Illamasqua – Cult British brand

The brand that dares to be different and offers quality, professional make up for anyone who wants to release their alter ego, has just turned 3 years old.

HCP has been with Illamasqua from the beginning and are proud to be part of a brand that, in just three short years, at the end of 2011, had presence in 9 UK department store concessions and 3 standalone stores, London, Leeds and Liverpool. As well as UK expansion, globally the US Market continues to thrive for Illamasqua within Sephora, in over 50 stores.

Croatia was a new market for Illamasqua in 2011 and Australia, through Myer department stores, continued to grow, as did the Middle East market through Bloomingdales and Harvey Nichols. The brand is soon to launch into the new US Sephora concept nail bars within over 100 new doors early 2012.

HCP first met with Julian Kynaston, founder and joint MD of Illamasqua, in July 2007, to discuss his idea for the first ever beauty brand with a real emotional connection.

HCP UK took the decision to dedicate significant engineering resource to develop the original design concepts, created by brand agency Propaganda and product design consultantcy Curventa and realise new tooling for the iconic styling. This was a tough start up as the initial quantities for the first launch, exclusively in one store - Selfridges Oxford Street, were below traditional minimums. The tooling was designed to be able to support initial low outputs and HCP have adapted the manufacturing techniques as the brand has grown. Jackie Mantle, Managing Director of HCP Packaging UK stated “The brand concept was clearly a winner from the start and we admired Julian’s ambition to create a brand that stood out from the rest and his determination to stay true to the brands USP and principles. How could we not rise to such an exciting challenge?”

HCPs manufacturing sites have supported supply of high quality gloss finished components to Illamasqua’s filling partners – namely Kryolan and Lumineye – two unique and focussed product experts – together building volume, as the demand, with extended distribution, has increased.

Jackie Mantle continues “HCP is amazed by how far the brand has come in such a short time – the global interest in Illamasqua has been phenomenal and I have seen their awareness grow very quickly – our belief in Julian was well placed!”

In 2012 Illamasqua are set to deliver a retail value of in excess of GBP£18 million, with a projected growth of 25% in 2013. Illamasqua are regularly approached with opportunities from around the globe to further expand into the world’s largest store groups, as well as convert entrepreneurial ventures, whose interest is to take Illamasqua into franchise territory in new markets.

Illamasqua’s obsession to do things right from the outset and their initial work from concept, in partnership with HCP, was no different. Everyone said they should realise the brand in its infant stages into a stock packaging solution to keep costs down. Illamasqua went the other way and followed the policy, even before launch, that Illamasqua would always do things better than all others and if not, then they wouldn’t do it at all…

The global beauty press stood up and took notice of Illamasqua from very early stages with British beauty press hailing Illamasqua as “the most significant make-up launch in over twenty years”

Illamasqua’s new product launches are often seen on the top Beauty Directors “Lust lists”, with PR & social media networks buzzing, accelerating the rise of Illamasqua’s cult status globally. Illamasqua are one of the only brands not to pay celebrities to endorse or wear their products, however the brand regularly receive calls and tweets from celebrities acknowledging Illamasqua’s amazing quality and wanting to get involved with the brand.

Industry insiders say Illamasqua is the fastest growing British beauty brand ever, which is even more of an achievement and accolade because Illamasqua remains 100% private and British owned.

Illamsaqua gaining ‘Cool Brand Status’ in 2011 was just another triumph in the three short years, the Cool Brand panel stated Illamasqua is “Renowned for its uncompromising dedication to self-expression, cult British beauty brand Illamasqua has revitalised the make-up industry, firmly establishing itself as a serious international player”.

Illamasqua’s Spring/Summer collection, entitled Human Fundamentalism, launches globally on ?15th March 2012 on

Human Fundamentalism is an explosion of your alter ego. It’s becoming who you are and not who you’re told to be. Beauty isn’t conformity, but the fundamental human desire to express your inner self on the outside.

HCP truly celebrate a unique partnership with Illamasqua and congratulate the team on their continued success.

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