Rolling Out

Beauty expert Nicole L. Townsend conducts ‘Beauty School’


A content specialist for the hair care company Strength of Nature, Nicole L. Townsend knows anyone who’s anyone on the Chicago beauty scene. She manages all content and social media platforms, which include Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for beauty brands, Mega Growth and African Pride.

In addition to her content specialist duties, Townsend contributes to a weekly beauty column for called “Beauty School,” and has become a sought after freelancer having penned for Today’s Chicago Woman, Time Out Chicago, RedEye and countless others. She is a member of Social Media Club Chicago, and also spends her free time volunteering and mentoring for teenage girls in the Step up Women’s Organization. 

The former model and beauty queen has all of the credentials of a full-fledged beauty pro including a journalism degree from Wayne State University and a bevy of tried-and-true tips, tricks and trends that every gal should know.

How did you get your start in the beauty industry?

I competed in the Miss Michigan USA pageant in 2006, and the experience changed my life forever. Many lessons were learned, but most importantly, I learned how to love and accept myself. 

Tell us about your column “Beauty School” for Jet Mag?

Kyra Kyles, one of the best journalist’s that I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with, asked if I had any interest in contributing to the newly developed site, and I jumped at the opportunity. “Beauty School” was born, and I couldn’t be more thrilled with its short-term success. The column focuses on all things beauty related —from tips and tricks to some of the hottest trends in the business. Earlier this week I launched my very first Beauty Video, and I’m super excited to showcase what’s next! Check it out:

[jwplayer mediaid=”629964″]

You are also the content specialist for Strength of Nature – Mega Growth and African Pride. What does that entail?  

As content specialist, my job is to build relationships with consumers and top beauty influencers in a digital space. I manage all social media platforms for both Mega Growth and African Pride, and occasionally I’ll live tweet during some of our beauty events.

Tell me about your involvement with the Step Up organization?

I’m passionate about volunteering with organizations that focus on empowering young women in every phase of their life. I discovered  Step UP Women’s Organization two years ago — and have never been more inspired. They host various events throughout the city where I volunteer as a mentor or guest panelist for career seminars. It’s one if the most fulfilling ways to give back, and I encourage everyone to get involved.

How do you use social media to your advantage?

I eat, sleep and breathe social media, and it’s truly propelled my career in ways that I never imagined. People identify with digital brand imaging, so I’ve learned how to use that to my advantage. I find it extremely difficult when someone asks me to “unplug” for a few hours or so, because I think I’ll miss something! 

What accomplishment are you most proud of?

You know what? I’m actually really proud of discovering myself. I recently celebrated my 34th birthday, and I’m really seeing myself for the first time. I’m more confident and comfortable in my skin than I’ve been in a long time, and it feels damn good. 

Who inspires you?

People who are go-getters, have genuine hearts and aren’t afraid to speak up for themselves inspire me. Someone once told me that I “lack hustle and drive,” but that statement has only influenced me to be bigger and better everyday. I didn’t have the courage then to say, “You know what? That’s not who I am,” but try to impose that on me today, and I’ll prove to you differently. 

Any favorite affirmations?

Don’t chase people. Be yourself, do your own thing, and work hard.  The right people … the ones who really belong in your life, will come to you … and stay.

What do you do to unwind?

I’m really into meditation these days. It helps me to see things more clearly, without any emotional baggage. Also, a glass of wine never hurts! 

Any advice or words of wisdom for aspiring beauty experts?

Study the beauty business, health, science and tech trends like its nobody’s business! Find your niche, produce quality content, be consistent and surround yourself with people who inspire you to be your best self. The beauty industry is a multibillion dollar business that isn’t going anywhere, and there’s a piece of the pie for everyone if you market yourself effectively.  

What’s next for Nicole L. Townsend?

I’m taking over YouTube, baby! Stay tuned for the launch of my channel, “Pretty in the Windy City” in the coming weeks. 

For more on Nicole, connect with her on her social media networks: Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
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