31 March 2010

What Happens When Product Development Get A Hold Of You...

Howdy all! Back from the US of A and back in the office. Second day back, and it looks like the Product Development team missed my arm for testing foundations!

I will be updating you all with the latest news and collection details [Body Electrics countdown!] shortly. You may have heard that our UK blogger event has unfortunately been cancelled due to the rail strikes, but our New York one is still going full steam ahead, so I look forward to hearing what they all think about the first Spring Summer collection to launch at Sephora US.

26 March 2010

Product of the Month

It's been a while since we did this, but in line with this month's web offer (a massive 25% of False Eye Lashes), I thought I would use my favourite pair as Product of the Month.  When I joined Illamasqua at the very beginning, one product that never failed to impress me were the lashes.  As a total lash fiend (i own 50-60 pairs at least!), I know a gorgeous lash when I see it!  Lash no. 16 has to be the highlight from the range for me.  It can totally transform your look in an instant.  Perfect for a vintage 40s look (complete with a generous application of Lipstick in 'Encounter', of course!), these lashes can be worn with very little other eye make-up - a flicked black line on top is enough if you're running short of time.   

I used these in my latest photo shoot for Jane Doe Latex (http://www.janedoelatex.com) and they are just what was required to give that density to the lashes, exaggerating the length of the eye as well.  

But the collection is so stunning I can't not mention my other favourites!  If you think no.16 are just a bit too day time for you, nothing screams night time glamour like the no. 13!  And if a wide eyed baby doll look is more your thing, then no. 14 are just perfect for injecting a little naughtiness into your flutter!  If you haven't already seen the range or tried it, hurry now, as the 25% web offer is due to expire on 31st March!

Halimah x

23 March 2010

Still Prince Charming .....

You think it's going to be a normal day at the office, when along comes Adam Ant! I think it's fair to say EVERYONE in the office had a massive smile on their face and some of us here (erm Lucy!) bagged an autograph!  I remember being smitten by Adam when I was only a wee girl, and to be honest, he looks pretty much the same.  Wonder what his secret is?!

Adam was working his magic with the Illamasqua girls here in the office, and I just had to share this amazingly timed picture with you all.  Enjoy! 

Illamasqua in ASOS

With the office being a little quieter these days without the constant Alex Cummins jibber jabber (I do miss you really!), I thought I'd blog some more!  Last week saw ASOS host their 'Access All Areas' event.  I wish I'd been there!  Basically, the chosen few got to peruse the new Spring collection right in the centre of the ASOS headquarters.  They got to try on their favourite pieces, select some matching accessories and then move on to be pampered by hair and make-up.  The latter was provided for by us, of course!  They then got to strut their stuff on the infamous ASOS catwalk with photographers to hand as well!  This pic is one that caught my eye for obvious reasons - how cute! 

We sent two of our top London artists along, Zahra and Rhiannon, to bring out those blogger alter-egos!  

I caught up with Zahra yesterday and, albeit a little tired, she was full of lovely things to say about the event!  It was beautifully organised, everyone got on really well and all the bloggers were given some goody bags which included an Illamasqua Lip Gloss.  All in all it seems like it was a brilliant event (note cookies)! 

There are some more pics and great write ups of the event on the ASOS blog if you fancy a view! 

Halimah x

22 March 2010

Pixiwoo Counter Tour - Belfast

As I'm sure most of you will be aware (Alex's blogpost of 9th March), youtube whizz kids Pixiwoo are doing the rounds of the Illamasqua counters.  Next stop .....Belfast!  The girls will be there on the 1st and 2nd April. 

As before, lessons are one hour long and £100 redeemable on all product purchases made on the day.  A deposit of £25 is required to hold booking.  This is a very unique chance to speak to Sam and Nicola on a one to one basis about any or all of your make-up needs.  If Cardiff is anything to go by, please book your place in advance to avoid disappointment by calling the Belfast counter on +44 (0) 2890 435 582.

If you aren't familiar with what the Pixiwoo girls do, here is one of my favourite online tutorials, especially done to mark what would have been Sophie Lancaster's 23rd birthday last Nov.


Halimah x

19 March 2010

25% OFF all False Eye Lashes

Great news for all you False Eye Lash lovers out there. For a limited time, we're offering 25% off all our lashes online. So, whether you're a night-time diva and love to get noticed, or more the oh-so romantic type who prefers a subtle wink, why not treat yourself to a pair of our fabulously flirty lashes today. From delicate to daringly bold I'm sure you'll find a style that suits your alter ego.

