"C'est La V" by Christina V.... From January Blues... To February News...

So here we go... Well, I left off last time saying that I was going to get back into the swing of things with my blog, and so here I am now, doing just that!  Ok, so it took me a little longer than anticipated but Christmas and New Year got in the way...and well, like they say 'the best laid plans of mice and men...'!

If The Plan Doesn't Work...

Anyway, happy belated New Year everyone!  Hope you've had a great start to the year, and didn't have the 'January Blues' like I did!  My January didn't exactly go to plan you see - hence one of the reasons for this blog title (the other you'll find out more about in just a bit).  It wasn't all 'blue' for me though - far from it in fact... And well, it certainly more than turned itself around towards the end of the month!  I guess things are blossoming so to speak...just like the flowers!  I mean even the daffodils are blooming now, so things must be looking brighter!  I'm now therefore very much looking forward to all that February has to offer... I know it's definitely going to be an AmaZing month, full of exciting 'News'!  And well, you've guessed it, one of the reasons for this is that it's the start of the latest Fashion Weeks!  It's going to be a crazy fun time filled with fantastic runway shows, editorial photo shoots and stylish parties (if I'm not too tired that is...a girl does need her beauty sleep too after all!), and I can't wait to get started... First stop New York City!!!

Daffodils...

But before I fly off for this latest adventure, let's just recap on the start of the year for a minute...even if my 'New Year's resolutions' still haven't properly started just yet... I'm being fashionably late you could say!!! 

So then, back towards the beginning of the January, I did a brilliant photo shoot for the wonderful designer Réka Orosz (I'll be walking for her later this month at London Fashion Week as well) where I was modelling her beautifully ornate designs.  The main piece I modelled, was a stunning 'blue' creation from her 'Chakra Collection' for which I was turned into an 'ice queen'...quite literally in fact seeing that it was a pretty cold January day - I was more than frozen!

Reka Orosz 1...
Reka Orosz 2...

Hopefully you've now therefore figured out that this photo shoot is the other reason for my 'January Blues' title - a little less literal so to speak and a little more artistic I guess.  It really was a fantastic shoot with a great team, and I'm looking forward to seeing the professional images from this soon as my high fashion and editorial hair and make-up just brought everything to life!  I still can't believe that Anoushka A Romanenkova, the hair stylist, simply just curled and backcombed my hair, before then weaving it into the conical shape, without using any kind of central support to keep my hair in position!  And then, with Ian Massa-Harris, the make-up artist, using airbrush make-up to give a blue and white effect to both my face and my hair, now that was just ever so creative!  Going back home on the tube like that though was a rather interesting experience (some very intrigued people and some rather unusual looks!)…the things I do in the name of fashion!

  Behind the scenes in hair and make-up...

Behind the scenes in hair and make-up...

I wonder if I'll have another journey home like that later this week as I'm working again with both Anoushka and Ian for a photo and video shoot for one of my upcoming London Fashion Week shows!  Either way, hopefully this will be another creative and fun day... 

  An interesting tube journey home!!!

An interesting tube journey home!!!

I just hope it's not so cold then!  I always think warm things to help keep me focused if that's the case though... Like thinking back to the beauty bikini photo shoot I did in Las Vegas last year...

Las Vegas Beauty Bikini Photo Shoot 1...

Thinking warm thoughts...!!!

Las Vegas Beauty Bikini Photo Shoot 2...
  The temperature in New York last February during Fashion Week...

The temperature in New York last February during Fashion Week...

The professional photos from this shoot (two of which are above) were in fact released this January, so seeing those images certainly got me in a more spring and summer-like mood on a cold day last month!  Oh how I just can't wait till there's hotter weather again - I was not made for the cold!  I really hope that New York is not as cold this time as it was last February during Fashion Week mind you - with temperatures at -11 but feeling like -22 it was just beyond freezing… I'm surprised I didn't become an ice sculpture! 

I guess it was all the buzz of doing multiple runway shows that kept me going!  Fashion Week is like that you see, as it can be just so non-stop that you don't have time to ‘think’ but just ‘do’!

New York Fashion Week February 2015 1...
  New York Fashion Week last February...

New York Fashion Week last February...

Just the thought of it all has got me feeling very excited to get started with it again this month now...and I am most certainly looking forward to sharing this and all my other 'February News' with you soon...

So for now... Enjoy the start of February...the shortest but sweetest month of the year!  But of course with it being a leap year, we get to enjoy one more day of this wonderful month!

Love and kisses

Christina V xxx

"C'est La V" by Christina V.... Six of One...

Life has been cra-zy lately, and as I've certainly tried to make the most of it, that's perhaps why my blog hasn't been over-flowing with posts recently...or quite frankly had any posts since the end of June - I'm so sorry!  But that's all about to change soon you'll be relieved to read, so you can all breathe a sigh of relief!!!

You see as today is the six month anniversary of my blog, as well as it being my sixth blog post (yes a lucky coincidence - I didn't plan that as otherwise I'm sure I'd be on post one hundred by now!), I thought it would kinda give my blog a special touch to get out my pen and paper, or in my case my iPhone and notes app, get my thinking cap on, and start writing again today on this sentimental day!  Now while pondering over my blog title, how to start my first sentence as well as figuring out how to write something that was hopefully entertaining, I started thinking back to why I started my blog in the first place... And well, one of the reasons was to give myself a new beginning.  Now seeing it is the first of the month as well today, and thus that makes it a little fresh start, and everyone likes the enticing thought of something new, I decided that although today is not a new beginning for me, it would be my perfect re-start day!!!  I guess you could say that I will use this as a way to figure out how I’m going to go about things.

Remember Why You Started...
Re - Start...
November...

So in honour of this, my six month blog resolution, as well as one of my new month resolutions, will be to get myself in to a position where I will be able to soon fit blog writing in amongst my hectic schedule!  In saying this, technically I can promise that at some point soon I’ll be writing blog posts far more regularly than I have been…gosh I hope I’m up for the challenge - fingers should be tightly crossed by us all I reckon!  And just to get a head start on this, I've even already started getting ideas down for the next one just to help me get back in to the flow!

 

Now then, if you've been following me on my social media accounts, which I strongly recommend you do for all the action as and when it happens, you'll have seen that it's just been one incredible experience after another for me - mostly glamorous and exciting yes, but also ever so exhausting and demanding on me when you take into account all the hard work that is involved (both that which goes on in the background as well as that which is actually seen in the forefront in the industry and showcased for press and social media coverage) coupled with my underlying medical conditions!  In fact, I started writing this particular post snuggled up under my duvet with a nice hot mug of Pukka camomile tea (my favourite), trying to recuperate a little before my next adventure starts!  And as cosy as this may sound, I really don't like the fact that duvets and hot tea means that winter's truly setting in...

...I mean can you believe that it's actually November now?!  Where's the year gone?!  And with it being the first of November today as well, there's only sixty days left of the year!  That means Christmas dare I say it, is well and truly on the horizon.  And although this is meant to be a festive and happy time of the year, and the cold weather if it's crisp and fresh can make it a very atmospheric and romantic season (think sparkly lights and cozying up in front of a warm fire), I still prefer it when it's hot and sunny... Like when I was in Paris this July and could just wear my little shorts around...or even when I was in Vegas last month, in my bikini, lying by the pool...ooo nice warming thoughts!  Now if you're thinking, 'what was she doing in locations like these?!', and there's even more places I travelled to too mind you, you definitely have to go on to my Facebook or Instagram pages and have a look through all my adventures since I left you back at the end of June…from Paris Haute Couture Fashion Week…being featured in a UK/US TV show and a French feature film…modelling in an awesome runway show in Paris for Fashion Extreme Paris…walking in New York, London, Paris and LA Fashion Weeks…being on a billboard in Times Square for the second time…being published in Vogue and Glamour magazine…modelling in a huge runway show in the French Alps for Fashion Glam Couture…being on a billboard in the French Alps…doing numerous photo shoots and having further magazine publications...and the list goes on and on…  Now you can see just how busy I’ve been!!!

So on that note, I leave you in anticipation of my next post which will be coming one day soon to a phone, tablet, Mac or PC near you!!!  I can't wait to share more with you all again!  This will soon be the start (or re-start like I said!) of something good...trust me!!! 

Love and kisses

Christina V xxx

 

Me...
This Is Going To Be The Start Of Something Good...
Me 2...

"C'est La V" by Christina V... From Cannes to Paris...

