29 June 2009

Ask An Artist: Jonathan

Today I put forward a customer question to Jonathan, our Retail Operations Manager and formerly Business Manager at Selfridges, Oxford Street [so he really knows his stuff!]

What kind of colours are Abandon and Melt? It's not very clear on your Website - Clare

First off, I'd like to say that we have listened to all feedback in regards to our online swatches - we know they are not all 100% accurate and we are working on ways to improve this as soon as possible to help everyone make the best choices, as well as recommendations from the products and/or links to this blog and others to provide you with as much information as possible. I know how frustrating it can be to buy a product from abroad and for it to be different to how you envisioned. This is a priority for us and we will keep you updated on the progress.

Secondly, both 'Abandon' and 'Melt' make up part of our Shimmer Lipstick collection - they are still hyper pigmented but without the matt finish that the majority of our Lipsticks have. I'll let Jonathan tell you more:

"'Abandon' is a really unique colour - it's a pale silvery lilac with a slightly pinky gold undertone. This colour looks lovely on pale skins or those with cool undertones - it also looks lovely smudged across cheekbones for a hint of shimmering pinky colour.

'Melt' is a warmer colour - it's a similar texture and finish to 'Abandon' and is a lovely pale bronze/ gold. This would make a fabulous cheekbones highlighter for asian and olive skin tones."

Below is a swatch of both colours, with 'Melt' nearest the top and 'Abandon' underneath - not the clearest of images, but shimmers are pretty difficult to catch right!

Here is Jonathan demonstrating the lustrous qualities of Vitamin E infused Lipstick in 'Abandon':

If you have a question for the team, email it to askanartist@illamasqua.com. Whether it be brand related, product related or just a general make-up query, we are here to help!

Here is a 4-colour Lip Palette with Abandon on the bottom right - special thanks to Row at cosmetic-candy.com for the image!

25 June 2009

Alex Box Masterclass EXCLUSIVE to Selfridges Oxford St

It’s not often a once in a lifetime opportunity comes along, much less the chance to learn from a true visionary whose work has been seen on the faces of some of the world’s most glamorous models strutting the catwalk for A list designers such as Karl Lagerfeld, Stella McCartney and Gareth Pugh, and in magazines including Vogue, Numero, Harpers Bazaar, Another Magazine, Dazed and Confused, 10 and i-D.

Cool, creative and cutting edge, Alex has been hailed internationally as one of the most influential make-up artists of the modern era, drawing inspiration from science, technology, art, history, culture and nature and fusing them to create work that is both inspirational and innovative.

As our Artistic Director, Alex is committed to empowering people to be more creative with make-up, so is doing two exclusive masterclass sessions in Selfridges on the 3rd and 4th July.

Alex will lead each class with a step by-step-tutorial, with our team of artists on hand for one-on-one support. On Friday 3rd July (6-8pm) Alex will be focusing on 'dare to be different' looks, and on Saturday 4th July (11am-1pm), Alex will showcase ways to create head-turning, night-time looks.

The cost of each masterclass is £20 and fully redeemable on all Illamasqua products. Places are very limited to ensure that you get an intimate experience and the chance to chat personally with Alex. To find out more or to book your place at this fabulous event call the Selfridges Oxford Street team on 0207 318 3788 today!

Sorry for those of you who don't live around London - hopefully we will be in your area next! I will publish photos from the event in due course.

24 June 2009

Exclusive New Sirens Product Launch 8th-11th July at Selfridges Trafford

Wednesday 8th July through to Saturday 11th July sees Adam, one of our fabulous London based make-up artists [and personal make-up artist to the likes of Fergie, Rihanna and the Pussycat Dolls when they are in the UK!] is travelling to launch the next installment of Sirens products exclusively in Selfridges Trafford.

I can't give away too many details at this point... but it's a product that can used on the face and the body! To be in with the chance of winning this fabulous product, enter the Mizzworthy/ Illamasqua Alter Ego competition by following this link.

