Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Illamasqua SOMUA - Building Expertise & Confidence - Perfecting Eye Design.

I took this course last Tuesday and Wednesday in London at the Illamasqua Beak St. store. It was really fun. My only complaint was it didn't last longer... I might just have to book another one (when I've saved up some more dough that is). Now, I don't know whether I should go into much detail about what we were taught, I haven't seen anyone talk about the school there on a blog in much detail before. But I'm going to give a little overview and then post a few photos of looks we created.

I was taught by two of their make-up artists, Daniel (Sallstrom) and Clare (Lille). Daniel took us for the first day. He explained that he did a Fine Art degree back in his birth country Sweden, moved to London and began wearing drag make-up around the clubs (I suppose he performed/was paid to show up in clubs looking fabulous). He then began working for MAC, where he worked for four years. Illamasqua scouted him and the rest is history. He was lovely, very supportive, although a little disgruntled when I managed to smash my glass vial of Illamasqua eyelash glue (eep! I am so clumsy!) He said simply "No." Haa. Oops.

He explained about eyeshapes and contouring on the first morning... then chose ME to demonstrate on. I was a little bit nervous, but only in an excited way. This is what he came up with.

This look involved three colours of medium pencil, blended into the crease (including Vow used to highlight under the brow, which I have... and got a little excited about up on my chair infront of the class), three colours of eyeshadow and an Illuminator in a bronzey colour on the lid. He created a black flick of eyeliner with eyeliner cake in Mislead and Sealing gel.

Then it was our turn, I was paired with a lovely lady called Kristy, a make-up artist from Bristol (this is her website) and she created this look on me using similar colours.

I created this look on her using more pinky burgundy colours. 

This was when I exploded the eye lash glue... In my defense, this was my first attempt putting false eyelashes on someone else and I admit I struggled. Illamasqua's eyelash glue is really amazing, but very different from what I'm used to. It dries very quickly, and is hard to re-adjust. Extra hard to adjust when you have no glue left... only I could have this problem. At least we had a laugh about it, that's all I can say. I could've made this look more dramatic and in hindsight I would. I think my colour choice suited her, though. 

After lunch, we did a second look - starting with a fifties flick shaped eyeliner, then building it up to a more dramatic look. We used the eyeliner cake in Mislead and Phenomena (their white medium pencil).

Kristy did this on me. We looked like some kind of panda-meets-Twiggy. 

After this, Daniel showed how-to (and then how not to) fill in brows. On me... He chose a very dusty taupe looking eyebrow cake and showed how to build the brows from the bottom up, and fade from the inside part being lightest to the outside being thinnest and darkest. He showed how you can set brows with a mascara spoolie and sealing gel, but that doing so darkens the powder colour. And then he made my brows massive and harsh. I wish I'd taken a snap now, I had one naked brow and one GIANT SLUG brow. It made me laugh.

The B-lush make-up girls (all three) went for a drag make-up two hour course that evening (while the Toxic-Nature launch happened, which I'll blog about soon) with Daniel. The looks were amazing! If I ever visit the school again, that's the course I want to take. 

The next day, I was working with Kristy's sister Gem (whose eyes were very tired and sore so I tried to be gentle). We were told a lot about the Toxic Nature collection, including how the cream pigments are great as colour correctors, eyeliners, bases, hair colours, face paints... you name it. I chose the two I had bought the previous evening (Mould and Bedaub) and created this look. A brighter version of the monochrome work the day before. I contoured using the cream pigment in Hollow at the edge of the eye. I wish I'd had time to do her cheekbones with it, too. 

I applied them with the eyeliner brush and the eyeshadow brush but I should've buffed it in on the lid with the blending brush as the layer I applied was way too thick and even with eyeshadow tapped on top it creased... You win some, you lose some (it still looked pretty with her eyes open).

Now Gem. Gem went quite crazy with colour, the combination of which I loved. I'll let the pictures speak for themselves. She used the new Precision Ink in Glister as massive eyelashes down below. It was madness! 

The second part of the day was stencilling. I was paired with Carrie, a graphic designer and training make-up artist from Essex. I felt much more comfortable with this part. I wish I'd gone a little more free with it, but I wasn't too disappointed with the outcome. 

One side pointy, one side rounded. I used the new cream pigments and a few of the liquid metals to stipple the patterns through stencils we cut out of black card. A fun trick!

I loved her look I got so much I kept it on to see Wicked (the musical). One side up, one side down. Yay! All I did was add MAC Army of Amazons mascara, like so.

The course certainly encouraged me to get more creative. I was the only non-professional there but I didn't feel out of place. I don't know what all my worrying was for, everyone was very amiable. Above all else, I have found out that Illamasqua products are very versatile and I love that. When I bought the cream blusher and pigments, I was encouraged to try them as lip colours.

Hey...I even put a little somethin' somethin' on my sister on our way to the musical... (black eyeliner, and what else but green mascara for a very GREEN based show!)

Ruth x
PS. Loved the musical, too.


  1. The eye make-up is amazing. =o)

  2. Love it love it. I would do one of these if I wasnt so far away.

  3. Thanks Bicky :) It was well worth it, I got a train down and stayed in a hostel.


  4. Hi there! am new to your blog.
    Great to read about your experiences on this course, thanks for sharing :)
    I am also a non-pro and will be taking part in the one week course in may.. mega excited!
    Do you have any tips at all..? other than not smashing up the eyelash glue! bless you hehe thankyou! xx

  5. Oooh how exciting, I wish I'd taken a longer course! They'll provide you brushes and you can choose whichever products you'd like to experiment with from the entire shop!
    I had a lot of fun. All I can think to say is ask lots of questions, I regret that I didn't ask many... but my mind went blank! The staff there all gave great advice anyway.
    Good luck! Ruth x

  6. Wow brilliant.
    Cheers :) At the London IMATS i could have been asking more questions too i guess, just wandered round in awe lol!
    Tis all learning and exciting though.
    Thankyou for the reply xx