Beauty Tips From Alex Box
Stepping outside the box is second nature to make-up maestro and creative director of Illamasqua, Alex Box. Known for her dramatic style and bold looks, she knows how to command attention on the runway. She’s designed looks for fashion’s greats, including Stella McCartney, Alexander McQueen and Vivienne Westwood. She spoke to ShortList about fantasy, Yoko Ono and not following trends.
When you design your collections, who do you have in mind?
I don't really design collections with a person in mind; it’s more the energy and spirt. I think about everybody with a connection to make-up and colour. I design for life.
What one item should every person have in their wardrobe?
Confidence. Why? Because each person should know and feel they are uniquely beautiful.
What excites you most about designing/creating?
The story of the journey – a bit like alchemy or magic – creating something from a pure thought or base matter and seeing it come alive into actual products that are useful and transform people's lives.
The best piece of advice I have ever been given is…
It's a stayer’s race.
My personal style signifier is…
My look changes all the time but my signature hair stays the same - espresso brown/black with a champagne streak.
One of my greatest achievements is…
Lipstick in Box. I love this lipstick, I wear it every day. I still get a tingle down my spine when I think of the journey my own life has taken to be able to design a lipstick and name it after myself. It’s a make-up artist’s dream and I feel very blessed.
The ambitions I still have are…
I move the goal posts and always want to be climbing. If you've climbed the highest mountain and reached the top, find a higher mountain! I also work to be the best mother I can possibly be.
My guiltiest pleasure is…
I don't believe in guilt.
The last place I travelled to and loved was…
Devon, UK. I go to the most remote cottage in the middle of nowhere near a windswept black beach. It’s totally peaceful, mindful and calm.
What’s your advice for buying make-up?
Don’t follow trends. Think about how YOU want to look and find a good make-up artist that wants to explore and support this journey. If you’re stuck in a rut, ask someone else to do your make-up. A friend or a make-up artist, someone who will see you differently and introduce new ways of application or different colours that you wouldn't normally use. A different hand will always bring new shape or shade to your routine and seeing yourself differently will inspire you to try new things.
What’s the biggest misconception people have about make-up?
That it’s not for them or they are too old to explore, have fun and try new colours that they don’t know how to wear.
Who is your beauty inspiration?
Pina Bausch, Frida Kahlo, Patti Smith and Yoko Ono.
Beauty or brains?
Illamasqua can be bought in Mirdif City Centre and The Dubai Mall. www.illamasqua.com