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Meet Ashleigh Howard

Today we’d like to introduce you to Ashleigh Howard.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Ashleigh. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I was born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana and moved to Los Angeles November 2018. I am one of three daughters. My mom is a retired accountant and my dad is a physician. Growing up one of my fondest memories was going to my hair salon. Because my mother worked full time, it was hard for her to find the time to wash and style three heads full of thick, curly hair.

So she sent us to the hair salon almost weekly. I loved it so much. I believe that sparked my interest in beauty. I always played in my mom’s makeup and I would style my friends’ hair for them all through high school. I began taking art classes and was fascinated with drawing portraits of women’s faces. I did not realize back then that I was training myself to be a makeup artist.

After high school, I attended Louisiana State University where I received my bachelor’s degree in Psychology. I then went on to become an elementary school teacher for six years. As much as I enjoyed my college and teaching experiences, I still had a deep passion for cosmetology. I gave up my teaching career at 29 years old to go to cosmetology school and it was the best decision I’ve ever made!

After working in an amazing salon in Baton Rouge, LA for three years, I decided it was time to take a huge step and move to Los Angeles. Since then I have found my salon home at The Ra Loft in downtown LA. I have established myself as a hair and makeup artist who takes clients all over the city. My favorite part of my job has been working with so many beautiful brides. Bridal looks have become my specialty.

My career in the beauty industry was and still is a tremendous leap of faith. Although the journey here has been extremely challenging at times, it has also been so rewarding and I can’t wait to see where this journey takes me!

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
I have had some struggles along the way. I still have them. Moving to Los Angeles was definitely a culture shock. Leaving my family and friends behind was hard. Building a clientele from the bottom up was very difficult and overwhelming. Growing pains are real! But I’m so proud of myself for pushing through it. I’ve learned so much about myself and about business that have been so valuable. And although I have a long way to go, I am so glad I took a chance on myself.

We’d love to hear more about your work and what you are currently focused on. What else should we know?
My business is more than just beauty. It’s about empowering women and instilling confidence. I love simply getting to know my clients and being a part of their special life moments. It’s a very intimate experience. I believe that’s why I love doing bridal so much. It’s one of the most important days in that woman’s life and I get to help her feel her most beautiful.

Majority of my clients are women of color. For a long time there has been a struggle for WOC to find artists that can properly take care of their makeup needs and it makes me very proud to be able to accommodate them. It’s very important to me.

My makeup style is natural glam, very classic and romantic. My goal is always to enhance my clients’ natural beauty. I love to hear my clients say that they feel beautiful and that they still look like themselves.

If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
If I had to start over, I would have begun my career in the beauty industry much sooner. I let a lot of self-doubt and fear get in the way of me following my dreams. Now that I have faced my fears and survived, I feel like I can do anything!

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Image Credit:
Jarelle Lee, Jennifer Johnson, Carmen Lopez

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