28 February 2010

Hervia Bazaar Store Launch

Hervia Bazaar is a new luxury fashion boutique for women and men and is set to be the new go-to for quality, luxurious pieces by cult designers such as Henry Holland, Hannah Martin, A Child of the Jago and Michael Lewis. The theme was 1930s opulence and the models [made up by Selfridges Trafford artists Lucy and Philip] swanned about the party in fabulous retro outfits.

The boutique is located in Spring Garden and was attended by the likes of Henry Holland, fresh from presenting the Elle Style Awards and wearing some rather dapper studded boots.

Barnzley and Joe Corre took a break from putting the finishing touches to their Autumn Winter 2010 collection...

Philip adds the finishing touches to a models make-up...

The new Rat Pack!

Love Never Dies Sponsorship

When I was younger, my parents used to take me on an annual trip up to London to see a different theatre show for my birthday. I used to look forward to these shows so much and I would always guess as to what they were going to take me to see. Like many people, I'm sure, who started going to the theatre from a young age, the excitement and anticipation I felt was second to none. Among the fabulous shows I have seen are Oliver!, Whistle down the Wind, Joseph and his Tecnicolour Dreamcoat, Lion King, Grease, Cats and Les Miserables. But the first one I ever saw, and the one that captured my heart and imagination the most was Phantom of the Opera when I was 10 years old.

I could wax lyrical about this incredible show for ever, but you can probably start to gauge my reaction when I heard about the sequel being put in to production - Love Never Dies.

As if my excitement hadn't reached fever pitch already, I heard last week that Illamasqua had secured the exclusive make-up brush sponsorship of the show! I am beyond excited by this and once I get a copy of the program with our logo on I'll scan it and boast [sorry, post...!] about it :-)

Love Never Dies is on at the Adelphi Theatre in London - which is apparently haunted by the ghost of an actor who was murdered outside the stage door...

26 February 2010

A Child Of The Jago AW10 show - The Fallout

Wednesday 24th February saw the close of London Fashion Week and the last of the Autumn Winter shows from British soil! The official final show was A Child of the Jago, the menswear label from Joe Corre and Simon 'Barnzley' Armitage.

With front row guests including Vivienne Westwood and Janet Jackson, this was one of the hottest tickets in town and the show did not disappoint.

Illamasqua's art team consisted of Lucie, Helen and Francesco [Helen worked on the Spring Summer 2010 A Child of the Jago show] and with the variety of clothes and themes from the designers, it made for an interesting mix of make-up looks; from clean-cut libertines to Gangs of New York-inspired grit and grime and Victoriana highwaymen.

The historical references were as rich as the velvet jackets and the social spectrum of the characters represented created a feeling of free artistic licence - which we at Illamasqua obviously celebrate!

As you may be aware, the brand's HQ is located above ours in East London, so it's been fascinating for me to sneak up there now and again to watch them put the finishing touches to their clothes. As I was making my way to the show [I got some great backstage footage, so look out for a video to be uploaded to Youtube soon!] I saw Barnzley [co-owner of the brand] packing a van with the pieces from the collection, so I squeezed in with them to the show and managed to introduce myself. He is a real character and absolutely embodies the aura of the brand which is really inspiring. He told me all about his colourful life and also mentioned he is up for wearing make-up, so I will try and get some pics up if he comes good!

23 February 2010

Dreamt By You, Created By Us, Worn By The World...

Wow, the amount of entries that I have already seen is quite phenomenal so thanks to all of you who are entering!

I have seen some wonderfully inspired entries from the colour of the Miami skuline at night, a melon sorbet that an entrant took a photo of when on holiday in the Maldives [jealous...], a deep sea fish scales, the gleaming ruby of a brand new engagement ring [congrats to that person!] to the purple rinse of someone's granny...!

