New RVAFW beauty director aims to uplift local beauticians, promote diversity of beauty – The Commonwealth Times

Hair and makeup artist Brittany Johnson does a model’s makeup at RVA Fashion Week’s Ignite event at Immortal Beloved Salon on Sept. 12. Photo courtesy of Michael Hostetler Photography

Jiana Smith, Staff Writer

Richmond-based hair and makeup artist Brittany Johnson said she never planned to work in the beauty industry. Despite enjoying beauty since youth, Johnson always considered beauty to be a hobby, not something she wanted to do as a career.  

After feeling limited in her self-expression by her previous field of social work, Johnson said she was encouraged to get her cosmetology license by family and friends.

“I got to a point in life where I was like, ‘Okay, maybe I will take you guys up on that idea,’ and I did,” Johnson said. “It has been working in my favor ever since I made that final decision.”  

Today, over five years into her career as a professional hair and makeup artist, Johnson is the new beauty director for RVA Fashion Week.

RVAFW announced Johnson as the fashion show’s first beauty director on social media channels on Oct. 21.

Johnson said she was honored to have her leadership potential recognized when being chosen as beauty director. 

“I’m still at a loss for words a little bit,” Johnson said. “It’s a grand opportunity for someone to recognize your potential and that you’re able to lead in that capacity.”

Johnson’s responsibilities as beauty director include building relationships with local makeup artists, salons and hair stylists who help create fashion week looks, according to RVAFW Executive Director Jimmy Budd.

Johnson first worked as a volunteer for RVAFW in 2015, an opportunity which she heard about through word-of-mouth from other volunteers. She also served as a behind-the-scenes photographer in 2019. 

After connecting with Budd and discussing her views on beauty, Johnson took on the role of RVAFW beauty coordinator for fall 2020. As beauty coordinator, Johnson reached out to local hair and makeup artists and organized beauty volunteers.

“[The roles] run a little bit together, but now it brings forth a higher position for me to do more and cultivate that part of fashion week a little bit more,” Johnson said.

Johnson said one of her goals as beauty director is to highlight different aspects of beauty, including natural …….


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