I first met Sue when I was looking for a makeup artist for a boudoir photo shoot. I'd used makeup artists previously but they were further afield and I wanted somebody quite local.
So I approached a group of mums on Facebook and asked for recommendations. Sue Tillett's name came up again and again and again in the post responses, so I contacted her and arranged for her to visit my studio to do the makeup for the shoot.
First-time boudoir clients can be pretty nervous and there Sue was, helping me put the client at ease, while she made jokes and worked her magic with her makeup brushes.
When I started processing the photos, I immediately saw that Sue was a massive asset to the shoot; her doing the makeup had given the client an additional boost of confidence and saved me time during post-shoot processing.
Since then, Sue and I have worked on dozens of shoots together, and I trust her implicitly. She jumps up and helps clients bring their outfits into the studio, she notices if they are nervous and offers hugs (she's big on hugs), and she keeps everything focussed on the client (her business name "All About You" is well-justified).
Sue will often ask a client how they are feeling. She will ask to see what outfits they've brought, what sort of makeup they usually wear, and do they have a particular look in mind they want to try.
And then, if the client looks like a rabbit caught in the headlights when asked what look they want, she offers "do you want to know what I think?" and she will point out their best features. It might be their skin, their eyes, their mouth, or something about their personality, but she nails it EVERY TIME.
If I had been drinking tea during some of our conversations with clients, I would've spat it out at some of the things she comes out with. But that's one of the things I love about her, and laughter is what puts people at ease, it gets the endorphins going and my clients feel good even before they step in front of the camera.
Don't get me wrong; she's far from being a saint ;-) but she doesn't boast about the famous names she works with or has worked with in the past. She doesn't talk about other clients. She doesn't even promote her makeup masterclasses when my clients ask if she can come do their makeup every morning (although I always try to drop it into the conversation either while she's there or afterwards).
In fact, it took me months to realise she also does brows, waxing, lashes, etc!
Thanks to Sue's makeup classes, I now wear a red lip most days. I have also bought lessons for just about every woman I buy presents for. I want all my female friends and family to feel as good about themselves as possible, and I trust Sue to strike the right balance with everyone from my 80-year-old mother-in-law to my 12-year-old niece.
Sue doesn't give people a one-look-suits-all treatment. Everything is tailored to the individual and to the occasion.
Can you tell yet that I love working with her, as we lift women up and show them that they are beautiful, help them fall in love with themselves, appreciate themselves, and shush that negative voice so many of us have in our heads?
Check her out on Facebook or Instagram @suesallaboutyou for top tips and giggles...