A Wimbledon ‘gran-trepreneur’s’ business success took her to the stars last week after her beauty products made their way into the hands of Oscar nominees.
Elton John, Tracey Emin, and Miley Cyrus – not many people get to see such a group of A-List stars in one go, but the sky’s the limit for 70-year-old businesswoman Tricia Cusden from Merton.
Wearing a long black Hobbs dress she’d bought in a sale, Tricia and her two daughters, Anna and Suzy, watched the celebs roll by on their way to Sir Elton John’s Oscar viewing party.
“It was a parade for two hours. It was just like going to the zoo.
“We were like oglers at the zoo.”
The grandmother-of-five founded Look Fabulous Forever, a makeup brand aimed at older women, in her living room at the age of 65.
Five years later and the makeup has gone from living room to LA, making its way into this year’s goodie bags for all the Oscar nominees alongside gifts such as tickets for Tanzania trip and a seven day holiday in Hawaii.
Watching with a “makeup woman’s” critical eye as the animals proceeded two-by-two up the white carpet, Tricia didn’t hold back in her reviews of the celebs.
“Just standing there and watching these people go by, I mean, just seeing what they were wearing. Some of the outfits were just horrific.
“Because I’m a makeup person, seeing some of the older women just made me think ‘you so need our products – they would do wonders for you.
“Some of the make-up was just so bad.”
British artist Tracy Emin was also on Elton John’s guestlist, but she didn’t escape Tricia’s critical eye.
“We saw Tracy Emin. God she looked a mess.”
Tricia admitted that she didn’t recognise the majority of people coming along the red carpet.
“What’s quite interesting when you’re on the edges of this so-called glitzy event, is when you don’t know who somebody is. They’re just ordinary.
“They haven’t been sprinkled with fairy dust, so you just don’t know who they are.
“They think they’re somebody. That’s what’s so hilarious.
“People will go ‘Oh my god that’s Elton John’ – but he’s just a bloke. A 70-year old bloke.”
The hoard of celebrities was of course preceded by that same 70-year old bloke, the grand host for the evening.
By a stroke of luck, Tricia found herself in a room standing within a hair’s breadth of pop royalty.
“Elton was literally there, and I could see his makeup, his rings,” she said.
“I positioned myself right next door to his chair. I looked like I could be his mother,” she laughed. “Although we’re exactly the same age.
“He was exactly how I expected him to be.”
As he met fans, Elton only taking questions about his AIDS foundation, the chief aim of his Oscars bash being to raise funds for the cause.
This year’s annual Oscars Viewing Party managed to raise $5.9 million for the foundation, with a star-studded guestlist including the likes of Lionel Richie, Quincy Jones, and Miley Cyrus.
Reflecting on their LA experience, Tricia said:
“My daughters and I did say to each other several times during the week, ‘My God, can you believe that this is happening? This is so mad.
“I only started Look Fabulous Forever as a bit of a hobby. It wasn’t supposed to be what it’s grown into,” she said.
“I’ve never done anything even remotely like that before. It’s not what you expect to happen.”
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