Back in 2008, Propaganda chairman, Julian Kynaston, created Illamasqua to empower women & men to experiment and express themselves through make-up. 9 years on, the brand is one of the most successful and talked about on the planet. To mark national lipstick day, Julian talks about why lip colour is a powerful force and how it’s pivotal to the Illamasqua brand story…

“I’ve always been inspired by non-conformity and the alternative scene. Unsurprisingly, my icons growing up were David Vanian from The Damned and Anja Huwe from punk band, Xmal Deutschland… women and men expressing themselves through make-up always felt right; you could see that Anja’s blood red lipstick and purple eyeshadow and Dave’s black lips gave them power and confidence. We were actually lucky enough to bring David and Anja on as part of the original Illamasqua art team and their influence can still be seen across the brand and products to this day.”

“I created Illamasqua in 2008 to empower women & men through make-up. Our strapline at the time was ‘make-up for your alter ego’.  Straplines come and go over time, but that message remains at the heart of our brand… 

“I believe that lipstick is key to a look, a mood, a feeling. With a single swipe, you can change how you feel, how you behave and how others perceive you – lip colour is a powerful force. Our customers are testament to this. Over the last 12 months we have sold over £2m worth of lip colour, pencils and glosses.

“I love seeing how artists and make-up lovers use our products to create literal masterpieces on the lips. It’s one of my favourite forms of make-up artistry.

“Our best-selling lip products right now are the new Anti Matter lipsticks – there’s a huge demand for matte, solid colour at the moment. This product has been formulated to offer a semi-matte finish – so you get the intensity that our fans love so much, with a touch of moisture. It’s very wearable.

“My favourite Illamasqua lipstick is our classic ‘Underworld’… a flawless, shimmering violet shade.”