We chatted with Christina Kassi, a marketing director, and self-taught digital content creator. She shares her journey with beauty, gives advice on putting your ego aside, and shares the importance of listening to yourself.
I’m located in Houston, Texas but I was born and raised in Athens, Greece. I studied Visual Communications and Digital Media. I started working when I was 17 in customer service and then jumped into marketing back in Greece. When I moved to the US I had to work to pay for school and bills, so I was working as a Gallery Assistant before I ended up at my current job. Currently, I work full time for a local event planning and catering company as the Marketing Director. I also freelance as a Digital Content Creator and Photographer. I work with brands to amplify their message to my audience or create visuals for them to use in their socials or advertising platforms.
When I was growing up, I never bothered with makeup, but I was always obsessed with fragrance. That was my first connection with beauty. I was obsessed with high fashion as a young adult.But when I turned 21 and started experiencing hormonal acne I quickly turned to skincare and makeup to target and hide my acne. In the beginning, it was most important to me to hide my acne, so I invested a lot of time and money in finding and applying the best makeup. Only a few years ago I realized I did not wish to hide my skin anymore, I wanted it to thrive without makeup. So I started to dive into skincare with the intent to educate myself, learn how ingredients work, and their effect on the epidermis. As soon as I discovered Biologique Recherche, I knew I had found my match.
I was taught some principles on Photography during a class in college, but I had picked up photography long before that. I started shooting film when I was around 18 and quickly invested in a digital SLR when I was 20. I experimented with photography for the longest time and picked up different cameras along the way. It wasn’t until my partner introduced me to video that I got into cinematography. He helps with more complex projects that need a lot of sequences and a storyline. I mostly direct the creative and the story. I film and edit most of my Youtube videos but I don’t consider that cinematography although they do take quite a bit of effort nonetheless. I am mostly self-taught, meaning I didn’t go to school to learn these skills, but I have watched endless videos, read books and articles on these subjects. I’m still learning something new every time I shoot!
Since I’m currently working from home, it vastly differs from when I do go to the office! A typical workday in quarantine begins after I’ve worked out and had my smoothie. I check emails, get an overview of the week’s to-do list, start prioritizing, and get working on projects that have upcoming deadlines. I like to work on one thing at a time so that I don’t miss out on details and avoid jumping from project to project. I probably have one or two meetings during the week, so those are never a big part of my day while working from home. I wrap up everything for the day late afternoon, and I turn to create, post and schedule content for my socials. I don’t shoot every day, but I try to allow myself a couple of hours to see if I feel inspired to shoot anything, whether it’s creating a makeup look or putting together a little vignette on my vanity with my favorite things. If it happens, great! If not, I don’t force it and I move on to make dinner or read a book!
Vres to fos is my little inspiration account, I mostly post what I find inspiring on Tumblr or Pinterest or things that may generate emotion. It’s more of a personal project rather than for an audience. My @christina.kassi account started as Défilé de Beauté and was entirely beauty focused. My overall goal was to use photography to capture beauty products as a means of creative expression and escape. They were little beauty product portraits and very glamorized. The theme was always very luxurious and glossy. I wanted to humanize the page and share my personal experience as well as share more about me. So I continue to post about beauty, but I introduced myself and more lifestyle content when I switched to @christina.kassi. I kept @beaute.defile as a secondary account to strictly share individual product reviews.
Say no. You don’t have to take on everything. Stay true to your values and your time will come. I understand sometimes you want to say yes to feel like you’re being productive or because you feel like it’s an opportunity missed, but it is so much more worth it to only say yes to the things you truly want to do or your gut feeling tells you to do. That one is big for me! I see too many people saying yes to pretty much everything that comes their way and then they either burn out or are straight up unhappy with their work output.
Since I get most of my jobs through my Instagram account, brands will almost always use their product as a form of payment. That’s the single most challenging thing for me, and others in the industry. Because pretty much anyone can offer their page as advertising, brands are quick to assume creators will accept product as a form of payment. That’s definitely not the case when there’s so much work that goes into every sponsorship, photoshoot or piece of work no matter what it is. When I work with brands who exclusively reach out to me for photography or cinematography they are prepared to pay because they know they would have to pay someone for that service. However, a lot of them still don’t see the value in what I am offering. Either the contact reaching out has no knowledge of the amount of equipment, skill, or creative ability that goes into this kind of work or they just don’t value this work in general.
I find self-care and wellness completely unique to the individual. What I consider to be self-care and wellness is completely different from what you consider it to be for yourself. My tip would be to self-reflect, self-analyze, and be self-aware. Own your mistakes, hold yourself accountable, and allow yourself to grow. Putting my ego aside has been one of the most beneficial things for my well-being. My ego causes me an endless amount of stress. And stress is the worst silent killer in our bodies. In addition to that, I consider wellness for women to be much dependent on hormonal balance. I’ve been working on my Cycle Syncing the past 3-ish years with incredible results and changes for my body!
Films, music, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr, books and art all inspire me. It’s everywhere and everything! Lately, I’ve been very into Philosophy, particularly philosophers who studied and expanded upon ancient Greece. I’m stuck on the work of Cornelius Castoriadis, particularly his book ‘The Imaginary Institution of Society’. It’s one of the most original works of our time, and I think the concepts explained are speaking to how we need to work today to shatter every single institution in place to create something bigger and better for ourselves, and most importantly for our home, the environment.
I would be a Gin and Tonic because it’s timeless and straight-forward.