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Alex Box

Makeup Artist

Known for her surreal and dramatic palettes, the beauty futurist and former creative director of cosmetics brand Illamasqua, has created looks for designers including Alexander McQueen, Vivienne Westwood and Gareth Pugh.


Alex Box is the former creative director of cosmetics brand Illamasqua and one of the makeup industry’s most creative artists. Known for her challenging, dramatic and surreal makeup looks, Box has collaborated with some of the industry’s biggest designers and publications. She has explored the role of creativity in makeup, beauty and identity and, as a "beauty futurist," has sought to evolve the beauty narrative toward a more inclusive, technology-based creative and immersive future.  

Box studied at London’s Chelsea College of Art & Design, and continues to make a distinction between her work as an artist who works with makeup and makeup artists. She was awarded an honourary doctorate of the arts in 2011. “Art and craft are symbiotic, I still have that work ethic of an artist, where it needs to be laboured — you need to see the labour of it for it to have the weight and preciousness."

Box’s studies gave her the opportunity to make installations, experiment with prosthetics and join London’s creative scene, in what was a formative period for the artist. “It honed my feeling about how you can actually change and manipulate the face — and it was just like my painting, only in this case the canvas was alive.”

Box’s work has been featured in Vogue, Stylist, Numéro, W, AnOther, Dazed & Confused and i-D. In her roles as a makeup director, Box has designed runway looks for a roster of international design houses and designers, including Chanel, Gareth Pugh , Stella McCartney , Alexander McQueen and Vivienne Westwood ; musicians such as Lady Gaga and Frank Ocean. A book of her work, photographed by noted British photographer Rankin, was released in 2010. In 2015, Box gave a TedTalk on redefining creativity titled "Learning Unlearning: Who told you you couldn't draw." In 2016, she was appointed beauty editor of Berlin-based cult fashion magazine King Kong.


Chelsea College of Art and Design

Chelsea College of Art and Design

Vital Statistics


United Kingdom

United Kingdom
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What is The BoF 500?

The people shaping the global fashion industry, curated by the editors of The Business of Fashion, based on nominations and on-the-ground intelligence from around the world.