The Queen’s Garden Party at Buckingham Palace

I recently had the wonderful honour of attending the Queens Garden Party at Buckingham Palace.

So many people have asked me ‘how does one get to be invited to such a prestigious event?’

It’s a simple yet wonderful story of friendship and how an instant understanding of how beliefs and ideas can sometimes gel when you meet someone for the first time.

A while ago, I invited the Lebanese journalist and actress Lena Kay to be a speaker at an event I organised with the kindness of Lord Eames at the House of Lords for  International Women’s day. Prior to the event, we sat together in a Lebanese restaurant enjoying the wonderfully similar cuisine of my grandmother’s recipes when she lived in Lebanon many years ago.

We discussed the agenda and my vision of the event and we shared many ideas about possible collaboration in the future. It was a really joyful evening and it was clear that a great working relationship and even a potential friendship was in the making.

As I reflected on that evening, I thought how lovely it is that in London things like that can happen and how different cultures can come together with such positive harmony. I then got a WhatsApp message from Lena the following day asking me if I wanted to come to the Royal Garden Party as her guest and I of course replied with a resounding YES!

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Posing for the camera at the Hilton London Kensington Hotel

Photos by Daniel Balica

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Off to the Palace wearing the most comfortable wedges by Pons Quintana

IMG_9686 Searching for the end of the queue, but every moment was a joy! 

Leading up to the special day, I had to decide what to wear.
My love of vintage clothes took me to Camden Town and Notting Hill and then on to the Sunday vintage fair in Hammersmith, where I often find unique dresses for my performances.
The world is so small and I was so lucky to end up speaking to a wonderful lady about the Palace Garden Party and what I should wear and some of the rules and guidelines that I should follow.
She spoke with authority as she was herself in those parties and events and she even showed me the dress and hat she wore to the last garden party.
I loved the dress and fascinator immediately and bought it.
Though it was beautiful, I knew I could work with my dressmaker and with some changes, I could make it even more special and uniquely mine!
The joy of seeing so many beautiful dresses and hats on that day is a treat for someone who loves fashion.
Beautiful pastel colours and flowers dominated the afternoon and interestingly many people were wearing dresses from the collection of the talented Ted Baker.
Everyone looked wonderful.
Suprise, suprise it rained on the day and one tip that I would share with you is not to wear high heals on wet grass.
I’m so pleased I chose wedges and they were not only great on the grass but so comfortable for the hours of standing required.
If you have the privilege of being invited to the Garden Party, can I suggest that you turn up early as it takes so long to get in and then to stand in various queues for delicious cakes and canapés. You can imagine how everyone wants to see the Queen, which involves  yet more queuing and standing about in the hope of talking to Her Majesty.
The personalised invitations offered helpful tips regarding protocols such as not taking photographs and not bringing in our mobiles, though some people flouted these instructions and those that did, were promptly reprimanded by security personnel.
I was shocked by the sheer volume of guests which can range from four to eight thousand, so if you are invited, do plan ahead as much as you can and don’t leave anything to the last moment.
Also, don’t underestimate the time it takes to move around the stunning grounds and then you can really enjoy the once in a lifetime Buckingham Palace experience .

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The best Vanilla Ice Cream in the World by Marshfield Farm 

 

IMG_9691From Top to Toe 

Handmade fascinator, Jacket, Dress – http://www.vintagevalentina.net, Hair  by Anna Hannon -Supercut, Earings – Sally Greville-Smith and Vintage bag  – Hammersith Vintage Fair, Chanel neckless.

Dressmaker – Bozena Wnorowska

Wedges – Pons Quintana.

Makeup : Eyeshadow – Diorshow Mono 616 Pulse,  Mascara – Diorshow Black, Lipstick -Chanel – 90 Pimpante, Eyeliner – Long-wear Gel – Bobbi Brown, Foundation – Mac  Studio Tech and Sunbasque Blush, Primer Hourglass – Mineral Primer, Secret Brightening powder- Laura Mercier,  Eye Base Essentials – Linen Trish Mcevoy, Eyelashes – Salonsystem, Nails polish- Essie Limo-Scene.