So would you like to know how to get involved with this really exciting project, then read on! The competition is global so whether you are based in London or Lisbon, Manchester or Mumbai, Canada or Canary Islands - get your thinking caps on and you could be in with the chance to make your dream colour a reality... perhaps it will grace the pages of Vogue, be seen on the nails of a celebrity, become a best selling Nail Varnish adored by the best and biggest blogs...

The Concept

We are asking finger fetishists the world over to submit a description of their dream Nail Varnish colour for their chance to make it a reality...

Run in conjunction with luxury retailer Selfridges, this incredible competition is giving Nail Varnish fans the world over the opportunity to push their imaginative boundaries further than ever before and design their very own perfect shade.

How to Enter

Entrants must explain in no more than 50 words what inspired their unique choice, and provide an image or photograph to illustrate their big idea.

The Prize

Two winners will see their dream colour created and sold exclusively at Illamasqua.com and Selfridges in London, Manchester Trafford and Birmingham Bullring from October 2010. In addition, they'll receive a bottle of their winning colour before anyone else!

The Judges

The winning entries will be selected by a high-profile judging panel consisting of legendary make-up artist and Creative Director of Illamasqua, Alex Box, nail artist to the stars Sophy Robson, Selfridges Beauty and Menswear Director David Walker-Smith and Youtube sensations Pixiwoo!
The Rules

In 50 words of less submit a description of your dream colours and the thinking behind it - please include pictures to illustrate your inspiration if possible. This can be any image, not neccessarily taken by you! If you don't have copyright, don't worry - it will only be seen by us!

Entries must be submitted by 14th March 2010. You can enter in one of the following three ways:

via email - competition@illamasqua.com

via blog post - email the link to competition@illamasqua.com
via mail -

Nail Competition
c/o Illamasqua
6-8 Amwell St

Good luck! Only one entry per person - competition open to entrants globally.

So... what would MY entry be?

I absolutely love art and painting - you are as likely to catch me in the National Gallery as anywhere else - and my favourite painting ever is by George Stubbs; a painting of a racehorse called Whistlejacket. It is very dear to my heart as I painted it for my A Level art course, so I would choose the gorgeous flaxen tail colour of the painting for my dream Nail Varnish colour! That cross between golden chestnut with a pearl finish I think would make a great Nail Varnish...

22 February 2010

The Big Move

I will miss Soho. I will miss the mixture of hippy media types, the sharp suits of the advertising execs, the alternative fashion of the Old Compton Street regulars, the grungy glam of the Soho House regulars, the hordes of international tourists -stopping for no apparent reason right in front of you so you end up tripping over their bulky rucksacks and chucking your Pret a Manger coffee all down your front - and the odd celebrity [Jude Law, Keira Knightley, Robbie Williams and Gary Oldman have all been spotted by various members of our team]

I will miss the daily excursion of the local hare krishnas as they sing and chant up Charing Cross Road...

I will miss stepping on to the street outside our office and immediately getting accosted by a tourist as to the direction of Leicester Square/ China Town/ McDonalds...

I will miss wondering why on earth people would eat their dinner in the Scotch Steak House when just beyond them on Dean Street, Frith Street, Wardour and Greek Street lie some of the most celebrated eateries in London...

I will miss admiring the kooky fashion of the students from Central St Martins next door, who will always wear ripped denim shorts and a flimsy Alexander Wang crop top no matter what the weather...

I will miss my very messy desk [and also miss my former boss yelling at me about it!] ...

The team spent most of last week packing everything up ready to move. Halimah and I found a great moodboard of the original concept for Sirens. This was our first ever collection, for Spring Summer 2009 and was created in association with the artists on our Selfridges London counter.

So, it's onwards and upwards in terms of actual office. We now have the most fabulous office. It has a bright pink wall [a source of hot debate between the male and female members of the Illamasqua team] and huge images of our past and future collections.

We also have the old counter build from Selfridges London...

... and a fabulous area for the Product Development team.