Bonjour!  So the last few weeks since I got back from Cannes have been pretty up and down to say the least!  My health has not been the best - hence the delay in my blog writing schedule - but I'm pleased to say that things are looking better and brighter now...fingers tightly crossed!  You see after having several tests, the doctors have hopefully come to a diagnosis - multiple food allergies and a leaky gut, which sounds horrible I know, but it just means increased intestinal permeability.  To try to put it simply, this is when substances including certain allergenic undigested food molecules and proteins 'leak' through the intestinal lining and into the bloodstream.  Allergic reactions then result from this since the body's immune system goes into attack mode as it thinks these molecules and proteins are foreign invaders.  But that's enough science for the time being!  You may wonder why this is happening to me now though... Well it turns out that all of this is a complication of my gastroparesis (paralysed stomach).  I know that none of it sounds pleasant, but it should hopefully all be manageable.  You see I should be ok if, along with my current gastroparesis treatments and management, I also now include other preventative treatments and exclude certain foods from my diet - i.e. no more wheat, gluten, dairy, legumes (soy, peanuts, peas, beans, lentils etc), corn as well other foods too like red meat (I don't eat this anyway)…which lightly translated means practically everything other than blended fresh fruit and vegetables, white rice, organic chicken breast and my favourite food honey!  So I guess it'll be lots of bananas and avocados for me from now on then as I certainly won't ever be eating a baguette or croissant again seeing that that's what contributed to the terrible reaction I experienced in Cannes where I swelled like a puffer fish and could hardly walk!

But anyway, I am certainly not getting to let any of this stop me living the life of my dreams!  In fact I'm excited to say that I'm even off to Paris this weekend for Haute Couture Fashion Week where I'll be modelling in fashion shows and also hopefully be doing some amazing photo shoots!  It's even my birthday next week too and so it will be très chic to celebrate it in French style...Vive la France!  There's no better time really for me to be feeling like I am getting back on track than now.  I am so looking forward to enjoying the beautiful summer to the full rather than being stuck in bed feeling ill!

Paris Eiffel Tower September 2014... Matthew Cashe 1
Très chic... Modelling a fabulous Matthew Cashe design in front of the Eiffel Tower and by the River Seine during Paris Fashion Week September 2014...
Paris Eiffel Tower September 2015... Matthew Cashe 2
Paris River Seine September 2014... Matthew Cashe

Things haven't been all bad since Cannes though... I have had some good times too!  First of all I saw Maroon 5 in concert at the SSE Wembley Arena... Now Maroon 5 are one of my favourite bands, and it was such a great show!  I loved all the hits sung brilliantly by Adam Levine, especially 'Sugar' as this song has a very special place in my heart because of a special guy I was dating up until a couple months ago.

Maroon 5 'Sugar'

What was extra memorable though, was that that night, they filmed the music video for their new single 'This Summer's Gonna Hurt Like A Motherf***er'!  In a way I guess I'm kind of a part of a Maroon 5 video now which is pretty cool!

 Maroon 5 filming the music video for their new single 'This Summer's Gonna Hurt Like A Motherf***er'...

Maroon 5 filming the music video for their new single 'This Summer's Gonna Hurt Like A Motherf***er'...

Unfortunately though the scene shown at the beginning of the uncensored video, where Adam Levine comes out the shower and you see his behind, was not performed in front of an audience...damn it...such a shame!!!  Anyway going back to the song now - as hard as that might be! ...Although it is sure set to be a summer hit, I certainly hope the title does not ring true!!!  One of my best and oldest friends, who I met up with in the past few weeks too - and funnily enough saw Maroon 5 a couple of nights before me  - doesn’t think so though as she is full of positivity!  Talking to her always puts a smile on my face... But once we start chatting though, we can never stop as we can talk about anything and everything!  And when I say oldest by the way, I mean we've been friends since we were two...she's not 90!!!

Best Friends

So what else then... Well I was also asked to model at an exclusive fashion show at Cheltenham Race Course a couple of weeks ago too!  I walked for a fabulous designer, Cecilia Aragon, who was on the US TV series Styled to Rock with Rihanna!  Cecilia designs for amazing celebrities, and so I was honoured to be modelling one of her incredible outfits.  It was quite literally sheer perfection - a sheer pale pink sequinned high waisted skirt and top.  I absolutely loved walking the catwalk in this design as I felt stylishly sexy!

Cheltenham Race Course Fashion Show... Cecilia Aragon 1
Cheltenham Race Course Fashion Show... Cecilia Aragon 2

After the show, was then the after-party which was a lot of fun.  It was a great chance to let my hair down as well as network!  And in fact, the following day, I was then asked to do a photo shoot at a magnificent mansion in Woodchester Park, in Gloucestershire, south of Cheltenham... It was a bit of a trek to get to the mansion through the tree lined path, but thankfully there was mini bus transport provided for us all!  That was a relief as I wasn't looking forward to dragging my suitcase full of my modelling essentials through the muddy dirt ridden tracks!  So then, I modelled for two designers that day, Nancy Vuu and Cecilia Aragon, and for this shoot, I did my own make-up, giving myself dark eye make-up and red lips.  Both looks were then just styled simply with my hair up, diamanté stud earrings and my black Vince Camuto heels so that the designs could be the focus point.  Nancy Vuu's dress was absolutely exquisite.  The look was refined and regal, and I can't wait for the professional photos to be released!  The outfit I then wore for Cecilia was designed for and worn by Kylie Minogue - a very short and racy pale gold and black blazer dress... It was a perfect fit, and I absolutely loved modelling it... I felt like a superstar! ...I should be so lucky, lucky, lucky, lucky!!

Woodchester Park Mansion... Cecilia Aragon 1
Woodchester Park Mansion... Cecilia Aragon 2
Woodchester Park Mansion... Cecilia Aragon 3

And so while I'm talking about photo shoots, this then brings me back to Cannes where I did two incredible shoots.  Now although I mentioned these in my first blog post on Cannes 'I CANnes...', I did say then that I'd tell you more about these, and so as promised, here you have it...

Ok... So the first of my French Riviera photo shoots was shot along the Cannes promenade.  The shoot itself was set up and organised by French photographer Ko Kok, with whom I worked back at Paris Fashion Week in March.  Now although he was not the photographer for this shoot, he arranged the team (photographer Dtu Doe, assistant Myster Wilde, and hair and make-up artist Estelle Lefranc) as well as the very expensive gold and diamond jewellery (earrings, necklace and bracelet) from Orus Bijoux which I modelled.  This jewellery was incredibly beautiful and it looked stunning against the blue sky, blue sea and bright sunshine.  It was also very apt for me to be wearing this for the shoot as the earrings and necklace were in the shape of the Palme d'Or (Golden Palm), which is the highest prize awarded at the Cannes Film Festival.

Cannes Promenade Photo Shoot... Jewellery 1
Cannes Promenade Photo Shoot... Jewellery 2

In terms of clothing and shoes for this shoot, I had two looks, and both outfits were my own!  The first was a white and black maxi dress with a thigh high split from Lipsy with which I wore my black Lipsy diamanté heels.  I loved that the leaf shaped diamanté embellished waist panelling on the dress complimented the jewellery really well.  What made the look though, was when I modelled on the rocks and the thigh high split opened up in the breeze!  I have to say that it was a little tricky modelling on uneven rocks in 5.5 inch heels though!  I even had to be carried on to to them by the assistant, Myster Wilde, because it wouldn't have been safe for me to get on them otherwise!  So who said modelling was easy?!

Cannes Promenade Photo Shoot... On the Rocks 1
Cannes Promenade Photo Shoot... On the Rocks 2

The second look was then very Grecian inspired as not only was I posing for several of the shots next to a cream column set against the bright blue sky and sea, but I was also wearing a long slinky shimmery column-style dress which I had recently bought from Miss Selfridge.  Now although the dress itself was all in one as such, it looked liked two pieces as, there was a floaty top layer to it which fell into a 'V' at the waist.  This V-shaped top piece, along with the V-shaped neckline of the dress, really reflected the shape of the necklace perfectly too.  And what is more, this dress just caught the sun's light beautifully.  The glittery silver criss-cross strappy sandals shoes that I wore with the dress then complimented the outfit without taking away from it.  I actually found these on Amazon last year and christened them on my New York Fashion Week runway debut!  Anyhow, there was such a summery feel to this part of the shoot, and even just looking at the final photos again now makes me want to go on holiday!

Cannes Promenade Photo Shoot... Grecian Column 1
Cannes Promenade Photo Shoot... Grecian Column 2
Every summer has a story, and so I look forward to what is to come as summertime is always the best of what might be...

