While it’s true that people come to Cannes to do business—it is a film festival, after all—I think it feels more like an excuse for adults to re-live prom. Women in full-length gowns linger in hotel lobbies at eleven in the morning; men wear tuxedos as daywear and to dinner. The whole city feels and looks a little like a time capsule: think Havana in the 50s meets 70s Miami, with a dash of Cirque du Soleil…a canopy of palm trees hangs over pastel art deco buildings, and the air is heady with excess. Steak au poivre is sixty euro. The new Céline store is packed. And there are plenty of places to get your hair and makeup done.

Dior invited me over to spend a day experiencing their beauty suite at the Majestic, and, lo and behold, I met my new best friend (insert appropriately high-school overzealousness here). Violette—no last name, just Violette—is a twenty-eight-year-old Parisian self-taught makeup artist who’s just signed on to be the brand’s European makeup “designer”. You’ll get the full scoop on her soon. She led me through the pale gray corner… apartment, basically… and into a chair, where I proceeded to explain my hesitations about “red carpet makeup” and what I didn’t want. (Was I actually going to a red carpet? No. We were just playing dress up. It was eleven AM—remember, this is Cannes.) But something about her studded Sandro sneakers, her MAC Russian Red lipstick, put me at ease. This girl’s not sending me off looking like a John Hughes heroine.

Taking one look at the iPhone photos of my dresses for the week—I’m in town until Sunday and will, in fact, go out at night—Violette decided on a glossy smoky eye. “I love playing with textures: putting lip gloss on the eyelid, or eye shadow on the mouth for a matte finish,” she told me, scraping a few curls of black shadow into an empty palette and mixing in a squeeze of clear MAC Lipglass with a small brush. That sounds tricky… “It’s easy,” said the mind reader, as she brushed a base of the dry shadow upward and outward over my eyelid. The gooey mixture went smack dab in the middle and was left alone to settle in as she worked on my skin, which went from jet-lag pallid to luminous thanks to my other new best friend, Dior Skinflash Primer—more luminizer than primer, we agreed. The texture play continued on cheeks: a die-hard fan of cream blush, Violette worked Dior Addict lipstick (“It’s the perfect consistency for blush—it’s a jelly, not a wax”) in 316 over my cheekbones and hit the top with Skinflash.

Sheer face. Genius spin on my favorite smudgy rocker eye. “This is too good,” I said, grabbing a glass of champagne. Feeling frisky, we ran down to my room and I slipped on a black Narciso Rodriguez number, Van Cleef & Arpels gold cuff, and Roger Vivier heels (some loaners--when in Rome!). Then I handed Violette my camera. “I’m not a photographer!” she laughed. Sure you are! And, just like that, we wiggled our way around the paparazzi in the hotel lobby, ran around a side street, snapping away, and even got the prerequisite Riviera balcony shot. Remembering the gilded Pucci mini-dress in my room and eyeing my lids, Violette paused and said, “Let’s mess it up now,” softening the graphic points with a Q-Tip and smearing on more gloss. I changed dresses, grabbed a hair tie for a ten-second ponytail, popped on a pretty major ring by Dior's Victoire de Castellane…and voilà. A very modern—and very fancy—evening look, in the fantasy land that is Cannes.

Let’s Talk About It! JOIN IN
  • Aleksandra

    You look stunning, Emily. Can't wait for the piece on Violette!

  • Hannah

    I love your makeup! And the last picture is so pretty; it looks like it came right out of a magazine!

  • Phil

    Love the 2nd picture!
    Keep tweeting those pictures.
    Looks like the Dior driver enjoyed it too haha.

  • the wasp

    Love the whole look! Absolutely breathtaking! :)

    x the wasp

  • Natalie Rey

    How lucky you are! The photo on the balcony is beautiful, the dress and your make up as well. I'm just wondering if the mixture on your eyelids is not too sticky. I would hesitate to do it on my own for a night out!
    Thans again for your blog,

  • Sofia

    Sweet dreams are sure made of these...

  • Guest

    That last photo is stunning!

  • clara

    emily, you look absolutely stunning! every new post of yours makes me so, so happy.. i can't begin to tell you how many of your tips i've taken to heart and makeup products you've inspired me to try (aesop, jurlique, caudalie.. to name a few).

  • aya

    You look AMAZING. Wow! I love it all--from hair, to glossy smoky to dress to shoes. Just wow.

  • Anonymous

    Dude, I can't get over how awesome your haircut looks on you - It's seriously fantastic and frames your face perfectly. ANYWHO - Violette sounds like my kind of girl! The look is stunning, and so are your dresses, shoes and accessories!

