29 January 2010

New Years Beauty Resolutions

It's coming up to the end of January and I thought I would recap on my New Years resolutions and give you an update on how I'm doing!

1. Start Pilates - Had my first class yesterday, used muscles I never knew existed, now muscles I never knew existed ache...

2. Drink more water - Well I have upped my tea intake from 2 to 5 cups a day ... does that count?

3. Eat more seasonal foods - Accidentally bought some kiwis from South Africa the other day. Whoops. And my favourite place for lunch in Soho? Patisserie Valerie. Not a good start...

4. Start walking more - Not great when the likes of ASOS start bringing these beauties out...

5. Start expanding my colour palette from black and black and yet more black ... - Again, ASOS has got me hooked. Is it just me or are they bringing in a whole host of fabulous up-and-coming labels? This Beyond The Valley kimono jacket is just my cup of tea...

6. Spend less money on facials and more time on DIY skincare - I assessed the damage from facials last year and it was not a pretty sight. This time, for gleaming skin I am going to pick up some home facial packs, scented candles and put aside some me-time to chill. ASOS [again! Ah!] have got some fabulous bath and body brands such as the uber-luxe Elemis, eco-friendly Green & Spring and beautifully packaged and amusingly named products from Cowshed. If you haven't tried this brand yet, do it!! No excuses if you live in London as their fabulous shop/spa near Carnaby Street is just fabulous.

7. Expore alternative alter egos - Definite check against this one! Last weekend I was inspired by Cruella deVil with my silver Birthday Lashes, Eye Liner Cake in Mislead and plenty of Powder blusher in Intrigue to whiten up my face. This weekend it's IMATs and I am considering channeling Beyonce's look in her Kitty Kat video... we shall see!

ASOS THEO Suede Ruched Peep Toe Shoe Boot £40

Karen Millen Leopard Print Peep Toe Shoe Boot £150

Beyond The Valley Mountain View Silk Kimono £200 Cowshed Products from £8 Elemis products from £12 Green & Spring products from £10

Beauty Theatre at Trafford Centre 1st February

I have been to Oxford St in the run up to Christmas and that, I can tell you, is not why shopping was invented!! The Trafford Centre in Manchester, however, is one of those places that make shopping a pleasure. The team at the Trafford Centre also know how to put on a show! Next week [1-7th February] will be a flurry of activity as they launch their annual Beauty Theatre! Illamasqua will be taking to the main stage on Monday 1st February to showcase products and techniques with Krystal Clayton, one of our most talented make-up artists. If you are free next week, I highly urge you to make a visit...

We will be holding demonstrations at 2pm, 4pm, 6pm and 8pm on Monday using the beautiful model from the Professional Selection No1 Kit tutorial on Youtube.

Call the counter on 0161 629 1187 for a place; tickets cost £20 and not only are they redeemable against purchases made on the day but you will also recieve a complimentary Medium Pencil in 'Sophie' - our best selling black liner worth £12 - and a S.O.P.H.I.E wristband. £5 from every ticket will go directly to the Sophie Lancaster Foundation. Each presentation will focus on key tips and tricks on theatrical, dare to be different make-up looks. Come along and be inspired!

As well as the beauty activity, there will be style consultations, colour analysis workshops and plenty of competitions and giveaways from a variety of brands.

The Beauty Theatre events will be located on upper Regent Crescent, elegantly dressed by the Royal Exchange Theatre.

28 January 2010

Interview With An Editor: Part I

I am going to be interviewing some beauty editors from sub-culture magazines over the next few months to celebrate alternative beauty and incredible creativity with make-up. Illamasqua was built on the principle of being true to yourself, awakening your alter ego and enjoying the art and creativity that Illamasqua make-up gives you - Alex Box and Julian Kynaston's own relationships with the Goth and Punk scenes cement this fundamental idea.

First up is Acid PopTart, the fashion editor from Gothic Beauty.

Alex: When did you join Gothic Beauty? How involved are you with the Goth scene?

Acid PopTart: I came on board of Gothic Beauty a few years after 2000. I had launched my own magazine called FLICK around the same time. My reasons for that were to start showcasing the immense amount of alternative talent and celebrating the scene, which is some of the reasons Gothic Beauty was started as well. My modeling and writing was taking up so much of my time (I was even modeling for the first issues of Gothic Beauty), that I closed the doors on my own publication so I could focus on my other projects.

