Cannes Beauty: Cate Blanchett, Blake Lively Embrace the Braid

From left: Cate Blanchett, Blake Lively and Adele Exarchopolus

Get it twisted: Adele Exarchopoulos also stepped out in braided hair during the annual film fest.

Perhaps in an attempt not to overshadow the jaw-dropping gowns they donned on the Cannes red carpet, several megawatt stars opted for clean, upswept braids and ponytails as their festival hair look.

Most notable was Blake Lively’s take on a ponytail-braid hybrid, which was a nice contrast to the sleek, angular neckline of the burgundy Gucci Premiere gown she wore to the Grace of Monaco premiere Wednesday. Cate Blanchett also had her much shorter, but just as blond, tresses braided up and behind her head. The neat updo gave her bedazzled Givenchy gown and sapphire Chopard jewels a slightly bohemian twist at the How to Train Your Dragon 2 premiere Friday.

PHOTOS: The Most Glamorous Gowns at the Cannes Film Festival

Naomi Watts and America Ferrera teetered into ponytail territory, but both their styles were far from sporty. Watts’ was a dramatically sideswept 'do that gave her powder-blue Marchesa dress a girlish vibe at the How to Train Your Dragon 2 screening. And Ferrera’s upswept hair was a good choice given the high neckline of her ivory Georges Hobeika Couture gown.

But Cannes' best braid was worn by Blue Is Warmest Color actress Adele Exarchopoulos -- this year’s recipient of the Trophee Chopard -- at the Grace of Monaco premiere.

Hairstylist Christian Wood says he wanted to give the French actress “just a hint of a '60s vibe and to keep it young, fresh and modern, but still chic enough for a Cannes red carpet.”

STORY: Cannes Carpet: Adele Exarchopoulos vs. Emma Watson

Wood shared his steps for getting Exarchopoulos Cannes-worthy hair, which will translate nicely for Memorial Day BBQs and even the casual trip to the beach this summer -- worn with denim cutoffs, not couture, of course.

1. Add a small amount of Bumble & Bumble Surf Spray to dry hair to create instant texture. Next add L’Oreal Kerastase Volume Mousse to the roots and dry in to add messy volume. 

2. Using a GHD Straightener curl hair section by section to create soft beach waves. It should look random and not too done, as this step adds a subtle movement and wave to the hair. 

3. Use Oribe Dry Texture Spray throughout the hair to break up the waves and create instant messy texture and volume. Shake your head upside down if need be. 

4. Add a little Schwarzkopf Dust It Powder at the roots, and then gently tease the hair at the crown of the head to add lift and incorporate that subtle '60s vibe.

5. Pull the hair around to one side and create a fairly tight, standard three-way braid all the way to the ends of the hair and secure with an elastic.

6. Using your fingertips, pull the braid apart, slightly rubbing at the same time -- this widens the braid and also creates a loose, messy texture. 

7. Using bobby pins, sweep hair off the face by slightly twisting the hair at the front. Add a few pins around the side and the back to secure the 'do, and then using your fingers, slightly rub and pull the hair all over the head to create that messy, undone, sexy texture. Finish with Fredrick Fekkai Sheer Hold Hairspray.