Illamasqua Brand Receives Backlash for Blackface Makeup in Ads

The holiday campaign juxtaposes a look in all white against one in all black.

Posted: 11/27/2012 11:21 AM EST
Filed Under Style, Beauty, blackface

Illamasqua holiday campaign

(Photo: Illamasqua)

Illamasqua makeup is receiving criticisms after publishing an ad that features a model with blackface. In the holiday campaign, which comes with the phrase "I'm not dreaming of a white Christmas," a model dressed in all white with her face covered in white makeup and red lipstick is juxtaposed against an image of the same woman dressed in all black with a darkened face and rosy lips. Comments point out that the black photo depicts an offensive blackface image, but the company maintains that they were just pitting opposites when it comes to color, not complexion.

"We thank and acknowledge your comments regarding the above image," the brand wrote on its Facebook page. "Obviously it was never our intention to cause offence [sic]; Illamasqua has always celebrated the right to self-expression and we continually push creative and artistic boundaries, priding ourselves on working with models of many ethnic backgrounds to reinforce this point. Alex Box, Illamasqua's Creative Director, has emphasized that this campaign is about color ON the skin, not color OF the skin, depicting polarity between the two images (both images are the same model) not race."

What do you think of the images? Are they offensive or just making an artistic statement about makeup? Sound off in the comments!


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