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We had the pleasure of interviewing the founder of 'Isle of Paradise' Jules Von Hep.

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We were lucky enough to interview an amazing guest that we thought would brighten up your day (pun intended). We got the chance to chat to Jules Von Hep, the founder of Isle of Paradise. Our interview covers all aspects, from positivity to celebrity spray-tanning, be sure to read on for all the juicy details.

We specifically asked Jules to join us on the podcast as he is a “Beacon of light and positivity”, which is definitely what we need right now. Jules has an amazing personality and is just someone that you wish you knew.

Jules: I have been spray tanning for 14 years. I’ve always been obsessed with tanning, I love the confidence that a tan brings me and I fell into being a spray-tanner when I was 23. I fell in at quite a high level and was trained by a facialist called Nicola Joss. Nicola Joss has a celebrity client list that includes: Margot Robbie, Julia Roberts, Meghan Markle and the list goes on and on. I was telling a makeup artist and she said “I’d love a tan! I am the head makeup artist on the X Factor, would you be interested in doing all the tans on the show?”.  That is how I started building up a lot of celebrity clientele.

Jules: I became really obsessed with spreading joy and positivity, whether you are going on the red carpet or you’re just wanting to look good for the weekend and feel your best. I actually struggled to find products that were good enough to be in my kit and I was mixing products together to create the textures and the finishes on the skin that I really wanted, it led me to creating my own brand, Isle of Paradise and now it’s been two years on the market. 

Jules: I’ve also written a book called ‘Get Body Posi’, which is about  how to love yourself and your appearance. And I also co-host a podcast called the ‘Jule’s and Sarah podcast’, which is comedy, believe it or not, I’m pretty funny. Then I am also a part of a podcast called ‘Wobble’, which is about mental health and body confidence. 

Dominika: That’s amazing and jumping from being a self-tanner which is an entrepreneur in its own right; to owning and co-founding, one of the biggest tanning brands! Isle of Paradise absolutely smashed it, we’re both massive fans. I think the usability is great compared to other tanning brands, you just really nailed it. But where did that confidence to start your own brand come from. Did you find that process quite challenging? What kind of drove you to launch Isle of Paradise?

Jules: I don’t think I was driven to it and the opportunity approached me. I think people believe that Isle of Paradise happened overnight and all of a sudden it just appeared across all the shelves. But what so many people maybe don’t necessarily realise is that Isle of Paradise was created during my 10 year career. I was doing all the hard work that many brand founders do to start a brand, I had actually been researching and doing all the mixing of products before thinking of my brand. I was thinking of solutions for the problem! That is how my brand was born.

As a small business owner it is important to listen to your customers. At BYBI this is extremely important to us, a great tool for us is using social media. Connecting with your customers drives user experience of your brand and products. This is something that Jules and his team does so well! You can tell just by using Isle of Paradise that each product is made with customer experience in mind.

Elsie: What about the product side of things? Obviously you’re very passionate about the fact that there just wasn’t a good product on the market. How involved do you get in the NPD? 

Jules: Super involved! I’m a spray tanner by trade, so product is my go-to. My business partner is super tech focused and he really loves diving into all the numbers. For me, I’m definitely about formulation, but I’m also about the journey. Any artist will say this, we’re all about the performance of a product. What I want to know is, is it actually doing what it says it’s going to. We have to test the product so much and it’s not just me that tests the product. We have so many different skin tones and textures and types to test it on within our business and also within our friendship circles that actually before anything comes to market, it’s been so rigorously tested because the worst thing that could happen if someone said, this isn’t working for me.

Dominika: We completely agree! I don’t think you can get away with making bad product these days.

There was no way we could interview Jules without asking for a few tanning tips! Self-tanning can bring that much needed ray of sunshine, whilst we are all still indoors.

  • I think at the moment it’s really important to remember the benefits of a tan and how it makes you feel, the feeling when you get back from a vacation or even if you’ve just come from the beach and you look in the mirror and you’re like ‘Oh, I just feel so relaxed and my skin just looks so calm’, that’s what tan mimics. When you’re using tan, remember that you’re using it to look like you’ve just been on vacation, not to look like you’re using a bottle of tan.
  • EXFOLIATION. It’s such an easy way to get a big win with self tan, exfoliating your skin removes all the dead skin cells and creates a smooth texture. Whether you’re using a chemical or a scrub, exfoliation must be done to give that even surface, this will prevent patchy tanning.

(CBI TIP: We wanted to share a few of our exfoliating gems with you! If you’re in the market for a chemical exfoliator for your body REN’s AHA Body serum is perfect for daytime exfoliation, Paula’s Choice BHA Body Lotion is another fab chemical exfoliant; this is best used at night. If you fancy a more hands on approach Korean Washcloths will do the trick.)