I grabbed a quick word with Adam this afternoon...

Alex - Hey Adam! How is the counter today?

Adam -
Really busy, darling, but it's fabulous!

Alex -
Are you looking forward to going to Manchester?

Adam -
Of course! I love the Trafford centre and I love the clientele - everyone is so fabulously stylish and avant garde. I also love the night life; I will be heading to Canal street to party with the beautiful people! I will also be creating some beautiful Sirens looks on some gorgeous models and really showing everyone how versatile our products are. Did you know that Liquid Metal looks so glamorous in your hair? A bit of a gold highlight with 'Solstice'or a bronze low light with 'Enrapture'.

Alex - Thanks for the tip! Any other products you are loving right now?

Adam -
Oh... Sealing Gel, as always! This is my absolute Holy Grail product - it automatically pretty much waterproofs any product you use it with - if you have naturally weepy eyes this is the ultimate product for you! I use it with every type of eye product.

Alex -
I have already waxed lyrical about Sealing Gel. Any kooky way of using it that our readers might not have considered?

Adam -
If you were a bright or bold lipstick and it tends to feature, swipe a little of this on a brush around the edge of your lips after applying lipstick and it will not budge.

Alex -
Will definitely try that on a night out! So you have a great celeb clientele... do any of your clients love Illamasqua?

Adam -
I use Illamasqua on all of them! I know for a fact that Nicole from The Pussycat Dolls loves Muse and Fern Nail Varnishes and that Kimberley adores Filth Lipstick. Rihanna has been known to work Maneater Lipstick, too!

To read Adam's bio click here or to book a make-up lesson with him at Trafford [8th-11th July] call 0161 629 1187 or at London 0207 318 3788.

Thanks to vexinthecityx.blogspot.com and makeupandbeautyblog.com for the swatches!

Illamasqua Hearts ASOS

Exclusive News! We are excited to announce that we will be launching online at ASOS.com in the very near future - check out the mention in their fabulous magazine below.

The ASOS girl is individual, stylish, quirky and loves to push the boundaries on a good night out, so the brand fit was obvious.

We have a brilliant selection of cool and kooky colours and unique textures that will be hitting the website soon, so keep an eye out. In the meantime, check out their website - there is bound to be something that you'll instantly fall in love with - they have a great selection of Summer dresses. I am loving this check dress from Fred Perry - I'm getting into the tennis spirit!

22 June 2009

Product of the Week: Daemon Powder Eye Shadow

The wearable red eye shadow...

Red eye shadow was once considered a complete no-go area for everyone but the bravest make-up artists, however if applied in a balanced way, it can look very flattering and is certainly attention grabbing! Krystle Clayton, one of our artists from the Selfridges Trafford counter tells me more:

“Red eye shadow can be used a block colour, but looks best when softened with other colours – it looks great when mixed with browns such as Powder Eye Shadow in 'Jules' or 'Faith' to create a rusty, smoky eye look.

In the past, I have found it very hard to find a true red eye shadow, but Illamasqua have hit the jackpot! 'Daemon' has great, intense colour that is very buildable – lightly press an Eye Shadow Brush into the powder for a light wash of colour and build from there or mix with Sealing Gel and use an Eye Liner Brush to create body art or a dramatic liquid line on the eyes.”

“You can see here that I have used the product not only on my eyes but down the cheekbones, too. It makes a fabulous blush!”
To read Krystle's full bio, click here. To book a make-up lesson with Krystle please call 0161 629 1187.

Ask An Artist

Daniel is one of our Selfridges Oxford Street artists and is also an integral member of our Illamasqua Training Team - few people know and love the brand more than Daniel!

Daniel was born in Malta and begun his make-up career in Maltese theatre before expanding into the fashion world. To read his full biography click here.

I thought Daniel would be the perfect person to get an answer for the following question, submitted by Rachel on Myspace:

What is the best nude toned lipgloss that Illamasqua offers?

