The Illamafia

Meet the models: Sapphire & Jess

Meet the Models…

Sapphire & Jess 

Meet two of the models we worked with on our latest shots. Get to know the people behind the faces and an insight into how it feels getting your make-up done by our Creative Director and inspirational make-up artist, Alex Box…

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Hi girls, lets kick things off with asking you to tell us a little bit about yourselves, your likes and dislikes, hobbies etc.

Jess: I work for Bleach (an infamous hair colouring salon in London), I have an assistant role so I help the stylists and train. I LOVE colouring hair and its loads of fun, but is hard work at the same time but I love the job. That takes up a lot of my time, you have to put in a lot to prove that you really really want it. Outside of work, I see a lot of my friends and do more hair! I like doing yoga to destress, I go out and music wise, I love drum and bass and house music. I went to my first festival last year, Bestival which was amazing and I am going to Glastonbury for the first time this year. Things I hate are slow walkers getting in my way haha!

Sapphire: Hi I’m Sapphire, a manager at Bleach, I’ve been here for about 3 years. I started doing hair about 5 years ago and I did this because I wanted a skilled job that wasn’t sitting behind a desk all day, I started working for a salon in East London then I got offered the job working at Bleach. What do I like? hm, I’ve got a dog called Rudy, he’s a pug crossed with a French Bulldog. Yeah, I love my dog. I’ve got 3 cats, I love my cats. I’m quite a home body so I don’t go out, I don’t party a lot, If i do its out to the pub or local restaurants. I’m getting married this year, which is quite exciting! I even had a nightmare about a table plan and another one about getting a dirty thumb print on my wedding dress!!

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Are you both from London originally?

Sapphire: I grew up just on the edge of London, place called Shepperton. I moved to London when i was 18.

Jess: I live in Epsom in Surrey so I commute in to work. I have a lot of friends who put me up in London, thanks friends!

As you were part of our new campaign imagery, what was it like on the set that day and what was it like getting your make-up done by the infamous Alex Box?

Sapphire: It was a fun shoot! Alex is amazing, I met her about 3 years as she comes in to get her hair done at the salon with Bradley. I saw her a few times and then she emailed me directly asking me to take part in the shoot. She’s super cool and she brings her son to the salon who is so cute. A lot of the time on shoots, you end up getting your make-up done by an assistant but we were so happy that Alex was doing our make-up.

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Jess:She was so in control of the make-up. It was really nice that she picked us as well. I hadn’t heard of Illamasqua before but then I saw Alex in the salon and she was looking at me, so I asked her stylist about her and he told me all about her work and the brand. I remember her walking across the salon and it was like she kind of glided! She then told me she was doing a shoot and that I had to be in it. It was quite unexpected but it has brought on a lot of other opportunities for me too. I aspire to be like her one day, the way she looks, the way she glides and the fact that shes so spiritual like me.

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Amazing, I am sure there are many who share your aspirations too! So, which Illamasqua products do you love after being surrounded on the shoot and taking home some goodies?

Sapphire: I love Masquara! I love its just one brush, one colour and thats it! There’s no different versions of it, its straight forward.

Jess: Yes me too! I don’t have very big lashes, it fans them out theres no clumps. Even like 3 strokes its like ‘whoop!’

Oh yes, I love it too! Do you have any top hair tips that you want to share with us?

Jess: S-Bends!

Sapphire: Yes S-Bends, a technique. You use straighteners to create like a ‘S’ shape in the hair.

Jess: You literally get your hair, create an S shape and clamp the straighteners down. Its like a mermaids hair. Practice, practice, practice and once you’ve got it down you’ll love it. It stays in too!

Any beauty tips?

Sapphire: For me, having good skin is like the best thing about make-up. I never used to take my make-up off before bed which is terrible. for a good 8 years of life then i went for a skin consultation who said ‘you really have to, it’s the only way to not get spots!’ so suddenly a whole new world came about with like cleansers and everything. I just think having good skin is the best foundation.

Jess:I like to use natural skin care products too, cleanse and polish toning etc.

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If you could only choose one between hair styling, polished nails or make up which would you choose for the rest of your life?

Sapphire: I think I would choose make-up. Yes make up 100%

Jess: Yeah, I think make up as well! I literally don’t have any hair!

Sapphire: Yes not nails as were hairdressers we don’t have any nails haha! so our nails are always short and stubby!

What was the worst make-up and hair mistakes you have ever made?

Sapphire: When i was about 17 and i asked my friend to give me a fringe. The golden rule with curly hair is not to pull it down and cut it as then it springs up again but yes she pulled it down and cut it so it pinged up and I have a 2cm micro fringe!

Jess: my worst hair was probably when once a week I would yo yo from black hair to white hair and back again. I then thought it would be a good idea to have it half and half but it didn’t really work and I ended up having luminescent bright orange one side. I was proud of the dead straight line in the middle but the colour was awful! A-symmetric fring, mullet, lego hair I’ve done it all! I think the shaved head is the thing now for a while!!

Who would you say is your style crush?

Jess: I would say all the girls from TLC and Vivienne Westwood and a little bit of Donatella Versace.

Sapphire: Someone who i think always looks amazing is Neneh Cherry

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What are the hot hair trends coming out for 2015?

Jess:Theres a new thing called pixelated hair thats coming out, so it’s like patches of colour. It looks insane!

Sapphire: I think with hair, it changes seasons so in Autumn/Winter a lot of people go natural and if they go for colour its blues greens and deep metallic-y colours. In the Summer they go more balayage and sunkissed with highlights and colours are more pinks and purples.


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What advice would you give to those aspiring to work with hair?

Sapphire: I get hundreds of applications saying that people do their friends hair and they enjoy it but its not as simple as that as it is technical and scientific at this level. Anyone who wants to be amazing at colour really needs to get theory and foundation education down first then assist people in the industry. That’s how I did it, you need to work hard and work for someone who you can learn from.

Jess: Put in the hours and training till you’ve got numb fingers, its hard work and it takes brain and skill. Its worth it in the end as the fun stuff comes after you put the work in.

Thanks girls, it was such a pleasure to meet you and get to know you!

Find out more about Bleach hair salons here:

Thanks for reading and we hoped you enjoyed getting to know our beautiful models. Who would you like to meet next?



Govinder Rayt

Govinder Rayt

Writer and expert