Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Are You Afraid of The Dark?

Are You Afraid of The Dark?

Illamasqua emerged from the shadows in Autumn 2008, creating a ripple of excitement with their distinctively dark and individual take on beauty. Their highly pigmented cosmetics are available in a range of shades so varied they make a rainbow seem positively dull in comparison. Their foundations alone run the gamut from Nicole Kidman porcelain to Alek Wek blue-black, giving Illamasqua kudos and credibility as a brand that truly has something for everyone. The superior formulas offer the wearer the opportunity to experiment with application. Lipsticks may be worn traditionally or blended across the cheekbones as a cream blusher. A simple eyeshadow can be used to contour the face or to create graphic shapes when applied wet with a slanted brush. A cream blusher doubles as a lip stain and eyeshadow - it can even be used to shade and contour the face. The versatility of the products is limited solely by the imagination of the wearer. The brand mantra is "Make-up For Your Alter Ego", there's a major emphasis on exploring the different facets of one's own personality. The brand and product literature notes the cabaret culture of 1920's Berlin as a major influence, bringing to mind the illicit and decadent Kit Kat Club - made famous by the Oscar-winning film Cabaret. Liza Minelli turned in a career-defining performance as the film's protagonist Sally Bowles. A highly complex character, Sally was a flurry of contradictions, managing to be both fearless and vulnerable, sexually provocative yet innocent. With Illamasqua, the wearer is able to tap into a multitude of "characters". Whether it's vixen or virgin, hero or villain, the scope for exploring one's own psyche via the creation of alternate personas is endless. The Sirens collection for Summer 2009 was a rich and exotic blend of opulent gold, bronze and terracotta highlighted by coral pink and a jewel-like turquoise. Dangerous and beauteous creatures, Sirens were said to seduce men with their song, luring them to their deaths. The make-up was as enticing as the name suggests - and the palette so opulent it would have made King Midas green with envy. For AW09, the brand's vision is less Gold Rush and more Blade Runner. Taking inspiration from the film Metropolis, the Dystopia collection represents the opposite of Utopia. Chaos and darkness prevails in an imagined reality of the future. The collection's black, grey, silver and iridescent ultraviolet pigments have a cyborg-feel reminiscent of Daryl Hannah as Pris, the lethal replicant with a penchant for acrobatics in the cult 80's Sci Fi film Blade Runner. The campaign imagery features Kabuki-esque looks reminiscent of 80's Blitz Kid era pop icons such as Siouxsie Sioux, Steve Strange, Toyah Wilcox and Boy George. The neon accents of pink and purple could be straight out of the iconic 80's cartoon Jem and the Holograms, in keeping with the tough 80's punk aesthetic evident at key AW09 shows such as Marc Jacobs, Gucci and Versace. Above you can find images from Illamasqua's exclusive blogger event at Kettner's in London. The brand's Creative Director Alex Box was on hand to create a unique Dystopia look on a fellow blogger - it was quite the experience. Alex's signature style would best be described as the love child of Cruella de Vil, Dita Von Teese and a Blonde Ambition era, Gaultie bustier-clad Madonna. She has created catwalk looks for McQueen and Stella McCartney, not to mention editorials for the world's leading style bibles. A book of inspirational photos is launching in October, after a collaboration with snapper to the stars Rankin. Alex's make-up artistry viewed through Rankin's lens is bound to have created a visual feast - I can't wait for the launch party in October.

Lipstick in Avenge - £14
Intense Lip Gloss in Galactic - £12.50

Intense Lipgloss in Explode - £12.50

Nail Varnish in Obsess - £12.50
Nail Varnish in Velocity - £12.50
Powder Eye Shadow in Synth - £14
Powder Eye Shadow in Machine - £14
Powder Eyeshadow in Matter - £14
Pure Pigment in Android - £15
Pure Pigment in Static - £15
Liquid Metal in Phenomena - £16
4-Colour Eye Shadow Palette in Pink - £29
4-Colour Eye Shadow Palette in Purple - £29
No.21 False Eye Lashes - £11


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