Sydney Sweeney Channeled Classic Italian Glamour at the Venice Film Festival

Makeup artist Melissa Hernandez shares all the exclusive details with InStyle.

<p>Courtesy of Armani Beauty</p>

Courtesy of Armani Beauty

Long before the "dolce vita lifestyle" had its moment on TikTok, there was Fellini's La Dolce Vita. Ever since the legendary director created the glittering image of Silvia wading through the Trevi fountain, all curls and black liner, the modern Italian beauty icon was born.

After all, there are few things more seductive than a film actress abroad, and every year, when Hollywood's best and brightest descend on the City of Bridges for the Venice Film Festival, we're treated to a dose of Felliniesque Old World glamour and star power.

Case in point: Sydney Sweeney, one of Armani beauty's famous faces, and her tour of Venice this past weekend. On Friday, the White Lotus actress channeled Italian beauty icons like Sophia Loren (who, coincidentally, also attended Armani's One Night Only couture show the next day) wearing a custom Armani creation based on a dress from the brand's FW23 collection, complete with a sparkling red rose at the throat and dramatic arched cutout.

<p>Courtesy of Armani Beauty</p>

Courtesy of Armani Beauty

Similarly, her glam was right at home in the city of gondolas and glass. The Euphoria star combined a glossy red lip, a razor-sharp wing, luminous skin, and a sultry blonde updo with loose tendrils. "I fell in love with the timeless elegance of Sydney's Armani Couture gown," says Melissa Hernandez, Sweeney's longtime makeup artist, of her inspiration. "We went with a subtle winged eyeliner and bold red lips to complement the beautiful studded red rose on her gown."

Of course, the look wouldn't be complete without a nod to film stars past. "I drew my inspiration solely from Sydney's dress, but there's a photo of Monica Bellucci that I love to reference during glam," explains Hernandez. "It perfectly exemplifies the power and elegance of red lipstick, and it's a great image to show clients who may be on the fence about wearing a bold lip."

To find the perfect shade, Hernandez tested a few reds before settling on Armani Beauty's Lip Power Longwear Satin Lipstick in shade 403 "Fighter," which perfectly matched the flower detail on Sweeney's dress. "It's a bit of a deeper red, which we don't normally go for," explains Hernandez, "but it felt very elevated and chic."

To complement her dramatic gown and deep red lip, Hernandez went timeless with the rest of Sweeney's makeup. "My rule of thumb when creating a beauty look for a carpet is to highlight one feature of the face, making it the sole focal point," she explains. "This ensures that the overall look feels balanced and beautiful."

<p>Courtesy of Armani Beauty</p>

Courtesy of Armani Beauty

Starting with skin prep (Hernandez used Armani's Hydrating Primer), the makeup artist then added a light layer of Luminous Silk Foundation to create an even, brilliant complexion. "This is our go-to staple for red carpets because it’s lightweight, buildable, and photographs like a dream," she explains. "I then lightly set her face with Glow Fusion Powder and swept Luminous Silk Glow Blush on the apples of her cheeks for a romantic wash of color." Hernandez kept Sweeney's eyes "super minimal," creating a "whisper" of a flick with Armani's Smooth Silk Eye Pencil in black. She then finished the look with two coats of mascara.

If you're looking to have your own Italian icon-inspired beauty moment, Hernandez suggests considering your skin undertone when choosing your Bellucci-red lip. "Blue-based reds are perfect for those who have cool undertones, and warm, orangey reds are beautiful for those with warm undertones," she says, adding that those with neutral undertones can "enjoy the best of both worlds!"

For a crisp edge on your liner, Hernandez has a few tips: "Fully relax your eye and look straight into a mirror when building the shape of your eyeliner," she advises, adding that you should "avoid tugging or pulling on your eye" if possible because it can change the shape of your wing.

After you've mastered these makeup techniques, you'll have everything you need to steal a moment of your own "dolce vita lifestyle."

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