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The 411: Alex Box


Makeup artist Alex Box is a bit of an anomaly. Equal parts face painter and fine artist (Box holds a degree from the Chelsea College of Art & Design), she’s often called upon to make models look otherworldly, creepy, and almost inhuman—anything but pretty. Whether she’s working with prosthetics, stencils, plain pigment and brushes, or 3-D laser-cut eyelashes, there’s little the frequently top-hat-clad Box can’t do—which is presumably what has attracted designers like Peter Jensen and Gareth Pugh to her special brand of beauty. As a frequent fixture in Vogue, Numéro, W, Another Magazine, Dazed & Confused, and i-D, Box brought her skill set to the masses almost three years ago with Illamasqua, a color collection designed for your “alter ego.” “If you hit the mark with everyone, you’re beige,” Box says of some of the range’s more off-the-wall offerings, which span from porcelain white foundation, green lipstick, and neon orange nail lacquers to more wearable complexion enhancers, her fan-favorite Precision Ink eye liners, and her versatile red lipstick in Box. “I wear it every day without fail,” she says of the blue-tinged bullet. Here, Box shares her beauty must-haves and her favorite London destinations for getting primped out and geared up during LFW and beyond.

The Pro: Alex Box, creative director of Illamasqua.

The Clutch-Sized Essential: Illamasqua Lipstick in Box

“I’ve always wanted to do a lipstick, since I was 12—and it was like trying to reinvent the wheel! I’ve gone through all of the classic reds, but there wasn’t anything blue enough for me, or it was too shiny or too matte. I unashamedly totally made this for myself.”

Illamasqua Lipstick in Box, $22,

The Quick Color Job: Také at Windle & Moodie

“I don’t cut my hair, but his passion for getting my color right is really lovely. I’ve had this blond streak for three years. Every time I see my mum, she says, “Still with the streaks?”

Windle é Moodie, 41 Shorts Gardens, London, WC2H 9AP, +44 20-7497-2393.

The Behind-the-Makeup Skincare Regimen: Daily Diligence

“You wouldn’t believe me if I told you my whole routine—it’s so long it makes me sound like a mentalist. It actually takes me longer [to wash my face] than it does to put on my makeup. I use a ton of Dermalogica, and I’m religious about Natura Bissé. They do this product called Inhibit that’s almost like a natural Botox.”

Natura Bissé Inhibit-Tensolift, $850,

The Manicurist With the Most-est: Dong at Top Tips

“She’s amazing. When we first started [Illamasqua] I wanted to give her a job! I do acrylics, but they have such good acrylics there. And I love going to the salon—there’s a lot of gossip.”

Top Tips, in Peckham, South London.

The In-Between-Shows Retail Therapy: So High Soho

“It’s a head shop, but it also sells every shape of fancy dress and odd pieces of jewelry. It smells of dope and incense, and it’s the best place to spend an entire afternoon. I bought a pair of massive paws there the other day!”

So High Soho, 96 Berwick St., London, W1F 0QQ, +44 20-7287-1295,

The Lunch Special: The Wolseley

“It used to be a bank—or a car showroom. But it’s so beautiful inside. I always have a fine herbs omelet and a peach Bellini. I’ll eat something until I’m tired of it, and then I’ll never eat it again.”

The Wolseley, 160 Piccadilly, London, W1J 9EB, +44 20-7499-6996,

The Vintage Find: Beyond Retro

“Everything for me is vintage except for my shoes. I go everywhere for my vintage; sometimes you have to dig for it, and then suddenly it finds you. It’s a quest, like you’ve hunted for it. I go to Beyond Retro a lot—I’ve found Givenchy there for £10!”

Beyond Retro, 58-59 Great Marlborough St., London, W1F 7JY, +44 20-7434-1406,

The Post-Fashion Week R&R Destination: Tobago

“It was a really hot destination in the forties and fifties, so it’s still got that colonial feel to it. But it’s just really pretty and unspoiled. There’s this thing called Sunday School—and they drink moonshine! You just have to go slow.”

For more information on Trinidad and Tobago, visit

Beauty Insider