Meet Emma…the Counter Manager for Bondi Junction in Australia!

11. How did you come to work at Illamasqua?
I have been a technically trained special effects Make-Up artist since 2002; however I have been practicing Make-Up artistry since the age of 5, when I used my watercolour pencils to create cuts, bruises and wounds on the neighbourhood kids for 20c a pop. I love the concept of Alice in Wonderland and Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz, both regular girls who subscribe to a world of fantasy. Absorbed by a world of sci-fi divas and demons I decided very early on that I would avoid being ordinary at all costs. My first job at 14 was as a children’s entertainer, spending my weekends as ‘The forget-me-not’ Fairy, Winifred Witch or Penelope Pirate. I also worked in and managed a costume boutique for four years.

I studied Make-Up at ‘Three Arts Make-Up College’ and ‘ACMUSE’ (Australian College of Make-Up and Special Effects) in Sydney and graduated as a special FX Make-Up artist. I’ve worked in and on film, TV theatre, music videos, theatre, catwalk, drag and sci-fi conventions but my favourite is body art. Alongside Illamasqua I now also work at “The House of Fetish” in Darlinghurst, and have found that the two are quite similar. Both embrace idiosyncrasy and create a platform for the client to undergo a transformation from the ordinary to the extraordinary. So I guess in some ways I’m an alter ego expert, and understand that ‘dressing up’ isn’t a vapid time consuming construct but an integral part of self expression, empowerment, creativity and individualism.

I also take inspiration from Tim Burton, Vargas, Andy Warhol, David Lachapelle, Harijuku, Frankenstein, Leigh Bowery, James St.James, Marilyn Monroe and the Rocky Horror Picture Show. One of ‘Rocky Horrors’ most famous lines is “Don’t dream it, be it” and Illamasqua does exactly that-breaking down the walls between fantasy and reality. Why be boring when you could be Illamasqua!

2. Do you enjoy working for Illamasqua and if so why?
I think that Make-Up brands for too long have been concerned with ‘conceal’, whereas Illamasqua is about ‘reveal’ which is something Australia is thirsty for. I think customers and Make-Up artists alike are seduced by our bold imagery on counter but won over by our expertise as trained Make-Up artists and our sincerity that there is an uncomplicated beauty to everyone – the trick is un-complicating it. I love teaching people, and sharing ‘industry secrets’ or inside tips. I think it’s important to remember that for a lot people out there, Illamasqua is a brand new Make-Up concept which is intriguing but can be confronting, so that’s why it is essential that we both entertain and educate. I guess it is that delicate mixture of ‘punk rock professionalism’ that attracted me to the brand and make Illamasqua a treat to work for.

3. What are your thoughts on the current Illamasqua Make-Up Amnesty?
 Amnesty is what everyone’s Make-Up case needs. We all hold onto Make-Up that is old or empty – there is no point in holding onto a grape flavoured Lip smackers from 1993, people! My favourite amnesty items are bright orange foundations, where we have matched their foundation to the colour of their skin rather than their can of Fanta and if need be warmed it up with our Bronzer.

4. What are your favourite must-have pieces for summer?
For me summer is about fun and freedom and radiant skin – think ‘candy shop pinup’. I am loving JoMina at the moment for nails, Indulge for lips, Dixie on the apples of the cheeks (for that I’ve just had a romp in the hay look) and Satin Primer. (I have found keeping your primer in the fridge during summer is refreshing and also helps sooth morning puffiness, a must for muggy summer days), confident brows, and Pure Pigment in Furore lightly dusted on the cheekbones and across the eyelids and lashings of lashes. To ‘smoulder’ this look up dust the eyes with Pure Pigment in Android or Ore and define with Sophie medium pencil.

 5. What are your favourites in your personal Make-Up kit?
 The very first things I bought for myself from Illamasqua were: Rich Foundation in 115, Medium pencil in Feisty, Intense gloss in Perform, Rampage nail varnish and Satin Primer. But I also love cream blush in Lies, Abyss precision ink, Concealer in 105 and fine pencil in Classic.

6. What are you looking forward to for 2011? 
Definitely the launch of our Valentine’s collection,‘Throb’. Also on account of it being my first year with the company, I am simply looking forward to submerging myself in the ethos of the brand.  Assisting with events, international artists, product launches and essentially being helping to stamp Illamasqua’s influence is Oz. It’s really exciting to be involved with something at the beginning, watching and helping it grow. It will be interesting to see if art is imitating life or the other way round as it all happens.

Govinder Rayt

Govinder Rayt

Writer and expert