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April 18 2014

styledotcom Parsons releases its first book: stylem.ag/1gR1Axn

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25 posts tagged "Illamasqua"

Illamasqua Does Shine With Subtlety

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Is there such a thing as too much sparkle? Yes, if you ask us, but we’re definitely in the minority this time of year. Considering the sheer amount of tinsel, twinkling lights, and general ornamentation out there, if you must partake in shimmer madness, we suggest concentrating your energies on your fingertips. Illamasqua’s new Pantomime Nail Duos fit the bill, offering two different existing shades from the vampy line’s collection of lacquers paired with a complementary sparkle polish to amplify the color. We’re partial to Boo!, which places Baptiste, a metallic aubergine, alongside a bottle of red, pink, blue, and silver flecks—a combination that will make a respectably raucous addition to any party you might have on your calendar. Bonus: If you spend roughly $107 on the Illamasqua Web site between now and December 17, shipping is free—a big plus, since crossing the pond via Royal Mail can get pricey.

Photo: Courtesy of Illamasqua

Alex Box, In Pictures

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Alex Box Rankin

Alex Box Rankin


As the creative director behind Illamasqua and Gareth Pugh’s go-to makeup artist, Alex Box isn’t really known for her way with the “natural look.” Case in point: For Pugh’s Spring presentation, Box sent ashen gray faces onto the runway, with red eyes for that extra touch of creepy. Her unique ability to turn cosmetics into conceptual art went on display at Kentish Town’s newly opened Annroy Gallery last week, where Box, clad in a black-and-white sequined Pugh number—with top hat— was on hand to celebrate the launch of her eponymous book with famed photographer Rankin. Shutterbug, publisher, film director, and co-creator of Dazed & Confused, Rankin collaborated with Box on a large-format glossy hardcover devoted to exposing the line where makeup and art are blurred. Box uses paint, pigment, brushes, pens, and pencils to create everything from three-dimensional monochrome faces to precise geometric designs, sculptural clown makeup, and everything in between. Each page is more shockingly beautiful than the next, and will definitely liven up your current coffee-table offerings.


Alex Box (Turnaround, 2009), £50.00, www.turnaround-uk.com

Illamasqua Crosses The Pond

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Seeing as how we were one of the first stateside news outlets to cover Illamasqua’s exclusive launch at Selfridges last fall, we’ve been waiting for this day to come for quite some time—nine months, to be exact. Beginning July 21, the cosmetics line created by makeup artist Alex Box (she of Gareth Pugh backstage beauty fame) with stylistic guidance from Dave Vanian (he of the goth band the Damned) invites you to “find your alter ego” at Sephora.com. Lovers of bright nail lacquers in three different finishes, those of you in the market for opaque lipsticks that run the color gamut from reds and berries to green and black, and alabaster-skinned foundation fans who want coverage that verges on a shade of white will be able to make all of your dreams come true first online, and then in store when the brand premieres at the beauty giant’s new Times Square location on the 30th (the nationwide rollout happens in the fall). It’s good news for makeup lovers of all kinds, from socialites and princesses to clowns and trannies. Equal-opportunity cosmetics have finally arrived.

Photo: Courtesy of Illamasqua

Illamasqua, Goth Makeup For Girls And Boys

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When black lipstick-clad models walked down YSL’s Fall runway last February, the fashion and beauty pack took momentary pause. Initial sentiments of “goth? really?” were quickly followed by “what is that lipstick and when/where can I buy it?!” Opaque pigments and sheer glosses in varying shades of the macabre went into production shortly thereafter, echoing the somber mood and tone of our economy. According to makeup artist Alex Box, however, stylemakers’ collective re-embrace of all things soul-torturing have nothing to do with the dismal dollar. “People want to explore their alter egos a little bit more, right now. They’re going darker, and they want a little goth back in their life,” she surmises. For the seasoned face-painter (Box is responsible for translating Gareth Pugh’s architectural runway vision into makeup form), there was a hole in the market that needed filling. And fill it she has, as the artistic director of the new, unisex makeup line Illamasqua . Box and her co-conspirators (including one Dave Vanian from the Damned ) are bringing the moody blues back in a full spectrum of high-quality colors for both men and women, with four collections available exclusively at Selfridges in London. Style.com caught up with Box to talk about lip gloss as black as tar and how she has managed to skirt the line between daywear and clown makeup.

How did the whole idea for Illamasqua start?

I did an interview in the Guardian about how I was this symbol for a new combination of goth and glamour. Simultaneously, Julian [Kynaston, of the advertising and branding company Propaganda] wanted to design a makeup range that had a story, that had a life to it, that could attract the counterculture from rockabillies to punks to burlesque. His wife randomly saw the interview and he contacted me and that was it.

What has the transition been like for you going from makeup artist to artistic director?

It’s like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. I want green nail polish and they make it! My whole life I’ve wanted to celebrate individuality, and that’s reflected in the line. There are no boundaries with the makeup. You can use the lip products on your body, the eye products on your lips. If you give people boundaries, they stay within them; if you don’t, they have more freedom.

How would you say you’ve exercised this freedom, by which I mean what are the most unique products in the line?

I absolutely love our white liquid foundation. It’s a very sheer, lightweight white so you can look porcelain, not like a clown. We actually have four shades of white—I mean, we’re really going for it. We also have a black lip gloss that’s so thick it’s like tar.

Do you think there’s really a market for people who want to put tar on their lips?

If you present something to somebody, they’re going to try it. But if it doesn’t exist, they can’t try it. For example, I’ve never seen a green lip gloss. You’ve got to make something that’s not on the market or else you’re gonna shoot yourself in the foot. We just let our imaginations run wild.

How did Dave Vanian get involved?

Julian is a very big fan of the Damned and so am I. Dave is an innovator and was one of the first punk stars to wear makeup. He’s a great adviser on style as he’s incredibly in tune with creating a look—he was the first goth, really. He will just come in and sit with me and talk about life—when life crosses with art and when art crosses with fashion. And it’s great to have someone who is a sounding board like that.

What about the unisex factor? Do you see men’s makeup becoming increasingly popular anytime soon?

I do, but I think that the way that it’s currently marketed is so patronizing. The young guys now are so much more open to this kind of image—they don’t feel as strongly as older people about having a stereotypical male look. So they’re more open to swapping clothes with girls. And a lot of them are more interested in making a statement than making themselves look desirable.

Makeup in 3D at Gareth Pugh

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If you were among the lucky few who scored front-row seats to Gareth Pugh’s debut performance at Paris fashion week on Saturday, you probably noticed that the models sported very intense, winged black lashes. A second glance may have revealed something else entirely about their eye makeup, though—a white, almost reflective surface catching the light. An optical illusion, perhaps? Sleep-deprivation playing tricks on you? Neither, according to makeup artist Alex Box, who had pieces of black and white mirror plastic laser-cut to fit the models’ eyes in the shape of eyeliner and false eyelashes. “Gareth’s pieces are so architectural but so simple,” she said nonchalantly, as if her own interpretation of his ingenuity came as naturally as the idea of using a few extra coats of mascara for definition. Box’s innovativeness shouldn’t be too surprising though, considering her line of Goth-inspired makeup, Illamasqua—which includes a porcelain white foundation and an opaque black gloss—debuts in November. Our souls are tortured just thinking about it.

Photo: Marcio Madeira