Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson Spent $30,000 on Makeup During First Year in Office

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Chicago’s progressive Mayor, Brandon Johnson, spent $30,000 on grooming in one year, most of it on makeup.

Johnson, a Democrat, used the money his supporters contributed to his Friends of Brandon Johnson campaign fund to pay for his hair appointments and makeup.

However, most of the money went to makeup artist and self-professed ‘skincare enthusiast’ Denise Milloy.

The remaining $4,000 was spent on hair appointments at a beauty salon.

The Daily Mail reported: Between 2023 and 2024, Johnson made more than 30 payments to Milloy’s ‘Makeup Majic’. The payments that preceded the mayor’s election are listed under headings like: ‘Candidate makeup for TV,’ ‘Makeup retainer,’ ‘Candidate makeup,’ and ‘Candidate makeup for debate.’

However, after Johnson was elected, his payments to ‘Makeup Majic’ have fallen under the vague and generic title of ‘campaign expenses.’

When pressed by the Chicago Sun-Times on the matter, Denise Milloy refused to make a comment, saying that she is ‘not at liberty’ to discuss her work.

Campaign records reveal that the mayor has used financial contributions from his supporters to foot the bill.

A spokesperson for Johnson had previously remarked on how proud the mayor was that many of these campaign contributions came from ‘working-class people.’

Bill Neidhardt, a campaign advisor for Johnson, tried to put a positive spin on the story by praising the mayor for not using taxpayer money to pay for his hair and makeup appointments.

In a written statement to the Chicago Sun-Times, Neidhart said: ‘The mayor does not spend taxpayer dollars in preparation for the many public appearances and events he attends every day.’

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Neidhardt did not answer questions about whether or not the payments were for anyone else besides the mayor. He also didn’t comment on the choice to have a makeup artist on a retainer.

The campaign advisor instead focused on how Johnson’s expenditures benefited black- and women-owned businesses.

Neidhardt wrote:

“He is using his own campaign funds to pay Black- and women-owned businesses a fair wage in compensation for their work in preparing the mayor and individuals associated with the campaign for public appearances, events, media segments, and other availabilities.”

The advisor dismissed concern about the expenses by saying that ‘hair and makeup services are commonplace among high-ranking public officials.’

Although this is true, it looks like Mayor Johnson has far outspent other elected officials in this area.

Last year, Johnson’s predecessor, Lori Lightfoot, spent roughly $2,000 total for ‘event-makeup services.’

In 2019, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle paid a south side woman $217 for makeup services.

And between 2018 and 2022, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker, who sponsors much of his campaign fund through his own wealth, paid a south side beauty salon $6,000 for ‘hair and makeup.’

Neidhardt further defended Johnson by saying it was important for the mayor to look the part.

‘He’s mayor 24-7,’ the advisor said. ‘Appearances matter.’

In January of this year, it was revealed that Johnson was struggling with his approval ratings after just eight months into the job.

Only about one-fifth of voters in the Windy City said they approve of the freshman mayor in a new poll conducted by Democratic pollster Tulchin Research.

When asked how they felt Johnson was performing, just 21 percent replied that they approved of his performance as mayor.

Seven percent of survey responders rated Johnson’s performance as ‘excellent,’ while another 14 percent answered it was ‘good.’

Meanwhile as many as 69 percent disapprove of the mayor’s performance, with 27 percent rating it as ‘only fair’ and 43 percent as ‘bad.’

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