Expert Q&A: Illamasqua key make-up artist Mikele Simone (certified beauty nut!)

I just love it when this segment comes and peeks her pretty little head around the corner of my beauty boudoir, don’t you? It means we get buckets and buckets of insider knowledge from industry experts who are more in the know about beauty than a walking, talking stick of lippy. It’s also a chance to get the goss on hot new beauty trends to watch out for and how to stay on top of our grooming regimes at all times.

This month’s Expert Q&A comes to us courtesy of Illamasqua key make-up artist, Mikele Simone, best known for his super sharp skills with a foundation brush, eyeshadow quad and just about anything and everything make up related. The Illamasqua mastermind can transform a Plain Jane into Sparkling Sally in mere moments and has been traipsing in the industry longer than JLo’s divorce settlements. Radical! Here’s what he had to say:

Tell us, what statement make up trends will make us hot-to-trot this season?

This season is all about glowing skin, sculpted and structured faces, enhanced brows and pops of hyper-colour. It’s about accentuating your natural features and adding a gorgeous dose of bursting shades to the face.

Yippee! Does this mean colour-blocking will remain bigger than ever?

I think colour blocking will still be a trend, but it will evolve. From colour blocking the eyes to the lips, we will see more colour blocking happening on each feature, like wearing contrasting eye shadows at the same time and teaming it up with a contrasting liner.

How about nail shades – what are the hues to be rocking?

The brightest shades you can get your hands on! Yellows, greens and blues will be the stars of the shows. I love mix and matching Illamasqua Nail varnish in Nomad and Illamasqua nail Varnish in Rare.

What are the IT colours of the moment?

For the eyes you will see lots of cooler shades coming out in make-up this season, including lavenders and teal. These will be contrasted with blacks and fluorescent yellows and greens. On the lips we will continue to see lots of reds, but also more avant-garde shades like purple, blues and black. I also think white will become the ‘colour’ of the season in makeup, expect to see wider range of white hued products available in the market.

Are there any fancy shmancy make-up tricks we can play with this season?

This season its time to really step outside the box and see make-up differently. It’s about moving away from old traditions and techniques and learning something new. My favourite trick at the moment is highlighting using matte products like buffing Illamasqua’s Skin Base Foundation in shade #01 on the high points of the face like the center of the nose, the cheek bones and under the brow. This is a matte white foundation that will give you subtle highlight and really contour the face.

Should we going big and bold or aim for a more understated look this winter?

It’s all about Big and Bold!!! Let’s use bold shades to fight away those winter blues!

Tangerine lippy was the shiz-nit last year, what lippy will be it’s successor?

I definitely think Purple, in every tone and texture. You need to really try it and see for yourself how beautiful purple lips are. And trust me…it goes with everything! I’m loving the depth of Illamasqua’s Lipstick in Kontrol. It’s the best shade of purple ever.

Why should Illamasqua rule the world?

Illamasqua already does…the makeup world anyway. We don’t follow trends, we make our own! Also the empowerment we deliver to our customers to push their boundaries and learn how to perfect their makeup is amazing. I think Illamasqua is changing the world. Slowly, but surely.

Reader Questions:

How do I give my skin a healthy, natural glow without overdoing it with products?

It’s all about application. A healthy glow is my favorite thing about makeup. The way I love to achieve this is by starting off with a primer just to help keep the makeup from moving, smoothing the texture of the skin and also protecting your skin during the day. I recommend Illamasqua’s Satin Primer. Then I love to buff foundation by using the Illamasqua Highlighter Brush. The circular motion acts like a massage to the skin and instantly gives you a glow. To add a little bit of extra glow, I’m loving the new Illamasqua Skin Base Foundation in AU. This is liquid gold. I either mix it with foundation or just buff it over the cheek bones, down the nose and the temples after foundation to get that perfect luminous look.

Is there a SIMPLE tutorial for a smoky eye?

 To achieve a simple smoky eye simply start off by using Illamasqua Medium Pencil in Sophie and smudging it all over the lid from the lash line up to the crease using Illamasqua Blending Brush #1. Then smudge it under the eye and on the water line. Follow by pressing a black eyeshadow over the pencil. I’m loving the new Illamasqua Powder Eyeshadow in Obsidian because its the blackest black ever! Finish off by applying 2 coats of Illamasqua Masquara in Raven for the vixen effect and VOILA!

Images 1 & 3 courtesy of Illamasqua, Image 2 courtesy of, Image 4 courtesy of

By Kristina Ioannou

Kristina Ioannou (Beauty Editor)

I like 2pac and lipstick and using the word 'lol' when I have nothing else to say. Lol.

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