All in all this truly was a brilliant photo shoot.  I loved the photos Dtu Doe captured, and am happy that even though I wasn't feeling my best (remember I ended up in hospital later that night as I completely swelled up), you would never know that from the images themselves!  Hopefully I might even get to work with Dtu Doe again in Paris next week...now that would be cool!

Cannes Promenade Photo Shoot... On the Rocks & Sea
Cannes Promenade Photo Shoot... Grecian Column Canvas Effect

So then, on to my next photo shoot with photographer Justin Gage and his wife, make-up artist Alana Gage.  This shoot actually took place at their home in Falicon, Nice, as since it was only a day after I came out of hospital, I wasn't well enough to venture out to the town in the heat.  The location was still perfect mind you as they had a beautifully ornate old fashioned stone balcony up in the hills, and so the scenery was breathtaking.

French Riviera Falicon Photo Shoot... Balcony View

Now for this shoot I had three looks... My hair, outfit and accessories varied for each as well as the style of the shoot, while my make-up stayed the same.  You see Alana wanted my make-up to be versatile enough to transfer to each look yet still be creative and artistic, and so she achieved this by going for a purple, pink and mauve colour scheme.  I loved the edgy eye make-up and bold mauve lipstick she gave me as it made me feel strong, powerful and rocky.  This was especially so after she put my hair half up and half down into a beehive quiff!  As I was then also modelling a very sexy, sleek and stylish leopard print thigh-high split dress with a train designed by Kim Innu London, I truly let my fierce side out for the shoot and made sure my stature and posing reflected this!  This look was obviously statement enough on its own, but to further add to it and to make it more editorial, it was styled with simple black drop earrings, several contrasting black, white and brown bracelets and the most fabulous 6.25 inch black suede strappy sandal heels which I recently got from Boohoo!  In a few shots I also had a small bag as well to add an extra dynamic to the image.

French Riviera Falicon Photo Shoot... Kim Innu London 1
French Riviera Falicon Photo Shoot... Kim Innu London 2

Now then, the photos Justin released from this part of the shoot had a magical feel to them since, with his phenomenal photographic skills, he managed to take the photos in broad daylight whilst adjusting the background colouring with his settings...no filters on the lenses nor photoshop was needed for this effect therefore!  For more details on how he did this very clever technique, check out Justin's blog post on it at www.justingagephotostudio.com/new-blog/2015/6/1/its-all-about-light

Ok so on to the second look now...  For this I wore a magenta lace dress from Jane Norman with magenta earrings, a white intertwined beaded and diamanté bracelet and my faithful white heels from New Look!  I also modelled a large white hat which I got in Topshop in some of the shots too to change up the look...how I do love modelling hats!  So then, my hair and make-up remained the same, and again Justin used different photography techniques to vary up the images.  For some shots, even though he took them in daylight, he managed to black out the majority of the background.  This technique Justin told me was borrowed from Gary Fong's 'Ugly Room' series.

French Riviera Falicon Photo Shoot... Magenta Jane Norman Dress 1

For contrast he also shot some more exposed images from the balcony so that the bright blues and greens of the background scenery really stood out along with my vibrant magenta dress.  Because of how vivid the colours were here, Justin compared me to a modern day Snow White as, in these photos that he took, my skin looked so pale and porcelain!

French Riviera Falicon Photo Shoot... Magenta Jane Norman Dress 2

For the final look, Alana then put all my hair up in such a way that it had so much body and volume, yet was still soft and elegant.  This beautifully complimented the stunning gold and silver diamanté and sequinned embellished dress that I was wearing!  Believe it or not, this was another of my many Miss Selfridge purchases...I could easily live in that shop!  For added sparkle and oomph, the dress was then styled with the most fabulous gold and crystal dangly earring (again like my red carpet earring these were from that boutique in Bournemouth).  These earrings looked sensational with my hair swept up.  Simple nude Vince Camuto heels then completed the look as although these were not to be featured, I still of course had to wear heels for my poise and posture!  Even Kim Cattrall who plays Samantha Jones in 'Sex and the City' once said in a documentary which I saw a while back that she always wears heels even when her feet are not in the shot as it just puts her into character and gives her that added confidence.  A model is an actress too you see and as Tyra Banks always says on 'America's Next Top Model' you have to model from 'T' to 'T' - top to toe!

In terms of photography now, Justin created dreamy, spell-binding and fantasy-like imagery for some shots, whilst giving others a more intense and powerful composition.  Because of this I varied up my modelling going from seductively sexy to fiercely striking!  It was a lot of fun, especially since Justin was just such a superb photographer to work with!

French Riviera Falicon Photo Shoot... Gold Miss Selfridge Dress 1
French Riviera Falicon Photo Shoot... Gold Miss Selfridge Dress 2

In fact, you can see for yourself just how enjoyable this shoot was from the behind the scenes footage in the video that Justin created!  I hope you also think that he really captured some fantastic shots - I certainly loved this shoot!  It was a fantastic team effort from all three of us (Justin, Alana and myself).  I really do love both Justin's and Alana's creative visions, and I can't wait to work with both of them again... I'm sure we'll be planning another photo shoot very soon!

And so then there you have it... That's all the latest from me - from where I left off in Cannes...to me now setting off for Paris...as well as all the ups and downs in between!  Wish me a 'bon voyage' for my brand new French fashion adventure...

Au revoir et à bientôt!

Christina V xxx

 

P.S. For further images released from these shoots, please look at my Facebook Profile & Facebook Page, Twitter and Instagram, as well as checking out the 'Fashion & Editorial' section of my website, which is under 'Modelling Photos & Videos'!

"C'est La V" by Christina V... Red Carpet Glamour...

The red carpet at the Cannes Film Festival is one of the most talked about and photographed red carpets in the film and fashion calendar.  Anyone who's anyone dresses to impress and looks like a superstar.  And walking this red carpet myself as a professional international model, I of course had to make sure I looked a million dollars too...or in today's economy a billion dollars!!!  Hopefully from the photos you've seen online already you'll say I successfully achieved this!  I felt I did "because I'm worth it"!!!  And before you get any ideas about me, no that's not me being over-confident - even though confidence is undoubtedly a huge accessory that should always be worn!  You see, for those of you who did not pick up on it, I was referencing L'Oréal seeing that they were the official make-up sponsors of the Cannes Film Festival, and I too used many of their products when getting red carpet ready!  So before I say anymore, I'm guessing you're now just wanting to get the inside scoop on my red carpet look... Well read on for some of my tips, tricks and little secrets...

Palais des Festivals

In my last post all about my Cannes Film Festival experience, I told you a bit about my pre-Cannes regime, and so today I'll just focus on the day of my red carpet walk, starting first with my make-up as, for me, no look is ever complete without perfect skin, eyes and lips...that's the make-up artist in me talking there!  You see as both a model and make-up artist, I know my face even better than the back of my hand... I know every flaw that needs concealing and every feature that needs highlighting and enhancing.  Because of this, I've got doing my own make-up down to a fine art!  But in saying this, it doesn't mean that I don't like to change up my look ever.  You see I believe that after applying a proper base, i.e. concealer, foundation, powder etc, any look is possible!  And there's nothing I love more than when I've got all my cosmetic palettes and brushes in front of me, and I'm just free to be creative and artistic with my own face!  Of course I also enjoy other make-up artists doing my make-up when I model for photoshoots and fashion shows, as I love that they often come up with a look and style that I wouldn't have necessarily have used on myself, therefore giving me a different edge!  But for the Cannes red carpet, I wanted to be both the model and make-up artist, as walking the red carpet and doing a red carpet make-up look was going to be a double dream-come-true!

 All the make-up products I used to achieve my red carpet look...

All the make-up products I used to achieve my red carpet look...

So on to my make-up application... First and foremost though, I recommend a great skincare regime as after all an artist always needs a clean canvas on which to work.  I especially love Simple products as they're kind and gentle to my skin as well as being very effective... But more on my daily skincare in another post!  Ok...so when starting, I first sweep off the hair from my face by wearing a headband...there's nothing worse than hair falling over your face and getting in the way of your foundation or at the crucial moment when you're doing an eyeliner flick!  Once this is done, I find a mirror where there is the best possible light!  At home my bathroom mirror and beauty area is amazing, but finding good lighting in a hotel room can be tricky as lighting is often too dim!  In this case I often find myself running between the mirror in the hotel bathroom and bedroom to see my make-up from all lights, artificial and natural, and all angles...who thought applying make-up could be great exercise too!

