Cannes MUA Val Garland on the £12 product she’s using to skin prep all her celebs
Cannes Film Festival always oozes old-school Hollywood glamour. The week-long event in coastal France produces some incredible hair and make-up looks, and this year we’ve been treated to some stand-out, sophisticated appearances from big names like Helen Mirren, Naomi Campbell, Heidi Klum, Gigi Hadid and Elle Fanning.
The sophistication and glamour come largely thanks to one woman in particular: Val Garland. The L’Oréal Paris global make-up director has been at the forefront of all of the best red carpet looks this year, tending to the stunning faces of Elle, Helen, Gemma Chan, Viola Davis and more.
Though it’s undoubtedly one of Val’s busiest weeks of the year, she still found time to talk to OK! exclusively about her celebrity skin secrets, her warm-weather kit must-haves and what working with a celeb for an event like this entails…
Val, we’re dying to know what’s in your Cannes kit this year…
I can't live without the L'Oréal Paris Prime Lab 24HR Pore Minimiser Primer [£11.99 here] and the 24HR Matte Setter Primer [£11.99 here]. When I’m in Cannes, we’ve got great weather so celebs get hot and shiny easily. I don’t want to use an SPF on the skin as it doesn’t work well with flash and actually causes a flashback.
By using the pore minimiser and the make-up setter together, I can blur pores and smooth the skin while cutting out the shine. I also can’t leave home without the L’Oreal Paris Infallible 32H Freshwear Foundation [£11.99 here] – it gives that beautiful skin effect. That’s important because when you're being filmed in HD, the skin needs to look like skin. You need to get skin realism.
Tell us, what key make-up trends have you spotted at Cannes
There’s a lot of realism this year. It’s all about the skin and all about the power of being happy in your own skin. We’re seeing lots of gorgeous glowing complexions. Not super glossy, more like an ‘I’ve come from the gym’ glow. There have been tons of red lips on the red carpet, too. A red lip really says Cannes and it says ‘I’m worth it’. It’s the most perfect red carpet look, whether it’s a stain, a gloss or a matte.
If you are playing up the eyes, it’s playing with simplicity – ‘OK I’ve done a liner – that’s it’. It’s keeping it simple and singular. The simplicity of the look is about who they are as an actress or an actor. It’s much less about a ‘Facetune’ mould and being proud of who you are.
Have you got any long-wearing make-up tips we can use for summer events?
Have a look at a primer. A lot of people tend not to use them and ask what it actually does. If you use the Pore Minimiser or the 24-hour Matte Setter I mentioned before, you’re sealing in and locking in the goodness of your serum and moisturiser, and you’re making the skin gorgeous before applying foundation. After you’ve done that, there’s so little need for powder. A powder can matte the skin so it becomes too flat – you want to bring life to the skin. A lot of powder can also make you look older.
Also, mascara, mascara, mascara! It really opens up the eyes. One trick for giving your eyes a wide-awake brightness is to use a cream pencil in the waterline. My trick to boost lashes is to take a thin make-up brush, like a liner brush, and heat the handle with a hairdryer. I then place it at the roots of the lashes and roll it upwards. It pushes the lashes up further.
And if we want that signature Cannes celeb glow, what can we use and do?
I do two little tricks I do after I finish the make-up – foundation, blush, contour and bronze. I’ll walk into a mist – you can use either Evian water or a make-up setter – and I also like to take a bit of moisturiser on the tips of my fingers and I dab it on the cheekbones. It gives that athletic, gym skin look without the iridescence of a highlighter.
Do you get time with your celebs to chat about the look(s) you’ll create for them at a big event like this?
Before I am doing any artist they’ll sit in the chair and we’ll talk about what they'll be wearing, what their hair will be like and what jewels they’ll wear. It’s about the total look, and it’s about how everything marries together – is it a lip, is it an eye? My artists need to feel confident, so it’s not about the trend, it’s about making them feel powerful.
Tell us a little bit more about Elle’s look – it was gorgeous!
With Elle, it was about the just rush of flush – innocence and inner radiance. We went with a very cloud-like skin look and a barely-there rouge. I took a fluffy blush and clouded out the lip edge to soften it. I’m so happy to see blush back on the carpet. It's so refreshing to see again after having taken a backseat to bronzer for a long time.
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