When I first saw this story appear on twitter I thought that it had to be a late April Fools joke or the News of the World was trying everything in their power to detract attention from themselves. Apparently not, because this is 100% ‘confirmed from the source and on their website true’ – Illamasqua have launched a funeral makeup service. I can imagine the board meeting, the big eggs sitting around a table trying to find new ways of expanding their market, until one wally pops up with the idea of making over their dead grandmother. Well, it’s an untapped resource I suppose. I can make quips and jokes, but read it for yourself…
“Illamasqua and family funeral directors of 220 years, Leverton & Sons, have collaborated to launch an innovative service bringing ritual beauty to the final act for those who love to self-express. Offering professional funeral make-up transformations applied by a specially trained Illamasqua make-up artist, the Final Act of Self-Expression encourages people for whom making-up is an intimate part of their identity to plan their final transformation – one that pays tribute to who they were in life and how they want to enter the afterlife. Illamasqua encourages people to self-express and embrace their alter ego in every way. Why should this be any different when you pass away? It is a celebration of life, and one that should be indulged for your last glamorous look.”
When I first started looking into this I was convinced it was something that was only available in America. They’re the crazy ones right? America is the place where anything goes. That’s where it’s acceptable to dress in an outfit made of meat or go to rehab before you’re legally allowed to drink… funeral makeup isn’t a step too far for them. Us Brits are conservative, classic and controlled – the total opposite – so it’s far too much for us to get involved in something like a ‘death service’ from an established cosmetic brand. Errrrrmmmmm, then why the hell is this available in the UK?! The funeral directors are a London based company and the service is only available in the Greater London area. You can even pre-book yourself or arrange it to be added into your will, making sure you look as fabulous when you’re eating worms as you were when you were eating sushi.
This doesn’t sit comfortably with me at all. It screams of PR stunt, the images make me feel slightly uncomfortable and I think it’s a little bit of a ridiculous idea. I’d love to know how many people actually use this service and what the results are – although please don’t start sending me pictures of your dead granny with Illamasqua’s Autumn/Winter collection plasted all over her face. It just makes me think ‘what’s next’? Will L’Oreal start selling shampoo to get bounce in your barnet after your bounce has left your body? Will Topshop start employing funeral stylists so you can get the latest outfit for your ‘special day’. Eugh, it’s giving me the creeps just thinking about it.
What do you think about the whole thing? I’d love to know your thoughts!