In such a competitive retail arena, it really is a wonder Illamasqua has got where it is in just three short years. Theirs is truly a rags to riches tale. The brainchild of Yorshireman Julian Kynaston, Illamasqua has become the fastest growing beauty brand ever - not bad considering their humble beginnings and the fact they were told it would take decades for them to break into the industry. How they manage to sit alongside beauty hall matriarchs is an achievement in itself.
A couple of weeks ago they launched their new Spring/Summer makeup collection titled 'Human Fundamentalism', which sums up in one fell swoop exactly what the defiantly different British beauty brand is about. I have been a fan of them for years and feel their admirable ethos and open-minded take on beauty sets it apart from the more established houses. The brand vehemently proclaims, 'We stand for freedom of expression, embracing our glorious imperfections and showing the world we're not ordinary but extraordinary, even if society refuses to accept it' and dubs their current collection as 'an explosion for your alter ego.' Inspiring stuff.
Walking around the beauty halls and flicking through magazines we are bombarded with hyperreal, airbrushed and unrealistic images of why beauty should be. Thank goodness for a brand which has the guts to stand up and say beauty is an inward realisation and cannot necessarily be bought with a £20 mascara. I respect the way Illamasqua is all about freedom of expression and not conforming to stereotypical ideals. Notably, there are also a few other brands taking social responsibility and attempting to change perceptions on beauty but Illamasqua is that name I naturally gravitate towards.
The 'Human Fundamentalism' collection is certainly not for the shy or retiring. It's bold use of colour taps into our intrinsic human gravitation towards bold shades. Bold pure white, vivid green, dramatic teal blue and dense jet black rule the roost in this range. As a fan of limited edition collection, Human Fundamentalism seems to uniquely irresistible to pass up. My first thoughts after seeing it for the first time was just how primal and animalistic it was.
Hero pieces include a vivid matt teal lip colour called 'Apocalips', a bright jade green nail polish called 'Nomad' and the 'Fundamental' palate, composed of bright yellow, purple, mint green and pewter eyeshadows. Granted the collection is not to everybody's taste but that's kind of why I like it. In a sea of nude lipsticks and taupe eyeshadows, there is something gloriously garish about rocking up in green lipstick. Arty and boundary pushing, the collection is more intended to amaze than prettify. Best of all, it injects a bit of fun into makeup and it's 'anything goes' mantra is undoubtedly unifying.
The multi-billion pound beauty industry is a serious business but there is only so much importance I can bestow on eyeliner and eau de toilette. I find Illamsqua's 'devil may care' attitude highly refreshing and the reason I class it as my favourite beauty brand.