House of Blue Eyes - AW1011

Phew! What with the new office move to a lovely old building near Exmouth Market to the support we have been providing to the likes of House of Blue Eyes, Casette Playa and A Child of the Jago I have been a bit slow in updating the blog!

Here is a snippet of the make-up created by Alex Box and her team at the House of Blue Eyes and a photo of myself with Johnny Blue Eyes, the Creative Director of the brand. I have plenty of footage from the show [and backstage!] that I will be editing over the course of the week so keep an eye on our Youtube page. . .

I will also be doing a full write up here later in the week!

18 February 2010

Pixiwoo Counter Tour - Cardiff

We are delighted to announce that the Youtube sensations Pixiwoo will be visiting our Debenhams Cardiff counter on 18th and 19th March for one on one tutorials at the Illamasqua counter.

If you have ever wanted to speak with Sam about foundation matching, or Nicola about shading and contouring or any other questions that you have always wanted to discuss with them then now is your chance!

You will also receive a signed personalised face chart with all the products used in your tutorials as a keep sake.

To book, call the Cardiff counter on 0292 034 2278. Lessons are one hour long and £100 redeemable on all product purchases made on the day. You will need to pay a deposit of £25 to hold the place as these will be booking up fast!

17 February 2010

London Fashion Week AW10/11

I think it's clear that this London Fashion Week is going to be very different to six months ago. As the fashion world comes to terms with the loss of Alexander McQueen, I am sure there will be a sombre feel in the air.

The Week officially kicks off on Friday 19th February and runs through until Wednesday 24th February.

So, how are we getting involved? Well, it is of course with brands that are a little bit alternative, a little bit cheeky and love to embrace make-up as a core part of their collection.

One place where bright, brash and carefree fashion will be taking place is at the House of Blue Eyes. You may remember our involvement with Johnny Blue Eyes and his design team for SS10 last September.

The futuristic gilded Egyptian Queen look was the vision and complimented the exuberant, optimistic outfits. Last Friday, Alex Box, her lovely assistant Suzy and I went to meet with Johnny to discuss this season's theme and ideals. The show is on Saturday and promises to be great fun - Johnny knows how to throw a party!

The second show we are collaborating with is A Child of a Jago, the menswear label by Joe Corre and Simon Armitage. The SS10 show was at the wonderfully evocative and quirky Wilton's Music Hall in EC1. This year, the show will be back in East London on Wednesday 24th February. Our national make-up artist Francesco will be heading up the team of artists for the 15 male models and 2 female models that will be parading the latest collection from the eclectic label.

Finally, we will be working with Carri Munden and her Cassette Playa label. The street influenced brand has been rocked by the likes of M.I.A, Dizzee Rascal and The Klaxons.

Carri describes the brand as "techno, primal, positive, tribal." I have a real love of 90s influenced street style myself, so I am interested to meet Carri this afternoon to discuss the collection and the looks that our National Make-up Artist Adam will be creating for the show on Sunday 21st February.

In other news, we move in to our new offices on Monday! So excited, I am going to be first in on Monday morning to bag the best desk :-)

Our new address is:

6-8 Amwell Street,

16 February 2010

Courtney Loves The Sophie Lancaster Foundation

For all those in the UK, you may have caught Courtney Love on the Jonathan Ross show last Friday. And perhaps the eagle eyed amongst you may have noticed she was wearing the S.O.P.H.I.E bracelet.

I'll admit, I didn't but my sharp eyed flat mate did! I did a screen grab for you from a Youtube clip of her appearance.

Alex Box created the look on Courtney Love for the Jonathan Ross show using Illamasqua products including Powder Eye Shadow in 'Savage', 'Maybe' and 'Courtesan' as well Cream Blusher in 'Rude' and Medium Pencil in 'Vow' all over the lip with a slick of Sheer Lipgloss in 'Brilliant' on top.

Courtney is currently in the UK promoting the reformation of her band Hole and brand new album. If the track Samantha is anything to go by, it's going to be pretty good! The band will also be playing at the 02 Shepard's Bush Empire on Wednesday 17th February and be selling S.O.P.H.I.E bracelets with all proceeds going to the Sophie Lancaster Foundation.

