I've been working with Illamasqua for a while now as they sponsor my client Gabby Young, so I'm always hearing about how amazing their products are from Gabby and her make-up artist, but really haven't experimented with many for myself. So when they kindly donated a course for 4 at their new make-up school to the Bloggers for Japan auction I organised, I secretly hoped someone I know might place the winning bid, and that they might then choose me as one of their 3 friends to invite. And luckily thats exactly what happened, so yesterday I went with my friend Roz, who bought the course, her sister Lizzie and friend Fi to Beak street for two hours of make-up heaven.
Our class was taken by make-up artist Clare Lille who started by giving us a tutorial on Roz, showing us how to use some of the basic products, including the easiest way to create the perfect smoky eye and how to define brows.
We all got to use a new foundation which Illamasqua is launching on Thursday, inspired by cult Asian beauty balms and it really was very different from most foundations I've tried. I generally stick to tinted moisturisers as I hate the feeling of wearing foundation, but with this one it honestly didn't feel like I was wearing any. Other tricks Clare showed us were how to get liquid liner right using a brush, eyeliner cake and sealing gel-all of which I ended up buying as I was totally converted.The other thing I've wanted to master my whole life is how to do contouring so it looks like I have cheekbones without looking like I'm in a panto. Clare showed me how to use an angled brush and a sort of grey/brown shade called Hollow to create the shadow under my cheekbones(which are sadly largely hidden by fat).
The main point of the course, however, was to create our own, bespoke false eyelashes. We were given a basic set of falsies and then let loose on a whole array of embellishments, from origami style paper bits, to mini pompoms, pearls, diamante studs, feathers, netting; you name it, we could customise it and stick it on the lashes. Now I've seen how easy it is to do this once, I will be doing it myself all the time. A pair of basic false eyelashes is fairly inexpensive, as are all the bits you need to stick on them and the only equipment you need is some glue and a pair of tweezers. The lashes then last for up to 20 wears if you take care of them. Lizzie is in a band (The Lorelles) so is used to wearing quite dramatic eyelashes, as you can tell from her huge feathery lashes which she chose to wear under her eyes.
I painted mine with a purple iridescent pigment then added some purple netting extensions and pastel green and pink gems along the top.
We had such a blast; being let loose on all the Illamasqua products with the help of an expert like Clare to show you how everything should be done, was a dream come true. Its really made me determined to spend more time on my make-up and not see it as a chore, as when you have the right equipment and products, its really very quick and simple to achieve great looks. You can see all the courses available here. If you missed your chance to help raise money for Japan in my auction, you can still contribute by buying Gabby Young and Friends' song for Japan or at this Illustrators' event next weekend. Many thanks to Roz for buying the course, to Illamasqua for donating it and to Clare for being such a patient teacher, despite us being fairly unruly, demanding coffee, and running over our finish time by about 20 minutes!