The Portrait of a Lady... NPG Glamour Factory And Exclusive Illamasqua Interview

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This Friday will see The National Portrait Gallery transformed into the 'NPG Film Studio', an exclusive Late Shift Extra event featuring seven star making departments which will transform visitors into screen sirens and matinee idols, inspired by the gallery's latest exhibition Glamour of the Gods: Hollywood Portraits.

Jean Harlow by George Hurrell, 1933

With a black and white dress code and opulent after party at Cafe de Paris, you'll want to look your best which is where we sashay in with our Monochrome Glamour looks for men and women, available online. And once you've dressed the part, sup cocktails at The Broken Hearts Cocktail Lounge featuring London's finest cabaret acts, try your hand at vintage drawing classes, visit the 'School for Scandal' @NPGGlamour twitter bureau with vintage typewriters, and head to the movies with a screening of Fred and Ginger's classic Top Hat!

As firm fans of Illamasqua (any makeup that can make this particular Rokit web hag look more chic, less freak gets the thumbs up from us!) team Rokit were excited to hear that their make-up artists will be offering vintage glamour makeup transformations in the IMAGE IS EVERYTHING department where you can also be snapped in a black and white photo studio.

And we have been lucky enough to interview Head of Professional Development at Illamasqua, Spob, who has worked as a hair and makeup artist on critically acclaimed films including Inception and The King's Speech.

Rokit: What is your favourite make-up look for this season?

Spob: My favourite look at the moment is an Alex Box creation from our 'Theatre of the Nameless' AW11 collection. So many people ask how much Photoshop work is done on our images - this step-by-step video proves that it's all in the hands of the artist.

R: What are your tips for creating vintage style make-up looks from the 1920s, 30s, 40s, 50s and 80s?

S: The 1920s is all about doe eyes from the silent movie era. On the eyes use cream pigment in Mould on either corner of the lid, blending the shadow inwards but do not join at the centre. Use a lighter shade in the middle of the lid for the heavy-lidded look, then run the cream pigment in Mould along the lower lash line for silent movie star doe eyes. The modern-day smoky eye look has evolved from this 1920s style.

For the 1930s, extended eyebrows are a must

High society inspired makeup for the 1940s.

And a more natural 1950s day look with red lips.

The 1980s was a very vibrant and free time for makeup, the prevailing attitude was anything goes! Inspired by Zandra Rhodes and Toyah Willcox, this look is very colourful...set your alter ego free.

R: Historically, what role has cosmetics played in creating and sustaining the 'glamour' of movie stars?

S: Makeup has always been used in the entertainment industry starting in theatre and developing into the products we know today from film. But it is mainly used for creating characters. The word 'glamour' means to cast a spell and in the context of makeup is the art of illusion by enhancing the actors' features with corrective makeup.

When advancements in film came about and Technicolour was developed, major actors would not sign to these films as old type greasepaint makeup that had been used up until this point made the actor's face bounce the colours off the surrounding set - so use red walls on a set and the colour would reflect off the actor's face. So makeup was effectively blamed for the failure of early colour films, until new foundations were created with four base colours: warm pinks, yellows, white and blue and the now newly-created make up artist would apply the make up in specific studio rooms, and the world of illusion continued in their hands.

R: And how has this role changed since the heyday of the Hollywood star?

S: Today the secrets of the film make up room are available to all. The make-up artist can now be hired to create individual looks for anyone. Equally the blogging world openly shows step by step how to create once hidden makeup looks. Today is the time for self expression and creating your own alter ego with cosmetics.

Catch Spob in the IMAGE IS EVERYTHING department at The Glamour Factory, find more details here. Visit Illamasqua's website for details on their vintage makeup courses.