12 February 2010

Kate Massarella's Parting Note...

Kate Massarella, Brand Director of Illamasqua, has sadly left us to go travelling around South America. She emailed me this, and I thought I would share it with you. [somebody pass me the tissues...]

Today is my last day so the time has come to say goodbye to all of you lovely people. The past 3 years have been a rollercoaster ride - lots of laughs and lots of emotion. I still can't quite believe how far we have come in such a short space of time - I am so proud of what we have created.

I have so many great memories - sitting in a small room for days on end with Alex Box and piles of make-up; day-long brainstorming sessions with Julian; Carl and I presenting the brand to the retailers and getting the first taste of just how successful Illamasqua could be; naming the products (sphincter pink never did make it did it Alex!); the Selfridges London launch when we got the counter ready with seconds to go before the doors opened; launching in New York, the amazing press response; becoming delirious after working too late and eating too many cupcakes with Katie and Alex - too many to mention!

I feel so lucky to have worked with such an amazing group of people - from the head office team, to our amazing make-up artists, our manufacturers, the photographers and stylists who have helped to create our stunning collection images, and the most passionate and inspiring customers a brand could ever wish for.

You are an amazing group of people and it has been a joy to work with you. Illamasqua is the success it is because of you. Long may it continue to grow and develop. Keep spreading the word that it is good to be different and don't listen to anyone who tries to make you conform.

Illamazza x

Please click here for the official Illamasqua word on the passing of the much-loved British fashion icon, Alexander McQueen.

11 February 2010

Valentines Day At Selfridges...

Selfridges Trafford, Selfridges London and Selfridges Birmingham will all be hosting some fabulous Illamasqua theatre this coming Saturday 13th February.

For one day only [and between the hours of 12 and 6pm] we will have our top artists on counter creating some vivid and glam body art on some gorgeous male models. Those of you who are fans of Illamasqua on facebook may re call the voting procedure!

Using the classic Eye Liner Cake and Sealing Gel combinations to create some fabulous water resistant tattoos, our artists will be on hand to show off their calligraphy skills. Perhaps you would like to have a Valentine's message painted on for your loved one? Just come down to the counter and get artistic...

We will be giving away an exclusive Coco de Mer blindfold with every purchase of Eye Liner Cake and Sealing Gel.

Valentines Day At Illamasqua...

Tonight you're going to make a scene! You're going to take off your inhibitions, you're going to let go...

You're going to provoke...

You won't be the one standing quietly in the corner of the room...

you won't be the one leaving early...

You won't be the one playing by the rules...

For one night, you are going to be the person in your head...

You will be confident...



You will be the conversation...

Experience Dark Love...

Valentines Day... The Illamasqua way...

10 February 2010

Celeb Spot in Cardiff

Bonnie Tyler, the 80s singing legend, paid the Debenhams Cardiff Illamasqua counter a visit last week! The singer of such classics as 'Total Eclipse of the Heart' and 'Holding out for a Hero' is show here with the Cardiff team and Mika from Selfridges London.

According to the team she was absolutely lovely and she picked up the Medium Pencil in 'Sophie'. the Pink Smoke Dystopia Palette and a bright Lipstick!

Illamasqua Collection - Spring Time!

You wouldn't know it living in London right now, but Spring is on it's way! So, what do we have lined up for you at Illamasqua?

Well, firstly the Pastel Nail Varnish Collection is due to land in stores at the beginning of March. Waiting lists are heaving and the Ops team at Illamasqua have predicted they will land on counters/ online and fly straight out again - so call your local counter, or sign up for a notification email if you haven't already.

Illamasqua's Spring 2010 collection Body Electrics is due to launched in April, so not long now...!

I will be interviewing some of the creatives behind the collection and the shoot and bringing them to you as we lead up to launch date!

