Speak On It


As part of Illamasqua x Pride, we will be elevating the voices of the LGBTQ+ community. Engrained in our brand roots, we want to give the community an opportunity to share their incredible stories and experiences. At Illamasqua, pride is every single day. That’s why we’re sharing the stories and elevating the voices of the LGBTQ+ community, spreading positivity in a time when others are still fighting to have a voice. We want to give you the tools to express and find yourself – no matter how that looks. 

In this Q&A, we interview the BBC’s Glow Up season 3 contestant @bankselliott to share their story about makeup, pride and self-expression. 

Hey, my name is Elliott. My pronouns are they/them, and I’m a self-taught artist in London. I’ve been doing makeup now for about seven or eight years, and I guess I’m kind of loving it. I’m here with Illamasqua Pride to talk about how I use makeup to express myself. 

Tell us about your makeup journey?

We could talk about where I started as a makeup artist. I mean, I started when I was eighteen, nineteen. I was doing fashion in college, and I kind of wanted to get the full fantasy together, as they would say. And obviously, growing up as a queer individual, I wanted to go into the realm of drag, so we did a bit of that. 

Elliott Banks Makeup look

What got you into drag makeup?

I think I really wanted to express my feminine side. I think growing up in a heteronormative background; it’s not the thing. I mean, it’s kind of one of those things that when I grew as a makeup artist and doing drag, and I’d worked such a long time I just realized I could go into other venues of expressing myself as well – not just this heightened version of femininity.  

Elliot Banks Makeup lookHow did you take your style from drag to self-expressive makeup? 

I started exploring my insecurities and, instead of working against them with makeup, I worked with them and that was my way of finding self-love in a way. That’s why I think it’s so beautiful about makeup. It gives you full control of how you want to express yourself and how you want to be viewed in the world and explore your own idea of beauty.  

It can be so freeing to just sit there and express where you’re at or what you’re feeling. Just switch off the outside world and create something beautiful, even when I wasn’t feeling that way. I don’t know. I’ve always kind of just used it as a therapy. 

What advice would you give for pride makeup?

I think pride is such a beautiful place to express yourself, and if you are looking to dabble in makeup, pride is probably the best place to start. I mean, you can go out, and it’s such a safe place and you’re surrounded by love. It would be rude not to. 

We stand in solidarity with the LGBTQ+ community and are passionate about elevating the personal stories of the community to celebrate individual journeys to become their most authentic selves.

Images courtesy of @bankselliott



Writer and expert

Illamasqua is on a mission to empower all with the confidence to express their true self.