30 June 2010

International Trainer Daniel Talks Australia...

Cult Week 3...

Continuing our ever-popular Cult Week countdown to Summer [although if you are in England, it's finally arrived!] we have four more fantastic products with 20% off for a limited time only...

Nail Varnish in 'Nudge'

Looking for that extra incentive to pick up one of the must-have Varnishes of the Summer? Then look no further than Nudge - think a slightly blue leaning mint ice-cream colour and that's Nudge.

*thanks to Vampy Varnish for the swatch*

Eye Liner Cake in 'Mislead'

The hero shade of the Eye Liner Cake family, Mislead is an inky black that, when mixes with Sealing Gel or a mixing medium, becomes a thick paste ideal for creating eye liner flicks, or for general face and body art!
The packaging was inspired by the cake products that were popular in the 30s and 40s. It reminds me of a by-gone era of Golden Hollywood when the art of making up was at it's height. I love how it dries matt, too.

False Eye Lashes 021

Anyone who knows me, knows that false eye lashes are my go-to on a night out! When you have been working in the office all day and you have no time for touch-ups [or don't work in a make-up office like me and so don't have hundreds of products at your disposal!] then reaching for a pair of lashes is an instant day-to-night look.

These lashes are my absolute favourites, as you can see below!

Pure Pigment in 'Android'

We heard last week how Debbie Harry - lead singer of Blondie - had stocked up on this product in Fenwick Newcastle. Not a surprise, as Android is a rock stars dream product; shimmering, sparkling and perfect for smudgy, smoky eyes.

A favourite tip of our artists on counter is to layer it over Concealer 350 [pure black] on to the eyes; the concealer encourages further intensity and longevity. This is the technique I have used in the picture above, so I know that it works!

28 June 2010

Wednesday Night At Q Bar, Sydney

Wednesday 30th June sees the highly anticipated relaunch of 'Paradise City' at the Q Bar on Oxford Street in Sydney. The monthly night will be run in association with Illamasqua and the rock and roll night will be hosted by Familia and L.U.S.T.

The Illamasqua Lounge [a recurring theme at recent events!] will be a hive of activity, with some of our artists from Myer Sydney coming along to meet and greet guests and introduce them to the world of Illamasqua.

Now, I know that hardly anyone goes out for a night on the town without creating a make-up look, but ever feel that you have the same smokey eye, or the same retro lip, or same false lashes every week and want a bit of a creative hand in shaking things up? Then it's definitely worth speaking to one of the team that will give you an alternate point of view and encourage you to explore a variety of alter egos that you may enjoy releasing for nights out to come...

We will also be creating looks for the bands, so if you get along early enough you may be lucky enough to spot them in their transformation stage...

I'll post pictures as soon as I receive them from the Illamasqua team in Sydney.

Last Chance for Birmingham Masterclass!

Following on from the extraordinary success of the Masterclasses in London and Manchester, Alex will now be appearing at the Selfridges Bullring on Saturday 3rd July.

Two sessions - one at 2pm and one at 4 pm - will showcase the work that made Alex Box one of the most exciting, innovative and forward thinking artists of the modern era.

Come along and experience for yourself the dramatic artistry of Alex and get the chance to ask questions and interact with her and the amazing group of artists from the Selfridges Birmingham Illamasqua counter.

Call 0121 600 6818 to reserve your place.

25 June 2010

Sydney Myer Has Launched!

I have just had word from the Sydney team at Illamasqua that they are enjoying a roaring days trade in Australia as guests to Myer clamour over the new counter...

24 June 2010

1 Day To Go To Myer Sydney Launch...

Very exciting stuff here right now... I can barely contain my excitement for all those who live on the other side of the world! Australia is having it's beauty moment of the decade as Illamasqua launches at Myer Sydney tomorrow.

If you are around and fancy a complimentary make-up lesson by one of our new team of fantastic artists, check out this blog post that will tell you all you need to know...

Nail Varnish Competition - Winners!

Drum roll please...

The winners of the competition have been announced and we are so excited that these are now in production, with an early October launch date currently planned... although the winners will receive their shades in August - it's only fair they get theirs before everyone else!

Before I begin talking about the winners [and why they won] I want to personally thank everyone who has entered - and there were over 6,000 and I was thrilled with how people to took the brief of Create Your Dream Nail Varnish and really thought outside the box in terms of what their ultimate lacquer would look like.

