Calvin Klein once said, “The best thing is to look natural, but it takes makeup to look natural.” Finding someone who understands this and can execute it is rare, indeed. South Florida’s Nikol Johnson is such a person. As a former FORD model, Nikol spent over 15 years behind the makeup up chair, but today spends the majority of her time on the other side, enhancing and extending the natural beauty of others.
Nikol’s beauty career started in the midst of her modeling work. On sets, she often insisted on doing her own makeup and was soon recognized not only for her looks, but the looks she created. When the entertainment industry slowed due to a SAG strike in 1999, Nikol turned took her skills on the road and started off on a new career.
She polished up her natural talents with a license in medical esthetics from The International Dermal Institute and formal training in makeup artistry from Coxmix. After graduation she went on to work for top makeup names like Bobbi Brown, Laura Mercier and Chanel and some of the industry’s leading spa lines such as YonKa Paris, Phytomer and MD Skincare. Corporate cosmetics didn’t afford enough opportunity to express the artistry inherent in Nikol, though, so in 2006 she branched out on her own and opened Fresh Beauty Studio in Ft. Lauderdale, FL.
As the name implies, the focus at Fresh Beauty is on creating looks that are fresh and natural. Nikol and her team of artists specialize in bridal hair and makeup specifically. She says, “A lot of brides get covered up by the makeup and hair on their wedding day. They don’t look like themselves. I want them to look and feel beautiful but still be who they are.”
In 2007, Nikol expanded her natural-looking services by adding Xtreme Lashes® to her offerings. “I thought it would be a nice asset. My brides were doing so many false applications… the clusters all looked the same, blunt and unnatural unless I did a lot of trimming and cutting to them. With Xtreme, I have such a wide variety of creativity available. I can basically recreate what my clients already have, just thicker and longer.” As to why she chose Xtreme Lashes® specifically for her eyelash extensions, Nikol says, “I wanted the best in the industry. I’m very into education and quality. That’s a big thing. This company really stands for education and doesn’t sell to just anybody.”
The service has really taken off for Nikol, who now includes the 2009-2010 Miami Dolphin Cheerleaders on her Xtreme Lash roster. She currently sees about 4 new lash clients each week in addition to all the fills from her regular lash addicts. On the weekends she and her team are booked solid September through June, performing hair, makeup and lash services on location at the various beach and destination weddings of Fresh Beauty’s clients. Nikol’s unique approach to “fresh beauty” has also garnered the attention of Miami Fashion Week, Pregnancy and Newborn, Crocs, Atlantic Ave Magazine, the Knot, Style Me Pretty and HSN. There have even been recent talks of a possible reality show on her salon and services.
Although she is an avid golfer and traveler, Nikol devotes much of her spare time to working with her favorite charities. She is a member of the Junior League of Greater Fort Lauderdale, an avid supporter of the Humane Society and the Boston Terrier Rescue (she adopted one herself that was a hurricane Katrina rescue), and volunteers for the “Look Good, Feel Better” cancer recovery program. She loves the personal rewards that come from giving back and has a special bond with “Look Good, Feel Better,” where she helps women restore their confidence and beauty after cancer treatment.
Nikol says most of her business comes from referrals these days. “It’s interesting how word of mouth travels. I did one bride in New York and seven more booked on her referral,” she says. Obviously her clients are thrilled with her artistry and approach. Fresh Beauty Studio was been chosen to receive a 2009 Bride’s Choice Award on WeddingWire Network. The award, chosen by WeddingWire brides, recognizes the top 3% of the network’s vendors for demonstrating excellent quality of service, responsiveness, professionalism, value of cost and flexibility. Congratulations, Nikol!