Meet Hayley Johnsen: the woman who is WOKE AF and can create make-up art flawlessly! Hayley’s social media video speaking on racism,politics, and white privilege went viral getting millions of views. The video was her doing a make-up tutorial, but the message she made about today’s America was LOUD AND CLEAR. After seeing the video, Hayley was my best friend in my head and I caught up with her to speak on the video’s reaction. As an amazing MUA with thousands of followers on all social media accounts, Hayley is using her platform for more than just her pretty face.
A video of you applying make-up and talking about “white privilege” and other things wrong in America went viral getting millions of views and some didn’t agree with the message. What was your reaction to the feedback?
Hayley: “Well, to be honest, there was 2-3x more positive feedback than there was negative and I found that to be a relief and encouraging. I received and am still receiving literally hundreds of messages a day across my platforms. Some short and sweet, others quite long and very emotional. All so positive. The video itself was 100% satire, basically me venting, ranting and teasing to my own followers on snapchat. They know me well, obviously, because it is such a close knit platform. All of it was made up on the spot.The original had much more footage included in it that covered women’s access to reproductive rights, LGQBT rights, etc. I had woken up that morning to a 51-48 vote to repeal Obamacare, with no backup or secondary plan, and I just kind of snapped.
Now, the people who “don’t agree with the message”: the only people I care about at all in this scenario are WOC/POC. The outraged non-POC’s truly are the reason I ever even came up with this in the first place. However, there has been a handful of POC whom have let me know via quote on twitter, that they felt this was me mocking them and their struggles and using my position of power to belittle them. Of course, thats heartbreaking to hear. Under no circumstance do I feel comfortable telling them that they are wrong though. Of course I was aiming to highlight arrogant micro-aggressions, systemic and cultural racism and male entitlement. That doesn’t necessarily matter though if the people I support, even just a few of them, feel I am attacking them. I have learned in my time of growing as young feminist that regardless of my intentions, it does not negate the impact. If they feel it was offensive, then it was and all I can do is give my sincerest apologies and promise I will continue to be as mindful as possible. I am still learning every day and hope those whom feel negatively about it will allow me to redeem myself. And that is truly the only reaction the any “negative” feedback thus far. The upset old white men can shove it.”
The presidential run for 2016 was…interesting. Do you think people were more butt hurt of your video because of the next president or because we lie to ourselves thinking America is so “great”?
Hayley: “Both. We’ve had our pants down to the world for a while now and I think there is a substantial amount of group shame coming around. Also, people do not enjoy hearing about themselves. Imaging thinking you’re sooooooo untouchable and then having the entire world play a video of a member of your own family telling you that ya aint shit. Every white persona I imitated in that video is a persona I know in real life. Someone from my friend or extended family circle. Every single micro-aggression was one I grew up watching. Imagine having that shoved in your face.”
Let’s face it. 2016 was not our best year when it comes to equality in America. What changes do you hope for this year for America?
Hayley: “I am not really sure where to even begin. I want to see a push for police reform more than anything, specifically with how the courts handle police involved shootings. I want to see planned parenthood flourish and prosper regardless of the bullshit. I want to see lower-middle class families access to safe/stable/higher education skyrocket. I want to see a real concentrated effort on closing the gender wage gap. I want to see non binary acceptance skyrocket.”
How long have you been a successful MUA and artist? What can we expect from you in 2017?
Hayley: “Oh, I am so flattered you think I’m successful! I am just getting started! I am excited to grow as much as I think I need to. I have been doing makeup and blogging with Ipsy for about 9 months but things changed for me as an artist when I released “The Human Series”. I took 7 of the most notable events of my life and I turned them into egos/personas. Then I represented those experiences and personalities through makeup and turned it into spoken word poetry on film. I feel that is when I “arrived” as an artist and truly came into myself. I have been growing every single moment since then. In 2017, you can expect a couple more intense personal makeup series, more youtube videos like my “shady” makeup tutorial except for much more organized and current, and of course some event blogs and what not.”
What are your make-up hacks? What products can you not live without?
Hayley: “My best makeup hacks/tips are: 1) Study and know your own face. 2) Don’t be fooled by popular trends or products. Not everything will work for you due to a hundred different factors. 3) blending eyeshadow is best done with your hand at or above eye level 4) moisturize your neck, please. 5) Drink water. And products I would die without: DHC skincare cleansing oil, Makeup Geek eyeshadows, NYX cosmetics HD concealer.”
What tips do you have for aspiring make-up artists?
1) A forced version of “Pretty and Perfect” gets boring fast.
2) Put yourself out there. Stop. No excuses. Right now. Go. Jump in. Both feet. Be you, celebrate you, explore you. The world will join.
I don’t care what anybody says! Drawing the perfect eye-brow is an art and you do it well! What is the easiest way for you?
Hayley: “This is tough because everyones eyebrows are different. I draw the “backbone” of the brow, following my natural arch and focus on very small rapid brush strokes upwards from there. Also, brow tip: practice until you want to scream. Brows and liner are precise and very custom to each persons facial structure and require constant practice.”