Through fan letters I know a lot of our audience really enjoys a magazine that's more suited to their tastes. In a lot of the work I do for Gothic Beauty, I like to expose different sides of the scene from punk to goth and all the tiny sub genres that splintered off from the sub culture. I was a young and impressionable lass when the scene hit fresh and hard, my best mate was from England so I got a lot of exposure for music from her and I became a DJ (which is where Acid PopTart comes from) and was just living this awesome underground scene which I still do. Gothic Beauty is a way to express that still; to celebrate it.
Alex: Why are you a big fan of Illamasqua? What is it about the core beliefs and values of the brand that appeal to you?

Acid PopTart: For me, I've always lived my life with no regrets. As my fame grew, I met a lot who wanted to change me, or were just outright jealous. Critics will hit you where they think it hurts and eventually I ended up with a tag line, "Here, without apologies". It became my mantra because I had been through so much that people were going to have to accept it and move on. If I didn't back down from skinheads who were bashing my skull into a brick wall or don't apologize to family for who I am, why would I back down from critics and apologize to strangers?

Illamasqua, as strange as it may seem that a company actually has soul, spoke to me on the same level. When I got to interview you all, I saw how rooted you were in the almost uncatchable moments of life, driven by passion not by greed. I saw a fearlessness to never back down and I loved the independent spirit Illamasqua possessed. Your products are the same way, bold and fearless. It was a like a brand made for me and my attitude! I love how art becomes make up, and make up becomes art. How you continue to take it to the next level, so many are afraid to go beyond basic black eyeliner and powdered skin. Illamasqua celebrates the numerous faces and alter egos that lurk inside and for someone like me with multiple personalities, that works out fabulous!

Alex: As a champion of alternative beauty, who is your ultimate icon? Whose alternative style do you admire and why?

Acid PopTart: Oooh, that is a tough one. Anyone really who isn't afraid of going balls out with no regrets. I love over the top and dramatic from Thierry Mugler and Alexander McQueen's designs to the classic Siouxsie Sioux and ever changing Nina Hagen and fearless Wendy O, and I loved the dark glam goodness of Pete Burns back in the 80's and 90's. And regardless if this makes me lose my "goth card" but I respect Lady Gaga for going for the gold and doing her thing. But I probably see more style and looks in movies (and my drive to be a filmmaker) and love the atmospheres created from the silent films and edgy classics like Metropolis, stylized visions like Sin City and the dark whimsical worlds of Tim Burton.

Alex: What are your favourite beauty products and why?

Acid PopTart: Illamasqua has such a wide array of blushes... and as I've learned from modeling and working with make up artists, contouring is one of the most overlooked things in a look. I love that Illamasqua went with what would be consider some rather "dangerous" choices in colours and it's that fearlessness to do something like that. The boldness of the colour selections in not just the blushes but lipsticks as well, all of it is so atypical, and I love it! All the products are so versatile as well. I'm so pleased with the durability and silkiness of the pencils. Illamasqua also puts out some of the best fake lashes, and I'm dying over the decadence of your birthday celebration lashes which are just gorgeous...

I think I recognise those False Eye Lashes!

Bloomingdales in Dubai - Launch Date 1st Feb!

Dubai - a shopper's paradise and fast growing affluent market place full of seven star hotels and state-of-the-art shopping centres. The iconic Bloomingdale's will be the first store outside of the UK, Ireland and US to retail Illamasqua. The strong imagery and intense colours have created a stir amongst the glitterati of Dubai and we are pleased to announce that we launch here on 1st February.

27 January 2010

Have you Joined Our Facebook Fanclub?!

To celebrate reaching 5,000 facebook fans we are going to be having a very special giveaway of a selection of products worth over £60!

To win this prize, just leave us a comment below this post to tell us who your alter ego is! We will then pick a comment at random and be in contact to send you your fabulous prize.

First, though... we actually need to hit 5,000 fans first, so invite your friends, colleagues and other beauty nuts you can think of and we can celebrate!!

Search Illamasqua to find our official fan page.

*The competition is open internationally and one entry per person.*

Once we hit 5000 fans we will choose the winner!


Make-Up Artist magazine produces the International Make-Up Artist Trade Show (or IMATS), and on the 30th and 31st January it will be time for IMATS to hit London! The anticipation has reached fever pitch in the bloggersphere from what I can see - and I am just as excited.

