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Saturday, 15 September 2012

Illamasqua Generation Q Masterclass with Adam

This week I went to an amazing Illamasqua Masterclass at PAM London. The class was run by Adam, one of Illamasquas key artists. There’s a great interview with him here.

Aside from being rather easy on the eye, Adam has worked with Illamasqua since their launch and was MUA for the Pussycat Dolls since there were 7 of them! He still works with the rather gorgeous Nicole Sherzinger and has ten years of experience to draw upon.

Despite PAM being a stones throw away from my workplace in Westfield, this was the first time I’d been to PAM and I was really, really excited to check out the store.

PAM studios

Isn’t it pretty looking? If you ignore the giveaway graffiti you’d almost think this was in a cute little village somewhere and not Shepherds Bush!

PAM foundations
PAM products
PAM products 2

One of the reasons I was keen to visit PAM was because I’d heard they had a great range of products packaged amazingly for MUA kits. Check out those uber-thin foundation palettes – and all those little jars are pre-filled and stackable! There are plenty of pro makeup artist stores in London but none that I’ve come across have products that are packaged like this. I was very impressed and will be heading back to check them out properly soon.

PAM Makeup forever

They’ve also got a lovely Makeup Forever counter which, if you live in the UK, you’ll know is a bugger to get a hold of in person. Alright, enough of the gushing over the store. If you’re close, pop down, it’s worth it! Now on to the actual class!

First, Adam introduced himself and talked a little about Illamasqua. As most of us know, Illamasqua was created from both a fashion and a theatrical background, and Adam talked for a while about how Illamasqua products have never let him down in any medium. He explained how Illamsaqua aim for 40-60% more pigment than other brands so the products and how they didn’t want any product to be limited to its one, obvious use. Originally Alex Box didn’t want to name ANY product in the range! 

Adam then talked about the Generation Q  collection and how age was the last taboo Illamasqua wanted to smash. He spoke really passionately about how they strongly believed that older women shouldn’t have to shy away from glamour and colour because the culture says s, which as both an aspiring MUA and a feminist was just wonderful to hear. If you think about, it’s absolutely mad. He told us to think of all the girls who grew up with Mary Quant and Biba and all those rich colours and think they “can’t” wear those colours now! Why well the hell not, say I?

The lovely Evelyn look fucking banging!

He then went on to explain how the textures in the range are geared toward older skin. The lipstick from the range, Magnetic, is packed with vitamin E so it’s much creamier than the usual Illamsqua lipsticks and thus better suited for older, dryer skin. The most interesting to me were the eyeshadow palettes in the collection. You know how older women are always told that they can’t wear shimmer eyeshadow? Adam told us to think about that logically – matte colours are going to recess the eye and any wrinkles even more than age may have already done, whereas glitter is going to sit in any creases and wrinkles. The solution? Satin formulas, of course! They’ll add a little bit of light reflection without looking like a glitterball. So logical and simple, yet genius!

PAM Adam

Oh haro!

Adam then demonstrated a lovely smokey eye using Generation Q products. He did use a young model, but managed to explain what he was doing with each step so we could adapt it for clients of any age. At one point he even stopped to explain in-depth how to adapt that classic 60’s liner look for an older eye, it was wonderful! I could go in-depth about the whole process and each product he used, but this is a long post as it is, so here’s a few tips he passed on that I thought were useful (and that I can remember!)
  • You know the ‘nose’ trick that you use to determine where your eyebrows should end? It’s a good rule of thumb to never take your eye makeup past this invisible line or it can drag your face down
  • To set a cream blush without losing the dewy glow they give, mix a tiny bit of corresponding shimmer pigment in with your regular powder to keep it from looking flat
  • Don’t think of a product only as for being what it says on the tin! Alex Box often uses lipstick as blusher, a trick we’re all familiar with. The gorgeous contouring in the Illamasqua promos? Alex Box uses their pencils in various colours to ‘sketch’ in the face! Genius!
  • When contouring your face or adding lift to your eyes, imagine everything as positive triangles to get a lift – blend your highlighting products up your face, not down.
  • No matter what your age or crease shape, everyone can benefit from highlighting the browbone and inner corner as these areas don’t deteriorate or sag with age – an easy boost for anyone!
  • If you do have a heavy lid, make sure you look straight ahead when you’re applying your makeup and NEVER lift your brows or all your hard work is just going to disappear

    Overall, a really valuable couple of hours! I came away brimming with ideas and a few Illamsqua products that I know are going to be great workhorses for my kit!


  1. That sounds awesome! I'm dying for them to do a masterclass in Leeds!

    1. I'm not sure if this was put on by the store or by Illamasqua? 'Cos they have all the Selfridges stuff as well... I'm guessing they have thier pro lectures at stores and keep the public stuff in counter and so on so maybe give your local theatrical store a call or something?

  2. The masterclass sounds amazing- if only I lived in England :(

  3. Thank you for passing on all this great info!!

  4. Oh wow this all sounds so fantastic! Thanks for sharing all this Robyn. x

  5. I met you at this masterclass. Was good to meet you :)

    Leigh :)

    (Gingery haired woman with bad roots and bad eyebrows).


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