|Nicola and Jade from the Illamasqua PR team met with Gary Thompson the star of the first episode of the latest series of Beauty & The Beast on the UK’s Channel 4 – which was aired last Tuesday – to talk prejudice, life and – of course – make-up.
Yes it has. However, not drastically as I always felt that each individual is beautiful in their own way. After meeting Reggie, his beauty really shone through. I said on the show, I had never before seen someone up-close with such severe disfigurements, after a really short time I didn’t see it anymore.
When out and about with Reggie in London I was shocked by others reaction to Reggie and on one occasion it was particularly upsetting for him and me. I felt very angry but was overwhelmed by his resilience to others prejudice.
Reggie’s family were so welcoming to me, they are beautiful just like Reggie. They made me a birthday cake and his nieces sang “happy birthday” to me during my visit which wasn’t shown on the programme.It meant so much to me that they accepted and welcomed me into their home.
They are such an amazing family and made me realise that you need to love and appreciate everything that you have got.
2. Why did you choose Illamasqua as your favourite brand to talk about in the show? What do we represent for you?
Illamasqua has always stood out as a make-up brand to me; the campaign imagery promoting and showing all ages, genders and races.
Illamasqua shows confidence and doesn’t care what anyone else thinks.
I first heard about Illamasqua by watching PixiWoo YouTube tutorials. I spotted the counter in Selfridges, London and then in Selfridges, Birmingham and have shopped there ever since. My first buy was Rich Liquid Foundation which is still my favorite, it has the most amazing coverage.
3. The reaction from the public has been amazing – have your learnt anything new about yourself?
I have, I’ve learnt to love what I have got. Not to worry if I have a spot? So what? Some others go through a lot worse.
I have had mostly good feedback from members of the public and a few celebrities on my twitter @theplasticboy.
Martin Kemp sent me a really nice message and Caroline Flack also said a nice comment. I have gained about 400 new followers since the show aired, and its rising every day. I’m really enjoying speaking to people who liked the show or want to know more about Reggie.
I have also had people come up to me saying they enjoyed the show and a few wanting to know how to contact my twin cousins, they have gained their own following since the show!
I have just finished University and I graduate in October. I am working part time at Cheap Monday in London. I am really considering taking a make-up course to train to be a professional makeup artist. When I think of make-up I get butterflies so I want to pursue my passion.
5. How was it like visiting Houston, Texas in the USA? Did you feel self-conscious about wearing make-up?
When I first got to Houston I didn’t know what to expect. When I thought of Texas before I went there I imagined cowboys!
I toned down slightly for my first few days, I just wore base and brows. There is the most amazing shopping mall there that I visited with Reggie and his family. I spotted this girl with the most stunning smoky eye make-up , she came over to tell me she liked my style and we had a really nice chat. She gave me more confidence to wear a little bit more make-up after that during my stay.
6. Are you still involved with Reggie’s charity? If so what are your future plans to make people more aware of this condition and help support it?
I am still raising awareness for Reggie’s charity. Reggie has hit his capacity on Facebook so I get a lot of people contacting me on twitter asking how they contact Reggie.
I wear his t-shirts to raise awareness and funds, I sell them through eBay and my blog
7. Have you been in contact or contacted by people with the same condition as Reggie since the programme?
Yes, I have had lots of children with neurofibromatosis contact me and strike conversations which have been really nice. I didn’t know the condition can be hereditary. I am still learning so much about neurofibromatosis.
8. What are you favorite Illamasqua products and why?
It was really great meeting Gary and we all at Illamasqua wish him and Reggie all the best for the future and in raising awareness for such a great cause.