Daniel: “You would think buying a nude lip gloss would be very simple, however there are a great variety on the market. We have a texture and a finish to suit everyone – for warm undertones, Sheer Lipgloss in 'Enchant' is gorgeous, for olive skins try Sheer Lipgloss in 'Provoke'.

If you are looking for a 1960’s lip, look no further than Intense Lipgloss in 'Lucid' if you are cooler toned. Warmer tones will love 'Embroil'. These colours will both tone down all your natural lip colour as they are so pigmented.”

Above I have swatched the colours that Daniel has referred to: From L-R, 'Enchant' and 'Provoke' Sheer lipglosses and 'Lucid' Intense Lipgloss.

Below Lynne [www.youtube.com/lynniiieee] has swatched Embroil...
To book a make-up lesson with Daniel, please call 0207 318 3788

To read a review of a make-up lesson by Daniel follow this link.

20 June 2009

S.O.P.H.I.E - Stamp Out Prejudice and Hatred and Intolerance Everywhere

It is my personal belief that whilst it's OK to enjoy the successes that creating a critically and comercially acclaimed cosmetic brand brings, it is important for companies [not just fashion and beauty] to use their exposure to promote worthwhile causes and charities. So much has gone into creating Illamasqua as a brand that champions empowerment, experimentation, individuality and tolerance that you have to truly believe in the values of Illamasqua as much as the product for the brand to realise it's full potential. To highlight what I mean about values, I would like to tell you about Sophie Lancaster:

Sophie Lancaster, a 20 year old gap year student and her 21 year old student boyfriend Robert Maltby were walking through a park in Lancashire, UK in the early hours of August 11th 2007, when a group of youths attacked them without provocation. The severity of the attack was such that both Sophie and Robert's injuries left them in a coma. After two weeks, Robert showed signs of improvement but it became clear that Sophie's injuries were such that her family took the overwhelmingly tough and courageous decision to switch off her life support machine and she died.

During the subsequent trial, the judge labelled the attack as "feral thuggery" and remarked that the behaviour of the attackers "degrades humanity itself."
It is widely recognised that the attack on Sophie and Robert was provoked simply for their belonging to a different subculture. As the prosecution team at the trial of the murder acknowledged; “Sophie and Robert were singled out not for anything they had said or done, but because they looked and dressed differently."

Sophie’s Mother, Sylvia Lancaster, has since set up the Sophie Lancaster Foundation a charity that works to raise awareness of social prejudice and work towards a more liberal, less aggressive society. Illamasqua is a proud sponsor of this charity and we even have a black Medium Pencil called Sophie in her memory. This Medium Pencil in 'Sophie' is our best selling product - a rich inky black pencil that is super-blendable and the type of pencil that is irresistably strong and intense on the waterline. £3 of the selling price goes straight to the charity - I will find out how much we have raised so far and let you all know.

We also sell S.O.P.H.I.E wristbands for £2 [all proceeds go to the charity] so next time you place your Illamasqua order online, be sure to pick up one of these and show your support for an extremely brilliant charity.

Lazula80 wrote a wonderful heartfelt post about Sophie recently and I'd like to thank her for inspiring this post. Click here to read it.
Check out the myspace page for the charity here.

17 June 2009

Lush Lashes

Katie, our wonderful Product Development Manager, is looking at False Lash samples for future collections today. We have had some great prototypes sent through, with some fabulous vivid colours, unique patterns and interesting, edgy shapes. [Below is a picture of her rocking False Lash no 13!]

Our False Lashes have been especially popular with our customers and so we are definitely going to keep developing some knock out lashes to keep you partying through the night! There is nothing like a sultry pair of lashes to give your make-up that ultra-glam final touch, or if you [like me!] frequently go from work to bar, then adding a pair of lashes will take your look effortlessly from day to night.

We road test all our lashes, so I will be putting my favourite prototype pair through a real test tomorrow - I am off to Royal Ascot so they will be applied at about 10am before we leave and will be expected to last until I take them off about 14 hours later! Hopefully it won't rain, but I'm sure Katie is half hoping it will because if they last through rain, they'll last through anything!

