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Illamasqua makeup artist Mika Johnson wants you to share your makeup bag secrets

Illamasqua makeup artist Mika Johnson

llamasqua makeup artist Mika Johnson is on a mission. The 26-year-old, who has been working for the bold British beauty brand for four years, will be at the Illamasqua counter in Glasgow’s Debenhams store from July 18th to July 20th. And when he’s here, key makeup artist Mika wants to get to the bottom of what Scots have in their makeup bags. Mika says,

“People can get used to wearing the same shades of eyeshadow or the same colour of lipstick and you treat it a bit like food in a way, it gets routine. You know what makes you confident but sometimes they’re something else out there can make you look and feel even better. So when I’m up in Glasgow this month, I want to people to bring along what they usually wear and see where it takes us. I like to see what people are doing in technique, how they’re applying the makeup as well as what they’re using. And when it comes down it, makeup is all about making people feel good."

Illamasqua makeup artist Mika Johnson


The Essex-born makeup artist has been with Illamasqua since it started, working on the brand's original counter in Selfridges in London. He never thought of working as a professional makeup artist until he was persuaded by one of the industry's biggest names. He says,

“I don't know if I would have done it if it hadn't been for Alex Box, our Creative Director. She really pushed me, and I'm so glad she did, I love what I do. And now I get asked all the time how do you get to be where you are, and there’s really no set formula or answer. That’s the beauty and the frustration of it. But I would say that perseverance is absolute crucial. I didn’t go to makeup school and looking back I would have liked to, but then I know that learning through the industry, I’ve had much more freedom than beauty school students have. Alex Box is probably the best person to look up to because she’s taught me so much, she's a lovely person and people love her. And there are people in the industry who aren’t very nice and even though they’re top of their game, I just don’t think that’s the way to be.”

Illamasqua makeup artist Mika Johnson

Mika has worked at London Fashion Week for the past three years including on the Ada Zandition show. And alongside a variety of famous faces, he has also created looks for Courtney Love and Kate Nash. But there's still plenty Mika would love to do, including some surprising make-unders. Mika says,

“I’d love to do more shows, it's such a great creative experience and it's given me the chance to work with so many fantastic people. But I suppose, if I could get my hands on anyone, it would be the Towie lot. I'd just love to take them back down and see what else they can look like, give them a different look. I think that would be really interesting."

Mika is offering his professional advice at the Illamasqua from July 18th - 20th with a mixture of master classes and one-on-one appointments so why not give your makeup a little makeover. To book an appointment with Mika, contact the Illamasqua counter in Debenhams either by calling 0141 221 3889, or in store. Here's the run-down of Mika's Scottish schedule:

Wednesday July 18th, Mika will be in store from 12pm – 5.30pm. Appointments will last for 30 minutes, this is direct one on one time with Mika himself but it is a £25 minimum spend.

Thursday July 19th, Mika will be holding 2 master classes. The first class with be at 2pm and this will be a Naked Strangers and Contouring master class. The second class will be at 6pm and this will be a Night Time Diva class. Bookings can be made via telephone or in store.

Friday July 20th, Mika will be in store from 11am – 4pm. Again, bookings can be made via telephone or in store. Appointments will last for 30 minutes with a minimum £25 spend.


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Sarah Tolan is the founder and editor of Scottish Beauty Blog, Miss Nifty and Kate's Wardrobe. Learn more about her here and connect with her on TwitterGoogle+ and LinkedIn.