27 August 2009

Introducing: Powder Eye Shadow in Machine

The latest product from Dystopia that I am going to show you is a new Powder Eye Shadow - with a twist.

This product is a black Powder Eye Shadow with glitter in it - so technically this is a brand, spanking new texture from Illamasqua! 'Machine' has a very buildable base, meaning it can look dark grey when first applied or layered up for a true, intense black. The glitter means the colour catches the light beautifully - glitter does not have to mean an overdose of shimmer. I think it looks a lot more impactful because of the matt texture of the Eye Shadow.

I have paired it here with the new Liquid Metal in 'Phenomena'. I love to mix up textures and begun with a dewy base of Light Liquid Foundation topped off with a touch of Press Powder [this camera is so good that it tends to make my face look like an oil slick!] and pressed in a little Cream Blusher in 'Seduce'.

For the eyes, I used a base of Cream Eye Shadow in 'Amorous', a lovely grey/ aubergine that acts well as a base for heavy eye colour. I then smudged 'Phenomena' into the inner corner and across half of the lid and then built up 'Machine' around the outer corner and through the socket. These products blended really easily together and I really liked the finish look.

I went to the gym this morning and left my make-up kit at home [not really a problem when you work at Illamasqua, but annoying all the same!] and have been mascara-less all day. I think this look actually looks great without mascara as it keeps the focus on the texture of the shadows with no long black lashes in the way!

Dystopia will be available for pre order from the 3rd September at www.illamasqua.com

26 August 2009

Introducing: Pure Pigment in Android

As you all know, we love to hear customer feedback, questions and queries, so it will come as no surprise to you that we have acted on this!

If there was one thing that artists get asked about time and again, it is about extending the Pure Pigment range; in particular a darker range of colours.

So ladies and gents, I am thrilled to introduce to you: 'Android'.

'Android' is similar to 'Fervent' in texture - slightly larger particles than the likes of 'Furore' and 'Chasm' - with a very unique colour finish.

The base of the product is a slate grey. The shimmering particles within this base colour are a mixture of green, purple, white, pink and silver that depending on lighting and application, produces a myriad of effects and tones.

If used with Sealing Gel or water, this product becomes even deeper, bolder and more incredible.
The photograph below shows the Pure Pigment dry on the left and wet on the right...

And with flash...

'Android' makes such a statement in colour and texture that I would wear this with minimal make-up other than a small amount of contouring of the cheeks and a nude gloss then use this wet all over my eye lid with lashing of mascara, similar to the look of Versace Autumn Winter 09.

Dystopia will be available to pre-order online from 3rd September 2009.

Rankin Live! Exhibition

Rankin established his reputation in the fashion world when he launched Dazed & Confused with his business partner Jefferson Hack in 1991. Rankin has an iconic, immediately recognisable intimate portraiture style that has seen the likes of Kate Moss, Britney Spears, Madonna, Giselle, The Queen, Tony Blair and Heidi Klum pose for him.

Rankin Live! is a project that will involve 1000 members of the British public and is currently exhibiting at the Truman Brewery on Brick Lane, Shoreditch. Last weekend I had the pleasure to be photographed by him for the exhibition. I’ve seriously never been so excited and nervous in my life – what do you think of the final pic? The man is a genius!

I seriously recommend going along to view his work – the exhibition is on until the 18th September – as it’s a huge space filled with some of the most exciting and beautiful images I have ever seen. My favourites include Lily Cole in her underwear [such an ethereal, pre-raphaelite beauty] shot for Arena magazine and Kate Moss in her 90s grunge days.

There is also a section dedicated to beauty and this particularly grabbed my interest [surprise, surprise!] Alex Box has done a lot of work with Rankin and they have collaborated on a project... news of this to follow shortly, keep an eye on the blog for more details!

For more details of the exhibition, click here. A must for all lovers of fashion, beauty and photography.

25 August 2009

Introducing: Nail Varnish in Obsess

Every day this week I will be leaking details on the Dystopia collection so today I present to you all one of the new Nail Varnishes; 'Obsess'. This fabulous colour was inspired, in part, by Kate - Marketing and Product Director.