I Love Make-up

Now then, when applying my base, I like to create a flawless matte complexion for my skin as I find this not only photographs brilliantly but also lasts incredibly well...we wouldn't want melting make-up dilemmas or dramas on the red carpet after all!  I personally don't do Kim Kardashian style contouring on my face as I find that if I just conceal and highlight, I can still achieve a sculptured look!  I use both the palest No. 7 liquid and solid concealers, especially under my eyes, and then L'Oréal's Infallible foundation in shade 120 Vanilla which is a pale colour with slightly warm tones.  This foundation enhances my complexion as I don't personally suit the brown, tanned and bronzed look, and so I like to bring out the warmth in my skin tone whilst still being pale... This is why I have often been compared to a 'porcelain doll' or 'Snow White'!  Also a trick I use with my foundation is that I always use a little Simple moisturiser in it too to soften the coverage and to make it easier to apply.  And just so you know, I personally don't use a foundation brush on my face as I find I can get a more even coverage by just using my fingers to rub it in and smooth it into my skin.  But of course for a client, I can achieve flawless results using foundation brushes and blenders!  Also, a tip here is to make sure you draw down your foundation from your face, blending it over the jawline and on to your neck as you don't want a different toned face and neck!

After my foundation, I then use Rimmel's Stay Matte powder in two shades (003 Peach Glow and 002 Pink Blossom) and pat this into my face with a powder puff to set the foundation.  Why two shades you may ask?... Well the one closest to my skin tone when the foundation is applied, 003 Peach Glow, is for my whole face and neck, while the lighter one, 002 Pink Blossom, is to further eliminate any under eye shadows.  I find for me that this powder does not cause the dreaded red carpet white make-up flash faux-pas, but always test this for yourself before any event as everyone's skin contains different components, pigments and chemicals etc, and can react to make-up products differently.  Finally, to add the last touch to my flawless finish, I use Max Factor's Facefinity compact foundation in shade 1 Porcelain as this just smooths out my skin beautifully.  As it just blends so well into the skin, I find this is also the perfect product for touch-ups on the night.  Plus as the compact comes with a mirror too, it has to be a must-have evening bag essential!

Once my standard base for my make-up is then complete, I can then set about creating my look for my eyes.  Now for my red carpet look, I got my inspiration for my eye make-up from my gold Temraza red carpet gown!  You see Temraza is an Egyptian based designer, and as both the gold colour of the dress and its the bodice top were very Egyptian inspired, I wanted my eye make-up to reflect this... Egyptian make-up is all about strong, bold, statement eyes after all!  As I was wearing this look on a red carpet rather than for an editorial photo shoot though, I had to tone down my idea by making my look more wearable and less like Elizabeth Taylor in 'Cleopatra' or Katy Perry in the 'Dark Horse' music video!  So to accomplish this, I focused on using dark eye shadows in blacks, browns, bronzes and golds and blending these with my Royal and Langnickel eye make-up brushes.  By doing this, my eyes still had depth and impact, but just without the definite hard line often seen in Egyptian make-up looks.

 The intricate detailing on the bodice top of my Temraza dress was very  Egyptian... It was the inspiration behind my eye make-up look...

The intricate detailing on the bodice top of my Temraza dress was very Egyptian... It was the inspiration behind my eye make-up look...

  Egyptian eye make-up was the inspiration behind my make-up look...

So in terms of techniques, I first drew my eye liner line against my lash line and flicked it out using a black kohl pencil from L'Oréal.  I also put this under my eyes leaving about a millimetre or so gap from the lashes.  I only drew it from about half way along the middle of my under eyes to the outer corner though.  I also slightly widened the gap between the line and lashes as I approached the outer corner to make my eyes appear bigger.  Now the reason I use eyeliner prior to any eye shadow is because doing this helps the pigments of shadow to cling to the eye and stay on, thereby adding intensity to your look.  Plus it also gives a framework for your eyeshadow too.

Ok so now on to my eyeshadow... First of all I pressed in a dark grey/black shadow from the Max Factor duo Star Studded Black into the sockets to accentuate my eyes.  And just so you know, this Max Factor duo is an essential product in my daily make-up bag, and so that's why I have decanted this and put it into a Z palette.  This can be seen in the photo of my make-up.  For those of you who don't know what a Z palette is though, I will enlighten you here!  ...It is basically an empty metallic lined palette into which you can put in and mix and match some of your favourite shadows from different brands.  They come in all different sizes and so in the little black one that I use daily, I just keep my the Max Factor Star Studded Black duo, along with another Max Factor eye shadow duo in Supanova Peals, as well as two pigments for my eyebrows from MUD and Le Maq, and my favourite Rimmel mono blusher - more to follow on my eyebrows and blusher in a bit! 

Eye Make-up

Anyway, back to doing my eyeshadow... After applying it to my eye sockets, I then blended it out using browns, bronzes and golds from my Sleek and L'Oréal palettes.  The pigmentation in these is very intense and strong, meaning I definitely could do a beautiful smoky eye using these!  To achieve this, I used a range of different sized eye shadow blending brushes, focusing on using the gold shadows in the inner corner of my eyes to highlight, merging into the more browns and bronzes towards the middle of my eyelids.  When I then got up to the darker grey/black socket, I used a sweeping motion to blend outwards into a bronzy brown shadow.  Using a slightly larger eye shadow blending brush here ensures this outer section of the eyeshadow is not too hard or harsh and gently softens outwards.  After lots of blending, I then continued the shadow more finely down under my eyes following along the lower lashes, stopping about half way along.  At this point, I then blended a gold shadow from the bottom of the inner corner of my eyes up into the darker outer shadow.  This was to open up and brighten my eyes.  Using gold as a highlighter under my brows also did this, as well as further emphasising the golden look of my dress!  And using a touch of liquid gold shadow from Illamasqua in the very corner of my eyes too, just finished things off by giving that bit of shimmer and sparkle.

Eyeliner

Then to give my eyes that extra and essential definition, I used Avon's SuperShock gel eyeliner pencil in black along the upper lash line and winged it out into a flick.  I also lined the upper and lower waterlines of my eyes with this to really make my eyes stand out!  Lastly, several coats of L'Oréal black Extra Volume waterproof mascara really pumped up my lashes and my look!  A little tip here is to curl your eyelashes prior to starting any make-up application to really give you super long, lush and luxurious looking lashes!  I use a brilliant eyelash curler by Tweezerman!

Mascara

After emphasising my eyes, I then lightly defined my eyebrows using a Royal and Langnickel eyebrow brush and wand.  I find that by using a black shadow from MUD and a brown shadow from Le Maq for my eyebrows, and lightly brushing it through my brows gives me the best look as I personally don't think I suit a really heavy defined brow.  You see I like my brows to compliment my make-up look and not be the feature or focus... Cara Delevingne can breathe a sigh of relief here as I won't be challenging her in a eyebrow war anytime soon!!!  Anyhow, following this, I then added blusher to my cheekbones to really define my facial bone structure.  I used a Rimmel's mono blusher in Pink Rose along my cheekbones, for a pinky glow, and then added a slight gold and white sparkly highlight just above by using my Sleek eyeshadow palettes.  Eyeshadows can double up as blush you see which is very handy little tip!

Now on to my lips... I first lined them using a deep red lipliner from Maybelline, before then applying Rimmel's stand-out bright red Scream lipstick.  Again like my foundation, I don't use a brush when applying my own lipstick (although I use a brush for a client) as I find I get more accuracy and control over the application using just the lipstick alone.  So after applying this, I then pressed my lips into a folded tissue to blot down the lipstick.  This gives staying power to the colour you see.  As my lips were now just stained red though, I then of course had to reapply my lipstick.  This time I used MAC's Viva Glam Rihanna.  This lipstick is such a gorgeous deep ruby colour, and with its extra shimmer and shine it really makes your lips look kissably beautiful!  Adding Vera Moore's fabulous red lipgloss over the top really then accentuated my lips as it made them look even fuller!  This definitely is one of the best lipglosses I have ever come across...a beauty must-have!  I love it as adds a sheen to your lips without being at all wet and sticky - no one likes the hair sticking to your lipgloss look after all, and with this product you'll never be at risk of that!  Finally to finish off my lips, I just added a touch of gold from my Kryolan Supracolor palette in the centre of my bottom lip for that extra hint of shimmer!