As for me, I'll be going for a pair of No. 23 - perfect for a bit of post-St Patrick's Day partying this weekend.

Go to the Illamasqua online shop now - happy shopping!

18 March 2010

Are you ready for Dark Love?

How exciting!! The latest Illamasqua web promotion offers you the chance to win a collectable first edition of 'Dark Love'.  With images shot by the super talented James Stroud, this book is incredible. I remember when I first saw it, it took my breath away. A window into alternative cultures, it is so inspirational and the best part for me, is how it challenges our views on modern 'beauty'. In this day and age of skinnier than skinny, airbrushed celebs gracing the pages of virtually every magazine in every newsagent, it really is quite liberating to browse through the pages of 'Dark Love' and see that beauty comes in all shapes, sizes, colours and variations! This is being sent free with every order placed on the web for over £120.00. Here's a sneak preview of what to expect..........

This really is limited edition and will be distributed on a first come, first serve basis so be as quick as you can .....almost worth the £120.00 price tag in itself I think!  

15 March 2010

Vote For Your Favourite Blog!

Company magazine has launched a Best of the Blogosphere competition to get the nations vote on their top go-to blogs.

I am finding this particularly interesting that a magazine has lauded the world of blogging so openly considering the war of words that seemed to reach fever pitch over the Fashion weeks, recently.

Now, I am not going to wade in barking about a strong opinion one way or the other, except that to me these two elements can exist side by side, benefiting each other as opposed to being in 'competition'. And it seems like Company magazine has taken a similar view point.

If I want the latest beauty news, I have my faithful beauty blogs that I will click on to inform me of whats happening where, and read honest, intelligent reviews.

If I want to see a collaboration between the creme de la creme of the beauty/hairdressing/fashion styling/nail artistry and photographic geniuses of the world I will open a magazine. If I want beautiful, exciting, innovative imagery and thought provoking, crisp and confident, financially backed journalism [I mean that in the best way possible - I mean, how many of us could afford to go to an idyllic island to review the latest spa or interview the likes of Megan Fox on her beauty habits?!] then I will look to the pages of a magazine.

The online world is a different medium, and it doesn't mean that magazines are losing their relevancy, their role within my world - at least - is just shifting. They are my aesthetic pleasure.

There is an interesting post here from the British Beauty Blogger that I think sums up the debate nicely - if you haven't read it, I suggest you do!

I am interested to hear your thoughts...

Mad for the Hatter!

With the Alice in Wonderland craze well and truly underway, and seeing as I am starting to get the hang of this blog-sitting, I thought it fairly necessary to share my thoughts with you!  I went to see it last week, and Tim Burton, as always, managed to create a visual masterpiece. As a fan of Lewis Carroll's boundless imagination, I'd been looking forward to this for about year when I first heard about it.  Having read some less than complimentary reviews, I went into the Imax with limited expectations.  However, there was no need.  I was blown away! Based around one of my fav childhood poems, the brilliant 'Jabberwocky', I found myself grinning throughout the screening!  Helena Bonham Carter's portrayal of the 'Queen of Hearts' was especially notable, and the make-up!!!  Oh the make-up - inspirational indeed!  I've broken down the 'Mad Hatter' for you, in case anyone is planning a themed party this year (my friend is having a themed hen-do - can't wait!).

Start with Rich Foundation 100 for a white base.  The creamy texture of the Rich Foundation is a perfect base for building intense colour.  Use Powder Blusher in 'Kiss' to create the extreme contours around the nose, working the colour up towards the brows, under the eyes and under the cheekbone.  Next, take Powder Eye Shadow in 'Savage' and work that into the outer corner of the under-eye, deepening the shadow.  For a more intense contour, use this around the nose and under the cheekbone sparingly as well.  Build the blue on the lid using Powder Eye Shadow in Anja.  For the thick white lashes, mix a drop of Sealing Gel with Powder Eye Shadow in 'Sex' to make a thick paste and then brush on to lashes, pinching the lashes together in clumps while still wet.  Use Medium Pencil in 'Vow' on the water line to finish the eyes.  Finally, use Medium Pencil in 'Ascend' and Lipstick in 'Climax' to get the well defined 'Johnny' mouth.  Oh, and don't forget the orange wig!!  Halimah x 

14 March 2010

The Nail Varnish Competition is Drawing To A Close...