After wearing 'Boosh' [our glossy black Nail Varnish] and 'DWS' [the cement grey creme] on her fingers all winter, she moved on to 'Grab' [a pinkish grape creme] this summer and also 'Collide' [an eye wateringly neon pink] and whilst loving them both, wished she could increase the vibrancy of 'Grab' without the in-your-face brightness of 'Collide'... result? A colour to Obsess about!

It's perfect for winter as it still has the attitude of 'Collide' but with the autumnal feel of 'Grab' - a perfect mix of the two.

The Dystopia collection will be available for pre-order online from September 3rd 2009.

Francesco's Personal Appearance at BT2, Dublin 27th-29th August

Francesco Lo Cascio is a ten year veteran of the beauty industry. He began his studies at the London College of Fashion, where he studied make-up artisty. On completion of his formal training, he lent his crative skills and expertise to such various projects as the MTV Music Awards, the Academy Award nominated film Billy Elliot and as a freelance make-up artist with a client stable including Christy Turlington, Eva Herzigova, Destiny's Child, Kate Moss, Isabella Blow and the Sugababes.

Francesco's artistic talents also extends to the world of fashion, where he was worked behind the scenes at Fendi, Alexander McQueen, Alessandro Dell'Acqua and MaxMara.
Francesco has also contributed his talents to creating beauty looks for editorial features in publications such as Vogue Italia, Marie Claire (Italy), Vogue Bambini, You Magazine and Vogue Espana.

As an artist, Francesco acts as a liaison between the high fashion and consumer
worlds. His immense talent and experience enables him to understand and
exemplify all that makes Illamasqua truly unique, and his technique and
understanding of this brand trademark style make him an integral part of the team. I grabbed a quick word with him to find out a little more about him...

So Francesco, what is your favourite Illamasqua product, and why?

I love the Cream Foundation, as you can use it day or night because of the variable coverage. I buff it into the skin using the amazing Highlighter Brush.

Sealing Gel, used with the Eyebrow Brush with any coloured Powder Eye Shadow creates a great coloured mascara. Stroke the brush through the lashes to seperate and colour.

Who are your inspirations in the world of beauty/ fashion/ popular culture?

It would have to be Sophia Loren, Madonna, Gwen Stefani and Linda Evangelista. I have been very influenced by artists that I have had the pleasure of working with; Alex Box, Pat McGrath, Topolino... they are true artists.

What is your top tip?

I use the Medium Pencil in 'Sophie' thickly across the lash line. I then take some Pure Pigment in 'Fervent' and smudge all over the eye lid with the Eye Shadow Brush to create a smoky, elegant sparkling eye.

I also love to mix the Medium Pencils with Pure Pigments on the back of the hand prior to application - this creates so many new colours!

What would you say is your personal style?

I am a very minimalist make-up artist - I like to use as few products as possible to create a lot of different looks. I like products that are versatile and I love to use vibrant colours.

I have had many inquiries as how to best use the Illuminators. Can you give our readers some advice?

Yes - you can mix the Satin Primer with the Illuminator in 'Halcyon' to create dewy, glowing skin. On it's own, I would recommend smoothing the Illuminator down the cheekbones, nose and across the T zone to pick up and reflect light without making you look 'greasy'. I also especially recommend 'Fondle' [the peachy pink colour with gold particles] for black skin. It's the best!

Francesco will be making a personal appearance at the Illamasqua counter at BT2, Grafton Street in Dublin from the 27th - 29th August. To book, call +353 1 (0) 6056666 and ask for the Illamasqua counter.

24 August 2009

Introducing: Liquid Metal in Phenomena

One thing you may notice about the Dystopia collection is that all the product names are sci-fi inspired. 'Phenomena' is no different - and what a fitting name! The first time I tried this product I got very, very excited for here was 'Solstice' sent to the Antarctic for a couple of weeks and returning as a pure, molten silver...

For use on eyes, lips and cheeks, this shimmering pot of silver cream can be used as a sheer wash of colour or built up for a full on robotic look. As with the previous two cult Liquid Metals, this one is sure to be a sell out.

The general consensus at the Illamasqua Head Office was that we just had to create another Liquid Metal that would allow for alter egos the world over to paint the town silver after the gold sensation that Solstice brought.