Lipstick

...But no girl's make-up look can be complete though without beautiful nails, and so obviously I couldn't miss this out when getting red carpet ready!  As I mentioned in my last post, I did have a wonderful manicure and pedicure from my local Roko Spa and Health Club prior to my trip, and so, as my nails were already beautifully shaped, I just painted them.  I decided I wanted my nails to compliment my lips, and so I first applied Rimmel's 60 Seconds nail polish in Rapid Ruby.  This is a great product as the brush allows quick and full coverage, and then the varnish itself dries super fast too.  On top of this I then painted a layer of Illamasqua's sparkly red Untold nail polish as, being sparkly, this really gave my nails that extra ounce of red carpet glamour!  Once this was dry, I then just used a thin layer of Illamasqua's nail top coat to make the colour of my nails even more vivid and vibrant!

Nail Polish

And voila... There you have it... My red carpet make-up look in its entirety!  Wow, that was a lot to take in... Just remember here that practice makes perfect... So if anyone's ever interested, I'm thinking of starting up private make-up lessons both in person and online sometime in the near future... Watch this space!!!

 My red carpet make-up before my hair was then styled...

My red carpet make-up before my hair was then styled...

So now on to my hair... I must add here though that prior to my trip to Cannes, I visited my trusted hairdresser Sharon Swainson back down in Bournemouth to ensure my hair was in tiptop condition for the red carpet!  She certainly is the best!  Plus having been a model herself, as well as a wonderful friend to me, she always gives me brilliant advice and is a great support!  Joan Crawford even said "I think the most important thing a woman can have - next to talent, of course - is her hairdresser", and I definitely agree!  So thank you Sharon!

Hair

Now then, in terms of my red carpet hair style, there were so many options to consider!  I had to think whether I wanted my hair up or down, half-up half-down, curly, wavy or straight, and also which way to have my parting etc...it was a difficult choice!  With just so many styles, the best way to decide was to think about my red carpet look as a whole.  From this I figured out that I wanted a style that wasn't fussy.  My dress was the statement after all and I didn't want to take away from that.  I also felt that as my dress was so big with its full skirt, I needed my hair to have volume and body to keep the look consistent, and so that is why I decided on wavy curls.  Being a look that is also very timeless and always on-trend, never going out of style - think screen sirens of the past as well as modern day A-Listers now - also made it the perfect choice too, as it definitely had a feel of Hollywood glamour to it!

As I am not a hairstylist though, to achieve this look I had to call in assistance... Luckily a photographer and make-up artist on the French Riviera whom I knew, Stéphane Gagnard, recommended hairstylist Johana Carillo to me!  Johana came to my hotel and using the small amount of French I could speak and the English she knew, I managed to explain how I wanted my hair!  Learning more French would really be a great help to me seeing I'm now often modelling in France!  But anyway, Johana dry blow dried sections of my hair before then curling it with GHDs.  She used several products, including L'Oréal Professional Infinium hairspray, as she combed and brushed through each curl to make them wavier, before then setting my hair with this hairspray too once she had finished!  She even gave me a bottle of it at the end so that I could spray my hair just before I was due to leave for the red carpet.  This was to give my hair extra hold, and was a very kind gesture which I really appreciated!  I absolutely loved my hair, and would definitely like to wear it like this more often... I guess I might have to start practising with my own GHDs...although I don't think I'll be a pro like Johana anytime soon!

 My hair being done by hair stylist Johana Carillo... You can also see my sparkly red nails in this photo too!

My hair being done by hair stylist Johana Carillo... You can also see my sparkly red nails in this photo too!

 My finished red carpet hair and make-up accessorised with my earrings...

My finished red carpet hair and make-up accessorised with my earrings...

Ok...so now both my hair and make-up were done, it was time accessorise my look... First my jewellery... Here I wanted to keep things elegant and sophisticated, while still adding some glitz-and-glamour for added sparkle!  I chose not to wear a necklace as I wanted to keep my décolletage bare, keeping the focus on the beautifully inter-woven gold bodice top of the dress.  I did wear beautiful gold and bronze crystal drop-earrings as well as gold and diamanté bangles (on just my left wrist) though.  Both the earrings and bangles were pieces of dress jewellery bought from boutiques in Bournemouth and London, but because they glistened and gleamed, they looked priceless!  In terms of rings, as well as the rings I wear on my right hand everyday, I also added a big jewelled statement dress ring from Accessorize on my middle finger on my left hand.  Also from Accessorize was my clutch bag.  The gold metallic woven material of this bag perfectly complimented my designer dress, and for only £29 it was a great find, especially since it was the ideal size for all my evening essentials...iPhone, make-up, business cards and money!

My Red Carpet Jewellery
My Red Carpet Handbag

The last of my accessorises was my shoes.  Every girl knows just how important shoes are after having watched Cinderella as a child, and so it was obviously a given that I had to have fabulous heels to wear with my stunning designer Temraza gown!  Thankfully, as a self-diagnosed fashaholic, I had just the pair! ...Beautiful cream platform heels from Miss Selfridge that were embellished with gold and silver studs, white embroidery swirls, and cut-out meshed swirls.  These shoes were exquisite, and looked far more expensive than their high street price tag!  Who says you can't mix both high-end and high street brands?!  It's how you carry the look off after all... All I can hear in my head here is Alex Perry, an Australian designer and a judge on Australia's Next Top Model, saying make it look 'expensive'!  You see that's what you have to do as a model, but there's no reason why you can't do this in any situation too... I'm often wearing high street labels as you'll see in this blog but I make it work by the way I hold myself and how I style the look!  Like I said at the start of this post, confidence is key!  But anyway, I'm going off at a tangent here, and so I'll get back to my red carpet look... So where was I now? ...Ah yes, I'm getting up to the all important dress!!!

Cinderella Shoes
My Red Carpet Shoes

An obvious question here first though is what does a girl wear under such a gown!  Well I'll let you in on a little secret...a Victoria's Secret cream silk bra and tiny silk thong!  You see I have to say that Victoria's Secret lingerie is a necessary indulgence as it's both beautiful and comfy!  Oh how I'd just love to become a Victoria's Secret Angel!!!  Oooh and another sexy something I added here as well...a gorgeous evocative perfume...my favourite Live Luxe by Jennifer Lopez!

Perfume

But anyway, to the dress itself... Now when I found out that I would be walking the red carpet at the Cannes Film Festival, I knew that I needed a stunning designer dress!  I had just modelled for Temraza at Paris Fashion Week and wore one of their designs when I was interviewed on FashionTV...the most beautiful and ornate white peal outfit.  And so obviously when they then offered to provide me a dress for the red carpet, I couldn't turn them down!  Temraza have such stunning collections, and the gold gown of theirs that we chose for me to wear was just sensational!  I think the dress truly speaks for itself and so, with the styling I incorporated, I really just tried to do the look justice to showcase this bold gold Temraza design in all its magnificent glory!  I truly hope I did just that!  It honestly felt like I was in a fairytale that night walking the red carpet in this stunning dress!  And so before I continue, can I just say here...thank you so very much Temraza for supporting me...your dress made my Cannes Film Festival red carpet début magical and truly unforgettable!!!

 Modelling  the most beautiful and ornate white peal outfit for designer   Temraza at Paris Fashion Week in March 2015...

Modelling the most beautiful and ornate white peal outfit for designer Temraza at Paris Fashion Week in March 2015...

 The finished look... Feeling fabulous in my stunning Cannes Film Festival red carpet Temraza dress...

The finished look... Feeling fabulous in my stunning Cannes Film Festival red carpet Temraza dress...

 "...Strike a pose... Vogue..." Model...Editorial...Haute Couture...Red Carpet...

"...Strike a pose... Vogue..." Model...Editorial...Haute Couture...Red Carpet...

 Golden... Glamorous... Glistening... Gleaming... 

Golden... Glamorous... Glistening... Gleaming... 

 Showcasing the back of my magnificent gold Temraza gown...

Showcasing the back of my magnificent gold Temraza gown...

Now talking of designers, as I mentioned in my last blog post, I walked the red carpet with fashion designer and event organiser, Tiffany McCall and fashion designer Fadila Kihel, both of whom I met during the Fashion Weeks in Paris!  They both wore their own designs, and looked absolutely gorgeous!  In fact our three dresses perfectly complimented each other!  Tiffany's dress was beautiful...red lace, slinky, and with a low back... I just loved it!  And the hints of gold in the lace-detailing really shimmered in all the paparazzi flashes which made it look just exquisite on the red carpet.  Plus as the lace was slightly see-through on the thighs and legs, it was very sexy whilst still being classy and sophisticated...très chic!  Fadila's dress was also stunning...the red and gold intricate design really stood out on the red carpet, especially as the colour perfectly complimented her long wavy blonde hair.  Plus with her signature waist tie and long red cape shawl to accessorise her dress, she added a real elegance and regal air to her look, making the whole outfit just fabulous!  I actually wore one of Fadila's incredible designs at Paris Fashion Week back in March, and hopefully I'll get the chance to model for her, and for Tiffany, at a future fashion week!  They are both wonderfully talented designers, and it was an honour to walk the red carpet with them!

