It’s mid-May, the sun is shining in Cannes and Blanca Padilla is looking out to the turquoise-blue ocean from the rooftop restaurant of the JW Marriott. It has been transformed into a Givenchy Beauty paradise for the weekend to fête the launch of their new Volume Disturbia Mascara and Le Rouge lipstick; a pop-up space boasting a fully functioning make-up studio, floor carpeted with Givenchy’s signature interlocking Gs, and a collection of plinths proudly displaying the two latest beauty drops from the maison.
Blanca, who has been the face of Givenchy Beauty since 2016, sits resplendent, dressed in a belted black blazer and military pants – an armour of sorts, as she prepares for full day of press interviews and photo shoots ahead. Ever since the 24-year-old Spanish model was discovered on the metro in Madrid three years ago, her career has been stratospheric. She has walked for the likes of Chanel, Armani and Dior, and was crowned a Victoria’s Secret Angel in 2017 before Nicolas Degennes, Givenchy’s Artistic Director for Make-up and Colour, spotted her on the runway at Riccardo Tisci’s final show for the house.
“I turned to my colleague at the show and we both said, ‘She’s the one!” he remembers. “There are two women who have really influenced my life, and Blanca is one of them. She’s beautiful, magic, generous, always herself… and I love that at her age she works with a lot of charities around the world. She is amazing from the inside out – a true Givenchy woman.”
Of Nicolas, the man who has been at the helm of Givenchy Beauty for 15 years, Blanca is similarly complimentary. “He has around 20 years’ worth of experience in the industry, so I talk to him about everything,” she explains. “He has been a mentor to me and keeps me grounded.”
The mastermind behind Givenchy Beauty’s ground-breaking make-up formulas, Nicolas has spent the past few years working on the brand’s latest releases: three new lipsticks – each evocatively named and housed in sleek leather, velvet and embellished cases – which encompass the style, elegance and innovation at the centre of the global Givenchy empire.
“When you wear a Givenchy Haute Couture dress, you’re not the same woman. Your body has changed, the way you stand has changed, and there’s an air of confidence about you,” Nicolas tells us. “I always keep this in mind when working on a new beauty product, from the formula to the packaging.”
Available in six shades, Le Rouge Deep Velvet is a deliciously matte formula that communicates subtle glamour rather than all-out flash; taking inspiration from Givenchy’s autumn/winter 2018 collection. Le Rouge Night Noir is a deep, dark, saturated lipstick with a black sheen that packs an excess of drama into one gleaming bullet, and Le Rouge – the brand’s signature weightless, semi-matte that totally changed the liquid lipstick game when it launched last year – is now available in 29 ultra-pigmented shades.
“My favourite lipstick is the velvet one,” Blanca reveals. “The texture is so unique; I put it on in the morning and forget about it because it lasts all day. I love the shinier formula for the night because it looks amazing in that evening light.”
The Volume Disturbia Mascara, with its totally buildable and clump-free formula, has been created with a brush that’s completely unique to the market. “Most of the volumising mascaras out there have brushes made up of fibres which get squashed over time,” Nicolas explains. “We created a silicone wand that expertly separates and coats the lashes allowing for maximum volume and curve.”
“One of my favourite things about the mascara is how it’s packed with vitamin E, which is going to help boost and grow your lashes,” she adds. “It’s really long-lasting, and because it’s so buildable, you can just keep topping it up throughout the day.”
When talking future careers, it’s not make-up, modelling and the famous cohort surrounding her that’s on Blanca’s agenda. The model is a keen health enthusiast and an advertising student. “In five years’ time I’d love to have my own business and open something related to wellness. A little café maybe, with meditation, life coaching and healthy food,” she says. “Right now I’m really focused on my job and I want to finish my degree. But ultimately, I want to focus on nutrition, because that’s really my thing.”
*Remind me never to stand next to a former Victoria's Secret angel* - BAZAAR's Digital Editor, Milli Midwood
And with that, it’s time for her to be swept away for hair and make-up touch-ups, ready to make next morning’s headlines as she walks the red carpet – clad in a full face of Givenchy Beauty, of course – for the Rocket Man premiere.