Saturday, 13 August 2011

Illamasqua's Born Again Film: Watch It Again

[All images taken as stills by me from the Born Again short film, available here]. The make-up brand Illamasqua has struck gold with this piece of inventive marketing for the Born Again collection. Featuring the BAFTA-winning actress Vicky McClure (who was tear-jerkingly good as Lol in the film This Is England and its follow-up television series, This Is England '86) was a stroke of genius as she is not only a highly talented performer but she also suits the striking plum tones of this look. McClure stars as an unnamed woman, in an unnamed location, who must go on a life-changing journey - and one that requires serious eye make-up.

Stopping at a cafe, our heroine's androgynous and fierce style stands out against the dull decor around her and the anonymous landscape outside. We don't know the purpose for her trip, but we feel involved.

Close-ups not only offer intimacy with the viewer: they also help to showcase the collection in detail. The accent of pinky-red eyeshadow (Liquid Metal in Resolute, £17.50 and Powder Eyeshadow in Daemon, £15.50) really stands out as it frames her lashes, whilst her immaculate brows are sharp and carefully filled. This is a woman whose cosmetics truly enhance her personality, instead of masking it.

I won't give away the plot, but the closing moments feature a more stripped-back look for McClure, where her character has become vulnerable as she is 'Born Again'. This forms quite a contrast to the structured image she has presented to us before.

Illamasqua has produced a great short film here - it draws you in and makes you think. I really enjoyed the unedited version as it was powerful and interesting to see the development of this unnamed woman. I love the art direction involved and the lengths the brand has gone to achieve something so individual and so far removed from the basic selling tactics of most cosmetics companies - product, by-line, consumer survey stating that 98% of women found their wrinkles had disappeared, etc, etc.

Another genius move by Illamasqua is the Facebook competition in conjunction with the Born Again collection, which is called Social Sacrifice. The winner will surrender their Facebook photos to Illamasqua, who will delete them all (though they will be saved on a disc in case you desperately need them back) and slowly build up a new image for you with photoshoots and looks directed by the brand. You will also attend the launch of their first perfume, a show at London Fashion Week, and the set of Vicky McClure's latest film set. This truly is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and something that is going to make one woman very happy indeed (no, I don't automatically mean me, though I have entered!). I love the idea of rehashing your social media presence via photography and make-up, and I think this is a great way to really get people examining how they present themselves.

For more information on the collection, please see the Illamasqua website.


  1. I love the Illamusqua add campaigns but I was so let down when I bought a lipstick from their online store.

    The texture was horrible and the colour was noting like the tone I asked for :( it was such a shame


  2. That's such a shame, Ashleigh. I haven't bought any of their products as I'm not much of an online make-up shopper and they always seem to run out of the ones I like in-store! Hopefully your lipstick experience was a one-off. I really hate it when colours aren't representated properly on the packaging - v misleading.

    Polly x


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