  Modelling   a luxurious design for Fadila Kihel of Mirage Haute Couture   at Paris Fashion Week in March 2015...

Modelling a luxurious design for Fadila Kihel of Mirage Haute Couture at Paris Fashion Week in March 2015...

 With Tiffany McCall & Fadila Kihel... I love how beautifully our dresses compliment each other...

With Tiffany McCall & Fadila Kihel... I love how beautifully our dresses compliment each other...

 On the red carpet with Tiffany McCall & Fadila Kihel...

On the red carpet with Tiffany McCall & Fadila Kihel...

And so that's it... C'est fini!!! I really hope you've enjoyed getting the inside scoop on my red carpet look!  Sorry guys that this blog post was filled with a lot of beauty and fashion terminology... Hopefully my next post all about my photo shoots on the French Riviera might be more to your liking!  But I hope at least that the girls reading this may now feel inspired to add some red carpet glamour to their lives too!

So until next time...

Love

Christina V xxx

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"C'est La V" by Christina V... I CANnes...

Even when I think I can’t, or when other people say I can't... I CANnes!!!  And then even at times when I literally can't, like when my body says I can't - I’ll tell you more about this later - I still damn well try my absolute best and hardest to achieve something, even if it’s not how it should have been!  After all, anything is better than nothing!

So, as soon as I came back from Barcelona, I had just over a week to prepare for the Cannes Film Festival.  I had been invited to walk the red carpet with A-List film stars and celebrities, with the world's press there watching.  It was an opportunity of a life-time and I was so excited... Anything could happen after this... After all, modelling in Cannes and Monaco last year was a truly life changing experience for me!  You see my modelling really took off after that in ways I could have only ever hoped and dreamt of before then!

  Modelling at a fashion show during the Cannes Film Festival last year in May 2014...

Modelling at a fashion show during the Cannes Film Festival last year in May 2014...

So then, my mission in those seven to ten days before Cannes was to get myself red carpet ready because I, of course, had to look and feel my best for this!  How did I do this I hear you ask? …Well I did this by

1: Eating extra healthily!  Those of you who know me, know my diet is very healthy and pure anyway, as I have gastroparesis (paralysis of the stomach) which means I have to follow a specific and special diet, but even still, I made an extra effort to eat very clean!

2: Making a huge commitment to doing lots of exercise which suits me!  And by this, I mean doing lots of daily walks and lots of hula hooping, and practising yoga daily.  Trust me, you won't find me at a spinning class or pumping iron…ever...that's not my style!

3: Having a spa day where I could unwind and relax in the sauna, steam room and jacuzzi, and then enjoy being pampered from top to toe with beautiful massage treatments, as well as a manicure and pedicure too!  All the celebrities would be doing this before Cannes, so why shouldn't I too?!  I must say that my local Roko Spa and Health Club is fabulous and treats its members like stars!

But as well as getting myself red carpet ready, there was also so much sorting, packing and networking to do as well!  I really need my own PA...any applicants?!  And in addition to all of this, what made things even crazier was that I had to get my red carpet designer dress altered to fit me perfectly in that time too.  This wasn't an easy task as timing was tight... But luckily, I had two people who acted like the 'fairy godmother' in Cinderella at my side to make sure I got to the ball, or in my case, the red carpet!  You see, Joey Bevan, a celebrity designer and stylist I've worked with before, recommended seamstress and dress alterations expert Zoe Rose to me!  And even though I had to make two journeys up to Essex to see her for fittings and alterations, it was more than worth it!  She was absolutely fabulous...so friendly and helpful, and her alterations were impeccable!  I am so thankful to Zoe, and because of her I could walk the red carpet with 100% confidence knowing that my dress fit to perfection... So please make sure you check out and like Zoe's Facebook Page as if you're ever in need of fashion alterations, she's the one to go to... www.facebook.com/houseofrosefashion

 Zoe Rose's fashion alterations on my red carpet dress designed by Temraza...

Zoe Rose's fashion alterations on my red carpet dress designed by Temraza...

By the time I was finally sat on the plane to Vienna, Austria, en route to Cannes, I can tell you that it was a real relief!  I could now just enjoy all that was to come...or so I thought…as you'll soon see!

From the Plane... Vienna, Austria

I arrived in Cannes the day the Film Festival started, and you could definitely sense excitement in the air.  There was a definite buzz around the town!  That evening I had a meeting with Tiffany McCall, a designer and fashion show organiser I had first met in Paris during Fashion Week.  She was the one who had given me the opportunity to walk the red carpet, and that evening, she presented me with my Cannes Film Festival bag filled with information on the whole festival, as well as my VIP pass, which gave me full access to the Palais des Festivals where the premiers were taking place.  It was so amazing to be a part of this, and I couldn't wait to find out which red carpet premier I'd be attending!  Merci beaucoup Tiffany McCall!

My Cannes Film Festival Bag & Pass

Following this, on the Friday night, Tiffany organised dinner and drinks at the exclusive Nikki Beach venue in Cannes.  This was a great opportunity to network with those in both the film and fashion industry.  And so, because this event was very important, I made sure I dressed my best!  I wore a chic and sexy little navy number from Jane Norman which I had not yet worn before.  This dress oozed sophistication with its jewelled and diamanté cut-out waist panelling, and was the perfect choice, as it could be worn in a more formal setting or a party atmosphere.  It fit me like a glove which was nice to know seeing that I bought it five years ago and had had it altered to fit me back then!  As the dress was the focus of my outfit, I kept the accessories simple that night by purely having them to complement the look - diamanté shoes from Lipsy that I had bought last autumn plus diamanté earrings and a bracelet.  I even tied my hair back into a ponytail to keep things more minimalistic as I had opted for strong blue eye make-up to give my look more oomph and impact.  I felt a million dollars, and thoroughly enjoyed the night out...all except for when a couple of obnoxious guys saw me at the dinner table eating a white bread roll and told me that I couldn't eat that or I'd explode as models aren’t supposed to eat!  For the record here, insults won't get anyone anywhere with me, and I hate it when a guy uses them as a form of chat-up line...I'm just not into that at all!  Obviously I just dismissed them and the comment, but looking back on it now, it's rather ironic as you'll soon find out!

Nikki Beach, Cannes... Jane Norman Navy Dress

But now to the next day...Saturday 16th May...the night of my red carpet walk!  I am going to write a whole 'nother blog post in the next few days or so on my red carpet look detailing everything...all the cosmetics I used to do my red carpet make-up, my choice of hairstyle, as well as talking about my all important red carpet dress and how I accessorised it!  And so for now, I'm just going to sum up my experience as a whole so you have an idea about what it was like and how it felt!  Plus I'll also tell you a bit about the premier I was privileged to see - The Amy Winehouse documentary.

...So then, after spending hours perfecting my make-up, having my hair styled, putting on all my accessories, and finally getting into my magnificent gold gown designed by the amazing Egyptian designer Temraza, I felt like star!  I truly felt fabulous...and I was so happy that everything had come together for this one out-of-this world moment

When I was then sat in the car that was taking me to the red carpet at the Palais des Festival, I felt nervous but full of excitement.  Me, Christina V, walking the red carpet at the Cannes Film Festival!  It felt like something out of a fairytale!  I was certainly dressed for that mind you!  I guess was literally the ‘Belle' of the ball that night!  And even with all this nervous excitement going through my mind, I could not have anticipated how overwhelming this experience would be as I got out of the car!  There were cameras flashing everywhere, and all around I could see faces looking at me since my gold gown was such a statement that had definitely caught their attention!  Prior to my walk on the red carpet, Matthew McConaughey and Naomi Watts had walked, and so it was unbelievable to be following in the footsteps of A-List Hollywood stars!  So, knowing this, as I then slowly and gracefully made my way along the red carpet and up the Palais stairs, turning and posing for the cameras, I tried to take everything in… I wanted to remember this moment forever!  Unfortunately, this year ‘selfies’ were banned on the Cannes red carpet though, and so I wasn't able to take photos!  But luckily there are some professional photos and video footage of me, as well as a sneaky snap of me at the top of the stairs, which Tiffany McCall and Algerian designer Fadila Kihel, both with whom I walked the red carpet, managed to quickly capture!

