Tag Archives: Illamasqua

An Interview with Illamasqua’s Founder, Julian Kynaston

illamasqua julian kynaston

Photo by Jacie at www.youvegotnail.com

Today we have a special treat as I have an interview with the Founder and Joint MD of Illamasqua, Julian Kynaston. Recently named as the fastest growing makeup company EVER, he has good reason to be proud of the cult UK makeup brand that he started a little over two years ago and has taken the world, quite literally, by storm. It has heralded in a new era of pride in the art of wearing makeup – not just through the arresting visuals (part of the genius of their Creative Director, Alex Box), but in the incredible pigment pay off of the products that allows you to play and experiment in completely unique way. Other makeup companies have had this ethos in the past, but now most counters on the makeup floor play it pretty safe – but never Illamasqua! Here’s what Julian had to say when I spoke to him:
 
1. What prompted you to create Illamasqua?

People told me that the only way to make an impact in the global make up market was to have in excess of 25 million pounds or take 25 years. We had neither but love a challenge. We believe in out-thinking and not outspending competition

2. Why did you get involved with the Sophie Lancaster foundation?

We were setting out to build a brand which would empower women to wear make up louder and bolder than ever before and for men to wear make up way beyond the cliche of eyeliner and concealer. Somewhere else Sophie Lancaster was killed for being a Goth – murdered for the way she chose to look and live her life. It felt natural to work with Sophie’s mum Sylvia to help build the charity and spread the message to Stamp Out Prejudice Hatred and Intolerance Everywhere ( S.O.P.H.I.E)

3. How did Joe Corre come to be involved with Illamasqua?

When Joe sold Agent Provocateur he wanted to launch a make up brand. Joe was introduced to Illamasqua and thought ‘wow’. He decided to play with us as our ideas were exactly the same as his ambitions for doing something very different in a very safe sector.

4. What’s coming up next for Illamasqua?

More own stores, fragrance (Joe Correis leading this, having already achieved rare commercial success with the first fragrance at Agent Provocateur) and as with Illamasqua… more and more inspiration for those who crave it.

5. What do you like doing in your spare time?

Thinking up ideas for Illamasqua, walking, shopping, Tweeting.

www.illamasqua.com

 

Beauty Breakdown: Thandie Newton at the Met Ball, New York

Thandie Newtown Metball 2011Makeup by Kay Montano

Thandie Newton (this month’s UK Instyle cover girl) looked even more breathtaking than usual at last week’s Met Ball. Seriously, does the woman ever age? Wearing a black lace bespoke Stella Macartney gown she had her makeup done by her long-time makeup artist, Kay Montano. Here’s what Kay used:

Foundation: Olay Touch of Foundation

Powder: Illamasqua Loose Powder in LP235

Blush: MyFace Cosmetics blush in A Her Name is Rio

Eyes

  • MyFace EyeTouch Eyeshadow trio in Midnight Hour
  • MyFace Hi-Def Pencil in Black
  • Chanel Inimitable Obscure mascara in Black
  • Chanel Ecriture de Chanel black liner

Lips: MyFace Lip Pop gloss in 136

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Illamasqua Behind The Scenes – Toxic Nature Campaign

By now you’d have to have been living in a yurt in Outer Mongolia to have missed seeing the incredible campaign images from Illamasqua’s newest collection, Toxic Nature (Creative Director Alex Box in Uber box Mode on this one!)

Check out what went on behind the scenes..

 


 

Rosie Huntington Whiteley Agent Provocateur

Valentine’s Day – The Naughty Version

I have to confess to not being a fan of Valentine’s Day generally – well not the sickly sweet chocolates and teddy bears version (unless you’re five, when it’s therefore age-appropriate and OK). Otherwise, really the flying cupids draped in red velvet and the love hearts on everything are just twee and make me feel vaguely ill.

Come on, we’re all grown ups, right? So in the spirit of Valentine’s Day in the raciest sense of the word, I bring you an Agent Provocateur video I worked on a couple of years ago, with the unbelievable Rosie Huntington-Whiteley playing the woman scorned. Fabulous director Greg Williams wrote and directed it, Kay Montano was on makeup, and Johnnie Sapong (one of my favourite hairdressers) was on hair. The set was closed (you’ll see why when you watch it!) and the AP underwear – well it speaks for itself.

