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In Conversation with Alex Box: When Make Up and Art Collide...

When make up artist and generally all around creative, Alex Box asked me to help give her new project a shout out, how could I refuse? This wonderful being has helped me learn a lot about make up, art, being creative and being myself over the years, I owe her a lot. I’m very lucky that I’ve been able to spend some face to face time with Alex over the years and just a few days ago caught up on the telephone to discuss The Alex Box Performance and more.  If you’re not already familiar with Alex Box, she’s worked as Make Up Director on fashion shows for the likes of Gareth Pugh, Karl Lagerfeld, Alexander McQueen, Vivienne Westwood and Chanel. You will also recognise Alex Box’s creative flair within the brand, Illamasqua, of which she was Creative Director until 2015. Since leaving Illamasqua, Alex has worked on a number of personal projects including The Alex Box, t-shirt designs and leading creative on a variety of photo shoots for publications such as Berlin based King Kong Magazine. Alex also continues to create innovative make up looks for iconic fashion creators at Fashion Week and shoots, continuing to question the conventions of beauty and the make-up industry. Alex’s latest personal project comes in the form of a live make up art performance being produced in partnership with Erica Carr Global. The first performance is happening at an intimate 100 capacity venue, Rich Mix in London on 15th June 2018. I chatted with Alex to find out more, so read on to get a little insight into what to expect.

Alex Box Conversation Live Make Up Performance in London featured on CMK by Jayne Kitsch

Alex is excited about being able to bring her unique and organic approach to make up performance to a small, intimate audience. You may have caught another of Alex’s performance at IMATS or another pro make up event, this new custom curated make up performance experience will be very different. Harnessing the power of the right musical playlist, “a black rubber womb like room” and Alex’s desire to create a “a spiritual experience that invites the audience to switch off and immerse themselves”, doesn’t sound like your usual make-up demo right? Well, Alex’s background is fine art, traditional art so it makes sense to combine art, performance and make-up in this way. Without giving too much away, Alex described her goals for the performance creation, stating how she aims to “create life from nothing, creating a discussion about shape, form, surfaces and the journey of life” all through the unexpected power of cosmetics and probably something she’s foraged or discovered on her adventures. Alex Box is not your usual make up artist.

With tickets for the London show starting from £150 in order to cover the epic costs of this sort of operation, Alex hopes that this will be the start of bigger, more regular live make-up performances in a variety of possible formats and venues, opening up her make-up creativity to a broader audience. In addition to the hour and a half performance, Alex tells me there will be a post-performance Q&A, with the goal of “not leaving until we’ve answered every question”, this added feature to the event adds massive value to professionals, art lovers and creatives of a variety of practises.

If you’d like to read more about Alex Box there are many articles on CMK and you can visit the Alex Box website to buy performance tickets and to learn more. I wish I was going to be in London to attend myself, but super looking forward to hearing all about the event and future projects. Alex told me a few other things she’s working on too, I can’t tell you more just yet, but there are many brilliant reasons why any creative should tune into Alex’s social media or mailing list to be kept up to date.

 

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Alex Box Launches First Product: The Alex Box

As many of you know, I’m a massive fan of make up artist and all round creative, Alex Box. Until recently Alex was heavily involved with make up brand, Illamasqua, as Creative Director and she’s now on her own individual journey, which I’m really enjoying following. Her latest news is a big story, Alex introduced her first product this week, which officially launches 7th June, The Alex Box.

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Beauty News: Alex Box Leaves Illamasqua, What Will Happen Next?…

We all know that there’s been changes galore in the Illamasqua camp over the past few years and the news that Creative Director, Alex Box is to leave the brand in January is definitely important news for any fans of the brand. Earlier in the year the brand also lost the equally amazing, David Horne who also played a key role in the Illamasqua journey, so is this a sign that even bigger changes are afoot?

Illamasqua for Myer Alex Box

 

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Guest Post: Exclusive Illamasqua David Bowie Make Up Show with Alex Box at Selfridges

Today I’m handing over to my lovely work colleague and friend, Sinead. I’ve recently started my new job and was delighted to find that me and Sinead had so much in common, including a shared love for Illamasqua and Alex Box, so found it only fitting that I invite her to guest blog after attending the amazing David Bowie Selfridges Show.

