Illamasqua's Make-up for the Dead - Glam or Grotesque?

/ 23 comments
When I saw this blog post spring up this morning, I wondered if it was a joke. Genuinely, I did. However, once the Illamasqua newsletter arrived, I knew that it was for real. Illamasqua have teamed up with funeral directors, Leverton and Sons, to create 'the final look' for the deceased. Yes, Illamasqua are now 'making up' the dead.


 Ever since make-up became accessible, morticians have dutifully applied it to the faces of the dead. Both men and women, should they choose to have an open casket at their funeral will be wearing make-up. Without getting too gruesome - death isn't the most flattering of states for the skin, as you can imagine. Nobody wants their family to see them with sunken eyes, dull, greying skin, cracking lips, looking cold and lifeless, afterall. But who caters for those whose make-up plays a vital part in 'who they are'?  Morticians are...well, morticians - not make-up artists. Although they do take the steps to make sure that the deceased looks like them self (often completely replicating their daily make-up from photos) - I know I'd rather have an actual make-up artist painting my face when I'm gone. I find it a comforting idea, that somebody might take the time and effort to make me look like me when I'm dead, with my usual full face of slap.

Now, I have nothing against a make-up brand filling this gap in the industry. I don't think that really, deep down, anyone has a problem with 'a' make-up brand filling the gap - I think it's the idea of Illamasqua filling the gap that is causing a stir. Ilamasqua aren't exactly known for being low key, are they? Even I couldn't imagine rocking a token Illamasqua look to the grave - glitter and falsies, razor sharp 'brows and bright lips. With their dark, alternative, theatrical image, it's easy to assume that they are just trying to earn goth points. Like a 14 year old kid in chains and a Manson shirt, desperate for attention, 'Look at how different I aaam!'  However, if a more...well, politically correct, polite...ok, bland company had filled the gap - would anybody be concerned? If Bobbi Brown had stepped in? Or Esteé Lauder? Probably not.

Well, bravo, Illamasqua, I say! Bravo! Not only have you cemented your goth credentials, you've filled a gap which really I think only you could. Plus, at £450 a cadaver, nobody could knock your business sense, could they?

What are your thoughts, dear readers? Have Illamasqua gone too far? Are they taking a brave step in a new direction?  Glamorous or grotesque?

23 comments:

  1. Everybody should have the chance to look the best, alive or... well, dead. I applaude to this idea.

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  2. I love this idea, when I go, especially if it was randomly at a young age then I'd definately want to look like me so having an Illamasqua or another makeup artist do my makeup would only seem fitting.

    I'm fairly open minded though so I can see why it might not appeal to others or might even seem like a gruesome idea, but me... I'm all for it.

    I'd probably be into rocking the glitter and lashes though.

    xx

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  3. I think it's a very brave step and I also think it's a good one, I know I'd go for it personally. Their make up in their promos looks flawless and beautiful, I'd be more comfortable with an actual make up artist producing something that's more to my taste rather than a mortician applying greasepaint to make me appear a more natural (less gaunt) colour. Good for them!

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  4. I love Illamasqua, and when I first read it I had to do a double take not knowing what to think. But now that I've had a bit of time to digest I'm not too mortified by the idea... in fact with more time to think I might even like it.

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  5. I don't see a problem with it - it's not like funeral makeup hasn't been around for years and years. I do think it's a slight marketing ploy, 'oooh, we're spooky and wierd and don't mind dead people!' But yeah... I'm not one to knock anyones funeral choices, if they want that, why not?

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  6. You know, I'm really not sure how I feel on this.

    Although yes, I think it's nice to look like yourself if you have an open casket.. I just.. I don't know. I don't think I disagree with it, but I'm not sure I fully agree with it either, if that makes sense.

    Interesting, though. Thank you.

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  7. I think it's quite clever and who better than Illamasqua :)

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  8. I'm going to be embalmed with Molton Brown when I meet my maker!

    I think this is a brilliant idea, what a better way to say 'hey world I enjoyed life' and you should all celebrate mine!

    xoxo

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  9. Maybe I'm the only one thats not real sure about this idea. I'm not familiar with Illamasqua, but from a market/branding standpoint, I'm not real sure if its a good move for them. I'm sure they have considered all the "stigma" around death. I just can't imagine they would want their brand to be tied to funeral makeup. But hey, filling a niche market is always a good opportunity!

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  10. A thought-provoking post and really brilliantly written. You raise a lot of good points to consider. From a marketing stand point it will definitely cause a bit of a stir.

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  11. Well.. sure, why not? I could see this being used by celebrities.

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  12. In theory I'm not at all bothered by a make up company carrying out this practice. It makes odd sense to me as I feel a trained mua would probably do the best job.

    But when I read about illamasqua doing it I thought it was as much a way of creating some shock and controversy as it was a viable business venture. Illamasqua do like to create a stir and this would obviously raise a few well threaded eyebrows :p

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  13. I have to admit, I think it is brilliant. I plan to have my body donated to science when I die, but if I were to go the whole casket burial route, I would most definitely have them do my makeup. Why not have your last statement be a bold one?

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  14. so awesome and so illamasqua.
    there shouldn't be any stigma around death.
    it's about the only thing that is certain in this life, why not look amazing.

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  15. Great post :) I personally see absolutely nothing wrong with this at all - it's no different to choosing what clothes you wear and what music you have played. Your funeral (supposing you have an open casket) is the last time most of the people you know and love are going to see you - surely it makes sense for them to see you as you want to be remembered :)

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  16. Bravo to Illamasqua. I like it, They can do my make up when I'm dead, for sure!

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  17. I actually love the idea, and I think only Illamasqua could get away with it - I imagine if MAC or NARS tried it, it would just be seen as tacky. I think it's a great idea to put makeup in the hands of an artist, and since makeup is such an important part of my life, I'd love it to be part of my send-off and ~afterlife too. I do, however, think it's a total marketing ploy to earn points with the goths as you said. ;]

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  18. i like this idea, and to be honest id rather prefer a pro make up artist to do my make up when im dead.

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  19. I think this is a good marketing ploy as well as a nice way to send someone off. Everyone wants to look their best and sometimes a mortician just doesn't do the best makeup look. Oh god, it totally reminds me of when my grandma died and my mom told the funeral people "she wore bright lipstick, make sure the lipstick is bright." Well, at the wake we discovered the lipstick was a paaaale pink. My mom went mental and pulled out a tube of lipstick and applied it to my grandma. Haha, sorry for the long post, but if a makeup company had done my grandma's makeup, that would have been a nonissue :)
    ~Shannon

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  20. I find this really interesting, it's making everyone here think about themselves and their appearance even in death, in a way it's making the idea of death slightly less scary. I've been researching a lot of things to do with death lately, for a shoot I want to do with a "dead" model, I think this whole thing is really current - with Twilight as well, Edward's supposed to be corpse-like. And Daphne Guinness lying for hours in that chainmail glove. It's wierdly beautiful, and definately earning Goth points. Imagine how beautiful the goths will look, what next, photoshoots?

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  21. Personally, I thought this is pretty hilarious :) Definitely a gutsy move for a cosmetics company, I'm sure there's a (limited) market for it so why not, right?

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  22. Uhh... I hoped this was a joke, or just some new marketing campaign. This creeps me out a little bit, but I realise the ideea is actualy really good, some people do look completly different without their make-up on, a completly different&dead face might be too much for the close ones. But again, uhhh, just writing about this gives me the creeps... :-s

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