Cannes Film Festival Red Carpet Snapshot
Cannes Film Festival Red Carpet Palais Stairs
Cannes Film Festival Red Carpet & Sign

By the time I then got inside the theatre and to my seat, I was literally shaking!  But after a few deep breaths, I was ready to share my experience with you all by putting up my red carpet snapshot on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram!  Social media has played a huge role in my career, and so how could I not get this up asap?!?!  Anyway then, after the celebrities, the film's production team and the director, Asif Kapadia, made their way inside the theatre too, the film, simply called Amy, began... It was a moving documentary about Amy Winehouse's life showcasing never-before seen footage and recordings.  The film itself was just over two hours, but I was so captivated by her story, that I never once thought it was too long.  It was very sad at times, but Amy's funny side definitely shone through.  She came across as a true character and talent, and she had a beauty and vulnerability that was so touching.  Despite what any critics may or may not have to say about this film, I truly felt moved by it, as the film makes you feel close to Amy.  As a viewer you feel like you knew her and had been through her experiences, both positive and negative, with her.  What happened to her was such a tragedy - she had so much more to give.  I can tell you now that I truly felt honoured and privileged to be at this world premier, and I will always cherish this experience!  Merci beaucoup again Tiffany McCall!

Cannes Film Festival Red Carpet Ticket & Seat
 Cannes Film Festival Red Carpet After-Party with Tiffany McCall and Famous French Celebrity Twins Igor & Grichka Bogdanoff...

Cannes Film Festival Red Carpet After-Party with Tiffany McCall and Famous French Celebrity Twins Igor & Grichka Bogdanoff...

After the premier, I did an impromptu photo shoot along the promenade as I made my way to an after-party at the Carlton Hotel.  There I got to network and mingle with many VIPs, including famous celebrity French twins Igor and Grichka Bogdanoff!  It was such a fun night, and I didn't get to bed until gone 6am!  And even then I was full of energy and still on a high!  Unfortunately though, when I woke up later, I didn't feel too well.  And before you ask, no I wasn't hung-over - I don't drink much at all because of my gastroparesis, and hadn't even drunk any alcohol!  Because of this, I wanted to stay in bed all day, but Tiffany had invited me to the Hotel Majestic that night, and so I just about managed to get myself up and ready.  I felt puffy and swollen all over though, so I dressed to try and disguise this.  I teamed up a pair of black leggings with a bright blue sparkly t-shirt dress from Jane Norman and my favourite black leather jacket from Mango.  To add even more sparkle and a bit of glamour, I wore my other pair of Lipsy diamanté heels in black.  This look certainly had a rock chick feel about it, which was pretty apt seeing that I ended up partying with Tina Turner's daughter-in-law, Afida Turner that night!  She is a big celebrity in France!

Hotel Majestic... Jane Norman Bright Blue Sparkly T-Shirt Dress

The following day, I still didn't feel my best, but just couldn't put my finger on why.  I still felt puffy and swollen, but at least some puffiness had gone down from my face a bit.  And so thankfully I managed to pull off a very good photo shoot along the promenade in Cannes in some very stylish dresses.  I was also lucky enough to be wearing some very expensive gold and diamond jewellery from Orus Bijoux for the shoot.  I felt like a celebrity model as passersby took my photo while I posed for French photographer Dtu Doe!  It certainly was a fun shoot, and we got some great images.  I want to tell you more about this shoot…but as it’ll be too much for now, I’ll write a separate blog post on it - and the other shoot I did a few days later - after my red carpet look post!

 Behind the scenes of my Cannes promenade photo shoot with French photographer Dtu Doe...

Behind the scenes of my Cannes promenade photo shoot with French photographer Dtu Doe...

So after my shoot, I found out I'd been invited to a party which was also going to be attended by Paris Hilton, Leonardo DiCaprio, Uma Therman, Akon and Robbie Williams.  I was so excited, and was planning over dinner what I should wear to such an exclusive event!  But when I got up from the table though, I could barely stand.  My right leg felt so tight and painful, and I couldn’t put any weight on it nor walk.  I then looked down to see that it had ballooned up and was about 2 inches bigger than my left leg around the calf!  My foot had swollen up earlier in the day, but I thought it was just the heat or something.  What had happened now, on the other hand, was pretty damn scary to say the least!  I was then taken into hospital, which the last place I wanted to be, especially as I was missing out on the most amazing party!  I spent the night there while the doctors ran some tests.  Thankfully they didn't think it was a blood clot... But they did say, that as well as the extreme visible swelling in my right foot and leg, which had got even bigger in that time, I was very dehydrated with low sodium and potassium levels, had mild hypothermia (even though it was 28 degrees outside) and had low blood pressure.  They thought that all this may have been caused by an allergic reaction to wheat or gluten, and so basically bread could have been what caused me to balloon up and nearly ‘explode’ so to speak! …Now you see why looking back on it, it’s funny what those guys a few nights before had said!  I do need more tests to confirm this, but if it's so, it would be quite a blow on top of my gastroparesis, especially if I also have celiac disease too.  You see, although I don't normally have very much wheat in my diet at home, when I'm away, white bread, croissants and baguettes are a few of the gastroparesis friendly staple foods that I can easily get a hold of to eat.  And so not being able to perhaps have these now will make things rather tricky.  But whatever, I'll find a way to manage…I always do!

Cannes Hospital
Cannes Bruises & French Medical Grade Compression Stockings

After being discharged from hospital, it was doctors’ orders to then stay in bed, rest and recuperate, and keep my legs raised as much possible wearing very fashionable French medical grade compression stockings!  That day of bed rest certainly helped, as by the next morning, a lot of the visible swelling had gone down, and I was able to get up and head to Nice for a photo shoot.  I even wore a bright yellow dress from Miss Selfridge to the shoot as I wanted to be bright and positive!  As I still wasn’t on top form though, I kept things practical by styling this dress with some comfy cream wedges from Miss Selfridge, along with a cream hat and a cream leather jacket from Jane Norman - it may have been sunny outside but I had been suffering from hypothermia after all!

Cannes Yacht Dock... Miss Selfridge Yellow Dress

So now, my shoot that day was with photographer Justin Gage and his wife, make-up artist Alana Gage.  I met them both at a fashion show, in honour of Joe Jackson, Michael Jackson's father, during the Cannes Film Festival last May, and ever since then we've been talking about shooting!  It was therefore so incredible to see them again and work with them as they both have very creative visions.  And well, my shoot with them was certainly beyond amazing!  I had three looks, and for one of them I was wearing a very sexy, sleek and stylish dress designed by Kim Innu London!  If you've seen any of the photos that have been released so far, I hope you love them as much as I do!  And there’s more to come don’t worry!!!  …As well as more to follow on this shoot too in that future blog post on my Cannes photo shoots!

 Behind the scenes of my French Riviera photo shoot in Nice with photographer Justin Gage...

Behind the scenes of my French Riviera photo shoot in Nice with photographer Justin Gage...

 Behind the scenes of my French Riviera photo shoot in Nice with make-up artist Alana Gage...

Behind the scenes of my French Riviera photo shoot in Nice with make-up artist Alana Gage...

Unfortunately though, after this shoot, that was more or less the end of my Cannes Film Festival experience this year because my health then deteriorated further.  It was more than disappointing to miss out on modelling in fashion shows, attending exclusive events and parties, and possibly even having another chance to walk the red carpet.  I even missed out on watching the Monaco Grand Prix with Joe Jackson from a yacht again this year, and instead was confined to a bed with my feet up, watching the race on my iPad.  I can't tell you how horrible I felt and how horrible it felt to have put so much into being in Cannes and then not being able to fulfil everything like I had hoped to and wanted to because of suffering these serious health complications... It truly sucked!

 The Monaco Grand Prix from bed while unwell in Cannes this year...

The Monaco Grand Prix from bed while unwell in Cannes this year...

 The Monaco Grand Prix last year in May 2014 from a yacht in Monaco with Joe Jackson, Michael Jackson's father...

The Monaco Grand Prix last year in May 2014 from a yacht in Monaco with Joe Jackson, Michael Jackson's father...