Sinead doesn’t have her own blog just yet, but you can follow her on Twitter as @SineadyMcG

Last week I was a VERY lucky girl and won a seat at the exclusive Illamasqua make-up show in Selfridges with Creative Director and make-up mastermind, Alex Box! (Thanks Elle magazine!) I’ve been a huge fan of Alex Box since discovering her back in 2010, when she was featured on the cover of The Sunday Times Style Magazine. I remember looking at the outrageous colours and over exaggerated facial contours and thinking “Wow, this lady is real special!”.

The Looks 

Having the opportunity to watch Alex in action, creating bespoke Bowie inspired beauty looks was a true inspiration. In a frenzied effort to scribble down what she was doing, how she was doing it and the effect it created, below I share my highlights on how to recreate the looks at home!

 

Look 1 

 

Illamasqua Alex Box David Bowie Make Up Show Natural Look Selfridges

 

The first look performed was the more “natural” looking one out of the two looks created:

  • Shoulder hallows were exaggerated by shading them using the same colour to create the facial contours
  • The same colour was applied to the nose ridges, extended and elongated eye sockets, under and up the chin and in the cupid’s bow
  • Light shading was also applied around the nostrils and lips
  • A shimmer skin colour eye shadow was used on the eyes, lined with a lighter liner
  • Nude lips
  • Highlighter on the cheeks and lips

Illamasqua Alex Box David Bowie Selfridges Make Up Show

Illamasqua Alex Box David Bowie Make Up Show in Selfridges

Look 2 

 Alex Box Illamasqua Selfridges David Bowie Make Up Show Look Three Make Up Artist

To create the second look, Alex continues to work and add to the first look. The make up show advertised three Bowie inspired looks, but Alex’s second look was a combination of the third look also, as in the words of Alex herself she just “went with the feeling”.

  • Pink was used under the bronzed cheek hallows
  • Pink shading was brushed over the shoulder dips, followed up the neck and under the chin and continued up the jaw line
  • This same colour was used to re-work the inner eye socket and forehead lining
  • Light pink shimmer was added to the lips, making them pop!
  • For big defined winged eyes, cut triangles out of paper and use it as a stencil
  • Finish with a shimmer highlighter down the nose ridges and on the lips, mixed with gold for a two toned look

 

Q&A with Alex Box

Have you been emotionally inspired since becoming a mother?

I’ve always been emotional with my work, I like to feel the make up and as you can probably see I like to be messy. Since becoming a mum, I would say that I am more precious with my time – even more then before.

If you had to reinvent a super hero/ villain, who would it be?

The Joker, I like how he’s so groomed that it’s sick and wrong

What is your advice for the next generation of the Illamasqua awards?

Follow your heart, that will be your selling point so hold on to it. Along the way you’ll have people say that it’s to much or not enough. Don’t let there opinions phase you.

Block out the noise, that’s everything from people to magazines and the internet.

Before creating a look, do you just plunge in or do you like to study what you’re working with first?

I’ve worked with Georgie many times now. I think it’s important to know and feel the model, this helps you be more sympathetic towards the skin. Don’t be rigid with what you expect from yourself, my early work was so anal, I could spend hours on one eye. “Boldness of attack” is a saying I like, as I have had to un-break my own rules.

What artist inspired you?

Francis Bacon. His work morphs and changes but essentially stays himself (like David Bowie).

 

 Sounds like an amazing event! I wish I could have gone!

What do you think of Alex Box’s make up artistry?

Are you a David Bowie fan?

Comment, share or tweet me @JayneJRead

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What I Learnt in a Year of No Selfies…

This is an unusual anniversary to celebrate, today it’s been a whole year since I posted a selfie to my personal social media. Yes, I’ve still been in photos, but none of my usual posy, look at how fabulous my make up and colourful hair is type of post that I was so regularly sharing. So, why have I been selfie free for a year and what did I learn? Here’s some musings from me sin selfie.

