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Venice Film Festival: The 20 Best Beauty Looks of All Time

From the classic elegance of Sophia Loren to the modern charisma of Zendaya

Venice Film Festival Best Beauty looks
Natalie Salmon
Fashion Digital Editor
Updated: September 11, 2023
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The Venice Film Festival is not just a celebration of cinema; it's also a showcase of some of the most stunning beauty looks we’ve ever seen, with top MUAs and glam-squads using supermodels and A-list actresses as their canvas. Over the years a galaxy of stars have graced the festival's red carpet with their impeccable choices, leaving a lasting impression on red carpet glamour. 

From the classic elegance of Sophia Loren  to the modern charisma of Zendaya, these beauty moments continue to inspire makeup enthusiasts, artists, and individuals around the world. 

Now in its 80th year we look back at 18 beauty looks from the Venice Film Festival that have transcended time and left us in awe:

Sophia Loren - 1955

At the 16th Venice Film Festival, Sophia Loren's classic beauty was on full display. With her signature cat-eye liner and perfectly coiffed hair, she exuded timeless elegance that continues to inspire makeup artists to this day.

Sophia Loren, 1955© Archivio Cameraphoto Epoche
Sophia Loren, 1955

Nicole Kidman - 2004

Nicole Kidman's timeless elegance was perfectly complemented by her undone side parted updo and minimalistic makeup which showcased her alabaster complexion. Her radiant complexion, flawless base and soft curls exuded a natural, effortless charm that remains an inspiration for beauty enthusiasts today. 

Nicole Kidman, 2004© Pascal Le Segretain
Nicole Kidman, 2004

Scarlett Johansson - 2006

Scarlett Johansson's vintage hairstyle at the opening ceremony and 'The Black Dahlia' premiere, complete with a butterfly diamond hair barrette, have become an iconic Venice beauty moment. She made the stunning appearance at the 63rd Venice Film Festival with a plum lip which perfectly captured the essence of the old-Hollywood era's glamour and sensuality. 

Scarlett Johansson, 2006© Elisabetta Villa
Scarlett Johansson, 2006

Angelina Jolie - 2007

Angelina Jolie's sultry and smoky eye makeup at the 64th Venice Film Festival (a bumper year for beauty looks btw) turned heads and set trends for years to come. Her pink lips plus smouldering gaze, teamed with classic pearls and a bouffant updo added an air of ladylike allure to the red carpet. 

Angelina Jolie, 2007© George Pimentel
Angelina Jolie, 2007

Charlize Theron - 2007

Charlize Theron's luminous skin and soft, golden makeup at the 64th Venice Film Festival were a masterclass in achieving a radiant and ageless look. Her choice of tonal lipstick and blush added a touch of softness to her overall appearance.

Charlize Theron, 2007© Daniele Venturelli
Charlize Theron, 2007

Keira Knightley - 2007

Keira Knightley's ethereal beauty look at the Atonement premiere for the 64th Venice Film Festival had all the hallmarks of a pre-raphaelite era beauty. Her brown mane, adorned with celestial stars, and dusky pink eyeshadow highlighted her feminine sense of style. 

Keira Knightley, 2007© George Pimentel
Keira Knightley, 2007

Natalie Portman - 2010

Natalie Portman's chic beauty look at the opening ceremony of the 67th Venice Film Festival was a subtle nod to her turn as a ballet dancer in Black Swan. Her bronzed skin, side swept bun waves, and  smudged eyeliner created a captivating stage-worthy allure.

Natalie Portman, 2010© Pascal Le Segretain
Natalie Portman, 2010

Lily-Rose Depp - 2016

When your mother is Vanessa Paradis and your father is Johnny Depp, you may have picked up a thing or two about stealing the show on the red carpet. At the premiere of Planetarium during the 73rd Venice Film Festival the budding actress did just that. Lily-Rose Depp stunned with elegant relxed waves and smouldering eyes.

Lily-Rose Depp, 2016© Danny Martindale
Lily-Rose Depp, 2016

Jennifer Lawrence - 2017

Jennifer Lawrence's delicate beauty was on full display at the 74th Venice Film Festival. Her soft, sophisticated makeup and elegant Grace Kelly-esque french twist epitomised classic beauty. Her updo showcased the power of refined simplicity.

