Dianne Plummer shows her True Shade



Monday, September 29, 2014

Print this page Email A Friend!

SHE spends her weekdays lecturing in the Chemical and Biological Engineering Department in the Faculty of Computing and Engineering at the University of Technology, but in her free time she's mixing minerals to create new shades of make-up.

Dianne Plummer, 30-year-old past student of St Andrew High, graduated from the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden, and Aalto University in Espoo, Finland, and decided to use her chemical engineering and bio refining expertise to create her own make-up line, True Shade Cosmetics.

The interest came during her studies in northern Europe, where she said she found it difficult to find the right shade of make-up, and one which would not affect her eczema.

"I remember when I was living in Scandinavia I'd have to stock up on a lot of products from home. A jar of make-up fell from me once and I had to scrape it up because it was very difficult to find my shade. Out of frustration I said, 'I'm a chemical engineer so I should be able to make my own'," she said.

Subsequently, Plummer, who also holds a bachelor's degree in chemical engineering from the University of Technology; and double masters in sustainable energy and bio refining, used one year to do research and in February she started making her own products before returning to Jamaica in July.

"I decided to use my background in chemical engineering and my research skills to create my own natural organic and mineral make-up," she said.

"I made foundations, concealers, blushes, bronzers and powders. I started giving to friends and then realised that I could commercialise it. I even started distributing products from a friend's salon to women of all skin types."

True Shade Cosmetics has both a 'natural and organic' and 'extended' line. The natural line contains products Plummer manufactures from home in Jamaica, while the extended line is externally branded in North America with her logo.

The organic line, with mainly powders containing ingredients like aloe vera and lemon grass, has loose powders, cream foundations, cream concealers and liquid foundations which are available in 23 shades.

The extended line includes eye shadow, lip gloss and concealer. She also has make-up brushes which are also externally made and branded.

"I have eczema and so I produce mineral-based products that do not have all the harmful preservatives and won't clog the pores. The products provide moisture, rather than making the skin dry," she said.

Plummer also makes an organic make-up remover from coconut oil and lemon grass. She said the oil- based remover is one of the best ways to remove make-up, and coconut oil has proven to be beneficial to the skin.

"It is just a matter of combining minerals," she said of her production method.

"It takes some time to combine the shades, but once the shade is combined, I just add the moisturising base."

Known by her friends as 'the globe trotter', Plummer shared that while in Europe she spent her recreational time visiting places like Paris, Milan, Lisbon, Copenhagen, Prague and Rome.

She said she loves to run for health-based charities.

"I did the Lisbon mini 10k marathon in the spring of 2012 to show my support to worthy causes," Plummer said.

In addition she enjoys cooking, going to the beach, volunteering and reading.

"I love cooking Jamaican food and I enjoy fantasy books like Game of Thrones, Hunger Games Trilogy and a few Terry Pratchett and Ursula Le Guin books as well. I actually prefer reading the books than watching the movies," Plummer said.

Plummer's main aim is to have True Shade Cosmetics become a Jamaican brand of make-up and ultimately, a Caribbean brand.

"I want to be a global key player. I have met with teachers from beauty schools and have had discussions with make-up artists. I am also doing research to get a clear view of what customers want and doing my best to understand them," she said.

With help from the Jamaica Business Development Corporation, Plummer has been able to develop her business and access grants.

Additionally she has been selected as one of the Cohort 7 members for the 2014 Branson Entrepreneurship Centre.

"I know that True Shade requires a lot of work, but I have the ambition and motivation and passion to push through. Once I'm fixated on something I don't stop, I just keep going," she said.




1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper � email addresses will not be published.

2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.

3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.

4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.

5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed: advertising@jamaicaobserver.com.

6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email: community@jamaicaobserver.com.

7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy

comments powered by Disqus



Today's Cartoon

Click image to view full size editorial cartoon