Ashley Marie Hazelwood found her love of hair and makeup through her Aunt Dixie, a model and figure skater who posed for Clairol in the ’60s. Hazelwood would sit in the bathtub and zealously watch Dixie do her makeup every day.
“When I was 16 or 17, she took me to MAC and Bobbie Brown and bought me my first kit,” Hazelwood says.
After salon stints in the Virgin Islands and Los Angeles, Hazelwood found her beauty home here in Kansas City. She works independently in a space at Solera Salon in Overland Park and stays on her toes with a number of side hustles.
Her team takes their work seriously. Hazelwood says that the makeup artists themselves test the products to ensure they’ll last the entire game. One of her colleagues “literally walked around for three weeks wearing different red stain lipsticks to figure out which one would look and wear best for the girls,” she says.
Hazelwood is also a major player in Kansas City Fashion Week as a behind-the-scenes coordinator and ensures that all hair and makeup artists backstage execute their jobs efficiently.
“It’s a whole other adrenaline,” she says. “I love it. You’re not making anything off of it, but you do it because you love it.”
Months before the show, Hazelwood and her team get a peek at the collection from each designer so they can plan hair and makeup accordingly. For this year’s Fashion Week, she’s working with Jennifer Tierney, a local designer, and Joshua Christensen, a Project Runway alum. We asked for a preview of what’s in store.
“One of the designers is doing a lot of floral,” she says, adding that the beauty team will aim to make the models look like “porcelain dolls.”
One of her favorite jobs was for a jewelry designer who wanted the models to resemble forest fairy creatures. Hazelwood’s creative ego awakened. “I was like, ‘I want to put moss on eyelashes,’” she says. “I love avante garde.”
GO: Kansas City Fashion Week is Sept. 18-21 at Union Station. 30 W. Pershing Road, Kansas City, Mo. Times vary. $25-$100. kcfashionweek.com.