On a side note, we recently gifted Lily Allen's personal make-up artist with 'Phenomena' and the very next day she was photographed rocking this look....

The Dystopia collection will be available to pre-order online from the 3rd September.

Little Boots at Nokia Skate Almighty

Here is Little Boots rocking Illamasqua False Eye Lashes in 16... and what looks like Nail Varnish in 'Propaganda'?! Debatable.

Introducing Dystopia...

After the phenomenal success of our first ever seasonal collection, Sirens, Illamasqua is now going back to the dark, evocative roots of the 1920s and conjuring up an Autumn winter collection that will have you salivating...

Shall I set the scene? The German director Fritz Lang’s masterpiece ‘Metropolis’ is a 1927 silent science fiction film that explored the civil unrest that was being felt by society in the 1920s and translated it into a metaphorical futuristic urban city. The cutting edge set design and directional styling has influenced a whole host of contemporary cultural references including Ridley Scott’s ‘Blade Runner’, Madonna’s music video for ‘Express Yourself’ and The Matrix movies. This dark and sinister world was a big part of the inspiration behind this collection.

So what does Dystopia mean? A dystopian society is the opposite of a utopian society – it is mysterious, edgy and unexpected – exactly like our directional new collection.

The products are a fusion of dark, twisted colours and hot, electric neons for surprising colour combinations; opening up a legion of possible looks.

We have brought back favourite product textures – including the cult Liquid Metal – and introduced some new ones, too. There are colours for the every day and products that your alter ego will want to revel in at night…

22 August 2009

Swatches: Illuminators

I have had several requests of the past couple of weeks to do a swatch post for Illuminators, so here it is!

Illuminate your darker side with this intense colour that highlights and enhances wherever it’s applied. Goes on wet but dries quickly, leaving a high-shine reflective finish that lasts all night. Use it on cheeks, under brows, or on any other part of your body where you want to draw attention.


I adore this colour; it's a bright peachy pink with gold flecks in it. Very pretty on most skin types and especially in sunny weather as the gold flecks reflect the light stunningly. What I like about this one the most is that you can sheer it down a lot so that the gold mixes with the pink to an almost unnoticable degree - great if you are wanting a subtle look with just a hint of sheer pink shimmer. However, if you want bold and sassy colour, it builds up incredibly well because it dries so quickly. It looks fab on eyes and lips as well for an unexpected sparkle.


Glimmer is half way between a gold and a bronze, in my view. I love to mix this with my Cream Foundation on the back of my hand before buffing in with the Highlighter Brush [which I have been using on a daily basis since February following Alex Box's advice, and it hasn't shed on me once...] if I have been using St Tropez [the new range is fragrance free, has anyone tried it? Magic!] and want a touch of colour on my face. It isn't glittery shimmer; it's very finely milled shimmer particles, which I much prefer myself.


Definitely the best Illuminator in terms of highlighting - this is a rich pearlescent white that seems to work well on all skin tones. Dab onto the centre of the eye lid to make the eye 'pop'or under the brow, down the centre of the nose, across the cheekbones, temples, cupids bow... you name it, it'll work beautifully there!


An ivory/ champagne coloured shimmer - almost like a liquid Pure Pigment 'Furore'. I love this slicked over eyes for a wet look, glossy eye. Like 'Furore' it picks up light beautifully and is universally flattering. [second from right]


This baby pink looks lovely pressed into the apples of cheeks or on lips for a cute splash of colour. I personally like to use it on the eye lids and then blend Powder Eye Shadow in 'Fatal' into the outer corner of the eye and along the socket for texture contrast.

* Thanks to Kraseybeauty for swatches*

21 August 2009

Sophie Lancaster Press Release

As Monday approaches, I thought you might like to see the Press Release to mark the second Anniversary of Sophie Lancaster's death, written by the Sophie Lancaster Foundation.

A Unique Mark Of Respect For A Unique Woman
The Death Of Sophie Lancaster - Two Years On

Sophie Lancaster was a Goth. She was also an intelligent 20 year old woman with a bright future. She was beaten up and killed simply for looking different in August 2007. Now, two years on, to mark the anniversary of her death on Monday 24th August, make-up artists across the UK are celebrating the girl who loved to experiment with her looks.