09 February 2010

Illamasqua Loves... Lucy Gibson Make-up Artist

One of the things that I love about working at Illamasqua is hearing about all the shoots and shows that our artists have worked on. One of the hardest working freelancers I have met is Lucy Gibson. I frequently receive texts from her about who she is working with and where they are working - for instance, recently she has worked on diverse shoots such as the come-back video of Bananarama, Agent Provocateur's latest shoot and a SHOWStudio shoot with Nick Knight amongst many, many others.

So, I thought I would showcase some of Lucy's work right here for you all to see. I took inspiration from the berry lip girl today - I have layered on Medium Pencil in 'Severe' to match my new burgundy coat [I say new; my pregnant friend gave it to me... she can't fit in it anymore, what a shame!] - and Lucy has given me a breakdown of the look below...

"The berry lip girl is wearing Satin Primer (which I use for almost all shoots!) and a little light foundation, with a touch of Cream Blusher in 'Dixie' low on the apples of the cheek for a tomboyish, wind-kissed look. To open the eyes I added Medium Pencil in 'Vow' on the waterline and clear mascara to Alison's fantastic lashes. The lips that go so well with the model's gorgeous fair complexion were made up of a base of Lipstick in 'Poison' finished with a slick of Intense Lipgloss in my favourite shade; 'Repulse'."

"This was a shot from work I regularly do with Nevs model agency and the fantastic photographer Lee Mofo, who's recent clients include Firetrap, FrostFrench and 28twelve. We hold shoot days for the agency at my warehouse studio and often shoot up to 8 girls a day, so it's important to create strong, camera ready looks with minimal time and product. Illamasqua's huge colour pay-off and great range of shades makes my job a lot easier, and needless to say my male flatmates never complain about having a house full of gorgeous models!"

"The dark, smoky eye was created for a Shoreditch clothing label called Blank, shot in the City with the fantastic Odi Caspi. Despite dodging heavy downpours of rain and having to adopt a somewhat guerilla approach to shooting to avoid the hoardes of rather unfriendly security guards, we managed to get some fantastic shots on the day!"

"Our stunning model Ashley had incredible blue eyes with a great fierce stare that I wanted to accentuate, so taking inspiration from the runways of Versace, I created a very dramatic smoky eye. I used Medium Pencil in 'Sophie' as an eyeshadow - drawing it onto the entire lid, waterline and below the eye, then using my fantastic Illamasqua Blending Brush I, II and the Eyeshadow Brush to disperse and blend the colour into a dramatic wing around the eye. I set this with Powder Eye Shadow 'Incubus' then added Powder Eye Shadow in 'Truth' to the brow bone right up to the eyebrow which was filled in with Illamasqua Powder Eyeshadow in 'Boomerang'. To finish I added lashings of Illamasqua Volume Mascara and a touch of Sheer Lipgloss in 'Brilliant' to the inner corners of the eye to give a tarry, rock chick look." [Note: Tarry! Awesome word for the look I think *mentally adds to dictionary*...]

"The skin was created using Satin Primer again, with Cream Foundation buffed into the skin using Blending Brush II (I love using this brush with foundation, it really gets into all the "nooks and crannies" giving the fantastic coverage of our foundation, but with the texture and feel of natural skin). I contoured the cheeks with a darker shade of Cream Foundation (this will differ from person to person, ask one of Illamasqua's fabulous on counter artists to match your skin tone!) before finishing the look with another of my favourite products, Lipstick in 'Submit', pressed into moisturised lips with the finger tip."

On an all day shoot like this, it's important to use longwearing products, especially in the rain, and luckily with Illamasqua's range I don't have to compromise my creativity for durability :)"

08 February 2010

Dystopia Birthday Cake...

Charlotte, one of our part-time make-up artists at the Debenhams Cardiff counter celebrated her 21st birthday recently and celebrated with a Dystopia inspired Birthday cake!

How fab is this?