We have had the wonderful opportunity to chat with former Make Up Artist to the stars, Tania Rodney. Tania has created a fantastic Eco-Chic range of self-care products for children! Made form natural ingredients, they are incredible and the kids love them!
Please can you introduce yourself to our readers?
I’m Tania Rodney, founder of exceptional skin and hair care for children, Dandydill Way. A mother to a teenaged daughter and former make up artist to some musicians you might have heard of such as Beyoncé.
You’ve had an illustrious career to date, including being a Make Up Artist to the stars. What drew you to working in make up?
I honestly can’t claim that I had a grand plan, I just happened to be in the right place at the right time. Literally someone said “Tania wears make up, she can do it!” to a band that were staying at my boyfriend’s studio. They were too tight to pay a proper make up artist to come down from London to do the job. Obviously I won’t name names but they could have afforded a professional!
After the shoot went well I decided to go ahead and train properly (at a rather old fashioned, very disciplined make up school). This gave me an incredible grounding in make up and hair skills and the confidence to go out and work.
You worked with some rather impressive people, including Beyoncé, David Bowie and Eminem. That must have been extremely exciting and varied. What did you enjoy the most about working with celebrities?
Probably the fact that they travelled first class or private, stayed in the best hotels and took me with them! But that was down to the implicit trust that they had in my discretion and professionalism. This was not bestowed lightly. I predate social media (I even predate digital photography) and would have struggled in this “bare all” world we inhabit nowadays. I certainly wouldn’t have been comfortable posting behind the scenes photographs or putting myself centre stage as a “celebrity”. In my eyes, I was a support act, and I had the self-confidence and a fulfilling outside-of- work life to be content and happy with that.
That kind of work could easily take a toll on your mental health – what with long hours and high demands. How did you find time for self-care and manage those challenges?
It’s tricky because you’re subject to a demanding schedule. Global music stars are expensive to maintain on the road, so they work extremely hard when they’re promoting or touring. I suffer terribly from jet lag so sleeping was problematic.
I got over it with melatonin and a commitment to exercising every day. Running outdoors when I had the chance was the best feeling. Mental health was never an issue. I liked the people I worked with and enjoyed being part of a creative team. I guess being at home between jobs could be more of a challenge because, as a freelancer, if you’re not working you can be quite isolated. Your friends tend to be in the same industry and you see each other when you can.
Since leaving the star-studded world you have created the incredible Eco-Chic Dandydill Way, which we are very excited about! What made you decide to make the move?
Working with artists gave me a unique opportunity to study skin and hair up close. To understand the challenges and triggers that caused sensitivity. I was sent every type of product to use on artists (back in the day a “credit” for a magazine shoot rather than an influencer post was the way to promote a brand. So, I got to trial lots of different ingredients.
When my daughter was born I wanted to give her the most exceptional care in every way I could and I felt that a sophisticated, elegant and allergen free skin and hair care for children was very much lacking.
While the formulas were evolving it felt really important to bring something of my own upbringing to the range. My mother was an incredibly knowledgeable gardener. She understood the beneficial properties of plants and she conveyed some of that understanding to me. I was allowed a lot of freedom as a child. Playing out all day, building dens, wading in the streams and picking wild berries and nuts to eat. I wanted to capture the essence of the wild British countryside in the products and we do that with our botanical extract of wild hawthorn berries and with our 100% natural fragrance.
Why was Dandydill Way so important for you to create?
Because every parent wants to give their child exceptional care, and I wanted to help them do that by giving them products that took the tenderest care of smudged little faces, tangled hair and muddy knees!
Tell us about the ethos behind the eco-chic children’s products.
We want to balance sophisticated and efficacious formulas with allergen free, non-irritating ingredients and make products in the UK to the highest standards. Dandydill Way celebrates children’s curiosity, love of nature and imagination and inspires them to learn independence and self care in a fun, trustworthy and enjoyable way.
Being the only grooming brand available in the UK specifically designed for children with a professional forager employed, Dandydil Way is forging a path for the future. We would love to hear more about the professional forager, what they do and why they’re needed.
Our forager is based in Herefordshire, on the Welsh Borders and close to the Black Mountains. She is spearheading this amazing movement that harks back to a time when we had a much closer relationship with nature and the seasons. I’m so pleased that by using wild berries we are helping to encourage children to learn about native British ingredients that may have fallen out of favour but that our ancestors would have used for their therapeutic or nutritional properties.
These questions are from our resident Junior Reporter, Dino Doodle, who tried out the amazing smelling products that you sent through for us to try. The hair detangler, face moisturiser and liquid powder.
I like the hair detangler because it makes brushing my hair easier. Why does it smell so good?
Good question! Our signature fragrance was a long time in the making. Because we are a children’s brand, people assumed we wanted our range to smell sweet or fruity. We had to have a 100% natural smell and the perfume needed to be free of irritating ingredients (so we couldn’t use essential oils). When we made it clear that our special ingredient was wild hawthorn berries and we wanted to capture the wild British countryside, the balancing of the scent fell into place. Someone said it smells of bobbled sunshine which I think is spot on!
The face moisturiser made my skin feel like a smooth baby. Why does it make my skin feel so soft?
We use a very special ingredient in our moisturiser called hyaluronic acid. The word “acid” sounds harsh but hyaluronic acid is hypoallergenic, exceptionally gentle and pure so it’s ideal for children’s skin. Another lovely ingredient is cold pressed, golden jojoba oil. Jojoba seed oil is the oil that is closest to the oil our skin produces, so it’s very well tolerated and nourishing.
I put the liquid powder on my feet, my feet felt fresh for ages. Why does it make my feet feel fresh?
We have lots of really nice things in the liquid powder; the powder part is tapioca which absorbs wetness and feels really velvety on the skin. There’s also an ingredient made from red algae that breaks down the cell wall of bacteria that live on our skin and feed on sweat (sounds yucky but all part of our natural skin biome!). Sweat doesn’t smell when it comes out of your skin but when those bacteria have finished feeding there can be a bit of a pong!
The red algae extract stops the odour developing. The hawthorn extract and natural plant ingredients in Liquid Powder hydrate our skin to help keep it nice and soft and fresh too.
The Wonder Collection
The Wonder Self-Care Journal! We believe self-care is vital to great mental health. What is your go to self-care activity and why?
Undoubtedly exercise. I feel stronger physically and mentally when I’m exercising regularly. Nowadays, I mostly do strengthening exercises and walking but I used to love to run and could run (slowly) for hours! When I fall out of my routine (usually when I haven’t slept properly) I can feel my mood slide. As soon as I start again my mood lifts and my body feels healthier and stronger.
The Wonder Mix Tape! What song/artist do you find uplifting and listening to it/them boosts your mood?
Suede – so many great memories! “Life Is Golden” is one of my all time favourite songs, it celebrates a father’s love for his son.
The Wonder Bookshelf! Can you recommend a book to our readers. Fiction, non-ﬁction, feel good or advice giving. Why did you choose this book?
I love the Jeeves and Wooster books by P G Wodehouse. His writing is utterly brilliant but light as air and always makes me smile.
The Wonder Sketchbook!
Will do! I love drawing and am very out of practice.
This was such an interesting interview, we loved talking with Tania! We learnt quite a lot too! You can find out more about Tania and Dandydill Way on her website, as well as follow her on Instagram and Facebook.
What natural ingredients from the British Countryside would you like to see in beauty and skincare products? Let us know over on TikTok, Instagram, Threads, Facebook and Twitter. Remember to check out our Wellness & Self-Care section for more fabulous ways to look after your skin, and the kids!