Here’s my beauty recipe for a dangerous Valentine’s day – the kind you’re really looking forward to…

For a touchable body I’m loving Liz Earle’s delicious new Energising Body Lotion with Damask Rose Flower Water and Sweet Orange Oil (this is as sweet as this recipe gets).

For a sultry gaze, mix up MAC Smolder and Coffee eye khols and add a little bit of grease like Vaseline or Elizabeth Arden’s 8 Hour Cream. Not loads but enough to give it that just-been rumpled look. Add lots of Lancome Hypnose mascara for some serious bedroom eyes.

Cheeks should be softly blushed – I like a good cream blush. Becca make a fab selection of cream blushes that look amazing on – particular faves are Geranium, Turkish Rose, Wild Orchid and Amaryllis.

To gild your body I like Illamasqua’s Ether Powdered Metal, which provides a golden glow for fair skins whilst Powdered Metal in Thalia is beautiful on darker skins.

Nails also must be Illamasqua this Valentine’s as they have the best polishes around – I’ll be using Throb, a deep blood red, or Load, which is well, a gorgeous creamy, milky colour.

No Valentine’s day would be complete without a kiss! Dab on Myface Gigabyte Lipstick in Strawberry Fields or Cherry Bomb, and add a touch of their Lip Pop gloss in 136 for lips that would give Rosie a run for her money.

Let Rosie be your Valentine… or else!

www.lizearle.comwww.maccosmetics.com | www.lancome.co.ukwww.beccacosmetics.comwww.illamasqua.comwww.myfacecosmetics.com

Holiday Trend – Gold

Because this is the site with no shame, and because I haven’t had any cheesily fabulous 80’s music on here for awhile, here’s some Spandau Ballet to ease you into this season’s hottest trend for holiday parties – Gold.

Now that I’ve blown your mind with some feathered hair and ostentatious guitar chord playing (check around the 1.23 mark if you’re into that sort of thing), it’s time to get down to business, how to shimmer like a star this Christmas.

The best way to wear golds is generally on the eyes – although this season there are some ace gold nailpolishes around too (but more on them later).

Gold suits every eye colour and in fact every skintone, and metallics in general are huge this season.

My fave way to wear gold on the eyes is to layer a cream with a powder, and for full-on Midas eyes you can’t really go past Illamasqua’s Solstice Liquid Metal with Pure Pigment in Marvel. This is what Alex Box used to create the Golden Goddess look for the Myer show in Sydney this year, and I can attest to its – well, golden-ness. I love these because the gold isn’t too yellow and fake looking, and they have a burnished quality when they catch the light (golds that are too fake and yellow looking make me feel, quite frankly, ill. So cheap and nasty!)

Illamsasqua Golden Goddess Myer Show

If you fancy something a little less full-on, Laura Mercier does a lovely gold metallic crème eyeshadow in, aptly enough, Gold, and Chanel do a beautiful gold powder eyeshadow. It’s also, funnily enough, called Gold.

There are a few tricks to making metallics work. Firstly you need to apply your shadow, then line your eyes right at the base of the top lashes with a black liquid liner or gel eyeliner. This defines the eye and makes it much more party-worthy. Black or brown pencil liner on the inner rims is optional, depending on whether you really want to get your sexy on. I like MAC’s Boot Black liquid and Bobbi Brown’s Black Ink gel liner for this purpose. You can either just do a wash of gold on the lids, or you can use a nice matte brown shadow to wash into the crease to give some good depth and definition (I’m currently loving NARS Bengali as a great all round chocolate brown eyeshadow). Two coats of your favourite mascara (my current fave mazzie is L’Oreal’s Volume Million Lashes mascara for a party lash), and false lashes are optional but always a winner for parties. MAC and Shu Uemura are great for expensive ones, Ardell if you’re saving your pennies.

You can keep the rest of the face simple by using the minimum of foundation and powder, some bronzer and keep the lip a delicious nude. I love YSL Rouge Pur in 132 a gorgeous golden pinky beige. Golden-beige gloss on top, something like Chanel’s Beige Guitare.

