Meet the SHINE2018 Team - Tanya Billingham

Please share a little bit about who you are and what you do. 

My name is Tanya Billingham, I’ve been a makeup artist for almost 15 years. I started in freelancing, mostly grads and weddings, and then moved into Fashion Shows and now do YouTube and teach online makeup classes about inner and outer beauty. I’m a mom to two amazing boys, they are the centre of my world. Both play competitive sports and that has become my focus over the last 2 years. But I still do Shine every year because it is close to my heart. See #4

I started working as a makeup artist to help people see and understand that beauty comes from within, makeup doesn’t make you beautiful it only enhances what’s already underneath.

How did you meet Dean Thullner?

I met Dean the very first year of Brilliant, I was working as a volunteer and then got asked last minute to step into a lead role. After that show I walked up to him and asked him if there was anyway I could take on the makeup side of the show the next year and he agreed. He is now one of my closest friends, my biggest supporters and a part of my family. 

You are part of the Shine 2018 team. What is your position on the SHINE team and what does your work entail?

I am the Head of Makeup for the show. It’s my responsibility to get the leads and the artists. Connect them with their team, make sure the looks get created and then done properly on the day of. Our team of artists is about 80 people and I over see them all. This show is always fun because nothing is ever the same, every look is a true work of art, it allows every artists to truly be creative and create something they are proud of. 

What is your "why"? Why were you drawn to offer your talents in support of this specific charity fundraiser?

So what pulled me in was the mental health side of it. I am Bi-Polar type 2 with borderline personality traits. Being in the system I know what the system is lacking, I know what it’s like to feel shame and not understood. Mental Illness is like every other illness you just can’t see it so a lot of people don’t believe it. This show and it’s constant effort to remove the stigma around mental health is what brought me in but also what keeps me coming back.

I was diagnosed and sent home with some meds, I’ll never forget it, I didn’t know what to do with myself. My whole life had changed with just 5 words. I didn’t know how to function, how to parent, how to explain to people what was wrong with me (that’s how I felt at the time), and I had no idea of who I was anymore.

Shine 2018 has the hashstag #nostigma, and the funds raised are earmarked for programs servicing those struggling with mental illness and addiction. Was this a part of your reason for volunteering? If so, please share a little bit about your passion for this cause. 

Over the years I’ve grown into my mental illness but I’m different from a lot of others, I’m an extremely strong advocate for myself, not everyone with mental illness can be that way, I fought hard to get the help I needed. I do this show in part because I want others to not have to fight so hard, I want people to start seeing the signs earlier and I was resources to be available to everyone! 

What are you most looking forward to at SHINE2018 in terms of the amazing show being created?

For me, surprisingly, it’s not all about the makeup. It’s about watching it all come together. The looks, the fashion, the hair the makeup. Seeing what each team whats you to see on the runway. It’s always special and it’s always mind blowing. Shine has this amazing community surrounding it, people who have watched this show for years and years and come back again to see what new things we can create. It’s not like any other fashion show you have ever been too.

Any last thing you'd like to share - a quote, a thought, an encouragement for people to attend and/or donate.

“If I had changed anything, it would have changed everything”

Links -
= = = = 

Get your tickets as early as possible as this is a SELLOUT every year. They are available on Eventbrite at

For more information on Shine 2018, please visit their website at