04 Mar Texas woman uses makeup to heal the soul. Get to know Millie Monreal of ELSEWEAR Cosmetics.
In late 2018, Mildred Moreal suffered from anxiety. Like many, she was simultaneously gaining a huge interest in makeup and the online tutorial phenomenon. She found herself calming her nerves by watching YouTube videos while ritualistically applying her own makeup, perfecting the process with every swipe of the brush. Soon, Millie (as she is known by friends) began utilizing this “me time” as therapy for her anxiety disorder. She started recording the positive benefits this had on her self awareness and thought, “More people need to know about this!” Soon after, she started up her own makeup tutorial channel and began living by the moto “If you look good, you feel good. If you feel good, you will do good.” This planted the seed for her future career in the beauty industry.
Fast forward to 2019. With a year under her belt, and some initial growth as a makeup enthusiast, she was beginning to develop her self taught methods and more importantly, her experiences with makeup being a healing tool. This would soon play a dominant role in her life once again as this was the year she received some devastating news, her aunt had cancer.
Millie soon drove to Houston to become her aunts caregiver, and initially, this caused her to toss her makeup industry dreams aside. Knowing that cancer brings dramatic life changes, she placed her caregiver duties and high expenses as priority in her life, and made the loving decision to place her aunts needs ahead of her own. Her makeup brushes soon began to collect dust.
This time period in her life was emotional. Millie struggled with the worry and stress that comes with seeing a loved one battle cancer. She too also still suffered. Her anxiety heightened, and so the day-to-day took a massive toll on her life dramatically. There were days when she wasn’t sure how she was going to make it. Days filled with darkness that never seemed to end. But one day she remembered her experiences with makeup and how if there was one thing that always lifted her spirits, it was cosmetics. After one particularly traumatic emergency trip to the hospital, she began to rekindle her bond with her online allies. Thankful that her aunt survived yet another dramatic surgery, she began bringing her laptop to her aunts bedside. As the nights grew long, she held tight to her glowing shield, surfing the latest in makeup trends and sharing them with her fragile aunt by her side. She knew that if she could bring her loved one the same joy makeup brought to her, then maybe, just maybe that creative outlet could ease her pain too.
Immediately she felt the joy that makeup brings and was thrilled to be sharing it with her aunt. She spent hours looking up videos and looks and then expanded into products, concepts, and other beauty industry content. She began to develop a dream. A new dream. “If somehow I could create a successful makeup line, my family would not have to worry about money anymore.” she thought. It was then that her casual web surfing became strategic research and now, she had a purpose. Once again, makeup heals.
On one not so special day, her aunt asked Millie to do her makeup. The application process was extremely therapeutic for Millie. She began to feel control in a world where she felt helpless. The two shared fun moments and loving exchanges and soon, the two forgot that one of them was struggling to keep her life. It was the first time in a very long time Millie had seen her aunt smile. This would be the pivotal moment that brings Millie full circle.
On May 3, 2019, ELSEWEAR Cosmetics was born. Intentions set for the business included relaunching Millie’s dream, building her own makeup line, generating revenue for her family and dedicating her work to spreading love and positivity through cosmetics.
In its current budding stages, ELSEWEAR Cosmetics strives to make a difference in the beauty industry by empowering individuals who suffer emotionally. Millie herself identifies with being an “underdog” and has learned first hand what makeup can do for emotional and spiritual uplifting. “I’m not coming from a place of popularity, money, or an extensive makeup history. I personally believe what makes this brand unique is the vulnerability behind it. With this brand, we are showing everyone that we are everyday people.” she told us.
Mildread “Millie” Monreal – 2019
We sat down to catch up with Millie and asked her how things are going on her entrepreneur journey. Here’s what she had to say.
SLTV: Hi Millie! My gosh, so much has happened to get you to this point. We are so inspired by your story and although you have no formal beauty training, we are fascinated by your journey and feel your painful past gives you a unique perspective in the makeup industry. Embellish a bit about how makeup has helped you get out of your doldrums?
MM: In my darkest of times, makeup has allowed me to think positive and be optimistic. Makeup is my release and escape. It is also a time I am very vulnerable. No makeup, no wig, nothing. When I start a look all you see is me. I am vulnerable. Then I transform myself into something else. ‘If you look good, you feel good. If you feel good, you will do good.’ I love to share that with people.