It's also a good test in terms of comfort; one of my pet hates is having to take off lashes half way through the night because they are itchy/ heavy/ getting in the way of my vision!

Our Summer collection - Sirens - had their own False Lashes [no 20] which you can see in action below. . .

My flat mate, Michelle [pic below] is obsessed by False Lash no 11 - I think she has gotten through about four pairs now!

See below for some pictures of our lashes in action, and who better to model them than the Trannies we made over for the Selfridges Centenary celebrations last month?!

What is your favourite lash? I love False Lash no 13, 14 and 17 are my favourites and I also loved the Victor and Rolf range for Shu Uemura!

For a video on how to apply lashes, check out this link. It features our wonderful Selfridges London artist Daniel. If you have ever had problems applying lashes, this is the definitive guide!

PS - Lush Lashes is the name of a horse running at Royal Ascot tomorrow, so I thought it tied in well with the subject!

16 June 2009

Illamasqua Icons: Sally Bowles

Part two of our Illamasqua Icon series and this week Kate Massarella, Marketing and Product Director has chosen Liza Minnelli as Sally Bowles in Cabaret.

"It was a close call between Liza Minnelli as Sally Bowles in Cabaret or Edie Sedgwick, but Liza Minnelli won because I just love her!”

Liza Minnelli was born to be a star as the daughter of legendary actress Judy Garland and acclaimed director Vincente Minnelli. Her most successful role was in the Academy Award winning film Cabaret.

Get The Look

With the strong cameras and harsh lighting of the stage, a foundation that really steps up the task, such as Rich Liquid Foundation would be needed to create a flawless canvas on with which to work this strong 40s look. Work a peachy blush such as Powder Blusher in 'Lover' up from the apples of the cheeks to the temples.

The strong eye uses a bluey grey as a base colour and lashings of eyeliner. Cream Eye Shadow in 'Amour' is a beautifully textured blue-grey. Contour heavily with a teal-green around the eye socket [try Powder Eye Shadow in 'Melodrama'] and apply lashing of mascara [Volume Mascara in 'Harness' is an inky black] and a set of false lashes for added impact. I love False Lashes no 15 and False Lashes no 04 for the bottom lashes. Mix a dab of Sealing Gel with Eye Liner Cake in 'Mislead' and generously line both the upper and lower lash lines using a fine brush such as Eye Liner Brush. Create a beauty spot, too!

Use a fine brow pencil to shade in a high arch in the style of Sally Bowles. Fine Pencil in 'Uncanny' is a similar shade to the one in this photograph.
Finish with a bold lip colour – I reckon Sally would have loved Lipstick in 'Scandal'!

“Audiences are the same all over the world, and if you entertain them, they'll respond.” – Liza Minnelli

*Thanks to bubblegarm.blogspot.com for the wonderful image of Lover!*

Whats In A Name?

If there is one question I get asked more than any other, it's how to pronounce Illamasqua. Officially, it's Illa-mass-ka. However, as in our make-up application beliefs, there is no right or wrong way... it's about everyone's individual interpretation.

OK, so that's how you say it. So what does it mean?!

I managed to grab a moment with Julian, the founder and Chairman of Illamasqua, to tell me more about the mystery surrounding the name...

"I wanted a name which would be unique to us but also which would allow everyone to hold their own slightly unique interpretation. To this end it was almost certain that we would have to make our own word up!

Ideas were coming forward at the time that were perfect for us but were just too literal: Masquerade and Illusion were two clear favourites. At the time I had just read Anne Rice’s 'Interview with a Vampire' and was stopped dead on the page by the first mention of the Talamasca –I loved the thought of what it stood for and loved the way the word sounded when you said it. It wasn’t a big leap in taking the “Ill” of illusion and the “masquer” of masquerade and forming them with the same sound of Talamasca: Illamasqua.

From the moment it was written is sounded like it had been with us for ever – I always felt it had a Far Eastern feel to it too which I kind of liked to as it felt mysterious."

