From the silver to the big screen to countless red carpets around the world, it’s no secret that actress and producer Eva Longoria is an industry force. Another esteemed title that’s been on her résumé since 2005 is beauty ambassador for L’Oréal Paris, one of the key reasons behind her appearance at the 76th annual Cannes Film Festival.
In addition to its charity-driven Women of Worth celebration, L’Oréal’s coveted Lights on Women Award provides another opportunity for the beauty titan to give back. Now in its third year at Cannes, Lights on Women honors and advocates for top female directors. According to Longoria, while the award is undoubtedly prestigious, it’s just the start of change that needs to happen for women in film and television. “I try to have faith that we’re going in the right direction, and just keep my foot on the gas,” she tells Bazaar.com of her personal fight for industry equality.
Actress Eva Longoria on the red carpet at the Cannes Film Festival
Here, the star reveals a few of the holy-grail skin-care and makeup go-tos she packed for Cannes—including the gel cream that’s recently become her new favorite primer—plus, her thoughts on what true female empowerment looks like, on and off the red carpet.
What were you most excited to see this year at Cannes?
I actually arrived too late to watch the film I was most excited to see, Killers of the Flower Moon, which was directed by Scorsese and stars Leo DiCaprio. But other than that, I love being in Cannes in general with my L’Oréal family, and all the ambassadors from all over the globe. It’s so refreshing to me to see this rainbow of ambassadors from India, from China, from Korea. So, it’s the one time [of the year] that we all get to come together and just be girls.
Do you prefer wearing bolder or more natural-looking makeup for red carpet events?
You can’t go natural because the flash from cameras on the red carpet really washes you out, so you have to go a bit stronger than usual with makeup. But I still like my skin to be luminous and dewy, so I try not to go too caky with my foundation, and always have a strong lash line.
What are the inspirations behind some of your beauty looks at the festival?
It takes a village. It really starts with my stylist, and she really creates all the press looks and gowns for the week. Once I get here, the L’Oréal team looks at the outfits and then we strategize about beauty. We’ll say, “Oh, let’s go hair up with that outfit and hair down tomorrow,” or, “We’ll do a lip moment for this dress, and maybe an eye moment for the other dress.” I just love all the strategizing and conversation in regards to their artistry—the hair and makeup team here are true artists.
How are you prep your skin ahead of makeup application?
I do so much skin prep—it’s the most important thing. I think that’s what takes the most time actually in the makeup chair—just prepping, and prepping, and prepping the skin. You have to do different layers, and they each have to absorb. I like to use my Facify Beauty Wand, which is amazing for lymphatic drainage to get the blood flowing and have your cheeks and jawline pop a little more. So I love to do a facial massage with some sort of serum. I also love using the Revitalift Line-Plumping Water Cream. It’s not a primer, but it acts like one because it really fills. It fills fine lines and pores, so your makeup really lays so beautifully on top of it.
Do you keep any products in your bag for touch-ups?
Always something for my lips. I like to keep my lipstick—my lip color constantly comes off. And I’m not a gloss girl, I’m a matte girl, so sometimes that can be a little drying. Although, when I’m in Cannes, I’m a Colour Riche girl, and those lipsticks are insanely moisturizing. That’s probably why I reapply it so much, because the formula just feels so good—that’s my trick here in Cannes.
I know that L’Oréal Paris annually honors one female filmmaker with its Lights on Women Award. Do you feel the film industry has made progress in recent years in its representation and support of women?
I don’t think our industry has improved as a whole, because if you look at the statistics, there are less female directors this year than a couple years ago. At the festival, they’ve set a record with the number of female directors who are in attendance, but it’s still not equal—we’re still nowhere near where we need to be. I’m still the squeaky wheel going, “Guys, it’s still not enough,” and we have to continue saying it’s not enough until it is.
What does true female empowerment look and feel like to you?
For me, I feel most empowered when I’m educated—about a subject, a skill set. I always feel like I’m most confident when I know what I’m talking about or if I know what I’m doing. And a lot of that comes from my curiosity: I get very interested in something, and then I do a full dive to become more literate on the subject. Then I feel like, Okay, this I can talk about, this I can do. And I think that confidence is beautiful, right? Like that confidence and what I exude, people recognize as beauty. They go, “Oh, you’re so beautiful!” But I don’t think it’s my physical attributes—I think it’s my attitude and confidence that are coming through.
Tell me more about your upcoming film, Flamin’ Hot. What inspired you to help bring this story to life on the big screen?
The script found me! My agent sent me the script for Flamin’ Hot, and I was blown away that [the main character] was Mexican-American like me, and ashamed that I didn’t know that. I was like, How do I not know this story? And once I knew more about him, I thought, I must tell the world about Richard Montañez. He experiences so many life lessons that we can all learn from, and the movie is very inspirational—he’s also very funny. And so, I was like, “I’m the only person who can do this,” and I was excited [to be a part of the project].
Associate Beauty Commerce Editor
Tiffany Dodson is currently the associate beauty commerce editor at Harper’s Bazaar, where she specializes in trend forecasting, building relationships with major and emerging brands, and crafting shopping stories—from holiday gift guides to product road tests. Tiffany’s work has previously been featured in outlets like SELF, Bustle, and Teen Vogue, and she’s been quoted as a commerce and beauty expert in publications and platforms like The Business of Fashion and NPR’s Life Kit podcast.