Our favorite Millie Monreal Before and After Instagram Video
MM: I remember being on Facebook live, playing in makeup and I’d asked people to tell me some good news. I followed that with, “I’ll start. I paid a bill on time!” I want to emphasize, I am human, the same as everyone else and that we should always look on the bright side. I also lean on my following. It makes me feel great knowing someone else is having a great day.
SLTV: Your brand identity has been deeply influenced by your personal feelings of inadequacy, the empowering benefits makeup has brought to you and the healing powers it brought to your aunt’s spirit. Talk to us about your brand identity.
MM: I dedicated the line to the underdog, people like me, the ones who at times can doubt themselves. This journey of creating a business has made me become someone I could have never imagined. I personally believe what makes this brand unique is the vulnerability behind it. With this brand, we are showing that we are everyday people, but we are unique, we are talented, you get what you get, and we are here to stay.
SLTV: Well, you’re underdog to us. Your genuineness is deeply felt on your channel. And your instagram. It is so easy to love you Millie and the fun ways you express yourself with makeup. The Style Lush team are huge fans. We even find ourselves looking you up so we can share your Instagram videos during the workday with our colleagues. Always brings a huge smile. To everyone.
The DAMN… ITS COLD palette, ELSEWEAR Cosmetics
SLTV: So let’s get to some fun stuff. The makeup. What are your best selling products right now?
MM: The DAMN… Its Cold Palette. This product was inspired by Texas Winters and was the official first palette of ELSEWEAR.
SLTV: Yes! We saw that inspiration. We loved how you incorporated the split personality San Antonio winters can be. One day it’s 42 degrees. The next day it’s 72. We love how you interpreted that with a mix of warm and cool shades, and by the way, you make them look so good!
Millie wears and shows off her first makeup palette (Damn… Its Cold) on her Instagram
SLTV: Going back to your training. You actually went to school to become a lawyer and found yourself leaving with strong marketing skills. Some people would shy from coming this far in the beauty industry, then admitting they don’t have formal beauty training. You on the other hand seem to be very comfortable with making it known and have never shied from that honesty. We find that so refreshing. Seems to us that sometimes, real life experience brings about a different type of training that is unique to its circumstance. You are obviously talented. A natural. Tell us, with your unique perspective, what are a few makeup tips you could give to our audience?
MM: Makeup is to compliment beauty. You are beautiful with or without it. Your uniqueness is not defined by an eyelash. Oh, and use whatever brush works best!
SLTV: Haha… can you embellish on that?
MM: Absolutely! I’ve learned that there is no ONE WAY to accomplish something. When I first started playing in makeup and was starting a business, I was told “use this brush for this” and “makeup should only be used for that”. It became much more than that. Adhering to what society thought of my art, made me question a lot, and that left me unsatisfied. I know this may start to sound philosophical, but the journey of life plays a huge role in finding who we are; what we find as art, a career path, relationships, etc. So in making decisions in general, I started sticking to my gut and knowing what is best for me. I started placing my own spin on things and realized I could use the same brush for something else if not better. Why do what everyone else does? So when I say use whatever brush works best, I am telling my peers to trust their gut and their instinct because only they know what their art, business, and life can become… and they are the only ones that can achieve it.
SLTV: As suspected, a unique perspective, from a beautiful survivor and a newfound warrior who will take the beauty industry by storm. We love you Millie.
Millie Monreal, Founder, Artist and Owner of ELSEWEAR Cosmetics
Shortly after this interview, we checked in on Millie and her aunt. We are thrilled to report that as of this past Monday, her aunt is now in full remission and well on her way to living her best life. And Millie? Well she has just been accepted to be an Official 2020 Silver Jacket Entrepreneur in conjunction with the Texas Fashion Industry Initiative and its Education Department. She will be learning strong foundational business skills starting next Tuesday so that her and ELSEWEAR cosmetics can sore to new heights! She and ELSWEAR Cosmetics will be making their big breakout moment at TEXAS FASHION WEEK™ this October, so you are going to want to keep an eye on this rising Texas star!
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