Illamasqua might be one of my favourite brands for bold, bright and daring shades, but their makeup isn't what first attracted me to Illamasqua as a brand. I first heard of Illamasqua through their work in collaboration with the S.O.P.H.I.E charity, for the The Sophie Lancaster Foundation.
On August 11th 2007, 20 year old Sophie Lancaster and her partner Robert Maltby were attacked viciously, purely for being different. Because Sophie and Robert didn't dress conventionally and were what most would refer to as 'goths' or 'alternative', they were targeted, repeatedly and violently kicked, stamped on and beaten unconscious. Whilst Robert recovered from his injuries, Sophie was not so fortunate and the injuries were so horrific, she passed away on August 24th 2007.
You might remember the case at the time, it was all over the news, to the general public a shocking, unthinkable crime on two unsuspecting and innocent people, who did nothing to provoke the attack except express their likes and tastes through their clothing, hair and makeup . I remember the news reports, the crime scene photos, photos of both Sophie and Robert's injuries, the dismay, as if it was yesterday. The attack on Sophie and Robert struck me personally, because although nowhere near as excessive, I too have been on the receiving end of both verbal and physical abuse, for being 'alternative'.
The idea that someone can be treated negatively because of how they choose to look, really doesn't sit well with me. So many of us speak out in dismay when we see anti-social and negative behaviour towards ethnic and religious minorities, racist remarks regarding skin colour, hatred towards chosen genders or someone's sexuality. All of these acts are completely unacceptable - just the same way as being targeted and abused for your appearance is unacceptable.
Sophie's mother, Slyvia Lancaster, knew that something had to change, and after Sophie's death a charity was set up - The Sophie Lancaster Foundation - in Sophie's memory, a charity which works towards reducing the stigma associated with how we dress and look, a charity which works tirelessly to stop discrimination and intolerance, positively changing attitudes towards subcultures. You can find out more about The Sophie Lancaster Foundation here.
As well as The Sophie Lancaster Foundation working to make positive changes, Illamasqua have created both products, and an exciting project, to support the charity. You can make donations to The Sophie Lancaster Foundation on the Illamasqua website, as well as purchasing the official S.O.P.H.I.E wristband, a blusher and eyeliner created by Illamasqua for the The Sophie Lancaster Foundation, as well as the new charity single, Invincible Girl. You can find out more about Illamasqua's work with The Sophie Lancaster Foundation here.
The charity single was chosen personally by Julian Kynaston, Illasmqua's founder, who after hearing Bad Pollyanna and their song, Invincible Girl, felt it was the perfect reflection of Sophie, her story and the foundation. Money raised from the charity single, alongside donations, the S.O.P.H.I.E wristbands, and the Illamasqua blusher and eyeliner, will create crucial funds for The Sophie Lancaster Foundation. You can download Invincible Girl on iTunes here.
Illamasqua have two products within their range, both named S.O.P.H.I.E, for The Sophie Lancaster Foundation. The Illamasqua S.O.P.H.I.E Eye Colouring Pencil* (£15) is a true deep black, with a creamy and easy to work with formula that has incredible colour pay-off (like all Illamasqua products) and fantastic longevity. £3 from each S.O.P.H.I.E Eye Colouring Pencil sold is donated to The Sophie Lancaster Foundation. The S.O.P.H.I.E Powder Blusher* (£21.50) is actually one of my favourite and most used blushers, a super wearable shade that would work well with any skin tone. The perfect coral blush with golden undertones and a flattering shimmer finish. It's perfect for spring and summer, but is also an incredibly beautiful and warming shade for the colder months too. £1 from every S.O.P.H.I.E blusher sold is donated to The Sophie Lancaster Foundation.
Have you heard of The Sophie Lancaster Foundation before? Or perhaps you have one of Illamasqua's S.O.P.H.I.E products? Let me know - and don't forget to check Invincible Girl out!
*This post contains a PR sample, for more info please check out my Disclaimer.