We were originally going to have two winners, but we couldn't decide on just two, so we went for three!

Here they are...

Raindrops - by Ann Black

The inspiration was a photograph of pouring rain and how it settles in to drops on the window - we liked that it was a first hand image from Ann. Read her full idea here on her blog.

The consistency of the varnish is quite sheer, but very buildable and has they wonderful flecks in, a variety of silver, white and darker grey that actually look like raindrops on nails. This varnish was considered so unique and desirable that the nail artist on our Autumn Winter shoot used it on almost every model!

Eclipse - by Dami Lawal

The thing that, to me, was most beautiful about this was the rich purple/grey/blue/black colour that the image conjured up. We felt that this colour was missing from the current colour collection at Illamasqua and yet everyone at HQ started getting very excited when the first samples landed - it was always going to be a winner. There were several colours that came back from our supplier's interpretation of the image and many of them were beautiful; it was extremely difficult to chose but the final colour is a real black/blue/purple colour with a hint of shimmer.

Shrapnel - by Loren Perry

The entry submitted by Loren told us that she was looking for a copper that leaned pink - something she had had real difficulty finding. Her image below is of a pair of unbelivably desirable Lanvin brogues, although she also described a copper coin, so it gave us plenty of ideas in how we could translate that in to a Nail Varnish. We asked our supplier to show us satin finishes, high-gloss finishes and sparkling finishes. We ended up going for a mixture of all three and trust me - this is a really unique finish...

22 June 2010

Artist Profile: Mikele Simone, Counter Manager Myer, Sydney

I spent part of yesterday looking at the portfolios of the five make-up artists who are launching Illamasqua's first Australian counter in Myer Sydney this Friday 25th June and they are truly, truly phenomenal. Trudi Kynaston, International Brand Director in Australia, is as excited as I am, so I asked her to grab an interview with our new Counter Manager, Mikele Simone...

Who/ what inspired you to go into make-up?

My Mum was a runway and magazine model in Italy; I still have copies of the Vogue Italia she appeared in. I used to sit watching her at her dressing table as a child and I always wanted to play with the make-up and dress up myself!

Did you know back then that you would be a make-up artist?

No, I went down an academic route because that was what was expected of me. I spent 6 months at Veterinary college before I found the courage to tell my family I really wanted to go into fashion. I studied fashion design and worked as a couture designer for two years - I spent endless hours stitching sequins on to exquisite ball gowns. While I was doing that I learned all about make-up from the professionals around me and became fascinated with creating looks. I love the transcience of it as an art.

What are you most proud of in your career so far?

I've done so much in such a short space of time - once I found my vocation in make-up opportunities kept flowing my way and I am very proud of my photographic portfolio. Something that I am truly proud of is when I worked in Myer in Perth - a very conservative part of Australia when it comes to self-expression. I used to go to work with full avant-garde make-up every day - it raised a few eyebrows!

How do you think Australia will take to Illamasqua?

They will love it! I have been following Illamasqua online ever since the brand launched and I could barely breathe when I heard it was coming to Sydney. I know there are many, many make-up lovers in this country who are ready for a brand that dares to be different. What I love about Illamasqua is that we don't just sell make-up - we are professional make-up artists who inspire our customers and give them lessons in how to create the looks they want. A little bit of know-how really gives you confidence.

To book a lesson with Mikele, call the Illamasqua counter in Myer Sydney on 1800 66 12 10

Show Stopping Street Art in Sydney

Illamasqua's newly recruited team of make-up artists have been warming up for our exclusive launch at Myer Sydney in Australia on Friday 25th June [this Friday!!] with an alternative take on street art for Sydney-siders around the city. Our artists have been creating live portraiture for the entertainment of workers in prime lunch sites around the city, weekend leisure sports and Sydney landmarks.

You may have spotted Mikele, Jerry, Renee and Mariel at the Opera House, Martin Place, Grosvenor Square, the Bondi-Bronte walk or in Newtown. Their amazing work will continue in Myer from today where the team will be at the George Street entreance to the store, creating iconic Ilamasqua looks and taking bookings for make-up lessons and transformations.

For all you lucky Sydney based people, book in with our artists to get a real taste of Illamasqua on 1800 66 1210.

Special thanks need to go to the House of Fetish on Oxford Street, Sydney for the stunning clothes our model Jake is wearing.

