The Illamasqua Anti-Fascism Pledge

Just before Christmas I caught up with a representative from Illamasqua to discuss their upcoming make up collections. I woke up on the morning of the meeting ridiculously hungover; seriously regretting that last Red Stripe (and everything else I’d consumed the night before). I shoved an Eat 4 Less baguette down my gob, downed so much Fanta I’ve probably given myself diabetes and prayed that I would be home within half an hour; back in bed with a burrito. Within 10 minutes of sitting down and getting a sneak preview of all the latest pigments, palettes and powders my hangover woes disappeared – I was in heaven. I’m not the most particularly make up obsessed girl (Read: I still have a tide line when I apply foundation and I’ve only recently discovered highlighter) but I am all about socially conscious brands. I learned how Illamasqua pride themselves on having a stance against animal testing and how they strive to be inclusive of all ethnicities and skin colours. Yesterday they released a statement which didn’t sugar coat how they felt about Trump supporters buying their products and I felt it was the perfect time to finally get round to writing about them………

After the shit storm that was 2016, it’s pretty hard to avoid being political these days. Even your ex boyfriend, who once thought Hugh Grant was Prime Minister, is over on Facebook; letting everyone know that he thinks Donald Trump is a bit of a dickhead. Celebrities haven’t been shy to speak out and share their beliefs either; Gary Lineker is more or less the leader of the opposition in the U.K, Michael Sheen has swapped acting for activism and Lily Allen is doing God’s work on Twitter; dealing with sexist, racist misogynist trolls daily for merely daring to call out fascism.

But brands and businesses? They’ve been a little quieter. Sure, a few have made a stand or a statement but the majority are adopting the ‘never discuss politics at a dinner party’ strategy in order to protect their profits. After all, Trump supporters are ridiculously extra when you offend their Fash Daddy.

So yesterday when Illamasqua released a statement detailing their Anti-Fascism Pledge it made for a refreshing break from reading about the latest atrocities the Alt-Right* are up to.

*A polite term for Nazis

Illamasqua believe in the freedom of expression, equality and diversity. That’s why we are horrified by President Trump’s actions to date. We refuse to remain silent while extreme right-wing populism gains momentum… wherever it is happening.

As such, we will never knowingly sell our products to people who support President Trump’s values. To be part of our community, and to buy our products, you must first pledge to Human Fundamentalism values:

  • Never discriminate against race, colour, nationality, ethnicity, gender, age, disability, sexual orientation or religion
  • Accept responsibility on challenging social and climate issues
  • Speak for those who cannot speak up for themselves
  • Uphold the principles of the S.O.P.H.I.E. charity to stamp out prejudice, intolerance and hatred.

We’re realistic. We know we can’t stop anyone buying our products. But we also know that no matter how hard some people work to make themselves beautiful on the outside, make-up can never hide the ugliness inside. So please, if you don’t agree with the above DON’T BUY US.

Prejudice, sexism and racism should never be tolerated. Whether you’re a brand or an individual join us and, together, we can be the change we want to see.

PEACE,

JULIAN KYNASTON, ILLAMASQUA FOUNDER.

The fashion and beauty industry gets a bad rep at times because of course they do, it’s mainly women who enjoy make up so naturally anything a female enjoys will be passed off as trivial and unimportant. Yet here we are in 2017, and along with Teen Vogue being the main major publication to pull Trump up on his bullshit, it’s a beauty brand that’s risking their profits and putting their influence to good use to fight fascism.

Some may be cynical and claim Illamasqua’s pledge is all for publicity and to generate more sales and, while I don’t believe that to be true, who actually cares if that’s what it is? If brands and businesses want to start marketing their goods by highlighting dangerous politics and directing us towards good causes while they’re at it, I’m all for it. I’d rather be flogged a lipstick by a company not standing by while a repulsive bigot tries to implement disgusting policies like a Muslim Ban rather than a business that chucks a few hundred grand at a Kardashian so they can feature on their Instagram page.

For those cynics who still aren’t convinced, Illamasqua are donating 100% of ALL sales proceeds of Lip Lure in Nebulus to The Sophie Lancaster Foundation to help the charity continue it’s work in challenging prejudice and intolerance.

If you needed an excuse to add to your make up collection, this is the sign you’ve been waiting for. Head down to Illamasqua and be safe in the knowledge that when you’re applying your eyeliner your wings won’t be Alt-Right.

Join Illamasqua’s Anti-Fascism Pledge HERE

See also: How to Not Fund a Tory Business

 

Notting Hill Carnival 2015: The Stalking of Lily Allen

Notting Hill Carnival 2014 saw me round festivities off in a rather tame crack den (less The Wire, more Skins) in Clapham, then spend the next morning waiting to be picked up from a police station. Now, i could end this anecdote here, let you think I’m some kind of edgy bad bitch, but the truth is, I got a taxi home about 4am and spent the night in lovely, safe suburban Kingston. And my reason for frequenting Notting Hill station? My (then) boyfriend had managed to lose his wallet and some kind carnival goer handed it into the authorities. See – I don’t really have any street cred.