  • mlle p

    Gorgeous! You should be the new Dior girl.

  • Emilie

    j'adore les cheveux!! & love the last photo!

  • Erippon

    I need your life.

  • LAD

    Beautiful. I love your writing style and I can't get enough of your interviews

  • Joanne Choi

    Amazing. Except it would be a classier prom ;)

    One of my favorite authors Paulo Coelho was there too


  • Anonymous

    Hi Lulu-- thanks for your note. I always disclose if and when a post is sponsored (in this case, it's not). Regardless, you are getting my real, honest opinion no matter what-- I don't talk about things I don't believe in. xE

    • Lulu

      Thanks for commenting Emily! Agreed about getting your make up done in Cannes - and it looked beautiful! Good to know we are still getting your true opinion, because that is what we really care about!

  • Sarahdee

    The last photo is insanely good! And you look so stunning!

    <3 Sarah

  • JennySueMakeup

    the graphic eye liner is MAH-JOR!! love it. if i could attend one film festival/awards show- it would be cannes. the ultimate fancy occasion. and even though i'm a makeup artist- i'd probably treat myself to someone else doing my makeup just because:)

  • Guest

    Utterly stunning, this hair is so clean and a perfect length. Ps for anyone in Australia, an amazing gloss that works on cheeks and eyes is Kit's lip gloss in Vanilla Icing. It's amazeball X

  • CamMi Pham

    Love the photos you look amazing as always

  • Misspeony

    Nice hair cut !!

  • Anne Meyer

    It's all about the black holiday.. Nice black dress you got. So perfect.

  • Freya – Fashionable People

    Love these pictures - the dress is gorgeous, so light and flowing. Beautiful eye-makeup!

  • Carola Disiot

    wow! beautiful!!!

  • Renee | Beauty Fool

    I'll have to echo everyone's comments: stunning! The haircut suits you perfectly, Emily :)

    xx Renee

  • Kirsty

    The last picture is such amazing! Love your blog, it is so inspiring, Emily!

  • Kimmi @ The Plastic Diaries

    You looked amazing, and your new beastie Violette sounds like a treat!

  • Kitchenafternoon

    Pretty yes, but you seem so happy! Bon week-end Emily!


    I just looove your hair !

  • Samantha

    The framing of the shadow could not be more well suited to your eye shape.

  • Bonnie,Clyde and Marni

    you look amazing!!!! love love love the makeup!!

  • Rachael T

    oh my god this glossy smoky eye is beyond sexy - need step by step (pics) tutorial stat por favor!

  • Jane S.

    That fourth photo is simply stunning! You look ready to take flight. Did you cut your hair again? It looks a bit shorter around your face than your original cut.

  • M.Fay

    I agree with other readers, your haircut really suits you and looks very chic. You look like a model in these photos.
    I'm sure you had a lot of fun!

  • Jess

    emily is so beautiful. this haircut enhances her facial features! amazing, keep looking good darl!

  • Astifa Kazmi

    Wow, Amazing style, beautiful pictures.

  • Lou

    You look AMAZING Emily, I have fallen in love with the last photo. I bet you've had a great and never to forget time!

    Have a wonderful weekend.


  • Amanda

    Oh my could pleeeeease source that NR dress. Stunning-

  • Sandra

    You look fantastic. The dress and makeup are fantastic and your body is on point. Hope you had fun in Cannes - it is a wonderful city.

  • Michelle Lee
  • Charlotte Delon

    do you have a special skin care routine for when you travel?

  • Mama Fashionista (Quinn)

    You look gorgeous! I love how creative Violettewas with makeup. Makes me want to experiment with mulittasking with all my products!

  • Mama Fashionista (Quinn)

    You look gorgeous and Cannes looks breathtaking. I love how creative Violette was with your makeup application. It inspires me to look for ways to multitask with my makeup as well!

  • Nuttien

    you look gorgeous!

  • Nikki

    Emily, I love the makeup you are sporting! Elegant yet not overwhelming, I particular love the drama of the eyes. Also, I adore the gold cuff you are wearing!

  • mcgintylauren
  • sonia

    hello, you look great , the hair, the dress, every thing.
    May i asked if the shoes roger vivier are still avalaible in stores.
    Thanks in advance

  • He-fashion

    OH like the last photo the best.

  • Ashley



  • Marian

    Abso-fab-lutely stunning shots of you.
    Glam kisses,