How about the logo?

"The logo came from an image I saw of a heart being pierced by the Cross and blood flowing from it. It was only in the later stages of the design that the very same shape took on the reversed ‘Q’ with I suppose most people think we lifted from the Q in Illamasqua. Happy coincidence!"

So that's the inspiration behind the name. What is your interpretation of the name? Let us know in the comments section below!

15 June 2009

Box News Flash!

Box News Flash! will aim to update you all with the fabulous fast-paced life of the incomparable Ms Box!

For the past week, Alex has been fretting over the final details of her book with uber-photographer Rankin… but more on that later ;-)

On Wednesday and Thursday of last week, Alex has been working on a photo shoot for a well known fashion glossy with Emmanuelle Seigner and world renowned photographer Dusan Reljin near Waterloo bridge. “It’s great fun – Dusan and James [Rowe, the hairdresser] are larking about with my lipsticks at the moment!” remarks Alex. “Dusan is refusing to take it off!” Check out Alex's camera phone photo below for proof...!

Lipstick in 'Corrupt' was his colour of choice. James Rowe prefers a Medium Pencil in 'Spell' for a bright red lip...
Alex created a flawless base for Emmanuelle using Rich Liquid Foundation and Pressed Powder. To illuminate an otherwise matt base, Alex used Illuminator in 'Halcyon' to attract the light to Emmanuelle’s cheekbones. Illamasqua has a horde of red lip products to suit every skin colour and tone, but Alex’s favourite is a true ‘London bus’ red that is named 'Box' in honour of it’s number one fan! Alex used this colour on Emmanuelle’s lips and created a strong line using Medium Pencil in 'Feisty'.

This week, we have also had Alex in the Office to take a look at our closely-guarded Autumn Winter collection for finalising of product names and to have a photo shoot brainstorm. Which models? What looks? Hair? Clothes? Location? There is so much involved in creating a campaign and Alex works with us at every stage. We will keep you updated on the developments of this exciting collection.

Alex will be flying to Monaco for a shoot with Karl Lagerfeld this week. Let's see if she can get him to slick on a bit of lip colour - I reckon 'Pristine', our jet black Lipstick would be his colour...!

14 June 2009

Mizzworthy/ Illamasqua Competition

Here at Illamasqua we love to explore our alter egos - our counter staff are always coming up with inventive looks and at the weekends the Head Office staff let our imaginations run wild! We are calling on YOU to enter the Mizzworthy/ Illamasqua competition that encourages you to explore your alter ego and send us in snaps to win some fabulous Illamasqua goodies!

The theme for this competition is: Myths and Legends. I'll let Mizzworthy explain the details ... [taken from www.mizzworthy.blogspot.com]

"For the first contest in the series, we want you to come up with a look inspired by, yep you guessed it a myth/legend... So this is your chance to reveal your inner Aphrodite, greek god/goddess, mythological creature, daemon, Faerie, Pixie, Elf or any other creature or character from legends or mythology... I'll be making regular inspirational posts to help inspire you!

We are looking for original and creative looks and most of all, we want you to have lots of fun creating your looks!

So... the Rules?

1. Your entry can be in the form of either a blog post or a video [videos don't need to be a tutorial, but we'd like you to explain in the video which Myth or Legend inspired you and how it led you to create the look you came up with as well as the products used.] If you do chose a video entry, please email some still to Jennifer for judging purposes - jennifer.worthington1979@gmail.com.

2. In your post/ video, please tell us about the Myth or Legend you were inspired by and how it led to the look you have created. Also, because we are nosey and obsessed with make-up, tell us about the make-up/ products you used to create the look! Don't forget to email me stills if you decide to do a video entry.

3. When you have completed your entry, please post a response below to let us know, complete with a link to the entry.

4. You do not have to use Illamasqua products for the entry - we appreciate that you may not have a counter near you and this is about creating a look with any resource you may have!