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72 Names (Hallelujah) Day 67 : Designing the 72 Names T-shirt

A short video of creating for the first time a T-shirt with something of my own. I love the fact that in the morning I decided to go and do it and by lunchtime it was ready. Still I need to put much more time into getting the right shape of T-shirt and design. Every part of it is important in the process of doing any type of design: the material, shape, colour, fonts etc. At a later stage I will have T-shirts for sale on my website but its still early days!

Beauty Tips – I Love Chanel No. 5 & more

This is a short video about how to indulge yourself.  Some of my favourite products when I want to feel million dollars before an event, or special occasion. It can also be great idea for you if you would like to buy your lover the perfect gift.

In the video – I talk about Chanel No. 5 Soap, Chanel No. 5 Velvet Body Cream, Clarins – Beauty Flash Balm, Natura Bisse – Stimul-Eye Mask, Fashion – Almost Famous.

My Makeup Tips & Secrets

How to turn  from an House wife to  Cinderella in 15 minutes – My recommendations of my favourite cosmetic products!

People that work with me from photographers, directors, actors  makeup artist etc, know that I am super fussy person when it comes to makeup  and maybe few other things. It took me years to learn how to be in control and get what I want!

I love makeup, cosmetics and anything to do with beauty – no wonder my single is named Beauty of the Duty! I can spend hours near the different counters in Harrods and Selfridges and get friendly with the beauty consultants, learn from them,  share with them my knowledge and get from them a lot of samples. I’ve got a box that is full of samples, supply for almost a year… but it’s so good to get those samples because then you know what really works for you and your skin.

My knowledge of makeup and beauty started at the age of 13 when I began to be a model. From that age, I learnt how to make my makeup for small or big fashion shows, for photo shoot and videos all of which are different.

Some woman are blessed with beauty that everything that you’ll do with them they will have that perfect face. But most of us need to find the way to make us look the best we can, in what we wear, the style of our hair and our makeup. The problem is that if the 3 above are things that we are not very knowledgeable or feel comfortable about, when we have an event we will go to an expert and then it really depends on our luck and budget to bring the best of us.

I had so many bad experiences with makeup artists  when I did a commercial as they made me look different from myself, and  not as good. As much as I tried to explain to them what I want and showed them photos they did their own thing. What I learned is that Sophia Loren always did her makeup  which gave me the confidence to do mine, as when one has got a unique way of doing the eyes – it’s so important to do it 100% right.

Saying that I had a few makeup artists that have made me so much better that what I can do myself – so I am still looking in the UK to connect with one makeup artist who will work with me on regular basis.

I met last year Estée Lauder’s Global Premier Makeup Artist’s  – Blair Patterson and he did some makeup for me. He made me  different to what I always do but so glamorous and good. He spent a long time putting on the foundation, almost like a sculptor defines the bone structure with different shades of foundations.

http://www.facebook.com/EsteeLauderUK?sk=app_11007063052

In 2010 when I saw the new look of the  classical singer Katherine Jenkins I was amazed by how she had changed her image and looked even more stunning than before. I did my little research and I found that her makeup artist is James Molloy – Mac’s senior artist who is in head position with Mac and I hope to work with him one day soon.

www.jamesmolloy.co.uk/

Please watch my short video of how to turn into Cinderella in 15 minutes and the few essential that we must have.

In the photo below I had the privilege to meet in Sefridges the renowned makeup artist Trish McEvoy

Who is known as a makeup artist of the big  Hollywood stars such as  Angelina Jolie, Dame Judi Dench, the presenter Larry King and more. She is 60 and looks stunning. I loved her natural look, although most of her beauty consultant were wearing a very dark eye shadows that created a beautiful cat eyes look  which she got very nice shades of eye shadows. I got for myself the – 24-Hour Eye Shadow and Liner.

http://www.trishmcevoy.com/