If you follow my Instagram and Twitter feeds, you’ll already know that last week I got to do something quite amazing and magical. After thirteen years in “the business” I’m not that easily impressed by fashion or beauty stuff (I’ve worn a lot of fine dresses and had a lot of makeup put on my face!) but Dior gave me an experience that left me feeling a close to being a princess as I think you could get! They took me to Cannes Film Festival and dressed me in couture to walk down the red carpet – but not before I’d had my makeup done by their international artist, Jamie Coombes, and had my hair styled by the fabulous Cyril Auchere… It was the stuff of dreams!
Preparation with hair, makeup and nails (nails by the lovely Nelly Wild) took place in Dior’s VIP Suite at the Majestic Hotel. The suite takes up almost half of the top floor and has the most brilliant view of the festival and the red carpet – you can just sit up there in the sun, watching the film stars arrive and the paparazzi going crazy. It’s a very energetic kind of atmosphere at Cannes – there are thousands of spectators waiting for celebrities but it all feels very surreal when it’s daylight and the sun is beating down!
One of the strangest things to get used to, now that I travel about as “Ruth Crilly A Model Recommends” rather than “Model”, is that I get a say in how my hair and makeup is done. It’s great! People actually ask me how I’d like to look and what I think suits me and whether I’d like a strong lip or a neutral one – I can even politely hint that I’m not sure about something if I don’t like the look of it. Try pulling that one on a fashion shoot – you’d be laughed out of the door! As a model, you’re hiring yourself out as something of a blank canvas and it’s interesting to see what people do with you, but there’s a wonderful feeling that goes along with being asked your opinion – being able to choose a look and then seeing it come together.
The look that I wanted was very natural and glowing and luckily Jamie Coombes is the King when it comes to understated makeup. He really knows how to enhance natural features rather than packing on a mask of camouflage – he layered on different types of pigment and glow so that my skin looked very real, but very perfected. He darkened my brows ever so slightly and used a little shadow on my eyes just to accentuate them, put a bit of matte bronzer on to warm up my skintone. Everything was subtle and careful, I’ve never had makeup done in this way before. Jamie won’t even use hard brushes – they are all soft, feathery ones, even for concealer and foundation! He likes it to be a pleasant, relaxing experience when he makes up his clients, and it was definitely both of those things.
My hair was swept back into an up-do – a style that looks really simple but in fact takes quite a while! Loads of texture has to be tonged and dried into the hair so that it has some height and movement to it – it’s a far cry from my usual tied-back look…
My nails were really fun and summery – a kind of modern take on a French Manicure, using a hot pink shade called Wonderland and white at the tips. There were also two “reverse” accent nails that were white with pink tips.
You can see them in the video below, along with the amazing dress that I wore and some nice behind-the-scenes footage. I hope that I’ve captured the feeling of the trip – the excitement and the glamour of the red carpet and the sheer lushness of the Dior suite with its pale grey decor and calm, quiet atmosphere. If you can’t see the video pane below then please click here, otherwise sit back and enjoy the show!
Makeup: Jamie Coombes for Dior (see below)
Hair: Cyril Auchere
Nails: Nelly Wild at the Dior Suite
Dress is Christian Dior Couture, shoes and bag by Dior
Music: “Paint me a Rainbow” by Sadie Fleming. http://www.sadiefleming.co.uk