The last thing I do before I go on holiday is to pull together all the entries from the Nail Varnish competition and create a comprehensive document for our judges [to refresh your memory - Alex Box, Sophy Robson, the Pixiwoo sisters and David Walker Smith, Menswear and Beauty Director of Selfridges] to decide on the winner! We will be announcing the winner the 1st week of May, so keep your fingers crossed...

The competition ends at 2pm GMT so if you are still putting the finishes touches to your entry, get it in quick!

We have had some truly superb entries, so I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their participation.

More news from me when I'm back from the US!

11 March 2010

Quick hello and Director's Cut

Firstly, let me start by saying a massive 'HIYA' to all of you who read this blog! Alex has asked me to babysit this while she jets off to the US for a well deserved break.  I've never blogged before, so bear with me!  Right, well, I'm Halimah. I started in head office last October in the Product Development department and I can't quite believe it's been nearly six months - has FLOWN by so quickly. Some of you may already know me as one of the original Selfridges make-up artists! Here's a pic that Alex snapped of me yesterday in my fetching 'Zombie Bunny' (note bleeding, dangling eye on the left) dress that she loved! 

OK, enough about me and onto some 'Director's Cut' winners from last month that Alex dug out for me.  Well done team Cardiff!  I received these stunning pictures, featuring (L to R) Tamsin, Clayton and Charlotte. Well done guys, I'm sure you turned many heads in Cardiff!

I absolutely love Charlotte's fantasy twist on her brilliant make-up using the diamantes.

Mad As A Hatter At Beach Blanket Babylon

As promised, here is the fallout from the Mad Hatter's Tea Party at Beach Blanket Babylon that took place on Saturday 6th March.

I went along with my friend Laura [below right] to join in the festivities and toast to the wicked world of Wonderland!

Beach Blanket Babylon put on a beautiful spread of cupcakes and cocktails in teacups...

Mika and Lucy went along to create some zany looks for the actors and actresses - I think that Alice was a perfect gothic Tim Burton-esque Alice!

It was great to see so many people get in to character for the party!

For more pics from the event, check out our facebook page [search for Illamasqua]

A big thanks to:

David @ Merrymenphotography.com

10 March 2010

Vivienne Westwood Gold Label AW2010

Now, I don't normally comment on fashion shows, but I couldn't let the images from the wonderful Sophy Robson escape your attention! Sophy created a fantastic look for the nails [check out her recently re-vamped blog for more images] but I have to comment on the tongue-firmly-in-cheek make-up!

I love the scrawled on moustaches and big, rock chick smoky eyes.

The traditional hot pink lips have been given a dramatic twist with a black outline.
Dame Vivienne Westwood, we salute you.

09 March 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!

05 March 2010

Mad Hatters Tea Party

Tomorrow night, I will be at the Beach Blanket Babylon, Shoreditch for a themed Alice in Wonderland party. International make-up artists Lucy and Mika will be on hand to create some fabulous looks on the characters such as Alice and the Queen of Hearts and for all party goers!

If you are in the area, we would love to see you there!

I will upload all the photos on Monday from the event.

Blogger event for Body Electrics

I am starting to plan the blogger event for April 7th and 8th in the UK, as well as working on one for all y'all NYC based bloggers and it's going to be fantastic [if I do say so myself...!] so, in celebration, I want to let you all know a little bit more about our Spring Summer collection.

Due for a mid April launch across all counters in the UK - and May in the US - Body Electrics celebrates the body in motion, enhances your individual contours and is an explosion of electrifying energy. Again, we have new product textures and some otherwordly shades and unique finishes.

I went behind the scenes of the shoot in January to find out all the details, hints and tips and interviews with the creatives and I will post these as we get closer to launch date...

Here is the interview with Warren du Preez and Nick Thornton, the fantastic photography duo. Their inspirational photographic style [showcased in the below images] was a big influence on the final Body Electrics shoot...

You collaborate with Alex Box frequently. Do you have a shared vision on beauty?

We have a shared creative passion for what we love to do and a vision to making things all beautiful and mysterious .

What are your main focuses when conducting a beauty shoot? The model, the fashion, the make-up or the technical aspects of photography, for example?

Finding a beautiful, unique face that you can transform with direction, light and magic. Working with people who have an interesting vision to what they do and bring all these elements together.

How would you describe the shooting of the Body Electrics campaign?

An electrifying emotion of fantasy

Who or what are your main influences and/or points of reference?

Our imagination and a perseverance with a vision , life experiences and other artistic expression inspires us

What does Illamasqua mean to you?

Alex's dream and passion

A Milf for Mothers Day...