Blue in Wonderland with Flowers Edit

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Stuff That Happened in 2016…

Without a doubt, 2016 has been a strange year internationally and it’s definitely passed its influence onto everyone else. There’s a really strange vibe as this year closes, people are worried and many wanting to break away to help their well-being. Who can blame us really with a rich idiot becoming the most powerful man on Earth and a rather major fuck up when it comes to Brexit, plus the fact that there’s a whole bunch of people who don’t seem to see that these things are dangerous, which is equally worrying. Pile on top of that the number of heroes and icons we lots this year, the number of bombs dropped on innocent people, the increasing suffering of refugees and a load more nasty stuff, something has definitely been on the blink. However, let’s not let all this chaos distract from moving forward and trying to do the best we can. Here’s my little blogging tradition, a  look back at what happened for me this year and some thoughts.

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Stuff That Happened in 2015…

As is my annual tradition around this time of year I’m taking a moment to review the year that’s come to a close and look back at what made it awesome, what I achieved and other glorious things, I’ve pulled together some highlights in photos to share with you too. Overall, it’s nice to say that this year has been fairly chilled for the first time in a long while, after everything went tits up about 3 years ago, I finally feel like I’ve got some kind of normality and stability back, although certainly not in the conventional sense.

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My Looks Using the Illamasqua Earth Collection Draco Pigment and Nomadic Palette

Last week I made a flying visit to London and to my old home area of Shoreditch to finally step foot in Ace Hotel despite living in a building attached to it for over 6 months! Anyway, the 2 hour round trip to London is always worth it when it means Illamasqua and most importantly getting to spend some time with the amazing and inspiring Alex Box. The team introduced us to the new Earth collection which is available now and I’ve got two of the products to show you.

illamasqua earth collection nomadic palette and draco pure pigment looks and swatches autumn winter elements inspired collection jayne kitsch jayne robinson

 

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Illamasqua SS14 Glamore Lipsticks in Soaked, Glissade and Luster

Ok, so following on from the lovely Illamasqua Glamore event that I attended earlier in the week, it’s now time for me to give you a proper review of the Glamore lipsticks now that I’ve had some time to play with them properly. There’s three shades in the new collectionL Soaked, Glissade and Luster. The Glamore formula will be seeing new shades released in the future and the main difference is that compared to the other Illamasqua lipsticks, this is a moisturising satin finish, which still packs a punch when it comes to longevity and colour intensity. illamasqua glamore satin finish lipstick in luster soaked and glissade pinks and orange red moisturing alex box swatches swatch review beauty make up

Here they are in the bullet, the standard Illamasqua packaging and left to right we have: Glissade, Soaked and Luster. A wonderful palette of colours which are flattering on almost any skin tone and also shades that aren’t too intimidating and easy to wear for a lot of different occasions. It’s the first time in a long while, that Illamasqua have launched a lipstick collection that doesn’t feature a bizarre colour.

illamasqua glamore satin finish lipstick in luster soaked and glissade pinks and orange red moisturing alex box swatches swatch review beauty make up

And swatched in true beauty blogger style, here they are again on my pale arm. I applied them straight from the bullet for these swatches and as you can see you get brilliant colour pay off  with a smooth satin finish, the sort of finish that a normal beauty customer expects from a lipstick I guess. I generally prefer a matte finish, but the colours in these keep me happy.

illamasqua glamore satin finish lipstick in luster soaked and glissade pinks and orange red moisturing alex box swatches swatch review beauty make up

This one is my favourite, it’s a super bright orange it’s called Soaked. It seems that Illamasqua were paying attention to the recent trend of their blogger followers dying their hair orange, because this one seems to be the perfect match to orange hair! It’s loud, it’s bright and it feels great to wear. Definitely a new favourite for me, you know I’m not afraid of bright!

illamasqua glamore satin finish lipstick in luster soaked and glissade pinks and orange red moisturing alex box swatches swatch review beauty make up

Next up is Illamasqua Glamore in Luster, this one is the sort of colour I expect to see on mega tanned girls, but turns out it works quite well on pale skin too. It’s a pale  pink with a lilac vibe which again is a bold shade but without being uber bright. I didn’t think I’d like it but I think it’s going to be a favourite, especially when the Summer finally hits!

illamasqua glamore satin finish lipstick in luster soaked and glissade pinks and orange red moisturing alex box swatches swatch review beauty make up

And finally, we have Glissade, which reminds me of existing Illamasqua shades Magnetism and Shard. It’s a berry tone which is very easy to wear for many different personalities and skin tones. I appeared to have applied it in a slightly dodgy manner  in this snap, but you can get what I mean I’m sure.

illamasqua glamore satin finish lipstick in luster soaked and glissade pinks and orange red moisturing alex box swatches swatch review beauty make up

Overall, a lush collection of lip colours with a fabulous new formula, I’m sure new and old Illamasqua fans will love the Glamore lipstick line up and I know I shall look forward to the other shades to come in this formula in the near future.

