started the festival’s tradition of decorative hair accessories in 1957—followed by Catherine Deneuve’s white headband and Sophia Loren’s slim-brimmed hat. In 1974, Jane Birkin brought a distinctively French insouciance to the red carpet with natural makeup and air-dried hair that felt like a sign of the times—a tactic her daughter Charlotte Gainsbourg embraced more than 30 years later with a fresh complexion heightened by a tangle of waves and a subversively chic leather jacket and jeans.
In makeup, Brigitte Bardot’s artful flick of black liner paved the way for a number of sultry eye moments—from Penélope Cruz’s kohl-rimmed gaze to Jodie Turner-Smith’s dark gold-flecked smoky eyes, some of the most iconic Cannes beauty looks. That’s not to say that minimalism hasn’t made a memorable impact: Selena Gomez proved she needed only a swipe of red lipstick to look photo-ready. Still, the element of surprise can’t be overrated—just ask Kristen Stewart, whose platinum crop and daring makeup were an electrifying presence at 2016’s festival, or Susan Sarandon, whose bombshell poitrine and daring leg reveal the next year instantly immortalised her in the proverbial Cannes hall of fame.
From Diana Ross’s polished waves to Angelina Jolie Pitt’s pregnancy glow, these are the 31 iconic Cannes beauty looks worth remembering from the red carpets at the film festival, which kicked off on May 17, 2022.