21 June 2010

Alex Box Masterclass Selfridges Bullring Saturday 3rd July

Following on from the extraordinary success of the Masterclasses in London and Manchester, Alex will now be appearing at the Selfridges Bullring on Saturday 3rd July.

Two sessions - one at 2pm and one at 4 pm - will showcase the work that made Alex Box one of the most exciting, innovative and forward thinking artists of the modern era.

Come along and experience for yourself the dramatic artistry of Alex and get the chance to ask questions and interact with her and the amazing group of artists from the Selfridges Birmingham Illamasqua counter.

Call 0121 600 6818 to reserve your place.

18 June 2010

Lure Has Been Revamped

After a HUGE revamp, we are so excited that our Lure range has finally launched online at www.illamasqua.com .

We’ve listened to feedback from our customers, make-up artists and industry professionals, and revitalised our entire Lure range. The colours are better than ever [ie, they match across all the lines from Concealer, Under-Eye Concealer, Powder Foundation, Rich Liquid Foundation, Cream Foundation, Pressed Powder, Loose Powder and of course the brand new Light Liquid Foundation] and we have also got real skin swatches on the website to help you make the best decision.

To view the unique colour swatching, click here.



Finally, a little more on the Light Liquid Foundation...

Not only is it lightweight and has a dewy finish. It has been designed to mimic the skin’s natural look, whilst still covering blemishes. The formulation also has moisturizing and hydrating properties and contains skin-conditioning ingredients including Vitamin E.

Alex Box has been using it on today's shoot on one of our models and everyone has loved the dewy texture; like mixing Satin Primer with Cream Foundation commented one assistant.

Lure Revamped has been a major project for Illamasqua and new shades are arriving daily. So if the product you want is showing as out of stock, click ‘Email me when available’ to be among the first to know when it arrives.



Countdown Until Australia Launch...

We have been so busy with collection shoots, events in and out of London that we haven't posted anything on the progress of the Myer Sydney launch...

Well, it's still underway and doesn't time fly... our counter will launch to the delight of the Sydney night-time scene, press, beauty eds, bloggers and general beauty fanatics!

With a stellar team now set up in Sydney, they are really looking forward to meeting all you Australians who have yet to explore and reveal the other, darker you. I will be running interviews with the new team to showcase them to the blogosphere - these are the creme de la creme of make-up artists in Sydney and we are so excited to have them at Illamasqua! They have spent the past month in intense training for their new roles and have learnt all about the heritage, beliefs and artistry of Illamasqua.

There has been a fantastic buzz about the brand and the likes of Harpers Bazaar and Vogue have been knocking our doors down to get interviews with Alex Box ahead of her visit in August.

We are also preparing a HUGE fashion show ... but more on that later.

16 June 2010

Adam and Mika visit Selfridges Trafford

Mika [star of Dystopia and underground club scene extradonaire] and Adam [national make-up artist for Illamasqua and celebrity artist with the likes of Fergie, Pussy Cat Dolls and Rihanna amongst his extensive list of clients] will be visiting Selfridges Trafford on Thursday June 24th.

Appointments are booking up quick, so call the counter today on 0161 629 1187 for a personal, unique consultation with two of the most celebrated make-up artists in London.


Live Feed from the Illamasqua Autumn Winter 2010 shoot - happening now! Follow us on twitter.com/illamasqua for the latest news, views and behind-the-scenes happenings...

13 June 2010

11 June 2010

Alix Fox - Get The Look

Mika Daniels, National Make-up Artist for Illamasqua – “Alix and I consulted on what look would best suit her fantastic, iconic outfit. We used manga characters and cartoonish colours as inspiration, as well as a quirky, fun take on fox-like features.”


Mika used the new formulation Light Liquid Foundation in 133 on Alix for a smooth, sweat resistant finish [definitely needed in the rising temperatures and harsh lighting of the main stage!] and used Blusher Brush I to buff the product in.

He mattified Alix’s skin with a touch of Powder Foundation in 133 to take off the shine and provide long-lasting coverage. He used a small amount of Gleam Cream to catch the light and provide a soft glow to Alix’s already beautiful skin.

Mika layered Cream Blusher in 'Promise' for a pop of warm candy pink on to Alix’s cheekbones and built the colour up into her temples and hair line. “We were after a continuation of her hair colour down the side of her face. A kind of pink sideburn!”