5. Enter as many times as you like - they will be classified as seperate entries but there are no limits to the number of times you enter!

6. You can either create the look on yourself or a willing volunteer.

7. The contest is open internationally and we will ship products out to you wherever you are.

8. Please make sure you are a subscriber to Mizzworthy's blog to enter!

9. The contest closes at Midnight on Sunday 7th July GMT.

10. Krystal [an Illamasqua make-up artist at Selfridges] and Mizzworthy will narrow down the entries to the shortlist and the final winners will be picked out by Alex Box, Artistic Director of Illamasqua. The judging process willt ake approximately one week and the winners will be posted on Mizzworthy's blogspot and the Illamasqua blog and website.

See below for the last winner - Liberty Von Hodes from Newcastle! This fantastic peacock feather meets Indian Henna look rocked the vote and Mizzworthy and Krystal [one of our artists in Manchester] deemed her the winner.

The Prizes

First Prize

1 x Liquid Metal in either Enrapture or Solstice

1 x Bronzer in either Glint/ Burnish or Glint/ Writhe

1 x Nail Varnish from the Illamasqua collection

1 x Sirens Powder Eye Shadow Quad

1 x Special Gift... to be announced at a later stage!

Second Prize

1 x Liquid Metal in either Enrapture or Solstice

1 x Nail Varnish from the Illamasqua collection

1 x Sirens Powder Eye Shadow Quad

Remember - we are looking for originality and creativity and is not based on artistic skill alone.

My alter ego this weekend was inspired by the Beyonce - Kitty Kat video. I absolutely loved the head-to-toe leopard print idea and Beyonce rocked it, check out the video here and see my version below!

13 June 2009

A Whole Lot of Love...

Julian, our Chairman and Founder, tells me about the special relationship Illamasqua has developed with the incomparable and legendary Courtney Love:

"Courtney holds a special place for me and for the founding months of Illamasqua. She was, in her words, 'driven nuts by the advert we placed in Grazia'! She rang the counter direct from L.A and ordered loads of product. She loved the quality and intensity of the product so much that she now tells anybody and everybody that never before has she felt so passionate about a make up brand.

On a technical level Courtney's understanding of make up is as good as anybody who works in our laboratories! She knows her stuff and this makes it all the more special that she now wears Illamasqua.

She has become a real muse for me personally. Performance and dressing up and playing with your alter ego was the founding directive and for me, Courtney was great at all three.

The biggest compliment however is her make up collection - I've seen it personally and its impressive. Impressive for the fact its predominantly Illamasqua but the other brand is nothing other than than Kevyn Aucoin. Talk about been known by the company you keep. Kevyn for us is very, very good company. I know Courtney knew Kevyn personally and loved him very much.

When we eventually met for the first time it was 'easy' - we got on like old friends and played make-up. Courtney is an amazing artist herself and the clothes she makes ( for me she constructs, deconstructs and sculpts clothes) are very, very clever. I respect her mind and for some crazy reason she respects mine.

As she texted me last week... 'me and Illamasqua are having a mad affair'. We are with her too."

I will be posting more about this at a later stage, so stay tuned!

Artistic Director of Illamasqua, Alex Box, created the above look for Courtney Love for the Elle Style Awards 2009.

12 June 2009

Ask An Artist

This series will strive to answer any questions that we receive from our Facebook fanclub, Myspace, Youtube channel or here on our blog! We will then ask one of our talented professional artists to answer them personally in this weekly series. Feel free to email askanartist@illamasqua.com and put forward any query you might have, be it about the brand, general make-up tips or related to a specific product and we will do our best to give you a great answer!

To kick off this series, I have taken a question from Youtube channel and put it forward to Aga, one of our Selfridges Oxford Street based artists. Aga has provided looks for such prestigious designers such as Alexander McQueen. To read her full biography click here.

This weeks question, taken from our Youtube channel, is:

What is Sealing Gel and how do I use it?

