When I first moved to London last February, I was 18 and I knew make-up artistry was what I wanted to pursue!
I remember learning about what Illamasqua’s message was, about the Sophie Lancaster foundation and how they worked together, how the idea of being allowed to be whoever you wanted to be in life and here was the company that gave you the tools to do so, to unleash your creativity, to have fun, learn and inspire!
I first came to the flagship Illamasqua store at 20 Beak Street, London W1 on the launch night of SS10 collection ‘Toxic Nature’, I was excited and terrified at the same time, knowing there were people there that I really looked up to but had only ever seen them on Youtube! I remember meeting one of the educators, Clare Lille and her doing this look on a beautiful model reminiscent of Alex Box’s work for the campaign the party was in honour of.
I was totally blown away by all of these creative, quirky people in this incredible environment, which was the Illamasqua flagship store!
Over the next few months I would come to the store more and more, it felt like a safe place, where I could be myself; my ‘Alter-ego’.
I enrolled on some of the School of Make-up Art courses, feeling totally out of my depth but knowing I had that passion for not only the make-up, but for the whole message Illamasqua portrayed.
I met some amazing people, like Daniel Sallstrom, another educator for the school. I’d never met anyone who was not only so talented in his field of work but seemed to live his life in a way that exuded so much creativity and confidence. I wanted to be this confident in myself!
I would meet more people like this with every Beak Street event I’d go to! I remember the first time I met David Horne, Illamasqua’s director for New Product Development, (the genius behind Skin Base, the Cream Pigments, Masquara and every other fabulous thing that Illamasqua does, learning tips and tricks from someone who was so respected in their field of work, it was a real honour for me just to be speaking to someone like this!
I remember the first time I met our creative director, Alex Box. It was her book by Rankin that first made me obsessed with make-up, and by extension Illamasqua. I was on another course at the school, we were just about done and I was having my photo taken in the front of the store when I suddenly saw this fabulous creature walk into the store with long black hair and a lightning streak of white running through it. I literally remember my heart racing thinking ‘oh my god, is that the woman who single handed made me want to pursue everything I’m doing in life at the moment! I know it sounds dramatic but I’ve never met any of my idols before, and it was such a privilege to speak to her, I almost welled up thinking about how much influence this person had on my life and here I was, just chatting away with her in full on Illamasqua, Alex Box-esque make-up which I had on my face from the school course!
I knew I had to be part of this wonderful company after that, so I literally worked as hard as I could to finally get a job working there! It all happened so quickly when I look back on it, I had the support of all the talented artists working there at the time and before I knew it I was part of the Illamasqua family!
It has been one of the best experiences of my life working for a company that is so different, so creative, so inspiring and with so much potential in this industry.
I’m so lucky that every day I go to work I get to do what I love and hopefully inspire others in the same way they did to me.
Weather it’s just a simple makeover that helps someone with their confidence or a full blown transformation where I get to help someone unleash their Alter-ego and when they leave with a smile on their face it just means the world to me!
I’ve been at Illamasqua for the subsequent 4 collection launches, always introducing my family and friends to new products, new images, new ideas the company has come up with, and it’s truly humbling to be a part of something that is growing bigger and more successful every single day! Illamasqua is more than just a make-up brand, its inspirational, it teaches you how to become a more confident version of yourself. It certainly helped me become what I am today.