Top make-up brand, Illamasqua - the UK based premium make-up brand that has rapidly grown a cult following worldwide after launching with Selfridges London in November last year - has supported the charity set up in Sophie's name, The Sophie Lancaster Foundation, since the day it launched.

And, to mark the anniversary of Sophie's death on Monday, the brand has announced this as its official day of mourning. All of the staff working on Illamasqua's seven national beauty counters - in leading department stores in London, Manchester, Glasgow, Newcastle, Cardiff, Belfast and Dublin - will be showing their respect and promoting tolerance by wearing black silk arm bands.

All of the counters will be showing bold and beautiful on-screen imagery of Sophie, with messages about the foundation's work. Anybody who buys the SOPHIE black pencil on the Illamasqua counters on this day will also receive a SOPHIE wrist band, enabling all who wear it to show the world they believe in tolerance and respect for all cultures - including sub-cultures.

Illamasqua, which has its roots firmly based in tolerance and self expression will also show its respect and support for Sophie's family, by closing down its website and web shop, which receives over 4,000 worldwide hits a day. Instead, the site will display the charity's haunting advertisement, with a smiling picture of Sophie and a poignant message that reminds everyone to be more tolerant of each other.

On this day, visitors will be able to purchase just one product online - the Illamasqua SOPHIE pencil, where £3 goes directly to the charity.

Sylvia Lancaster, Sophie's mother and driving force behind the Sophie Lancaster Foundation comments, "I want Sophie's story to be an inspiration to us all to live in tolerance and to celebrate everyone's right to be who they want to be. The Sophie Lancaster Foundation and Illamasqua are intrinsically linked - both promote and fight for the freedome to self-express.

"I applaud Illamasqua on its day of mourning for Sophie. It is simply about reminding people that they must take a stand and be exactly who they want to be, whoever or whatever that is - and that is also one of the main ovjectives of Sophie's charity. She would be thrilled."

20 August 2009

Nail Competition Update

I have received some great entries for this - but we still want more! If you went on a great night out and got creative with your nails - then send it in! This is all for a bit of fun - we will put the winner on to the website and you can win some as-yet-unreleased Autumn Winter collection Nail Varnishes, which will be exclusive to the UK stores and online upon release - so if you live abroad, time to get those entries in!

For inspiration - here is Sophy's idea of creativity! I love how the girly tips contrast with the tough, structured ring she has on!

19 August 2009

A Very Special Meeting

Today I went to a great meeting today between our PR Agency and representatives of the Sophie Lancaster Foundation, who work for the creative agency, Propaganda. To read more about the Sophie Foundation, click here.

The plan was to discuss how we can get the Sophie Lancaster Foundation [and the work done by her Mother, Sylvia] into the media spotlight where it belongs. Sylvia has worked tirelessly since the murder of her daughter and met with influential politicians such as Jack Straw and Michael Gove to work towards changing the law that would see thugs who target sub cultures get sentenced under hate crime laws. I was astonished to discover today that most cases of violence towards people for looking different is not classified as a hate crime - ie, being attacked for your race or sexual orientation.

After the meeting, I went with Emma and Claire [who work closely with Sylvia and recently redesigned the website and the Myspace page, as well as launching a twitter] for a coffee to talk in more detail about the foundation and where the money raised goes.

"The bulk of the donations that the charity receives will be ploughed back into national educational workshops. The S.O.P.H.I.E workshops have been created to educate young people about subcultures and teach them how to be tolerant and accepting of everyone.

Money will also be spent on the promotion of tolerance via events, sponsorship and materials.
The Sophie Lancaster Foundation is actively lobbying parliament to drive a change in the hate crime legislation to support and protect subcultures, and some funds will also be used to facilitate this ongoing drive." Says Claire Anderson, charity representative.

Next week is the second anniversary of Sophie's death on Monday we will be focusing you will be able to purchase S.O.P.H.I.E wristbands and the Medium Pencil in 'Sophie' - our best selling black pencil.