Nails

Nails are also a key place to go for gold. Myface L’il Bling is an amazing new range of metallic polish, and their gold polish is particularly lovely (it’s called Gilt-y). For the ultimate gold nail though you should check out Nail Rock. Nail Rock are individual nail wraps in different patterns, including metallics, that you heat up with a hair dryer onto the nail. They do take a bit of getting used to, but for a true Midas touch, you can’t go past these. They are the creation of London manicurist Zoe Pocock and they last up to 7 days on nails and 8 weeks on the toes, plus they are inexpensive (£6.50 per set), so there’s no excuse for not going for gold. (Feathered hair and ostentatious guitar playing are optional).

www.illamasqua.com
www.chanel.com
www.narscosmetics.com
www.lauramercier.com
www.maccosmetics.com
www.yslbeautyus.com
www.myfacecosmetics.co.uk

Nail Rock are available from www.asos.com or Topshop, and Sportsgirl in Australia.

The Interview – Alex Box

Alex BoxThis is a lady who really needs no introduction, and I am very proud to include her in my Interviews. She is the most creative of makeup artists, the Creative Director of Illamasqua Cosmetics and a regular contributor to Italian Vogue, I-D, Numero and Harper’s Bazaar, to name but a few. She works with photographers like Nick Knight and Karl Lagerfeld and her work is renowned across the world for it’s completely iconoclastic and other-worldly approach to beauty. It’s makeup, but not as we know it.

On a personal level I have assisted Alex for over six years now in London, Paris (and even Sydney!) and she really is magic with a brush. Her makeup truly is art, and she is still one of the most wonderful, down to earth (and hilarious!) people I know. Without further ado, I give you The Interview:

1) What are you working on at the moment?

MY DRAWINGS. RESEARCHING AND COLLECTING MY THOUGHTS TOGETHER FOR ILLAMASQUA’S SPRING SUMMER COLLECTION AND TOP SECRET PROJECT THAT COMES OUT NEXT YEAR, BOTH INCREDIBLY EXCITING. I’M ALWAYS JOTTING DOWN IDEAS OR DRAWING LOOKS ON THE BACK OF SOMETHING OR IN MY SKETCH BOOK, I’VE ALWAYS WRITTEN INSPIRATIONAL QUOTES OR WORDS TO PROMPT ALTERNATIVE AVENUES OF THOUGHT, INSTEAD OFJUST CUTTING OUT PICTURES ALL THE TIME, BECAUSE I FEEL LIKE IT ALLOWS YOU TO GO OFF IN YOUR OWN WORLD MORE. MY HOUSE LOOKS LIKE A CRAFT SHOP AT THE MOMENT AND I KEEP FINDING DOUBLE SIDED GLITTER TAPE IN THE MOST UNUSUAL PLACES!

2) Favourite makeup job ever?

Alex BoxTHATS EXTREMELY HARD, I ALWAYS LIKE TO SAY ‘THE BEST ONE IS THE NEXT ONE’, I DONT LOOK BACK MUCH, I’M ALWAYS THINKING ABOUT HOW MY OWN PRACTICE COULD EVOLVE AND BE IMPROVED OR FIND A NEW TECHNIQUE , THE HOLY GRAIL OF MAKEUP, THE PERFECT MOMENT. AS A BODY OF WORK DOING THE BOOK WAS DEFINITELY A FAVOURITE, IT WAS AN OPEN SKETCH BOOK, I TURNED UP AND WHATEVER WAS IN MY HEAD THAT DAY, THAT’S WHAT WE SHOT…THEN I WOULD GO HOME AND WORK ON THE DRAWINGS. I THINK ALONE DRAWING AND BEING ALONE PAINTING ON A MODEL AND BEING INSPIRED BY HER FACE AND ENERGY IS MY FAVOURITE…

3) Top 5 products?

THAT QUESTION ALWAYS FREAKS ME OUT BECAUSE I NEVER USE THE SAME THINGS OVER AND OVER, I’M A MAGPIE AND A HOARDER AND WILL USE BEAUTIFUL PIGMENTED LUXURY MAKEUP AT THE SAME TIME AS CHEAP HORROR KIDS FACE PAINTS…FORCED TO CHOSE I’D SAY…..

