The Illamafia

Distinction In Make-up Artistry Awards Winner Rona’s Week at Illamasqua

Not so long ago, I was working in a coffee shop and had big dreams of becoming a make-up artist. I remember stumbling across the Illamasqua Distinction in Make-Up Artistry Awards online, thought ‘what the heck!’ and proceeded to put together an application.

I would never have believed how life-changing this would be. I was selected to compete as a Finalist in the Student Category, live at BAFTA London, and unbelievably went on to win! Included in my prize, was a 2 week internship at Illamasqua HQ which brings me here, from Head Office, to you today.

This is my last day, of perhaps the best fortnight (dare I say) of my life! The internship began last week, diving head first into a couple of days of ‘Core-Training’ with Clare Lille, Illamasqua’s Southern Trainer. This involved a very comprehensive overview of Illamasqua, the brand and the products. The other course attendee’s and I also got a chance to demo techniques on eachother, under Claire’s guidance. I picked up some amazing tips and tricks along the way, and have even adapted them into my own make-up routine – seriously though, my brows have never looked so good. (Top tip: Use Skin Base Lift in a shade lighter than your foundation to sculpt and define your arch shape, before you go in with Eyebrow Cake. Thank-you Clare!)

Last Friday, I got the chance to work on the Selfridges Illamasqua counter with the stunning Rose Ping and her amazing team. It was a great contrast, to have been working behind the scenes at Head Office all week, to then see how everything all comes together on the shop floor. From the products, to how the counter looks, right down to each and every member of Illamasqua staff – everything was glossy, glam, and down-right gorgeous!


My make up at The Beauty Project at Selfridges

I had another opportunity to visit the counter again this week, but this time it was with Rowland Cleaver and his Visual Merchandising Team. Previously that night, we had already made a trip to the store on Beak Street, and were working to transform both of the counters for the launch of the Summer 2014 Collection. It was a funky wee set-up with loads of red telephones that we ‘plugged’ in to the new products. I particularly loved the retro visuals that emulated airbrushed poster art from the 80s.


 Me with one of the models at The Beauty Project at Selfridges


Finally, to round off the week, I was honoured to participate in the Illamasqua Art Team at the official launch of the Selfridges Beauty Project. There, we set-up backstage and created four different make-up looks for 24 models. It was such an amazing buzz, especially when we finished and were able to dash down the escalators to watch the models all strut their stuff!

It’s been a blast, and an experience I shall truly never forget. Thank-you Illamasqua! I’d also like to give a special thank-you to Josephine O’Brien for being my wee sidekick for the past fortnight, and looking after me so well!



My mood board up in the office whilst filming for YouTube

If you’d like to see a recreation of the final look I created at the Awards Final last year, keep on the lookout for a special YouTube video coming to you soon!!

Good Luck everyone, I encourage you all to enter here

By Rona Skuodas

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Govinder Rayt

Govinder Rayt

Writer and expert