IMATS have been chasing us to appear at the event for some time - we finally agreed about 3 weeks ago and poor Spob [Head of Professional Development] has been slaving away getting everything organised - and there is a lot to organise, but we do love a challenge!

As I am sure you all know, Alex Box will be speaking around 2:30pm on the Saturday. I will be going along on Saturday to help out and to meet some bloggers, so if you want to grab a coffee let me know and I'm sure I can fit in some time to see you! Especially you guys I haven't met before :-)

I will also be doing some filming so come along and give us your views!

As well as the speakers, I am looking forward to the makeup museum that I have heard whispers about, as well as the contests featuring make-up students. If you are a student or a teacher from a make-up college, we have developed an Illamasqua Academy that will come to your college to discuss Illamasqua, the products, some tips and tricks as well as the chance to meet some top theatre, film and fashion make-up artists. Drop an email to info@illamasqua.com if you would like to speak with Spob further on this. She will also be at IMATS so come along and have a chat with us.

26 January 2010

Body Electrics: Quick Update

The shortlist of images has been decided on [Kate, Alex, Warren and Nick being the key guys to do this] and are now currently adorning the walls of Kate's desk! I am just staring in wonder at them at the moment. Just gorgeous and so, so unique. I can't wait until these images hit the world wide web...

Breaking News!! Joe Corre Joins Illamasqua...

Avant-garde, beautiful, daring, creative, explosive, inspirational, provocative. Words that you may well relate to Illamasqua.

At Illamasqua, we also relate them to Agent Provocateur, one of the world’s leading underwear brands. Agent Provocateur has always been a brand that we have been inspired by – unique, quality, luxury pieces, cutting-edge advertising, evocative, controversial and boundary-pushing campaigns. Who can forget the Kylie Minogue bull riding film or the orgiastic passion of the collections starring the voluptuous figures of Alice Dellal, Helena Christensen, Kate Moss, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley to name but a few?

You can imagine how thrilled I am, then, to announce that Joe Corre - co founder of Agent Provacateur and son of the British fashion icon Dame Vivienne Westwood - has become a formal shareholder at Illamasqua! He also owns the explosive menswear label A Child Of The Jago - you may remember that we provided the looks for his brooding models at London Fashion Week in September.

I am so excited to work alongside such a genuine legend [did you know he turned down an MBE from Tony Blair?!] and to help us look in to launching our own stand-alone stores!

Joe tells me that Illamasqua is “a British brand like no other! The heritage of [Illamasqua’s] products and formulation show that [Illamasqua] are the only colour cosmetic brand in the prestige market that can truly claim the word 'professional'. Born from visionary, passionate energy, which it exudes from every pore, Illamasqua celebrates the fundamental human desire for individual self expression. It is therefore a brand which transcends all boundaries. I am extremely excited to be on board and helping to make it a brand to be seriously reckoned with”.

Julian Kynaston, founder of Illamasqua, tells me “We know that we have turned many heads since we opened our first counter in Selfridges Oxford St back in November 08. To have turned Joe’s to the point where he really wanted to invest and become a part of the team however is an achievement and one I am very excited about.”

25 January 2010

Love For Lashes

Some might say that false lashes are enjoying a renaissance, but to me they never went away! I love the instant drama and alluring appeal of a set of false lashes and the market is simply flooded with lashes for every type of alter ego!

It seems that celebrities are experimenting with the effects of different types of lashes, too.

Evan Rachel Wood [always flawless] has gone for a Wide Eyed lash. Try False Eye Lashes 08 for a similar look - these are all about length, length, length!

Dita Von Teese loves the kitten-esque lashes that give her eyes width and emphasise the heavy liquid liner. Try False Eye Lashes 13 for this 1940s look.

Not only are the cool kids wearing them on the traditional top lash line, but bottom, eye brows - even off-centre. At Illamasqua we have been championing unique lashes since we launched and have steadily built on our lash offering every season. From the doe- eyed 20s with the Sirens SS09 collection to the colourful mix of 22,23 and 24 our lashes are unique to us.

I particularly love 21s as they feel comfortably heavy on the eye lids, giving you a Marilyn Monroe-look [or so I like to think!] Megan Fox has some similar ones on...

