The Daily Illini

Beauty RSOs gain reputability

Glam Squad, an RSO on campus, provides beauty services — including makeup and hair — free of charge. It has done services for the School of Art + Design as well as the annual Cotton Club show.

Photo courtesy of Simone Johnson

Glam Squad, an RSO on campus, provides beauty services — including makeup and hair — free of charge. It has done services for the School of Art + Design as well as the annual Cotton Club show.

By Sarah O'Beirne, Staff Writer

Students can now put all the Instagram and YouTube makeup, hairstyling and skin care tutorials they watch to use by joining some of the different beauty RSOs on campus.

Simone Johnson, junior in Business, is the founder and president of Glam Squad, an organization consisting of 31 students who provide free beauty services to other organizations on campus.

“We also provide a platform for students who do beauty services,” Johnson said. “Like makeup, hair, lashes or nails, to be able to showcase their work and gain more clients, and paying clients as well.”

As a makeup artist herself, Johnson said she created the group because she saw a high demand for hair and makeup artists on campus and wanted to streamline all these services into one versatile team.

“All of our team members have individual businesses as well where they do their own makeup and hair on the side,” Johnson said.

In less than two years since its founding, Glam Squad has done services for a variety of organizations across campus, including the School of Art + Design. It has also done the hair and makeup for the Cotton Club show, an annual weekend-long event where African-American performers can showcase their talents on campus, and for publications like Impulse and The Fashion Network.

“As we get our name out there more, more people come to us,” Johnson said. “Last fall we did five events, and are going to do eight this semester.”

There are also other beautification efforts on campus. Lucy Jang, sophomore in LAS, co-founded the new RSO Makeup/Skincare this semester.

“I looked through the list of RSOs and there was nothing like it,” Jang said. “I knew of others who are interested in beauty and would join.”

This RSO was created for the amateurs who are enthusiastic about makeup and skincare.

Jang said that while she is not an expert in makeup, she does enjoy talking about it and watching tutorials on YouTube.

The RSO is planning on holding social events throughout the semester, along with themed meetings.

“We’re planning on doing a professional event where we bring in a professional from Sephora to teach us about makeup,” Jang said.

While some use makeup recreationally, Johnson said she plans to take her education as a marketing major and experience as founder of Glam Squad and turn it into her career.

“My main goal is to be a well-known business owner and one day be Forbes 30 under 30,” Johnson said. “This gives me a lot of experience that I’m learning in my classes but putting it to play with my organization simultaneously. It gives me a lot of experience and a lot of practice for the real world.”

Johnson said the public’s interest in the beauty industry has grown over the past five years.

“People are able to turn it into jobs and provide a platform for themselves on social media,” Johnson said. “It’s a big community of people who are interested in it.”

Through surveys, Johnson has learned a lot of people want to learn but are constrained by time or want to learn on a smaller scale.

Alana Auston, junior in LAS, is the makeup chair for Glam Squad. Her duties consist of planning outlooks for big events, bringing makeup artists together and providing training for new members.

Auston first began doing makeup when she was 16 years old, emulating the makeup artists in YouTube videos she watched.

“I have a passion for beauty, and Glam Squad is the first organization on campus of its kind,” Auston said. “When Simone reached out to me to be the founding makeup chair and shared her vision, I knew that it was something I wanted to be a part of.”

Auston is a beauty influencer and showcases her makeup looks through her Instagram account. She intends to continue pursuing her makeup career after graduation, using her education to supplement her business model.

“I changed my major from atmospheric science to communications, with a minor in public relations, so I could have a corporate edge in the beauty community in addition to my beauty influencing,” Auston said.

For now, Auston is grateful for the like-minded community Glam Squad has provided for her.

“Being a part of a group where everyone loves beauty is an in-person version of my influencing career,” Auston said. “It’s a relief to be around people who have the same interests and passions as you.”

[email protected]

Leave a Comment
The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871