The Illamafia

Meet the Team: Nilofar Mussa

For this edition of ‘Meet the Team’ we will be talking to our Senior Educator, Nilofar, of the School of Make-Up Art in London’s Beak Street. We’ll be finding out more about what she does, her experiences and she’ll be revealing some of her tips for us!

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So Nilofar, can you sum up your role for us in a nutshell?

I am the Senior Educator at the School Of Make-Up Art. I oversee the day to day running of the school, design and develop course content and also facilitate courses.

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How long have you been at Illamasqua?

It will be 4 years in October.

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What is a typical day in the school like for you?

– I get to work at about 9:15am, usually with an extra shot coffee in hand to wake myself up! I like to get in nice and early so I’m relaxed for the rest of the morning.

– Classes start at 10am, so until then I’ll prepare any presentations for the day and set out all of the makeup and materials for the course. My day really kicks off when my students start arriving. I love the variety of students that we get at SOMUA – everyone from absolute beginners through to artists who have had 20+ years experience in makeup – all from every corner of the world!

– Courses at SOMUA run from 10-4, so depending on which course I’m teaching, I could be demoing a beautifully classic Bridal makeup or I could be spraying makeup through fishnet tights using a toothbrush! Every single day is completely different and as an educator, one of my main priorities is to change it up every day!

-My favourite part of the day is watching students apply makeup. As an artist, you never stop learning and at SOMUA, I learn something new from my students everyday, wether it’s a brush technique or a new way to use our makeup pieces. It really is an open playground environment in which creativity can really flourish.

-Before I know it, it’ll be 4pm and class will be over so I’ll wish farewell to my students and commence ‘Operation Clean-Up’. If I don’t have another class to teach in the evening, then I’ll spend the rest of my time working on new course material, updating ideas, paperwork and answering emails.

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Can you name something you have worked on that you are particularly proud of?

I’ve tried to keep my makeup career varied, but my favourite pieces of work have been music videos for Submotion Orchestra, LeaLea Jones, The Wildhearts and Arcane Roots. I’ve also had my work published in Disorder, i-D and Wonderland Magazines.

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What do you love most about working at Illamasqua?

Apart from the obviously wonderful Illamasqua products, the aspect I love the most about my job is the amazing talent I get to meet every day. Our students come from every walk of life and from all over the world, so I’m always up to date with global trends. I like to think of SOMUA as halfway between an artists studio and a scientist’s laboratory, in which we’re always looking at new and inventive techniques in which to use Illamasqua products to create spellbinding looks.

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What tips do you have for anyone wanting to break into the same job role as you?

Find what it is that makes you unique and let that be your driving force. It’s a very tough role and it takes a LOT out of you. You’re having to give all of your techniques and expertise to your students so it’s vital that you go out and find that new inspiration constantly so you’re not just recycling information, which gets stale and mundane. It’s all about evolving and feeding creativity.

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If you could swap roles with someone else in the company for a day who would it be and why?

Probably someone from the training team, so I could travel the country (and the globe!) to meet and get to know our amazing artists and customers and find out all of their makeup secrets!

What is your favourite Illamasqua product?

I get asked this question a lot and it’s so difficult as I can’t ever just choose one! The answer also changes depending on which day you ask me. Today my favourite illamasqua product is Cream Pigment in Hollow. It’s one of the most versatile products I’ve ever used and today I’m wearing it over the top of Severity Lip Pencil for a desaturated rose lip.

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Do you have any makeup tips for us?

Apply any one of our Cream or Powder Blushers first, before applying your Skin Base foundation. Because they are so highly pigmented, applying the foundation over the top will add a layer of “skin” which results in a more natural, realistic finish. Also a quick fix for when you get a bit brush happy with your blusher!

Thanks to Nilofar for answering our questions, we hoped you enjoyed seeing as well as hearing about Nilofar’s work as much as we did!

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Govinder Rayt

Govinder Rayt

Writer and expert