Taraji P Henson and Terrence Howard’s Celebrity makeup artists, twin sister of Illusions Cosmetic, exclusive interview for Pride Nigeria
How did you start your brand illusions cosmetics?
Janic I started the Illusions Cosmetics brand out of a need for more options for Women of Colour. I started with Lip glosses and grew the line from there.
What’s it like working together as twin sisters?
Janice: It’s great working with my twin sister. I know that I have someone that I can trust working with me as well as someone that I’m confident in and someone that I can totally depend on to help make the Illusions cosmetics brand what it needs to be. We don’t always agree, but we both have the same goals in mind when it comes to Illusions Cosmetics.
Denise: I LOVE working with my sister. I feel like she’s the best business partner. We get along well and we complement each other. She handles most of the ‘business’ side of things and I handle most of the ‘creative’ side of the business. It’s the best business relationship.
How long have you worked in the beauty industry?
Both: I’ve been working in the beauty industry for 18 years.
Why did you open a beauty studio?
Janice: I’ve always wanted a boutique or beauty studio to sell my cosmetics and jewelry line since before the beginning of my career. I’m proud to say that after 18 yrs in the Business, I now own, along with my twin sister, a new beauty studio. The Atlanta studio is the first of many.
Denise: We opened the Beauty studio to meet the needs and demands of Beauty service customers. We also wanted more exposure for our cosmetics line Illusions Cosmetics. So now, local customers or those traveling to the Atlanta area have an opportunity to come in and touch and feel the brand.
Who were your top 3 famous clients and what was your experience working with them?
Janice: Kerry Washington. My experience working with Kerry was great. I’ve always been a fan. She loved her makeup and booked me right away for another appearance. Yolanda Adams. It was great to work with Yolanda, I worked with her on two movies. She is a Gospel Music Legend. Idris Elba. I’ve worked with Idris on 3 projects for Film/TV. He is a great actor. I enjoy watching him evolve into the seasoned actor that he is.
Denise: For me it would have to be Taraji Henson. Taraji is so sweet and a joy to work with. She makes me laugh all the time. Regina King is another top client who is so lovely and down to earth. Besides being a great actress, she’s such a great person. Last but not least, Terrence Howard has been my most enjoyable male client. While working on ‘Hustle & Flow’, he taught me how to play Chess. It’s amazing to watch him work.
Atlanta is well known to Africans as being a ‘black business zone’ in America, why should we come and visit?
Janice: Atlanta is a great city to visit. Atlanta is full of Black Art and Culture. There are Black people here from everywhere. And it’s the home of the new Illusions beauty makeup Studio.
Denise: Africans should come visit the Atlanta area because the Illusions Beauty Studio is here. Also, Atlanta is the new ‘Hollywood’ of the South offering plenty in the areas of Arts and Entertainment, especially film and television production.
This Christmas, do you have any events happening at illusions cosmeticsstudio that African women travelling into the states should check out?
Janice: We invite all African women traveling into the States this Christmas to visit us at the new Illusions Beauty Makeup Studio for our Annual Holiday Soiree for Illusions Cosmetics, A Trunk Show for Black Pearls Couture, our handcrafted jewellery line, and for African Makeup Artists and Beauty Experts, our monthly Beauty Chat/Meetup sponsored by our online radio show called, Beauty Talk.
Denise: Every Christmas season Illusions hosts a holiday event featuring Illusions Cosmetics and Black Pearls Couture. This is a great time for holiday shopping and to stock up on your favorite Illusions products.
What’s next for Illusions Cosmetics?
Janice: Illusions Cosmetics will continue to bring the best in beauty for women of Colour all over the world. We are also working on a new Beauty Tour that will include cities not only in the US, but also around the world.
Denise: Illusions is planning it’s Beauty Tour for 2016-2017 as well as creating a few more lip palettes and expanding our lip gloss collections. Stay tuned for the release of our new lipgloss collection in December 2015, next month.
Interviewed by Pride Nigeria Beauty and Business Writer, Dr Clare Eluka.