Aga: “Sealing Gel is basically a make-up fixer. If you love a particular Powder Eye Shadow but don’t have an eye liner in that colour then mix a drop of Sealing Gel into the corner of the eye product and it will create a thick, strong paste which can be applied directly to eyes using a thin brush [try Eye Liner Brush]. The Sealing Gel will guarantee that this colour will stay true until you want to take it off. I also suggest mixing it with Pure Pigment to get a sparking liner. It’s an invaluable product to have in your make-up case.”

To book a make-up lesson with Aga, call 0207 318 3788.

Alex Box Biography and Exclusive Interview

Alex Box studied and exhibited as an installation artist before training to become a make-up artist, with her main focus on relationships between the body and the environment. As a make-up artist, she went on to explore this relationship between art, science, nature and the magical. Today, Alex creates out of the box [!] looks for designers including Gareth Pugh, Alexander McQueen, Biba and Chanel.

Leading the field in experimental beauty, she is a regular contributor to i-D, Vogue, V, Harpers Bazaar and 10 magazine as well as ShowStudio online.

I grabbed a quick word with the lady herself…

Hi Alex, how are you today?

I am very good! I have got a lot done – I’ve met with two photographers to talk about creative projects for the near future, had a conference call with Rankin about our new book and been to the dentist. I’m now off to Brewer Street for a late lunch and to pick up some material!

Why did you agree to become Artistic Director for Illamasqua?

How could I say no? Julian Kynaston [Chairman of Illamasqua] approached me through Myspace after reading an article about me, written by Bethan Cole for the Sunday Times Style where I mentioned that the art of applying and enjoying make-up was being slowly lost and replaced by corporate cosmetic fads. He came to me and presented an idea for an emotional cosmetic brand that would bring the fun and life back into an increasingly stagnant industry. The fact that he approached me in such a human and informal way – through Myspace – really touched me and I fell hook line and sinker for his vision. It was not corporate, it was not business, it was passion and I absolutely understood where he was coming from as it was coming straight from the heart. We could not have been more in tune and so it was inevitable that we would form a really solid relationship.

How has the journey from idea to reality been for you?

Amazing. Ive learnt a lot; how you develop a range literally, how you translate ideas into physical product and the highs and lows of life on the production and business side of cosmetics. Of course, there are frustrations - certain pigments can’t be used on certain areas of the face, certain textures are impossible to achieve, but it is the struggles that make you really appreciate the triumphs.

I am a creative at heart and I believe that if you have a strong enough idea and enough passion and commitment to something then it can create something wonderful. I have become extremely confident and proud of Illamasqua – our visions are being shared by so many people and it is extraordinary to be a part of something like that. I believe we have barely scratched the surface. Illamasqua is going to be huge and I am going to be there every step of the way!

Has exploring individuality has always been more important to you than trends?

Yes. It’s a life long journey to discover yourself, who you are, what you believe in. Why pretend to be someone else or do what everyone else is doing? Trends are very transparent. If you try to be on trend, you’re already off which is the irony of fashion. Once you are wearing the trends, the ‘trend setters’ are on to the new thing and thus you have already fallen behind. You become like a dog chasing your own tail.

One person being labelled ‘alternative’ does not create a movement – you need more than one voice and at Illamasqua we have a whole choir! When you look at it from that perspective, our counters become even more incredible.
What advice would you give to anyone wanting to become a make-up artist?

Believe in yourself and just go with what is in your heart – a lot of people will tell you to adapt and change your ideas to suit the current fashions and if that is who you are then fine, but to be an innovator you need to be able to step away from it all and be able to reflect on your life and experiences you have had. Take time out to experience new cultures, visit exhibitions and spend time with friends as this will influence your work and give your work a view point and develop your artistic impulse. What will inspire you otherwise?

The best advice I ever received was when I was just starting out - a top make-up artist told me: It’s a stayers race. This is completely true – many people will drop away but it’s all about stamina and belief.
How would you describe your style?

An acid goth. Pure and simple.

Check out the Box News feature later this week to find out what Alex has been up to!