I'd just been through an hour and half to transform my sister from ordinary girl to the Queen of Agoraphobia - the name of my Illamasqua design and (in my opinion) my best work so far.
After an early start to the day, my sister (who's first time it was coming to London) and I travelled the train and tube to oxford street, where we began our walk to Beak St. It wasn't long until we got lost, and I had to whip my map out. Asking random indian men in a fabric shop where Hamley's was (cos it was right by beak st), only to find we'd quite clearly walked past it and ignored the security guards standing on podiums dressed as toy soldiers. I think we were too much on a mission to notice where we were going to be honest haha!! So, after walking back up to Hamley's (under A LOT of scaffolding may I add, which added to my bad luck superstitions for the day), we arrived.
It was still too early when we arrived at Beak st, so we had a walk around and decided to wind down our nervousness in a little foreign cafe where we had a little lunch. I could barely eat anything because I felt sick with nerves. I always get so nervous for no understandable reason, but this was an achievement for me (I never win ANYTHING and always have bad luck!). I saw another girl in the cafe come in with sheets of paper rolled up, I thought it could be another contestant, and it turned out it was! I have a good eye for things, me. She was lovely and we had a little chat about how nervous we both were, but it seemed to calm us down.
We all had an order to present to the curtain judges, so we had to sit at our stations in that order. I was happy I knew the other two girls, so the atmosphere wasn't so cold/wary. I had a little trouble (or a lot rather) with my Illamasqua makeup belt, that I was holding us all up and we started late, ooooh dear haha! But I managed to get it on with the help of Spob (thankyou!). Then, it began.
We were being judged during the hr and 30 by spob and david, both part of the Illamasqua Team, with lots of experience. They came round and asked us questions, jotted down notes and looked at our boards while we painted. About 30 minutes in I started to panic, as the blue base colour of my design wasn't applying how it should have been and I thought I'd ruined it already. I couldn't let this show in my attitude and expression, so I tried to carry on regardless of my worries. Time went on, and before I knew it, Spob was calling out '20 seconds, .... 10...' I had just stopped highlighting my look with the Pure Pigment in Beguile (which went EVERYWHERE), when time was up. I was proud of my design and how it looked in the end.
Then, Josephine told us we had our presentations. Now I'm never good at presenting my work, but I had no idea what to say anyway. I was second out the curtain, so I just went through some brief key points in my head, tottling around the make-up room nervously. Kat (one of the contestants), gave me a final thumbs up and a reassurance that I'd be ok, which was lovely as she is an amazing person who just instantly calms you when you're overly worrying (which I do a lot, evidently). I was struggling to breathe a little, knowing one of my inspirations may be out there (Illamasqua's creative director). It wasn't long until I was called, so I went out with a confident but content smile on my face, and became slightly flustered by the several cameras, and Alex Box was sitting there ready to judge me on creativity, relevance to the brief, and how well I'd incorporated my products. It was her! I could hardly believe I was meeting her. I look at her book of work with Rankin almost everyday.
I spoke about what my inspiration was, and talked them through my mood boards and what the mood of my look entailed. I had a few question from Alex, but I wasn't too nervous to answer with clarity. I think I approached it professionally and everyone seemed to be really enjoying what they were seeing design-wise. She told my model to turn around so she could get a better idea of the makeup, and said it was absolutely beautiful. Words like those from an inspiration of mine are so very much appreciated, and I was happy I had a warm reception. Then we all went for photos with the photographer (who shoots many of the Illamasqua campaigns) and I was astounded at the quality of the photographs (pre-edit) that I saw on the monitor. I wanted to portray the story of a creature who ultimately finds her own skin through the trials of a terrible life she had been leading due to this crippling phobia of the outside world.
So, after all that, and more, we went back home with a calmness and a sense of relief, but also success. It went well, there were a few complications but I managed to fix them and stay professional throughout. I was so lucky to be a part of it, and to get this far is such a huge achievement, I will remember this day for a long long time.
So, here is my final design. You must have Facebook, and to vote, just 'like' the image (also have a look at the others' work - they are outstanding!)
CLICK THIS TO VOTE FOR ME TO WIN THE 2011 ILLAMASQUA DISTINCTION IN MAKEUP ARTISTRY AWARDS
'A strange agoraphobic creature lives concealed on the darker side of life. Void of emotion, only paranoia and self-revulsion remain.
Awake and unafraid,
Asleep or dead.'