Well, I certainly dared! Best. Time. Ever.
This was such a fun event. One of the best parts of it for me was sharing it with Helen, from Helen and Sheenie's Nice Things, who was as friendly and lovely in person as she is on her blog. There were a couple of other bloggers there - MizzWorthy and Tali. I think the majority of the other participants were simply huge makeup enthusiasts who have been sidelined by the traditional lines - there were at least a couple of blokes in the mix, including a lovely and very young lad who was quite shy at first but was definitely more confident by the end of the evening.
Alex Box is incredible - so talented and artistic. She did a step by step with the model (also called Alex, from the Illamasqua office) that went from primer to foundation to contouring to wild colour combinations. She was incredibly accessible and friendly, and seemed genuinely excited that so many people had turned up (the class was almost full to its 20 capacity) and had embraced the idea of Dare to Be Different. She made a point of thanking everyone who was there, and I really appreciate that kind of enthusiasm and courtesy. There were some amazing looks by the end of the class, although no-one was pushed to do anything they didn't want to; we had a (visiting) makeup artist at our table who started off very cautiously but finished off with amazing pink eyes and brilliant pink lips.
I said I wanted to do a Tim Burton, Sweeney Todd, Helena BC type look. I think my MA helped me to achieve that admirably. I have to say, I was slightly disappointed not get any funny looks on either the tube or the train home, but I suppose this is Friday night in London.
Things I'd suggest they do differently :
- Have more multiples of the most popular colours available; our MAs had to mug the others for the colours we wanted, which held up the evening and could have been avoided.
- Don't hold this type of event when you're stocked out of a lot of stuff. I don't think Illamasqua anticipated quite how popular it would become, but my MA had to use the black face powder instead of eyeshadow because all the dark eyeshadows were sold out. That doesn't reflect well on the professionalism of the brand, and it's not comfy for the MA either.
Things I loved :
- My MA. Amanda was funny, friendly and very talented. Illamasqua have recruited some great talent.
- The intimacy of the event - I think 20 is about the perfect number for this sort of thing. It's enough to make it buzzy and exciting, but it means you can also have one MA to two people, which helps to keep you on track with what's going on.
- The brave and interesting brand positioning. This was not a 10 step "turn you into a Bobbibot" class. There were some great universal tips on contouring and highlighting, but it was very much about following your own artistic vision, and trying something different.
I bought the angled blush brush, the eyebrow brush, an eyebrow cake, a powder blush (for contouring), a powder eyeshadow, a medium pencil and some false lashes. All of these came to just over £100, and the £20 class fee was redeemable, so that wasn't so bad.
I could do a breakdown of the colours used, if anyone is interested.
Pic with Helen, who was rocking the false lashes!
Slightly rubbish and blurry pic of our lovely MAs, Amanda and Halimah. They were still full of fun even after an incredibly long day.