I went to my first Sip’n’Share hosted by JoClare PR for Illusions Cosmetics. It was a lovely afternoon where we had tea and cake by Mercy’s Treats (including vegan and gluten free options) whilst testing make-up, watched a make-over by Denise Tunnell and learned about the beauty business in a Q & A with Janice Tunnell and Rhia from Pride Magazine.
I arrived early which gave me time to meet Rhia and Rosemary (former Miss Zambia) and chat with familiar faces Alexandra (The Foundation Directory), Maria (Ms Expat/The Tiger Tales) and Vesta (Chocolate and Curves). The small group had wide interests: fitness , baking, arts, writing in general, dance, acting, fashion and design. Beauty is more than just a pretty face!
I had heard of Illusions but hadn’t used the brand before. This was the perfect opportunity to find out more and give it a try.
Janice and Denise are twin sisters and although they are in the same industry, they do have different interests and points of view, just like any sisters which was both entertaining and heartwarming!
Janice explained how their brand didn’t happen overnight. It came from years of hard graft and they are still going. Clearly entrepreneurial, they started with an accessories boutique but Janice wanted to move into make-up and makeover to be available in the boutique. At the time, neither Janice nor Denise were make-up artists but that didn’t stop them. Janice drew up a business plan to create her own brand of make-up but Denise insisted they needed knowledge of the skin. So Janice nominated Denise to learn about skin while Janice worked on make-up! I wonder if Janice is the older twin. I should have asked!
Eventually they built up their reputation in film and TV makeup and have been in the industry for 12 years. They did this on top of having accountancy jobs so it was a tiring process. You need a contingency plan – remember the writers’ strike? That affected everyone in film and TV. Another top tip for any aspiring makeup artist – keep your kit clean and neat. Things like that matter when it comes to recommendations and repeat bookings.
When Janice was in beauty school, she decided she wanted to create a makeup line for women of colour and that’s precisely what Illusions Cosmetics is. The line has everything from foundations to liquid lipsticks. In this video I take you on a visual tour of the eye dusts:
They’re all so pretty and pigmented. Here is a video swatch of my favourite, Snow White:
Makeup aside, the most important beauty tip was to look after your skin! Moisturise, moisturise, moisturise. The twins say their skincare routine takes at least 15 minutes twice a day. Also, the earlier you start the better – don’t be complacent like I was. I don’t have wrinkles (yet) but my skin is not as taut as it used to be.
Inside my goodie bag I received an eye dust in Sunrise, a liquid lipstick in Sushi Flower, a Premae Harmony Face Wash, an Illusions face chart and a mini pack of dried mango by Urban Fruit (yum). I’ll write about the makeup and skincare in another post. The liquid lipstick and eye dusts look new as they are on illusionsbeauty.com yet.
I enjoyed the intimate setting for the event which was held at the Hilton Hotel in Kensington Olympia. It gave us all a chance to speak to Janice and Denise, an opportunity to catch up with old friends and meet new women with the same interests. I hope to see more the twins and of Illusions Cosmetics. Perhaps they’ll give a seminar at next year’s IMATS?
*This post contains press samples. Click here for more details.