  • ILLAMASQUA EYESHADOWS AND BLUSHERS
  • ILLAMASQUA SATIN PRIMER
  • MAC BEAUTY POWDERS
  • LAURA MERCIER SECRET BRIGHTEN POWDERS
  • BLACK AND LOVELY COLOURED HAIR SPRAYS

4) Best makeup tip ever?

BOLDNESS OF ATTACK, LET YOUR MIND AND SPIRIT BE FREE, THERE ARE ‘NO RULES’, YOU ARE YOUR OWN CREATION.

5) How did you get started in the business?

I WAS AN ARTIST WORKING PRIMARILY ON INSTALLATIONS USING THE BODY AS THE CENTER OF THE ART, AND MY FRIEND INTRODUCED ME TO A FASHION DESIGNER WHO USED DANCERS INSTEAD OF MODELS MUCH LIKE LEIGH BOWERY AND MICHEL CLARK. I DESIGNED THE MAKEUP LOOK FOR THE SHOW AND THROUGH OTHER PEOPLE SEEING MY WORK IN THAT CONTEXT I BECAME A MAKEUP ARTIST. MY ART WORK IN THE FRAME OF FASHION BECAME ‘MAKEUP’.

6) How is it different to when you started?

YOU ARE MUCH MORE VISIBLE NOW, THE BUSINESS IS ALMOST TRANSPARENT, THE RISE OF BACK STAGE FILMING ETC AND NEED FOR CONTENT HAS MADE AN UNSEEN WORD PERMEABLE. I DO LAMENT THIS BECAUSE THE WORLD OF FASHION NEEDS IT SECRETS, THAT’S WHAT MAKES IT ALLURING, WITHOUT MYSTERY YOU HAVE NO MAGIC WITHOUT MAGIC YOU HAVE NO BELIEF.

7) What do you love doing in your spare time?

RUNNING, DRAWING, STARING INTO SPACE, TAKING CLOSE UP MICRO PHOTOS OF NATURE. MAKING SURE I TAKE IN THE ‘DETAILS OF LIFE’…

8) What are your favourite looks for the coming Autumn/Winter season?

I DONT REALLY PAY MUCH ATTENTION TO LOOKS…I NEVER KNOW WHAT TO SAY HERE….I JUST WANT TO SEE THE ‘LOOK’ OF CONVICTION AND CONFIDENCE REGARDLESS HOW YOU CHOSE TO PAINT YOUR FACE.

Here is Illamasqua’s new Brand Film as well, explaining their roots in sub-culture and pre-war Berlin. And frankly any makeup film that references Fritz Lang’s Metropolis – well I’m in!

Stop Press: Kelly Cutrone Book Signing at Illamasqua Flagship Store

Kelly Cutrone IllamasquaKelly Cutrone, star of MTV’s The Hills and The City, and now with her own show, Kell on Earth, will be signing copies of her memoir at the Illamasqua flagship store at 20 Beak St, London, W1, on Monday the 18th October between 5 and 6.30 pm.

Kelly’s pull-no-punches New York bestselling memoir, “If You Have to Cry, Go Outside (And Other Things Your Mother Never Told You)” combines personal and professional anecdotes that share her stories for success whilst remaining true to yourself. All profits from the book sales at the signing will go to the S.O.P.H.I.E charity, to benefit the Sophie Lancaster foundation.

Kelly will also be working on some exciting upcoming projects in the US with Illamasqua and their US retail partner Sephora. Watch this space!

Illamasqua Launch the Art of Darkness Collection

When Alex Box was in Sydney a couple of months ago, she first told me about the new collection and I was hooked from her description – graphic gold liquid eyeliner, jewel toned pigments and BLUE LIPSTICK! Oh sweet heaven I have been looking for a great blue lipstick for years, never being able to find one that actually felt like a lipstick (not a gloss or a sheer lipstick, but a straight up out of the bullet, true blue colour). When I saw some of the pre-release imagery I nearly passed out as it was like some mad makeup World of Warcraft, a world that I never knew could exist, but the world of Illamasqua and their creative director, Ms Box, made reality.

Here are some of the campaign images and the film – enter a world where makeup has never gone before…