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To buy for: the influencer-led makeup brand that's not just for teens

May 29th 2020 / Sarah Vine Google+ Sarah Vine / 0 comment


Sarah Vine delves into the inviting world of Il Makiage

Make-up is very often a sign of the times. Revlon’s vampish varnish captured the golden age of Hollywood, Estee Lauder was the epitome of understated New York elegance, Mary Quant and Biba painted the Swinging Sixties; Max Factor, Elizabeth Arden, Maybelline and Bourjois dominated the Seventies and Eighties.

The Nineties saw the rise of make-up artist led brands such as Bobbi Brown and MAC, paving the way for the likes of Hourglass, Stila, Laura Mercier and, of course, the mighty Charlotte Tilbury who, it was reported this week, is on track for a payday of as much as £500million if and when she finally sells her celebrity-driven brand.

Over the past few years, one new factor has dominated the cosmetics industry: the rise of the social media influencer. It’s what made Kylie Jenner the world’s youngest billionaire and it’s what drives countless make-up videos on YouTube, Instagram and TikTok. The internet is positively awash with people pouting their way, for better or for worse, through tutorials, each one hoping to hit the big time.

Il Makiage is a new make-up brand that taps directly into this huge global trend. On the website you can shop by ‘talent’, scrolling through different influencer looks until you find one you like, before clicking on the relevant products. It’s fun and very funky, and the looks are highly individual, ranging from the outrageous to the conventional via almost everything in between.

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If you love make-up, you will love this site - and you will also love the products. Because even though it's designed to appeal to youthful exuberance, the make-up itself is actually deadly serious, of the very highest quality and suitable not just for the smoothie-chops influencers of this world but also for crabby middle-aged mums like myself who really need to up their Zoom game.


The first item of note is the No Filter Poreless Base Smoothing Primer, £28. Since lockdown I’ve not been able to access my usual twice-yearly dose of anti-frown botox, with the result that my expression is becoming gradually crosser and crosser. This velvety, matt almost-paste acts like a soft-focus lens, subtly but undeniably blurring those unflattering vertical lines between the brows and providing the perfect base for concealer.

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Other show-stoppers include the eyeshadow quartets, aka Colour Boss Squad, £33, and the Mineral Baked Blush, £29. The former are super high quality and very easy to apply, since the texture is so smooth and the pigment so even there is very little chance of making a mistake. They blend beautifully and last just as well. The blusher is just straightforwardly gorgeous, again superb quality and beautiful pigments that deliver a natural-looking flush of colour that endures.


The one product I haven’t yet tried is the I Woke Up Like This Foundation, £36. I’ve always been wary of buying foundation online, since quite honestly I can’t see how you can possibly get the colour right, unless you’ve tried it on first in-store. But Il Makiage have an online questionnaire, which I did twice just to be on the safe side. I’ll let you know whether it works. In the meantime, if you’re looking to present a sleeker face to the world from the safety of your lockdown laptop, then Il Makiage doesn’t disappoint.

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