Tag Archives: Illamasqua

Vacation Makeup Bag: Fall Getaway Edition


The pretties are packed and I’m ready for a vacation! Seriously ready. I’ve hardly taken any time off this year. A glaring reminder is the fact that I still have 14 vacation days stowed away for the rest of the year.  I’m ready to burn a few with a long weekend to DC. Since I moved back to the Midwest from DC in 2009, I’ve hardly been back. Can’t wait to catch up with friends and visit some of my fav places. Though, I’m not too happy about all of this rain heading up the coast from Hurricane Karen. I’m determined to make the best of the dreary days.


The makeup I’m bringing for this trip is a lesson in self-control. Two blushes is editing for me, guys. And please do congratulate me on bringing a single eyeliner. Cream blushes are my jam right now so I couldn’t possibly choose between Butter LONDON Naughty Biscuit and Illamasqua Velvet Blusher in Peaked. The BECCA Radiant Skin Satin Finish Foundation is like a tinted moisturizer with a little more oomph. Wears beautifully all day, so I like to travel with that one. I always over pack eye makeup, so I’m keeping it simple with Benefit Nude Swings, an always perfect with everything rose gold, and the option to go smoky with Chanel Enigma. That one eyeliner I can survive on for four days? Smashbox Always Sharp Waterproof Kohl in Penny Lane. When you twist the cap, it sharpens itself! Since I know there’s probably a handful of lipsticks buried in my purse, I’m only packing two in my makeup bag. Burt’s Bees Sunny Day and MAC Retro Matte in Flat Out Fabulous. If I can’t actually get a sunny day, may as well channel good vibes through makeup!

Illamasqua, not about the “it” but you


It’s not every day I get to have face time with the founder of the fastest growing makeup brand in history, so when I do, I make the most of the experience. Julian Kynaston, founder of Illamasqua, made a stop in Chicago recently to celebrate the brand’s expansion in to U.S. Bloomingdale’s stores. He is a vision at what must be nearly 7 feet tall and was rocking a fierce black smoky eye when he greeted me at Bloomies. Julian spoke at length to me about self-expression, the core of the brand. He built a brand that celebrates the unique. It’s not about looking like everyone, rather, about looking like you. His passion and sincerity on this topic especially came through when he described his work with The Sophie Lancaster Foundation, a charity that Illamasqua has supported for years.

Perhaps the most impressive point of differentiation for Illamasqua is that they’ve risen to cult beauty status without traditional advertising. Rather, the brand relies completely on the power of social media.

For those (like me) who make a sport of studying seasonal makeup releases, you’ll notice that Illamasqua’s are never dictated by the “it” color of the season. Take Sacred Hour, Illamasqua’s fall collection—which, p.s., happens to include the most perfect rosy pink velvet blush. As Julian tells it, the collection is about releasing your inner warrior and finding courage. What that means in terms of color is up to YOU.



My gateway into the world of Illamasqua was a nail polish called Bacterium. It was everything during my greige phase. From there, it just took one bright pink cheek color (who can resist those black compacts?) for me to realize that there was so much more to this brand. And while they may have a flair for theatrics and drama, there are just as many neutrals and classic shades within the line. Case in point: this taupe-filled eyeshadow palette from Sacred Hour. It’s beyond.


Skin Base Lift concealer and White Light brightener

After chatting with Julian and oogling the Reflection Palette, one of the artists gave me a little refresh with new Skin Base Lift. It’s a brightening concealer that has warm peach tones to help cover any hint of darkness. Shade 1 made me look like a brand new girl. And, when I thought his work was done, he used a tiny angled brush to trace the White Light right above and below my brow bones. After he blended, it was like WOAH. No shimmer or obvious highlight, just better skin.

I believe there’s just a handful of Bloomingdale’s stores in the U.S. with a full Illamasqua counter at this stage, so let’s consider ourselves lucky in Chicago. There’s something to be said for getting the full on counter experience. Especially since our Bloomie’s just got a major beauty floor upgrade.

Bloomingdale’s Gets a Face Lift


Extreme makeover, Bloomingdale’s North Michigan Avenue edition is now complete. And the big reveal is all sorts of pretty. I finally got to check it out last night with a few of my fellow Chicago blogger gals and strolled every inch of that iconic black and white tile soaking up all of the beauty real estate. It’s like 15 mini boutiques in one. When I’m in the Bobbi Brown space, I feel like I’m in a Bobbi Brown store! There’s LED screens with videos playing, right now it’s all Bobbi + Katie, and spacious counters to give you a little more room to play. Beyond flashy upgrades, there’s also more cosmetic brands, including NARS, Illamasqua—available in about a dozen total Bloomingdale’s stores now— Sisley, SK-II and four fancy private spa rooms, one solely dedicated to Chanel. Oh, and my fav part, the first Space NK apothecary in the Midwest! Space NK carries Rahua, Jin Soon, African Botanics, Tata Harper, Oribe, Lipstick Queen and other brands you don’t see in stores as often.


Gisele greets you upon entry!

Now that everything is fresh and shiny, Bloomingdale’s has a busy social schedule for the coming months. Tonight, The Everygirl is hosting a grand opening bash and the founder of Illamasqua, Julian Kynaston, will be making an appearance and hosting a “beauty crossfire” of sorts. Think ready-to-wear makeup looks vs. creative and colorful works of art. Oh, and….Space NK will have one of their ridiculously amazing gift-with-purchases available. Seriously, I can’t even believe all that is packed in this GWP. The good news? It’s available online if you’re not able to visit a store. The bad news? Quantities are super limited.