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Cannes Ends 65th Birthday Party in Style

Makeup artist Billy B and hairstylist John Nollet join L’Oreal to glam up the red carpet as the fest draws to a close.

John Nollet (right) with US model and athlete Aimee Mullins at amfAR's Cinema Against Aids event.
Getty Images

While the Cannes Film Festival typically winds down as its second weekend approaches, this year, the fest dressed up for its 65th anniversary to end the Riviera rendez-vous in style. As the stars piled onto the Croisette for major premieres and then up to Cap d’Antibes for the amfAR gala, celebrity hairstylist John Nollet and makeup artist Billy B arrived just in time for the glamorous festival finale. Sunday night’s closing ceremonies will be particularly busy for Nollet and Billy B who are here in Cannes with fest partner L’Oreal to glam up visiting talents like Aishwarya Rai, Julianna Marguilies, Doutzen Kroes and Andie MacDowell.

“A moment like Cannes is a moment where cinema has its place in the Palais and at the same time it’s celebrated on the red carpet where women need to show that, even if they’re old or not beautiful in the films, on the red carpet they can show their real personalities,” Nollet says, adding: “The cinema is an art that is always about beauty.”

For fest partner L’Oreal, it’s all about beauty and the brand has imported celebrities from across the globe to join them in Cannes this year including Fan Bing Bing, Gong Li, Julianna Marguilies, Jane Fonda, Eva Longoria and Milla Jovovich.

“Even before it was cool to work with celebrities, I was working with celebrities when you weren’t validated in fashion if you did celebrities. Now celebrities are fashion,” says Billy B, who has worked with top talents like Beyonce, Mary J. Blige, Sharon Stone and Lady Gaga.

Both Nollet and Billy B have to make sure that the celebrities they work with are flawless under the lights and flashing cameras on the Cannes red carpet.

“The thing about red carpet now is that, because of high def, you have to take it very seriously because everything shows,” Billy B explains, adding: “You have no control over how tight someone is zoomed in so it’s a bit nerve-racking.”

However, there’s still time for some red carpet fun. Billy B is a fan of L’Oreal’s Electric Gold collection that the brand has been promoting during the festival.

“Color is no longer just for your teenage daughter or your 80 year-old grandmother and her blue eye-shadow,” Billy B says. Plus, he adds that the makeup works on older stars like Jane Fonda and also younger faces like Milla Jovovich. “The technology of the makeup is so advanced and is so emollient for any age skin whether it be 16 years old or 66 years old,” he explains, adding: “I’m no scientist but this is definitely advanced technology.”

Yet makeup is nothing without its essential accessory: hair.

“They have to be married together – hair and makeup,” Billy B says, adding: “I tend to do less makeup if the hair is in the face and more makeup if the hair is pulled back.” Less hair in the face is a trend that Nollet has noticed on the Cannes red carpets this year.

“Hair to one side – it’s very glamorous. Like Berenice Bejo wore for the Opening Ceremony or Virginie Ledoyen on the red carpet or Marion Cotillard at the Oscars. I think it’s quite the trend in Cannes this year,” Nollet says.

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