The new Body Electrics collection will also come with a new set of lashes. These actually drew a gasp from me when I first saw them as I have honestly seen nothing like them...!

Francesco Personal Appearance at Cardiff Thursday 28th and Friday 29th January

A ten-year veteran of the beauty industry, Francesco began his studies at the internationally renowned London College of Fashion, where he studied makeup artistry. He then received a degree in theatrical and special effects makeup from Ealing Hammersmith & West London College after mastering such as prosthetic work and creating cuts and bruises. Upon the completion of his formal training, he began working professionally as a freelance makeup artist, lending his creative skills and expertise to the MTV Music Awards, Party in the Park Concert Series and the BBC.

He was also part of the makeup team for the Academy Awarded nominated film, Billy Elliot.

Francesco has also worked with the likes of Kate Moss, Christy Turlington, Isabella Blow, Eva Herzigova and Destiny's Child as well as working under the legendary Pat McGrath at London Fashion Week for shows such as Fendi, Alexander McQueen, MaxMara and Alessandro Dell'Acqua.

He has also worked with an impressive amount of publications such as Vogue Italia, Vogue Espana, Italian Marie Claire and You magazine.

As an artist, Francesco acts as a liaison between the high fashion and consumer worlds. His immense talent and experience enables him to understand and exemplify all that makes Illamasqua truly unique, and his technique and understanding of this brand trademark style make him an integral part of the team. To book in with him at Debenhams cardiff, call
0292 034 2278

24 January 2010

Whoosh! Femme Party At Shoreditch House

Shoreditch House - the one stop exclusive members club in East London that has a roof top pool, fabulous restaurant, Cowshed spa and bowling area [affectionately known as the biscuit tin] where on Sunday 17th January, Illamasqua National Make-up Artists Mika and Adam set up a station to create some funky looks at the party thrown by legendary DJ Jodie Harsh and cult diva [and host of Gay Bingo - one of the funniest nights I have ever attended] Johnny Woo.

Adam bought his alter ego Medusa out to play, with radical hair and full on gothic lip. Mika went for a gothic porcelain doll look with his staple navy blue lip. This, I am told, will be the Autumn Winter 2010 lip colour! You heard it here first!

I also grabbed a quick chat with Jodie who told me all about her fabulous wigs. Apparently, she only ever keep two at a time [I was surprised by this - I thought she would have a whole dressing room dedicated to them!] but they are imported from Las Vegas every few weeks!

The photos are courtesy of Kenny Campbell at KCTV.

22 January 2010

Directors Cut: Glasgow

A new series, Directors Cut will showcase looks that our teams on the Illamasqua counters have been conjuring up! Every week, the teams submit an image to us and the best one will have pride of place on the Illamasqua blog.

This week's winners were the team up at Debenhams Glasgow. Alan tells me more...

"We were inspired by the porcelain doll picture from Alex Box's book, but we gave it a more wearable spin. Megan [brunette] went for deep reds and wines for her look. She also cut up False Eye Lashes No2 to fit her lash line and wore these both on top and bottom lash lines."

"Aileen [blonde] used the False Eye Lashes No10 on the underneath of her eye and contrasted a shimmering pale eye with rosy cheeks and an interesting mix of Medium Pencil in 'Obscene' and Lipstick in 'Box'."

"I went my favourite False Eye Lashes No14 with a mix of Powder Eye Shadow's in Bronx and Tangle to contour my eyes and a splash of Lipstick in Avenge for a bold mouth. I finished with a vibrant mix of Powder Blushers in 'Excite' and 'Thrust'."

20 January 2010

Pastel Nails: Get on the Waiting List!

From tomorrow [Wednesday 21st January] Illamasqua will take over an extra site at Selfridges Oxford St to showcase the highly anticipated Pastel Nail Varnishes.

Due to phenomenal demand both online and in store, we have had to come up with a waiting list that is debuting at Selfridges Oxford St from tomorrow. To pre-order the bang-on-trend Nudge, Wink, Caress and Blow, just come along to the site between now and Thursday to sign up.

These colours will be launching online and in store from March and we predict a sell out.

Nicola Chapman [one half of Pixiwoo and fashionface.tv] will also be on the site from tomorrow. If you want your make-up done by one of the most talented make-up artists I have ever had the pleasure to meet, book in by calling 0207 318 3114. £20 redeemable against purchases made on the day.