This year, newly single, you’d be forgiven for thinking I’d go a bit wilder this time – maybe I’d end up loitering around police cells for a cooler reason? Maybe I’d be pictured (badly) twerking against an officer? Well you’d be wrong. No no, we took Carnival on with an added middle class vibe. Here’s what went down that made me think maybe it’s time I admitted defeat and started shopping at Waitrose:

1. The days of an ‘Eating’s Cheating’ approach to boozing are long gone. We decided that the only way to start carnival was with a leisurely stroll to Kingston and have a Lebanese brunch by the river.Kate Moss may say nothing tastes as good as being skinny feels but I don’t think she’s ever tried a halloumi & pesto stuffed croissant from Comptoir Libanais.

Because nothing says Carnival more than some smoked salmon and eggs....

Because nothing says Carnival more than some smoked salmon and eggs….

I know, I know – is there anything  more middle class than such enthusiasm towards brunch? It’s basically just breakfast for lazy people but with a fancy name, isn’t it? I’m taking to uk Seroquel cheap 15 Middle Class Points (MCP), don’t worry.

2. The leisurely stroll back alerted both myself and Claire that we were suffering from the previous day’s strenuous personal trainer sessions. A good round of stretching and discing our core strength occured.  5 MCP

3. As we’d woke up late (due to overdoing it on the prosecco the night before) we did entertain the idea of getting an Uber to Notting Hill. We didn’t, we topped up our Oyster Cards and got over ourselves, thank God.  click 2 Suspended MCP

4. Last year, after queuing for the best part of half an hour, we made a tidy tenner by letting a fellow desperate carnival goer push in front of us in the queue for a porto-loo. There was no such thing happening this time – we really gave our bladders the VIP treatment. We parted ways with a fiver each in exchange for a wristband that allowed us access to some kind of community centre – home to indoor loos and hordes of toilet roll. Not only that, as we sat eating our chicken roti, we waxed lyrical about how it was five pounds well spent, and just how nice it was to know we probably won’t wake up with a water infection tomorrow having not played chicken with our bladders.

IMG_2688

Carnival really brings out my inner ‘teenager who must show the camera that she’s drinking alcohol’

 

I think at this point I should just buy some Cath Kinston luggage & sign up for a Taste Card –  30 MCP

5. Cool after parties? There probably were some but we were at home; watching TV and indulging in some hummus, dips and a Graze Box instead.*

And you know what? I’ll take as many MCP you want to throw at me – I had an absolute ball. We didn’t even bother attending on the Monday as we were too busy stuffing our faces in China Town and drinking obscenely large cocktails in Soho.

* Whilst wearing our ‘Keep Calm & Dutty Wine’ tees we bought on the way back. Yep, we were those girls. Again, regret nothing.

By this point you may be thinking that I wrote this blog in order to humble brag about the fact I have a bit more disposable income these days; enough to splash out on canapés and toilet facilities. And yes, that is one reason, but here’s the main motive for my little review of Notting Hill Carnival:

I SAW LILY ALLEN.

I’m a big fan of the Smile singer – I’m talking ‘spent all my EMA money on her New Look fashion range back in the day’ fan. Now, 7 years later, I have her on SnapChat and sometimes have to remind myself that we aren’t IRL friends; that her story is for the benefit of thousands, not just me.

Now Lily is a girl keen for Carnival. I spent the days before heading down watching her getting excited for the Bank Holiday weekend via her SnapChat story, and then declaring that I couldn’t wait to bump into her and make her my new best friend. I knew I didn’t have a shot – what are the odds?

Well they’re actually pretty decent it turns out. If you say a celebrity’s name excessively over a 24 hour period, eventually they’ll walk past you. Yep, just minutes after discussing her for the 77th time that day, I heard a familiar sounding voice and there she was – a tracksuit clad, unnoticed Lily Allen strolling by us, looking all fire emoji.

“Claire, Lily just walked past us – take a fucking picture.”

Because of course, the normal thing to do is to follow one of your favourite celebs for about 25 metres; taking creep shots and heavily breathing. Don’t go say hi, or bother asking for a them for a photo – act like an utter weirdo instead.

No really, I'm a massive creep

No really, I’m a massive creep

Hey, in my defence, I could have had my heart broken had she reacted badly to me pestering her when she was trying to enjoy herself. And she did like my creep shot that I uploaded and tagged her in on Instagram (Yep, I got weirder) – maybe I’m just playing the long game when it comes to making Lily my bezzie.

Carnival, you were an absolute babe – see you next year.

And Lily, I’ll see you sooner, yeah?* We’ll do brunch – I know a great little place in Kingston….

*Please don’t get a restraining order

See also: In Defence of Living Up North