I hope you will support us in promoting this wonderful charity in remembrance of a beautiful, innocent girl targeted for nothing more than the clothes she was wearing. To read more about this, check out this previous blog post.

*You can also purchase S.O.P.H.I.E merchandise here.*

18 August 2009

A Time To Reflect

I have been location scouting in Soho today, as we have an event coming up that needs to be as fabulous as our Autumn Winter collection. I cannot believe that it is getting so close to launch time!

Launching a new collection is never easy - how some brands launch 12 a year is unbelievable! After the initial idea has been discussed and evaluated between Alex Box and the Head Office team, Katie and Alex will spend several days locked away discussing colours, textures influences and product stories, from samples sent by our suppliers.

The initial samples will then be approved or sent back with comprehensive notes on how we think they can be improved or how they can fit the collection better. After all the samples have been approved, Katie and Alex will take a look at palettes and what colours will create an interesting yet unique combination.

After this process? Naming the products of course! This is always good fun and there are many rejects until [corny as it sounds...] the name just fits.

Once the final products are all sorted, then our PR team will come to take a look and have a meeting with Kate, Katie and Alex to understand the collection, the fundamental inspiration and to 'have a play' with them all to get a good idea of the texture and the looks that can be achieved.

The next stage [and this stage concluded about a fortnight ago...] is to consider the collection campaign. Models, hairdresser, photographer, stylist, location... all these individuals have to 'get' the idea behind the collection and be working towards the same goal - it's an extremely creative environment and there was plenty of working on instinct at the shoot.

Since the shoot, we have been whittling down the number of photographs taken [literally, hundreds] to about a dozen to use in the final campaign, for Point of Sale, advertising, leaflets, postcards, product books, website, duratrans...

So this is the stage we are at now! The deadline we are working towards is the beginning of September when all the blood, sweat and tears [I'm so dramatic...!] will be out for you all to see...

Illamasqua Icons: Lol

Julian Kynaston, Chairman of Illamasqua, has chosen the character of Lol from the film This Is England as his Illamasqua Icon.

For those of you who have yet to see Shane Meadows 2007 drama - an insightful portrayal into the 1980s Youth culture; in paticular the original skinhead subculture - it has a riveting cast, including Vicky McClure, who plays Lol.

Julian tells me more:

"With three essential parts of Illamasqua being ....1) Youth Culture 2) Professional Make Up for stage and screen and also...3) Human Fundamentalism [our term for respecting everyone no matter what their background] one actress sums this up for me more than any other.

Vicky McClure’s roles have always engaged me. As an actress I think she is simply awesome. Her portrayal of Lol in Shane Meadows This Is England is stunning. Playing a skinhead in the role Vicky stands for the beliefs of the original skinhead culture and is disgusted by the new wave of racism that is sweeping the country and dividing her gang.

In this role she delivers to me all what I recall from my own youth is best about youth culture and the amazing feeling that goes along with being part of something. Vicky is an amazing actress...what I would call a 'serious' actress.

Vicky's look as Lol is seriously Iconic for me. The skinhead girls looked and still look amazing... if ever their was a unique look... this is it for me.

Vicky...where are you? Come and play with us here at Illamasqua. We love you!"

Vicky rocked the Punk/New wave look that was popular in the 1980s, with an androgynous mix of skinhead and smoky eye make-up. The pale skin and sharply contoured cheeks was part and parcel of the 1980's makeup looks - try Cream Foundation in 110 and Powder Blusher in 'Disobey' would give a similar look to the image of Lol, above.

The lips are left bare [how would Lol smoke with lipgloss on?!] and the eyes are smudged with charcoal. Try Medium Pencil in 'Sophie' for a glossy black or 'Errant' for a navy/grey.

14 August 2009

Leena's Shoot With Pure Essence

Our artists are such a talented bunch; Leena from Selfridges Trafford created these gorgeous looks for Pure Essence Hair Salon in Manchester - she used Powdered Metals on the cheeks, Powder Eye Shadow on the lids and False Eye Lashes 17 on both the top and bottom lashes.

Leena - will you please be my personal make-up artist?!

To book a lesson with Leena at Selfridges Trafford, call 0161 629 1187.