Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Illamasqua's Christmas 2012

I must admit that I was stunned when I saw this image on British Beauty Blogger this morning and can understand the reactions.

The black and white idea is very interesting and in all honesty stunning but I believe, had they simply chosen a different color lipstick for the "Black" model the reaction just might have been quite different. The light lip shade is what I think makes the reference more obvious. There's the idea of color "on skin" not "of skin" but like it was written on British Beauty Blogger, they could have gone with any other color for this campaign.

Had they chosen the same beautiful red lip color for both models, the link and the contrast would have been even more obvious in my opinion, without being so reminiscent of images many would rather want to forget.

If some are offended I totally understand why. Like I said, I was stunned when I first saw the image. Still, the more I look at this Illamasqua ad and the more I appreciate and admire the artistry behind the makeup. After all it is, just a makeup.

Here is what Illamasqua had to say on their facebook page:

Our statement on the recent #ImDreamingOf campaign. Illamasqua is an independent British colour cosmetics brand founded on the principles of fairness, self-expression and delivering customers professional quality make-up. We embrace the div
ersity of humanity and feature people of all colours, ages and genders in our campaigns.

Today, illamasqua has received some negative attention on our Australian Facebook page in regard to one particular image from our Christmas 2012 campaign launched earlier this month. It features a model theatrically painted white juxtaposed to the same model painted black. The model painted black has been interpreted by some as "black face". This was certainly not our intention nor inspiration.

Given that our objective with this imagery was to be playful, striking and fresh with the creation of mirror images in white and black, using colour ON the skin it is very saddening that those making negative comments are focusing on colour OF the skin. The colour of the skin didn't come into it at the time we created the imagery so we are shocked by the cynicism behind some of the comments.

The Huffington Post wrote about our campaign yesterday and a lot of the comments were very positive...

"Super dark girls look great... As such if a woman who knows this wants to achieve that sort of look, it's cool ... She can wear darkening make-up... It's her body (as the feminists love to say) ... I say, go for it!"

"Oh come on, this isn't racist. I'm a black woman saying this. It's obvious this is art. There's more than enough real racism in this country to deal with without attacking legitimate art"

We have already issued the following statement on our Australian Facebook page:

"We thank and acknowledge your comments regarding the Christmas imagery. Obviously it was never our intention to cause offence; Illamasqua has always celebrated the right to self-expression and we continually push creative and artistic boundaries, priding ourselves on working with models of many ethnic backgrounds to reinforce this point. We emphasise that this campaign is about colour ON the skin not colour OF the skin, depicting polarity between the two images (both images are the same model) not race."


  1. I think the ad is very creative and I like the model. Illamasqua is definitely a brand that can't be considered racist, is nothing about that and I'm sure they didn't tried to offend anyone with this ad. I should take advantage of their products because they just sent me today an e-mail offering me 15% discount to my new purchase just because my Birthday is coming next week and they were always so nice with me as a blogger but also as a client.

    1. Tavia, I agree completely with you. Their ads are always so stunningly beautiful & clearely encourage diversity. Like I wrote, I was surprised at first & the more I see it, the less I get negative references. It's just that in this age of political correctness there will always be people who will find ways to criticize. I hope they will take the time to admire the artistry behind the makeup. Sooo your birthday is comming up, time to spoil yourself a little! :D

    2. I was thinking more of spoiling my readers with a Giveaway! This will be a good way to celebrate my B-day! :)

    3. Fun! I still have to figure out how to go about this myself. Hard to be a newbie. :D


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