An Interview with Illamasqua’s Founder, Julian Kynaston

illamasqua julian kynaston
Photo by Jacie at

Today we have a special treat as I have an interview with the Founder and Joint MD of Illamasqua, Julian Kynaston. Recently named as the fastest growing makeup company EVER, he has good reason to be proud of the cult UK makeup brand that he started a little over two years ago and has taken the world, quite literally, by storm. It has heralded in a new era of pride in the art of wearing makeup – not just through the arresting visuals (part of the genius of their Creative Director, Alex Box), but in the incredible pigment pay off of the products that allows you to play and experiment in completely unique way. Other makeup companies have had this ethos in the past, but now most counters on the makeup floor play it pretty safe – but never Illamasqua! Here’s what Julian had to say when I spoke to him:
1. What prompted you to create Illamasqua?

People told me that the only way to make an impact in the global make up market was to have in excess of 25 million pounds or take 25 years. We had neither but love a challenge. We believe in out-thinking and not outspending competition

2. Why did you get involved with the Sophie Lancaster foundation?

We were setting out to build a brand which would empower women to wear make up louder and bolder than ever before and for men to wear make up way beyond the cliche of eyeliner and concealer. Somewhere else Sophie Lancaster was killed for being a Goth – murdered for the way she chose to look and live her life. It felt natural to work with Sophie’s mum Sylvia to help build the charity and spread the message to Stamp Out Prejudice Hatred and Intolerance Everywhere ( S.O.P.H.I.E)

3. How did Joe Corre come to be involved with Illamasqua?

When Joe sold Agent Provocateur he wanted to launch a make up brand. Joe was introduced to Illamasqua and thought ‘wow’. He decided to play with us as our ideas were exactly the same as his ambitions for doing something very different in a very safe sector.

4. What’s coming up next for Illamasqua?

More own stores, fragrance (Joe Correis leading this, having already achieved rare commercial success with the first fragrance at Agent Provocateur) and as with Illamasqua… more and more inspiration for those who crave it.

5. What do you like doing in your spare time?

Thinking up ideas for Illamasqua, walking, shopping, Tweeting.


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