Back to the future! 5 retro beauty looks at Cannes Film Festival

Someone was clearly messing about with a time machine this year at Cannes Film Festival because the beauty eras were all over the place, and I’ll tell you what: it was a breath of fresh air.

Viewers of the Cannes red carpet weren’t just served looks in outfit form, but a varied and interesting palette of hair and makeup choices, which is a welcome change when most red carpets only vary between the confines of soft waved hair and “bold” red lips, no further.

I’ll show you bold, said Helen Mirren when she rocked up on the Cannes carpet sporting a messy up do with her hair dyed ten different shades of blue (the warmest colour, infamously). And lipsticks weren’t their typical pinks and reds, with Gigi Hadid repping a 90s brown to the screening of Henry VIII drama Firebrand. Here are some of favourite retro looks from the French Riviera.

Brie Larson’s 90s headband

Brie Larson

/ PA

Brie Larson has been single handedly running a one-woman Chanel promotional campaign this Cannes, turning out look after look from the French fashion house, with everything from couture to Ready To Wear collections all on display over the course of the two week festival. The best bit, though, was when she fully played into the preppy chic of Chanel and wore a simple black 90s headband to pull back her highlighted tresses. Simultaneously 1998 and Gossip Girl circa 2008.

Sydney Sweeney’s ‘Brigitte Bardot’ hair do

Sydney Sweeney with Aja Naomi King

/ Getty Images for Miu Miu

While Larson may have delivered a minor Brigitte Bardot moment with her hairband, the major 60s moment was Sydney Sweeney’s blown out ‘do. The slight messiness, semi-parted fringe and volume all screamed Queen of the Côte d’Azur – a title originally applied to Brigitte, but Sweeney embodied it effortlessly this week. The Euphoria actress loves to experiment with different styles, but this is a personal favourite.

Jennifer Lawrence brought back Y2K lipgloss

Jennifer Lawrence


All hail the return of J Law! With a Hunger Games renaissance on the cards and a new comedy set to be released, Jennifer Lawrence is the talk of the town once again, and who can blame us – her look at Cannes was a showstopper, and while it’s hard to look away from the dress, her glam was actually what tied it all together.

Lawrence had sleek, honey coloured hair, styled to be poker straight, save for a few gentle waves at the ends, and a muted makeup look, except for a perfectly shiny lipgloss (speaking of renaissances). An oft-overlooked lip product, the Y2K gloss actually works perfectly with a classic look because it gives the appearances of whole-face dewiness. Consider it next time you want to look perfectly polished.

Helen Mirren’s punky blue hair

Helen Mirren

/ Scott Garfitt/Invision/AP

Now that’s how you do a blue rinse! Originally used to dilute the yellowish appearance of grey hair, 77-year-old Mirren seems less interested in “diluting” her signs of ageing and more interested in having fun with it. Her messy, punkish blue updo was dyed in all sorts of shades: there’s some purple in there, some turquoise – it’s perfectly imperfect. Channeling the 1970s in her 70s, perfection.

Not only that, but the beehive has obvious hair clip additions to the side, which contrasted to Mirren’s opulent Bulgari jewellery and Del Core gown, giving her the overall appearance of a Vivienne Westwood-Marie Antoinette hybrid. Not a bad combo, if you ask me.

Gigi Hadid brown lipstick

Gigi Hadid

/ Getty Images

The older Hadid sister turned up the Firebrand premiere looking like Jessica Rabbit in sepia with her coffee-coloured gown, made by Zac Posen, dramatic side part and matching brown lipstick.

The trend, which was popularised in the 90s, has made a comeback as of late, but hasn’t been a major presence on any red carpets. It was a welcome additions to Hadid’s look, which would have looked a lot more boring with a basic red lip. Brava!

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