J’adore: Alex Box’s Obsessions

Makeup artist Alex Box’s favorite things.


With her skunk-streaked hair and taste for outlandish fashion, London-based makeup artist Alex Box has been called the Daphne Guinness of the beauty industry. Three years ago she was named creative director of Illamasqua, a cosmetics line full of shades that are as bold and expressive as she is. Here, the polymath color queen—who also paints and stages makeup “performances” set to music—shares a few of her favorite things.

COLOR I collect color like a magpie feathers her nest: I’ve got well-thumbed Pantone books, swatches of fabric, ribbons, anything that catches my eye. It feeds my creativity and has an incredibly positive energy. When people see me in acid pink on a rainy London afternoon, they say, “Ooh, you’ve cheered me up!”

POWER PERFUME Exotic, heady, decadent fragrances made of resins and spices always attract me. Alahine by Téo Cabanel is an alluring amber that slowly reveals its sensual layers over time. I also love Arabie by Serge Lutens, an intoxicating blend of Moroccan mysteries that I layer over the original Fendi by Fendi, which is a gorgeous power scent with depth and haughtiness.

SO HIGH SOHO BOUTIQUE, LONDON A psychedelic costume store/old-fashioned head shop in the heart of Soho, it’s a tiny trove of the bizarre, selling everything from spiked motorbike helmets to fright wigs, showgirl outfits to tea towels. I love its messy fantasy, and I’m always rummaging through the boxes looking for an inspirational piece.

THE SOCIAL NETWORK SOUNDTRACK Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross’s album is a beautiful mixture of stark industrial electronica and stirring solo piano flanked by sorrowful strings.

MATCHA GREEN TEA Green tea imbues delight through every pore. When I’m in Paris, I stock up at Mariage Frères, which offers exquisite tea, packaging, and service.

ILLAMASQUA LIPSTICK IN BOX Like every other woman out there, I’ve long searched for the ultimate “that’s me” red. Box is killer because it leans toward blue without becoming too cold. It has the perfect balance of hue and texture, depth and opacity.

Courtesy of Alex Box