Rotterdam Summer Carnaval: behind-the-scenes beauty with the Cape Verdean Queen
17 Jul 2014
The Summer Carnaval Street Parade (Zomercarnaval) is a yearly festival in the Netherlands that resembles the Carnaval in Brazil. Every year it attracts almost a million visitors and participants to the city of Rotterdam. It’s a multicultural celebration, as Rotterdam is home to many people from different cultures in warm climates.
This year’s Summer Carnaval is held on July 19th (this Saturday). It’s celebrating its 30th anniversary. I had the opportunity to speak with Olivia da Graça (21), who’s one of the participants in the Parade and part of the Cape Verdean group Cabo Verde Chegou. In fact, she is their Queen and will be leading the group. Curious about what this Cape Verdean Queen will be wearing on Saturday, which hair products she’ll be using and her makeup?
Olivia da Graça, Queen of ‘Cabo Verde Chegou’
I honestly haven’t met anyone who doesn’t like watching the Summer Carnaval Street Parade in my hometown Rotterdam! It’s a celebration for the entire family, across all social classes, races and ages. Everybody loves it! It’s the largest tropical parade of the country with more than 20 nationalities. It’s probably the closest thing from celebrating the actual Carnaval in Brazil.
One of the groups that will be participating (for the 10th time!) is Cape Verdean Carnaval group Cabo Verde Chegou, meaning Cape Verde has arrived, with Olivia da Graça as part of the group. Even though Olivia works as a volunteer in the Parade each year, this is the first time that she’s participating herself. And not only is she part of the group, she was chosen to be the group’s Queen: she’s its ‘face’ and on Saturday you’ll find her on a throne, on one of the many beautifully decorated floats.
Cape Verdean Carnaval group ‘Cabo Verde Chegou’
I’ve known Olivia for many years and, of course, I couldn’t wait to ask her for behind-the-scene beauty details! I mean, look at her! She’s a beauty. Check out the details below.
Olivia’s costume was custom made by Debora Amelo and fits the entire group’s theme, which this year is Colorful Africa. ‘Debby did an amazing job! I went for a fitting and didn’t want to take it off!’ Debora Amelo did not only design Olivia’s outfit, she was also responsible for the rest of the group’s.
All makeup in this year’s Summer Parade is by Sacha Cosmetics. Together with the costume designer, Sacha’s makeup artist came up with a look that will enhance Olivia’s beautiful features and of course fits the theme. When I asked Olivia about her makeup during Saturday’s Parade, she answered: ‘Red lips and lots of glitter! That’s all I’ll be sharing right now!’
On Saturday, Olivia will be doing her own hair: ‘Big and all natural, like a true African Queen! She uses Guhl Krul-Kracht shampoo and conditioner to wash and condition it, Dax Pomade and African Pride Hair Scalp & Skin Oil to keep her curls bouncy and shiny. Once a week she applies a hair mask: ‘It’s a concoction that I make myself. I use olive oil, egg yolk (2 eggs) and honey. I mix these together, apply it in my hair and rinse after 30 minutes. It’s great!’
Summer Carnaval Street Parade
Saturday July 19, from 13:00 pm
Rotterdam City Center
I’m still in the Netherlands visiting my family, so I’m for sure going to watch! Wishing Olivia, Cabo Verde Chegou, all the other participants and visitors tons of fun! Don’t forget the wear sunscreen.
Source photos: Pim Photopim Paparazzi, MSB Photography, LongJong Photography