Nikki Wolff, or @nikki_makeup as her 365k followers know her, has one of the most beautiful beauty feeds going around.
Recently nominated for Best Makeup Influencer in GLAMOUR’s Beauty Power List and named as Global Ambassador for Becca Cosmetics, we caught up with Nikki to find out how the hell she did it…
Makeup was her first love
Most adults don’t know what they’re doing with their lives, let alone an 11-year-old, but for Nikki, this was the age when she knew what she wanted.
“I remember flicking through Vogue looking at all the fashion and beauty stories and the beautiful models and thinking ‘I want to be the person that helps to make them look this good!'”
She trained at the London College of Fashion for two years, during which she landed her first job working for a fashion photography teacher, where she would do makeup for models that were working on the course.
“It was so much fun and my first opportunity to get creative with makeup”, she says. “I also started doing bridal makeup and working in-store for Mac Cosmetics for a while.”
Nikki has now been fully freelance for 11 years, but starting out wasn’t easy.
“It was very hard and there are no shortcuts, especially at the time before social media was as it is today,” she says. “At first I wasn’t busy at all and made very little money. I used to constantly do shoots for free just to make new contacts and connections and to learn.”
I used to constantly do shoots for free just to make new contacts and connections.
But she would she change a thing? Hell no.
“Makeup is my first love and Instagram followed from that. I tend not to create many looks on myself as I find the faces around me most inspiring. I’m hugely appreciative of the love and support I receive online but I’d definitely still be a makeup artist if social media were to cease to exist.”
A model made her download Instagram
Nikki started her Instagram account around four years ago, with absolutely no plan.
“I was on a shoot and a model asked if I had Instagram”, she says. “When I said ‘no’, she convinced me to download the app, saying that I was already doing the work anyway and all I needed to do was take a picture of it.”
“I am grateful to this day for her words of wisdom!”
Nikki says she has had a pretty steady growth in followers since, with a few spikes every now and then with viral videos, one of which reached 1.5 million views.
Work perks and best bits
Every day is different when you’re a freelance makeup artist and Nikki says she loves the variety.
But her best moment to date? “Probably meeting and doing Tom Jones’ Makeup. He was extremely charming and is my mum’s idol so it made her very proud – she was so excited!”
As for her recent appointment as Global Makeup Artist for Becca Cosmetics, Nikki say the brand has always been her go-to for glowy looks.
“I’ve always adored Becca products and what the brand represents. I genuinely use the products in my kit daily and love the formulations. Therefore, I think the partnership was a natural progression.”
Nikki’s advice to budding makeup artists and influencers..
Not all trained makeup artist can manage to muster a large social media following. Nikki’s advice?
“Don’t get stuck in a rut creating the same looks because they’re what guarantee likes on social media. Try and take inspiration from different things and artists and styles.”
“Learning how to be a great makeup artist is all about experimentation and practice. It’s only makeup and can be easily removed if things so wrong.”
“It’s people that show their own personal style that get noticed in the end.”