What do you think of the Illamasqua Glamore lipstick?

Which shade is your favourite?

Comment, share or tweet me @JayneKitsch

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Illamasqua SS14 Glamore Event Lipstick and Nails

It’s the time of year again, time for another Illamasqua launch, one of my favourite ever brands as you well know. This time the launch is centred around a new lipstick formula launch and an aesthetic that we haven’t seen from Illamasqua before. I love the brand because of their alternative fashion background and their boldness to create striking, dark imagery that you don’t see from other brands very often, for Glamore, the team have surprised us again but this time by creating something incredibly girly, feminine and beautiful.

Here’s the main visual for the campaign which Alex Box says is a nod to 1920’s bathing caps and has a synchronised swimming vibe.

Illamasqua SS14 Glamore Launch Event Lipstick and Nails Satin Finish Soaked Glissade Luster and Shattered Star Nails Trilliant Marquise and Fire Rose Review and Swatch

The range consists of three lipstick shades is super wearable brights and three sparkling nail polishes dubbed Shattered Stars. The lipsticks are a new satin formula which are super comfortable to wear, most of the Illamasqua lipsticks to date have been matte, which is my preference but not everyone can get along with the drying formula.

I think this is the first time in a long time that there isn’t a single product in the line up that isn’t a bit weird of difficult to wear, personally I’m not sure if this is a good thing. But when speaking to Alex she spoke about how she wanted to have a collection that would invite a new audience to the brand and I think this range will definitely do this. The lipstick shades and the nail polishes are universally flattering and not anything that would be challenging for a normal make up customer to wear.

Illamasqua SS14 Glamore Launch Event Lipstick and Nails Satin Finish Soaked Glissade Luster and Shattered Star Nails Trilliant Marquise and Fire Rose Review and Swatch

Illamasqua SS14 Glamore Launch Event Lipstick and Nails Satin Finish Soaked Glissade Luster and Shattered Star Nails Trilliant Marquise and Fire Rose Review and Swatch

Illamasqua SS14 Glamore Launch Event Lipstick and Nails Satin Finish Soaked Glissade Luster and Shattered Star Nails Trilliant Marquise and Fire Rose Review and Swatch

The three Shattered Star Nail Polishes are super textured, multi dimensional nail colours, in shades to compliment the lipsticks in the line up. I love the bright orange, Marquise and the texture reminds me of a more refined version of the Concrete manicure that we’re seen knocking about.

Illamasqua SS14 Glamore Launch Event Lipstick and Nails Satin Finish Soaked Glissade Luster and Shattered Star Nails Trilliant Marquise and Fire Rose Review and Swatch

Illamasqua SS14 Glamore Launch Event Lipstick and Nails Satin Finish Soaked Glissade Luster and Shattered Star Nails Trilliant Marquise and Fire Rose Review and Swatch

Illamasqua SS14 Glamore Launch Event Lipstick and Nails Satin Finish Soaked Glissade Luster and Shattered Star Nails Trilliant Marquise and Fire Rose Review and Swatch

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Overall, the collection is stunning, classic and timeless and will definitely appeal to a broader audience that the traditional Illamasqua customer. However, I do feel a little sad that there appears to have been no risks taken in this collection and to me that’s one of the things that I love about the brand, they weren’t afraid to encourage you to wear turquoise lipstick and lilac matte lipstick. I do hope that it will encourage more people to brave the usual Illamasqua aesthetic though and come and support and amazing, British business created by an incredible team of creative people.

Oh, and they had a photobooth.

photobooth

Reviews of the individual products, coming very soon!

What do you think of the new Glamore collection for Illamasqua?

Would you have liked to have seen them be more risky?

Comment, share or tweet me @JayneKitsch

 

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