Nicole’s love of make-up artistry began early, with advice from her father that would set her career in motion: “My dad always told me, ‘If you treat it like a hobby, it’ll stay a hobby and if you treat it like a business, it’ll become a business.’” When the time came to choose a training ground, Make-Up Designory was her first choice. “They helped prepare me for this industry in so many ways, but I think the top thing I’ll always remember is professionalism,” she says. She cites the Portfolio Development program as a major influence, due to the valuable lessons she learned in branding and marketing her services.
After MUD, Nicole accepted a full-time role at MAC Cosmetics. Here, she began working with celebrities Jeffree Star and Todrick Hall, relationships that continue to this day. In 2015, she joined Paul on his MTV reality show, Todrick, where she played a role based on herself. The social media buzz she gained from her time on the show led to new connections — including work on RuPaul’s Drag Race, where she recently earned her second Emmy nomination for Outstanding Makeup for a Multi-Camera Series (Non-Prosthetic) on the episode “10s Across the Board.” Nicole’s freelance career has taken her around the world, giving her the opportunity to work with leading actors and musicians like Pentatonix, Tori Kelly, Def Leppard, 5 Seconds of Summer, Leah Remini, Raven-Symoné, Eddie Griffin, Michelle Visage, Tyler Oakley and others.
Her latest venture is founding and leading the team at Pout, the all-inclusive, LA-based beauty bar that offers both traditional and specialty make-up services like face and body paint. At Pout, Nicole enjoys mentoring up-and-coming artists. “I want to be able to take artists who are already naturally talented and groom them, elevate their artistry and train them with proper set etiquette, how to interact with clients and pack for a job,” she says.
“If I could give advice to any MUD grad or student, or anyone thinking about becoming a make-up artist, I would say: take every opportunity that comes your way. Don’t say no to anything, especially in the beginning. You never know where those relationships are going to lead you. Be humble, be kind and be patient.”
Watch Nicole’s MUD Portrait below and see the full story in the Winter 2020 edition of “Portraits” by Make-up Designory.