To highlight, Mika used Powder Blusher in ‘Intrigue’ “the best highlighter for pale skin, this product is unique on the market as it is a true white, finely milled powder that allows you to brighten pale skin tones.”


To mimic Alix’s blue and pink outfit, Mika selected Powder Eye Shadows in 'Dance' [bright royal blue], Victim [a bright azure blue] and Maybe? [a hot magenta pink] for a splash of colour to enhance Alix’s brown eyes.

He kept blending to a minimum and mixed Sealing Gel with Eye Liner Cake in 'Mislead' for a foxy flick of black across the upper lash line.

To bring added dimension to the eyes, he used Medium Pencil in 'Elate' – a creamy white – for the water line and inner corners of the eyes.

He also used the Cream Blusher in 'Promise' for the colour dots under Alix’s eyes for an Illamasqua twist…

Finally, Mika deepened Alix’s eye brows with Eye Brow Cake in 'Gaze'.


To continue the bubblegum pink theme, Mika again used Cream Blusher in 'Promise' on the lips – the intensity of the pigment in the blusher means it is perfect as a lip colour, plus the Vitamin E extract keep lips hydrated and smooth. He definied using Medium Pencil in 'Manic'.


Mika wanted to bring some iridescent shimmer to Alix’s décolletage and shoulder by using “half a tub of Pure Pigment in Static!” The blue/pink/silver tones beautifully catch light and add a dimensional interest to the matt look of the face.

Box News Flash!

Whew! Everything has been a bit of a whirlwind at HQ, but I found a few minutes to catch up with Alex Box on her work life over the past few weeks...

Last week was the Unkle music video launch for Follow Me Down; shot by the formidable photography duo of Warren and Nick with Alex creating the fantastical face and body art... the supermodel Liberty Ross looks incredible, too!

Last week, Alex worked with Japanese Vogue, recreating iconic brand images from some of the oldest beauty houses, as well as being featured in a double page article - Issue coming soon!

With campaigns for Pepe Jeans, Mandarin Oriental [which Alex was particularly excited about as it starred Sa DingDing, China's answers to Bjork] and Mercedes with the gorgeous Milla Jovovich and has a big shoot with Italian Vogue next week.

Last night, Spob, Rosa, Adam, Alex and I attended the West Thames College Graduate show that Alex found "really great - moved by how much heart and soul they put into their artistic creations." We sat front row to watch the show [full write up coming soon...] and afterwards took the trip backstage to meet the artists and their dedicated models. One girl had been there since 6:30am working on the body art. That's dedication to your craft!

Also, we have our Autumn Winter 2010 collection shoot next week, which is very exciting. This is the first time that the shoot will cover two days instead of one, which gives you an idea of the scale of the shoot we have going on...

For those of you who missed it last time, here is the video of the Alex Box interview at Selfridges London with Lynne from Fragdiegurus blog, and the fantastic Looking Good Blog.

10 June 2010

Illamasqua AW10 Casting Call

Yesterday was the casting call for our eagerly anticipated AW10 collection. Obviously, we cannot give too many details away as yet, but I can tell you that this is the biggest, boldest and most dramatic collection to date, in my mind...

So we opened the doors to our London HQ yesterday and invited in a mix of models and some of you who had applied online for our call.

We printed off a random selection of images that we have collated over the past 18 months; from masterclasses to night-clubs, from shoots to shows, launches to counter activity...

Alex Box, Joe Corre and Tim Bret-Day [the photographer of those wonderful Agent Provocateur ads amongst many, many other iconic shoots as well as having the most gorgeous website...] were our judges for the day.

For those of you who did not get called back, don't worry! The brief that Alex Box and the creatives behind the collection gave us was very specific - they knew exactly the type of person they were looking for and we have found them!

08 June 2010


I was revisiting my old blog [before I worked for Illamasqua, I wrote a rather rubbish beauty blog that I used as a creative outlet whilst at University...] and found a picture of all the looks I had when I first started working at Illamasqua on counter!

As you can see, I went through a bit of a phase with coloured eye brows - what do you think? Hit or miss?!

I also found the original post that I wrote on Illamasqua straight after launch - copied and pasted below...

And then along came a brand with a brain and a bit of imagination.