This summary is not available. Please click here to view the post.

04 March 2010

Illamasqua Artist Training

At Illamasqua, we are bringing truly professional cosmetics to the high street for the first time. We are commited to providing excellent training to support our incredible artists and to encourage and inspire their creativity and development.

One of the great things about our new office is there a dedicated training room that Trudi [our Head of Training and Professional Strategy] and Daniel [our International Trainer] have been utilising for the past three days.

Rachel and Dominic from Debenhams Belfast, Amanda and Shelly from Selfridges London, Phillip from Selfridges Trafford and Emily-Jane from Selfridges Birmingham all came along for the first Illamasqua artist training in the new office.

I have been quite fascinated by everything that has been going on in that room! Models have been coming and going and deliveries have been coming from Pret A Manger every day - including that delicious chocolate covered popcorn... Yum. Oh, and I've just spied a bag of donuts. What is it about getting a group of people together from Illamasqua and we always end up with a big bag of donuts? Not that I'm complaining.

I digress.

The final day's training yesterday encouraged plenty of creativity, artistic expression and using the face as a canvas ...

The palette...

03 March 2010

Director's Cut: Belfast

The winner of last week's Director's Cut is the Belfast team at Debenhams. The winning photo was Mark's, who created this look on himself based on "Monochromatic geometry. Whenever I think monochrome, I think 1960s and inevitably I tend to end up with a graphic geometric look!"

So, how did Mark create this Tim Burton-esque look?

"I always start with eyebrows. I know what kind of look I will end up with by how I start with the brows, so I used Sealing Gel mixed with Eye Liner Cake in 'Mislead' for a strong, blacker than black brows.

I then pressed on Concealer in 100 for a white base and added Pure Pigment in 'Tingle' for a crisp, shimmering white finish. I then lined around this with the Sealing Gel and 'Mislead' mixture and blended this out with Powder Eye Shadow in 'Gimp' for a shadowy effect.

Finally, I used the Contour Kit from the recent January promotion online, coordinating between Powder Blusher in 'Mischief' and Powder Blusher in 'Complex' to create a strong contour."

Nail Varnish Competition - Update!

You guys have really blown me away with the standard of Nail Varnish Competition entries we have been receiving. There has been some really incredible why-didnt-I-think-of-that type entries and we have had well over a thousand and with two weeks left... I don't pity the judges! I have given them three weeks to pick a winner after the closing date of Sunday March 14th...

So, I thought I would give you a sneak peak at some of my favourite entries we have had so far.

"Nothing is more breath taking than sunsets. I'm mystified by the purple-y blue clouds I see in the sky as the day ends... Its mysterious and calming,.I watched the sunset that day as I reflected on a lot of things in my life so I would appropriately name it Reflect."

"Lime gree but not too bright (or neon) with tiny golden shimmer in it. I could not find a colour that looks like this but I love the colour of Mojito which is a lime green. I think this nail colour would be perfect for Spring!"

"Black mamba; dangerous and beautiful; lightning fast killer. They say if you get close enough to see the inky black of its mouth, that’ll be the last thing you see. My colour would be an ashy khaki grey. Enticing, rich, glossy nails, just like the mamba’s distinct scales. Deadly, divine."

Keep them coming, this really is a fantastic competition with an incredible prize and I am having such fun looking at all the entries.

Closing date: Sunday March 14th.

Alex Box Masterclass 15th March at Selfridges Trafford

Alex Box will be presenting an exclusive Masterclass at Selfridges Trafford Centre following on from the success of last year's event.

There will be two sessions on Monday 15th March that will allow you to witness the creative genius of Alex.

4-5:30 pm - Night-time Divas

How to release your alter-ego at night? How can you master those all important false eye lashes, a perfect cupids bow and what are the tools that you will need? Alex will cover all this and more.

6:30-8 pm - Dare To Be Different

Perfect for those who want to push the boundaries of artistic make-up and learn top secrets on contouring, highlighting, strong brows, intense colour blending and more.

There will also time to ask her any questions you may have...

What has been the highlight of her career so far?
What advice can she give to aspiring make-up artists?
What are her greatest influences?
What does she do to relax?

Anyone who knows her will tell you that there is no one more dedicated to their craft, more passionate about make-up and more excited about the success of Illamasqua than Alex Box.

Tickets are £25 redeemable against product purchases. Call the Trafford counter on 0161 629 1187 for more information or to book your place.

Perfect excuse to post my fave picture of the moment, too! This is Alex's work for Italian Vogue.