But like I said at the start of this blog, "even at times when I literally can't...I still damn well try my absolute best and hardest to achieve something", and that I did.  I networked from my bed, making some great contacts!  And some great news is that I’ve already been asked to walk the red carpet again next year!  Other amazing opportunities are also now presenting themselves following my red carpet walk, and so I am so thankful that all was not lost in spite of what happened to me.  I tell you, I'm going to make up for this big time as soon as I'm back to full health… And at least now that I’m back at home in London, hopefully the doctors here will get to the bottom of things quite soon.  All I ask is no more blood tests though!  I’m feeling like a bruised pin cushion as they have so much difficulty taking blood from me!  It’s easier to take blood from a stone than from my arm apparently!!!  But anyway, like I said, I’m now just focusing my attention on all the exciting things that are coming my way soon…which of course means I’ve also gotta make sure that Cannes next year will be bigger and better than ever for me... I’m even planning my red carpet dress already!  Ooo I wonder which designer I’ll be wearing…?!?!

Christina V xxx

"C'est La V" by Christina V... ViVa Barcelona...

So in my '1st' blog post, just over a week ago now, I spoke about how "if you want to soar in life, you must first learn to FLY" - First Love Yourself... And well, just a day after expressing this, on Saturday 2nd May, I took my first steps at achieving this and literally flew... You see my friends took me to Barcelona for a much needed spontaneous escape... A chance for me to leave reality behind for a couple of days, take my mind off things...and just enjoy the good company of my friends, the sunny Spanish weather, the sights and sounds of a distinctive and cultured city... Oh and of course, this was also a chance to dress up, go out, and be chic and stylish too...not that I ever need a reason or an excuse to do this anyway!!!

Barcelona Trip

So then, as this trip was a last minute get-away for me, I obviously didn't have the luxury of time on this occasion to search through and try-on the entire contents of my wardrobe and stylise and accessorise each outfit I chose...and so because of this, I just decided to quickly pack a few key pieces that were effortless as well as very much on trend for this Spring/Summer season's look...

For my first full day out, I chose to wear a white floral-detailed lace dress, which was a perfect choice for Barcelona as this dress definitely had a Spanish flair to it.  Being cinched in at the waist, yet also floaty, with a flowing skirt and loose 3/4 split laced sleeves, it was certainly a fun and playful little number for a day spent strolling the streets, perusing the shops, relaxing in cafés, and just soaking up the atmosphere!  Can you believe though that I actually got this dress back in 2011 whilst I was working part-time in Jane Norman...?!  But, seeing that I still had not yet worn it, and lace, especially white lace, was such a hit on the Spring/Summer 2015 season's runways, I thought it was about time this dress was rescued from the depths of my wardrobe and saw the light of day!  Then, to add a modern edge to a romantised look, I teamed up my dress with a pair of white laser cut, faux wood platform heels which I recently bought from Miss Selfridge.  I absolutely love these shoes as not only do they look great, and are very versatile, easily going from day to night during the warmer months...but the faux wood chunky heel also makes them suprisingly comfy to walk in!  Lastly, to finish off the outfit and top my look off, I wore a woven cream hat that I got in Jane Norman last year as this was both a fashionable yet functionable piece to wear out in the sun!

Barcelona... Jane Norman White Lace Dress

And speaking of Jane Norman, I actually met one of the girls on this trip back when I was working there.  We've shared many of each other's highs and lows ever since, and our friendship group has now even become something like that of the women in Sex and the City... She even quoted Samantha Jones to me before we all went away... "We made a deal ages ago.  Men, babies, it doesn't matter.  We're soulmates."  And just in case you're wondering, that is if you haven't figured it out for yourself already, I'm obviously the Carrie Bradshaw of the group...as like Carrie, I have a passion for fashion, I like to be sexy yet classy in both my style of dress and my love life, I have a bit of a journalistic streak too...and well, of course, I cannot help but wonder if I have or will have my own 'Mr Big' in my life as well!!!

Barcelona... Sex And The City

So then, continuing the theme of Sex and the City, on this Barcelona trip, we even all had our very own SATC moment when the boyfriend of one of the girls got down on one knee and proposed to her in front of a cascading water fountain and beautiful flower display... She of course said yes as they are completely in love.  It was wonderful to share such a special time with them both... I think this is something we're all going to remember and talk about for a long to come!

After this, we were all certainly in a celebratory mood and were eager to commence the evening festivities... So that night I wanted to wear something that was quick and easy, but also very stylish and dressy.  I therefore decided to wear a nude playsuit that had intricate pink, orange and green sparkly sequinned detailing.  As the sequins were such a feature, this look required minimal accessorising as the outfit was a statement in itself.  This not only made it a practical option when getting ready swiftly, but also made it a perfect choice for packing and travelling as it was something that I was able to just throw in my suitcase and then get out to look fabulous in minutes!  I actually bought this playsuit from Miss Selfridge last year, and first wore it at a post-fashion show party in Monte Carlo on-board Joe Jackson's yacht during the Monaco Grand Prix!  I saw no reason not to wear this playsuit again though, especially since wearing an outfit on more than one occasion is very much in vogue now seeing that many celebrities, and even royalty like Kate Middleton, have made it an acceptable fashion move.  And what is more, playsuits are still very much in trend still this season... I've even just bought another nude playsuit from Miss Selfridge which has bronze and gold sequinned embellishments...and I actually hope to wear this is the next couple of weeks at this year's Cannes Film Festival & Monaco Grand Prix... So stay tuned for photos as I can't wait to share all my fashion choices for all the exclusive events and red carpet premiers which I'm attending!

But back to Barcelona now... All in all, my trip was one filled of friendship, fashion and fun!  I certainly needed that change of scene for a couple of days, as by the end of it, I felt like I was getting my sparkle back, and beginning to feel much more like me again, Christina V... ViVa Barcelona!!!

Love

Christina V xxx

  Getting my 'sparkle' back in Barcelona...

Getting my 'sparkle' back in Barcelona...

P.S. I have included below links to my recent purchases at Miss Selfridge for all the girls who love fashion as much as me! ...Happy Shopping!!!

Miss Selfridge White Laser Cut, Faux Wood Platform Heels 

Miss Selfridge Nude, Bronze & Gold Sequinned Playsuit

 

P.P.S. One of the girls from this trip has her own blog too which is all about her fashion and style choices... www.undefinedstyle.com ...it's a great read!

"C'est La V" by Christina V... May this be the 1st...

"Birds flying high... You know how I feel... Sun in the sky... You know how I feel... Breeze driftin' on by... You know how I feel... It's a new dawn... It's a new day... It's a new life...for me... And I'm feeling good..."

Well I'm not quite 'feeling good' at the moment, as some of you who also follow me on my other social media platforms may already know... But I want and need to feel good again, and so as today is the first day of a new month, I thought that this was the perfect time and opportunity to do just that and focus my energy on feeling good...well feeling fabulous would be even better now wouldn't it?!  And May being a time of the year where spring is definitely in the air and the scent of summer is well on its way...a time of year when the sun is out, days get longer and hotter, and flowers are in full bloom...well, that just makes this even more of an ideal chance for me to learn and grow from past experiences, and flourish and blossom even greater...

So... May the 1st not only bring new hope, dreams and opportunities, but also re-alight and keep alive the current aspirations and goals I have within me... May this be the first page of a new chapter, not a new book... May I be inspired to reach new heights and new destinations in life... May I reach for the stars and beyond... May it be a journey full of possibilities...  But in order to achieve all this... May I 1st learn to 'FLY'... As after all, "if you want to soar in life, you must first learn to FLY" - First Love Yourself...

Oh and of course, how could I forget?!... May this also be the 1st of many blog posts...!!!

 

So then... Welcome to my blog "C'est La V" by me, Christina V! ...Although this blog is predominantly going to be about my modelling and make-up work, and a look into the fashion and beauty world, it's also going to be about anything and everything in life...my life...the life of Christina V...hence the name "C'est La V"... You see, what happens in between what you plan for and work towards in life can be just as interesting, and as I want my blog to encompass all aspects of life... from the fashion to the passion...I thought this title was very apt... And also being a play on a French saying, and Paris being one of the fashion capitals of the world, for me, this blog name is the perfect fit!

But why start my blog now?!... Well, I have wanted to start my own blog for many years, but just never got around to it as it was something I just kept putting it off... But just 1 month ago someone special inspired me to finally do it... They listened to me, believed in me, and gave me strength and courage even when my vision of myself sometimes clouded over... I hope he knows how how high and how alive I felt with him...how special he made me feel...and maybe even one day reads some of my blog and smiles knowing that he was more than special to me too... So back to me starting this blog...well, as this month I am determined and motivated to get back my va va voom and joie de vivre, this is why I thought that there was no better time to start this than now...

So I hope you all enjoy reading my blog posts as much as I enjoy writing them for you all... And I hope that you all get to Live and Love with me along the way...

Christina V xxx

Fly
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