The Illamafia

Illamasqua Interviews… Drew Ashlyn

Drew Ashlyn is widely known for being on the Channel 4 hit series, ‘My Transexual Summer’, she has been a voice of support to the transgender community and is now the patron for 2 charities, Gendered Intelligance and The National Diversity Group. Drew is now part of the Illamasqua Team and works as a Make-up Artist at our stand alone store in Leeds. She loves to rock a dark smokey eye and isn’t afraid to be bold and self express through her make-up. We caught up with her to see what she has been up to and what inspires her…



What are you up to at the moment?


I am currently working as a makeup artist for the amazing and no im not just saying that, brand Illamasqua in their Leeds store. I have been doing that now since December and im loving every minute of it. The vibe, the people it’s just my kinda place to be. I am also a patron for 2 charities, Gendered Intelligance and The National Diversity Group. Aswell as this i have been going into schools, youth groups and universities doing Q and A sessions aswell as teaching lessons on what its like to be transgender and  talking about my life experiances. I’ve also been touring around the UK with the rest of the cast from the channel 4 hit series ‘My Transsexual Summer’ it’s been amazing and life changing for me!


What are your future plans?


I’d like to continue working in the makeup industry and just get as much knowledge as I possibly can. I love working for Illamasqua but eventually I would like to branch out into my own brand. Whether it’s products specifically designed for trans women, or even a clothing line. I’m very ambitious and like to set myself challenges. If it works out amazing great,  if not at least its one more experience in my life that I will have had. I want to continue doing charity work aswell as working with the education system. I feel that we are one step closer to having people accept trans people fully and by continuing to be in the public eye it also gives our community a voice to be heard.


Whats the most iconic image to you?


The most iconic image for me is Andy Warhols Marilyn!



What does it represent for you? 


For years I loved and studied pin ups and glamour models and looked back from the 1920’s to the 2000’s. The image is fun but it’s the person in it that I always remember. I love glamour and so thats why it stands out to me. It’s so unique and no one will ever be able to mimic his work.


What is your favourite piece from the Illamasqua collection and why? 


I have to say I am in love with Illamasqua Sheer Lipgloss in Artifice. It’s the perfect nude lip colour. But as a whole the Naked Strangers Collection is what stands out to me the most. I think its the best collection so far personally because I’m a classic smokey eye, nude lip kinda girl so each piece is perfect for me. The new gloss Intimacy is similar to Artifice but has a shimmer to it so it gives you that extra pout. The new Nail Varnish in Monogomous is beautiful, it’s a very similar colour to what Lana Del Rey wears which is why I like it,  it’s simple but glamorous and sexy at the same time.


What are you most proud of?


The one thing I will always be proud of is the fact that I never gave up on myself. I knew how I wanted to be and how I wanted to live my life and I went for it. I did the same thing when it came to getting a job. For years I tried to get a regular 9-5 job but got turned down time and time again and I never let it hold me back. I just went to the next place and just kept handing my CV out. What I’m more proud of though, is being able to show the world who and what I am and that I’m proud to be me.


What has been your most significant achievement to date? 


Being a part of ‘My Transsexual Summer’ and having a huge impact to society is an amazing achievment to be able to be a voice in the community and a somewhat idol to others is fantastic. Also being asked to be a patron to two charities at the age of 23 is just simply an honour in it’s self.



If you could be any fictional character, who would it be and why? 


Growing up I was really into the film ‘Who Framed Roger Rabbit’. I was drawn to the character Jessica Rabbit. She was beautiful, sexy, glamourous,  strong and knew how to win the guys hearts. For me this is what a woman should be like, strong and someone who isn’t afraid to be or look how they want without worrying about how other people will view them. I used to draw pictures of her over and over again. Men wanted to be with her and women wanted to be her.


What does red lipstick symbolize for you? 


Red liptick to me oozes glamour. It’s sexy and classic. From Marilyn Monroe to Jane Mansfield. It was a classic colour that was worn by the stars on the big screen. It’s the one colour which goes with everything and its the one colour which can simply glam up the face. It will never go out of style and will always be worn by the stars.

Govinder Rayt

Govinder Rayt

Writer and expert