Illamasqua School of Make Up

I think it might have been my mum who, when I told her I was going to a session at the Illamasqua School of Make Up, remarked ‘but don’t you know all the beauty tricks by now?’ Which, to be fair – in almost six years of blogging you might think that. But my response was more of a scoff of ‘hell no’ – I’m just abouyt as clueless as I was that first day I started my blog. Well, that’s probably a slight disservice. I have without a doubt picked up many tricks – but in no way, shape or form would I ever consider myself an expert to the level of a make-up artist in application of make-up. Sure, I know stuff about formulas and have some opinions across brands/products etc. and have definitely picked up some handy things across the years of events and meeting the experts. But the way I’ve always looked at it is – I’m a passionate expert consumer, not a make-up application expert. You only need to look at my attempts at contouring to know this (hello, five o’clock shadow). So, when I was invited to go along to the Illamasqua School of Make Up (based at their store at the bottom of Carnaby Street) for the ‘mastering rush hour make-up’ session I jumped at the chance.



There is of course a slight irony in going to a session for rush hour make-up that is all about making your face look professionally presentable in as little time as possible (not applying your full face on the tube with your oyster card in on hand and blusher brush in the other…) when your commute is from your bedroom to your spare room on the average day. BUT that’s not to say I don’t still want to get some tips on both speedy application, and how to make the most of minimal products to get a polished finish that you can wear all day with minimal things needed for touch ups. As of course, whilst I do work from home most days I also have lots of time running about doing all sorts of other things.

The group was a small one, only around six of us. Which was nice as it meant it felt quite personal. The school space is at the back of the Beak Street store and shielded by metal chain curtains (oh so very Illamasqua) from the shop floor. Best thing though – you can still hear the music (which is the best I’ve heard in store – epic playlist if you like a bit of 00’s R’n’B or a touch of Garage).

The whole session took us from make-up free to a full face of office-ready make-up using just five brushes and eight products. These being: primer (either hydra veil or matte veil depending on your skin type), Skin Base foundation, concealer, highlight/contour powder for both eyes and cheeks, eye liner (shade honour), cream blush (I think I used the pink shade ‘Laid’ – which FYI is currently on sale, SO tempted to buy or possibly the paler pink ‘Promise’), mascara, lipliner and lipstick. The lipstick I chose wasn’t really an ‘office appropriate’ one but as it was technically a Saturday night we were given the option to go a bit more playful than maybe would for the office.

On the lipstick – this is the colour Glissade and it was immediate love on application. So I couldn’t resist but pick one up before I left the store (you get 20% off purchases after a course so worth making the most of that discount).


The session was really fun and interesting – my favourite tip was the using the contour/highlight shade for the eyes as well as cheeks. I was a little sceptical at first as felt it looked a little too yellow toned at first but once the whole look was done I really liked it. The two products I really fell for were the lipstick and the cream blush – both gorgeous. Base wise with both the Skin Base and the Hydra Veil (my choice for my dessert-like skin) I’m a little on the fence. I’m convinced I just haven’t quite got the hang of them yet as I haven’t been blown away by either yet.  I really, really WANT to love them – especially Hydra Veil – but feel like I’m just missing a trick. Even after applying according to the instructions I still felt my skin was dry and some patches were showing. But, I was having a really dry skin day so this may not have been a fair reflection. I have a little sample of the Hydra Veil with me (like the tube shown) so going to give it a whirl again and see if it’s just me being a dunce and not getting the hang of it’s wondrous powers.

Overall, I would very much recommend the Illamasqua School of Make Up sessions if you’re really into your make-up or perhaps just want a bit of a confidence boost in the application skills sector as you will definitely come away having felt you learnt a new trick or two. Or even having just discovered a new lipstick love…!

The Mastering Rush Hour Make Up course is £60 for two hours. You can find out more about the various courses HERE. Personally I love the sound of the Cut Crease Eye Make Up Design Course or the Skin Realism Course. There are so many options – from eye lining to drag make-up.

I was a guest of Illamasqua for the Make Up School session. Purchased Glissade with all my own pennies though.  



  1. January 17, 2015 / 1:04 pm

    I love the idea of a masterclass for makeup! I’ve looked at Illamasqua before for it, but the pictures always looked so complicated! Seeing your look though makes me want to take another look. 😀 You look great

  2. January 17, 2015 / 9:41 pm

    That sounds like so much fun!

  3. January 17, 2015 / 10:04 pm

    This is such a great idea. I love to see how other people do their make-up and different tips and tricks. I may have to try one of these classes.

    Taylor //

  4. Blunia
    January 18, 2015 / 10:16 am

    I like the colors they fits well to your skin and hair tone! But the the foundation isn’t so good for your skin is it? I have the same problematic skin, an I realize that not even high end brands are the solution for it. I have tried Mac, clinique and chanel and all of them failed. The best foundation also for a bad skin day is the color adapting from max factor.

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