Jules: So if you’re using drops, these are tanning drops that you mix in with your moisturiser. You really have the joy of scaling up or down the deepness of your tan. The more drops you add into your moisturiser, the deeper the tan will be. 

  • I’d say two to four drops for the face, for the rest of the body, for each dollop of moisturiser use a full dropper per dollop. 
  •  Remember to wash your hands, this includes wiping your fingernails, in between your fingers and on your hairline. 

Pro tip: Just use sports socks and turn it inside out, to use along the hairline.

Jules: With tanning water your skin should look visibly wet after you’ve applied it. If you stand in front of the mirror, you should see an all over gleam. You then rub that in with your hands. You can rub in circular or sweeping motions. It’s up to you with tanning water. With a mousse, my tip is to always apply with a mitt in sweeping motions. Imagine that you’re frosting a cake. Don’t do it in circular motions, do two coats on the body on one coat on the face.

Elsie: What do you think about tanning brings confidence? What got you into talking about body positivity? 

Jules: Well actually being a spray tanner made me love my body. I really didn’t like my body all through my teens and I’m really open about the fact that I struggled with body dysmorphia, eating disorders and self-harming. All my insecurities were based on my appearance. When I started tanning I realised that every single person apologised when they took their dressing gown off or when they were getting in this tanning booth. Actually there was this huge problem where everyone hates their bodies and we were believed that we should look like something in order to achieve happiness. My brand is so body positive to the core because that is my whole career, which is being exposed to naked bodies for the whole of my twenties, and so I wanted that to be ingrained in Isle of Paradise and being a body positive advocate online. 

Feeling and looking good can be quite hard within the beauty industry. There are a lot of cases of airbrushing and warped perceptions of beauty imagery. After being on a number of sets, Jules noticed this too and tries his best to ingrain in all of his clients and customers the reality of the human body in all its magnificent beauty. 

Dominika: It’s really mental that the industry got away with it for so long. I remember as a teenager just looking at those Maybelline ads and I was really conscious about pores on my nose and it was because their campaigns featured models with no pores.

Elsie: It feels like we’re coming full circle. We are finally seeing brands giving up airbrushing and using imagery that pays homage to the human form. 

Jules really takes body positivity very seriously and has written a book called ‘Get Body Posi’ which is available for all to download. 

Jules: It’s really weird when you become a brand founder, it’s very much front facing. My Instagram account is growing and people are saying ‘you’re making me feel so good about myself’. I wanted to keep lighting up people’s positivity but also teach people that it wasn’t handed to me on a plate and I’ve had to work really hard on my journey to like myself. So I wrote ‘Get Body Posi’ as a really simple bite sized book, that is designed for you to keep going back to whenever you feeling a little bit rubbish about how you look or perhaps you’ve had a wardrobe meltdown or perhaps you’ve fallen into a comparison spiral and you’re looking at one person, maybe it’s your ex’s new girlfriend or whatever. I wrote this book to make you realise that it’s not reality and that you have the power to love yourself. You have the power to spread joy and you have the power to be an optimist. 

Dominika: Do you have any tips in terms of managing anxiety and how to keep up your mental positivity during times of isolation?

Jules: I really believe that your whole day can be mapped out just from how you start it. The moment you open your eyes you really have a moment and it’s a real split second of how your day is going to pan out.

  • It’s up to you whether you pick up your phone straight away and you start scrolling, try to avoid the accounts that make you feel bad and flood yourself with positivity. I would even suggest to make an account that is filled with positivity only and use that in the mornings.
  •  Try not to drink too much caffeine when we’re at home. Caffeine can act as a stimulant that can push you over the edge of anxiety.
  • Take your lunch break! Even if this means having a small break away from the laptop. You can schedule FaceTimes with people. I have scheduled coffee breaks with my friends.
  • A little bit of exercise and some fresh air. If you can get a walk, even for half an hour and drinking lots of water, it will keep you feeling fresh.
  • Make a positive playlist!
  • Just dance, because you deserve to be happy and celebrate life.

Dominika: I’ve definitely started kitchen dancing and it brings me a lot of joy. My dog looks at me like I’m a freak because he doesn’t quite understand what the change in my sudden movements are.

We all need a bit of Jules in our life! If by now you’re not smiling and feeling like you could brighten up your day, we have a final tip from Jules.

Jules: My grandad and my grandma grew up on a council estate just outside of Leeds and they had no money, they always taught us that you don’t need any money to have fun. Everything is funny. My grandad used to make us do funny walks up and down the living room. That’s when I started to fall in love with laughter that doesn’t cost anything and I actually find almost everything funny. My boyfriend constantly asks me, ‘why are you laughing at this?’ I’m like, because it’s absolutely hilarious.

The takeaway message from all of this is positivity and golden tans, which is something that anyone can attain and we ALL deserve.

Remember to use the code ‘CBI15’ at Bybi.com for 15% off your order!