Getting Ready in Cannes with Julia Garner and Simone Ashley

The newest faces of Nespresso took InStyle behind the scenes as they got ready for a party celebrating their collaboration with the brand.

Simone Ashley getting ready for Cannes

Nicolas Gerardin

The French Riviera is teeming with revelry this week, as a global set of celebrities and filmmakers descend on the south of France for the 2023 Cannes Film Festival. Among those in town are actresses Julia Garner and Simone Ashley, who Monday night celebrated their newly released Nespresso commercial with a beachside dinner. Earlier in the day, the two debuted the commercial — in which they star opposite longtime Nespresso frontman George Clooney — to a small group of Cannes attendees. Then it was time to convene with their glam teams to prepare for the al fresco nighttime event. 

Before attendees noshed on a Cali-Mex-inspired meal by chef Diego Alary (espresso-spiked cocktails included), Garner and Ashley walked us through their getting-ready process, from the makeup looks fitting for a glamorous European town to the shoes they partied all night in. 

InStyle: How were tonight’s makeup looks achieved? 

Julia Garner: Typically, I love really clean skin. I have to make sure my skin's good, and I like a red lip and a nice brow. That's really it—that's all I know how to do. But today Hung [Vanngo] did an amazing [smoky] eye. He does the most incredible eye, so whenever I have him, I'm like, "just do your eye."

Julia Garner at the Nespresso party in Cannes

Julian Ungano 

Simone Ashley: Harold James did my makeup today. I love when he works with my skin. He always makes it really glow and just knows the different tones to use for my skin shade. And I love the way he makes my eyes and my eyebrows look. Today we did a luminous eye with a little bit of cat eyeliner and a bit of a lash.

Simone Ashley getting ready for Cannes 2023

Nicolas Gerardin

Tell us about your outfits for tonight. What drew you to them?  

Garner: I'm wearing [an] Area pantsuit and Jimmy Choo shoes. I like that it's simple, but not simple. Nothing beats a very good pantsuit, and it's white — it feels like Cannes. And then Bobby Eliot [did my] hair, Hung Vanngo, makeup and Elizabeth Saltzman, styling.

Julia Garner Cannes 2023

Julian Ungano 

Ashley: This is all Versace, and it's like a neon-y, peach color. We checked out what the backdrop was for the Nespresso [space] in Cannes, and I was like, "I may as well lean in and do a bit of matchy-matchy."

Simone Ashley Cannes BTS

Nicolas Gerardin

I'm very grateful to be wearing Bulgari jewelry tonight. We did a few rings and then a statement choker. I always love a choker.

Julia, how do you maintain your blonde, and how did Bobby Eliot style your hair tonight? 

Garner: [My blonde] is a lie. I am a blonde, but I try to get it highlighted every six weeks. I do a lot of hair treatments and a lot of hair masks. It's curly so it gets dry. Tonight, [Bobby] just curled some pieces and that was it.

Julia Garner at Cannes 2023

Julian Ungano 

Tell us about your hair, Simone. 

Ashley: My wonderful hairstylist and dear friend Peter Lux does my hair, and he is a master of creating these fan pieces within hair. Every time I do a look with him, I just hand it off to him and I trust whatever he has to do. He's an artist by every meaning of the word, and he's just magical with his fingers. He really can sculpt and create the most incredible, unique pieces.

Simone Ashley gets ready for Cannes 2023

Nicolas Gerardin

Simone, what do you look for in an event look? 

Ashley: I love a pop of color. Black is also super chic and really strong and powerful as well, but I always like to lean into a pop of color — something that's fun, young, and modern. Sometimes if the dress and the outfit is quite loud, I love to do minimal hair and makeup. When the dress is quite simple and minimalist, I love to go all out — let my hair down and do a really graphic, smoky eye.

Simone Ashley Cannes 2023

Nicolas Gerardin

How long does it usually take you and your team to get you ready? 

Garner: We allow two [hours], but we're also all really close and we giggle a lot. We don't need to watch TV, we can just chat it up — it's that kind of crew. Time flies.

Julia Garner at Cannes 2023

Julian Ungano 

Ashley: It takes a village, so I always love to credit my whole team — from my stylist, Rebecca Corbin-Murray, to glam, makeup, nails, everything. Nails are so important, by the way; the attention to detail. My dear friend, Emily [Rose], does my nails and we always go for a chrome look usually. But for this, we just wanted to keep it really clean and minimal. But how long does it take [to get ready]? I like to have three hours usually so we can just relax and enjoy it; [so] I can breathe a bit before I go out into the chaos.

Tell us about your decision to work with Nespresso.

Garner: It was such an easy yes. George Clooney's amazing and he's been doing this for so long. [Also] I grew up watching these commercials, and I'm such a big coffee drinker.

Ashley: The Nespresso commercials, they're so timeless and classy. And the brief for this was two girls, Julia and I, playing George and winning a bet against him. I thought it was just super cheeky and fun. What an amazing opportunity to work with someone like George Clooney and such a wonderful actress like Julia. So it was a no brainer.

Simone Ashley Cannes Nespresso 2023

Nicolas Gerardin

What are your coffee orders? 

Garner: Mine switches — I'm not consistent. It depends on the weather, but it's all about the beans. I usually like black, but then I like a flat white too.

Ashley: A hot oat milk flat white. It's the most comforting thing first thing in the morning.

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