Jennifer Lawrence, 2017© Jacopo Raule
Jennifer Lawrence, 2017

Amal Clooney - 2017

Amal Clooney's bold and vibrant makeup look at the 74th Venice Film Festival was a true showstopper. Her dramatic plum lipstick blue and retro coiffed faux bob added a refreshing burst of old-Hollywood glamour to the Suburbicon screening's red carpet, proving that classic beauty looks transcend the ages.

Amal Clooney, 2017© Stefania D'Alessandro
Amal Clooney, 2017

Zoe Kravitz - 2017

Zoe Kravitz's vibrant beauty look at the 74th Venice Film Festival was a celebration of colour and individuality. Her bold, eyeshadow and modern wet-look tousled pixie cut at the Racer And The Jailbird screening showcased her fearless approach to beauty. 

Zoe Kravitz, 2017© Daniele Venturelli
Zoe Kravitz, 2017

Lady Gaga - 2018

Lady Gaga's romantic beauty look at the 75th Venice Film Festival embodied the festival's elegance. Attending the festival for her turn in A Star in Born with rose hued makeup and fluttering lashes, as well as sculptural platinum bun, she embraced celebrated the glamour of the occasion. 

Lady Gaga, 2018© Franco Origlia
Lady Gaga, 2018

Penélope Cruz - 2021

Penélope Cruz's modern take on a classic beauty look at the 78th Venice Film Festival to attend the Competencia Oficial red carpet was nothing short of breathtaking. Her bold lips, sleek hair and oversized bun, as well as flawless skin was completed with a classic smokey eye.

Penelope Cruz, 2021© Stefania D'Alessandro
Penelope Cruz, 2021

Zendaya - 2021

Zendaya’s appearance at the 78th Venice Film Festival showcased her radiant beauty. With her dramatic makeup, slicked waves, and luminous skin, she reminded us that sometimes more is indeed more. 

Zendaya, 2021 © John Phillips
Zendaya, 2021

Barbara Palvin - 2022

7Barbara Palvin's minimalist yet captivating beauty look at the 9th Venice Film Festival set a new standard for  angelic glamour. Her iconic thick eyebrows, subtle eyeshadow, and signature nude lips showcased her natural beauty while her 70s flicked bangs and gilded flower crown added a bohemian edge. 

Barbara Palvin, 2022© Stephane Cardinale - Corbis
Barbara Palvin, 2022

Jodie Turner-Smith - 2022

Jodie Turner-Smith's bold choice of pink and orange ombre eyeshadow perfectly complemented her striking hazel-hued contact lenses, making them pop on the red carpet. Her daring beauty looks that year became a defining moment of the festival's beauty history.

Jodie Turner-Smith, 2022© Dominique Charriau
Jodie Turner-Smith, 2022

Sara Sampaio - 2022

Supermodel Sara Sampaio's bold, sultry beauty look at the 79th Venice Film Festival certainly turned heads. Her striking nude lips, impeccable black liner, and sleek middle parted updo epitomised modern glamour.

Sara Sampaio, 2022© Stephane Cardinale - Corbis
Sara Sampaio, 2022

Kelsey Merritt - 2022

Best known for being the first Filipino to walk in the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show Kelsey Merritt attended the Tar red carpet at the 79th Venice Film Festival and her beauty look was a masterclass in modern elegance. Her radiant skin, soft pink lips, and understated eye makeup perfectly complemented her elaborate updo, creating a look of timeless beauty.

Kelsey Merritt, 2022© Stefania D'Alessandro
Kelsey Merritt, 2022

Jessica Chastain - 2023

The Molly's Game actress sported a warm bronzy eye and a glossy rose lip by makeup artist Kristofer Buckle at the 80th Venice Film Festival for the Memory premiere. Jessica wore her locks in a smooth side parting, courtesy of hairstylist Christian Wood.

Jessica Chastain with bronzy eye makeup © Getty
Jessica Chastain, 2023

Danielle Marcan - 2023 

The influencer attended the opening red carpet of the 80th annual festival sporting sharp, 1960s-reminiscent liner to make her eyes pop - consider us utterly hypnotised. She styled her hair in a sleek high bun with face-framing waves.

Danielle Marcan at Venice Film Festival © Getty
Danielle Marcan, 2023

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