Welcome to the world of Illamasqua. I predict big things for this brand. The brainchild of super creative make up artist Alex Box, it's neon-esque, quality colours are just part of the reason that this brand is sure to get cult status amongst the IT crowd.

The campaigns are imaginative and funky. Not your average model-lounging-about-looking-gorgeous job. The four scenarios used to launch this brand are:

1920s Berlin - "intense, dramatic, mysterious"

Fantasy - "strong, untamed and suprising"

Noir - "edgy, accentuated glamour"

Romance - "soft and vulnerable"

I've finally arrived in London and not a moment too soon! So Long Countryside! Actually, that's a bit inaccurate considering I live in leafy Woking, but waking up to the smell of fertiliser is now a distant memory of the past [until Christmas that is...]

So what did I do yesterday? I headed for Selfridges, of course! I have been salivating at the thought of sitting down with one of the Illamasqua artists [did you see the ad in Grazia? Hottt!] and having a play with their products. So I did just that. The counter is inbetween MAC and YSL but the great thing about it is it's accessibility' - you can walk around and really interact with the product. There is also a TV screen showing looks and demonstrations and the staff are really friendly and helpful! I imagine Alex Box herself has hand picked the staff as they are all very alternative looking and as I was to find out, experts in their chosen field.

I sat down with Adam, a personal friend of Ms Box. He has done the make up for Rhianna, Pussy Cat Dolls and Fergie [the singer not the royal] and asked him to introduce me to the collection. My personal favourites are the Pure Pigment, which is a shimmery [but not in a glittery way, it just nicely catches the light...] powder, eye brow cake [Adam put on a grey/taupe colour that I thought would look hideous and yet was a great match once it was on] and the concealer. Adam told me that Alex had modelled the concealer on [a best selling competitors concealer] which is one of the most popular concealers with Beauty editors/ make up artists etc. Definitely going to be getting that one! They also have a delightful range of false eyelashes, from basic black to full on Shu-types, but for £9. Bar. Gain.

Anyway, I am going to book in for a full make over on Saturday night so I can look good for my first night in London since my birthday!

07 June 2010

Bizarre Ball 2010: The Fallout

The eagerly anticipated 3rd annual Bizarre Ball took rocked into town at the Coronet Theatre in London on Saturday 5th June. An eclectic mix of alternative burlesque, performance, music and much, much more with the central theme of 'Circus'. We had an Illamasqua Lounge, for those who had purchased Sophie wristbands and for guests of Illamasqua, including Sylvia Lancaster, Joe Corre, Lady Lloyd and Illamasqua HQ team.

I went down to set up with a stellar team of Mika, Adam [who came as Medusa...], Lucie N and Lucy G and arrived to the most decadent Lounge area.

The team at Bizarre magazine really came up trumps, thanks guys! The beautiful black velvet drapery, the plush chaise lounge and the Old Hollywood style mirrors gave the lounge a beautifully dark feel and the likes of Alix Fox and Jodie Harsh came along to get their make-up done prior to the show.

Mika worked with Alix on a gorgeous look to compliment her iconic outfit [blog post to follow with a look break down!] and Lucy G created this fabulous look for me, using the Limited Edition Birthday Lashes [I had so many compliments on this look throughout the night, so thanks Lucy!]

For a full event run down, go to the Bizarre magazine website - I was so busy in the Illamasqua Lounge that I missed most of what happened, so I can't report on that, I'm afraid! However, I do know that The Gallows, The Horrors, Dirty DC and The Urban VooDoo Machine all performed to a rapturous crowd. Jodie Harsh was the highlight of the DJ sets and The Circus of Horrors took over the main stage for a lot of... erm, delightful entertainment...

From 6:30 to 1:30 we kept the lounge open to all those who wanted to come and have a play with the products, meet our team and have an area to relax in away from the main stage. We also had our lovely photographer Paula to take snaps against our Illamasqua backdrop - we are in the process of uploading all of these to the Illamasqua Alter Ego Gallery so check back later in the week!

It was so much fun meeting people who were expressing themselves through their clothes, hair and of course make-up with the sole purpose of looking unique and, more importantly, like themselves. It's difficult to quantify how much the fashion magazines and the "What not to wear" generation of mainstream media channels influence us on our personal styles and the Bizarre Ball provides a platform with which to self express and be around others who have similar attitudes.

Here are some of my favourite looks of the night...