My Beauty World: Nikki DeRoest
My Beauty World: Nikki DeRoest

My Beauty World: Nikki DeRoest

If you’re into beauty, chances are you’ve heard of Nikki DeRoest. Artist in residence for Bobbi Brown and make-up artist to A-listers like Hailey Bieber, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and Camila Morrone, her extensive knowledge and keen eye have helped her amass more than 245k followers on Instagram. Here, she shares her earliest beauty memories, desert island essentials and career advice for aspiring artists.
By Rebecca Hull

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Beauty Background

“I was born into beauty; my mother was a hairdresser, so even as an infant, I was fully immersed in that world. I was about 11 when I got my hands on two beauty books, one by Kevyn Aucoin and the other by Bobbi Brown. I knew without a doubt that it was the industry I wanted to be a part of. At 18, I was working in a salon at Nordstrom, as well as on a beauty counter. I then worked solely in a salon in Salt Lake City for ten years before making the move to LA.

Once there, I moved away from hair and I got back into make-up – ultimately, it’s where my passion started. I very slowly built up my clientele, both as an artist and as a consultant, for major beauty brands. The first time I walked into an Estée Lauder lab to consult on lipstick shades, I was told by the chemist I was really good at colour, and I had the best eye she had seen in 20 years. I took this to heart and started working on formulas of my own.”

First Product

“My mum took me to her aesthetician when I was 12 to buy my first skincare products – and some make-up. Cheryl (the aesthetician) formulated her own products and had her own private label brand. She catered them to my young teenage skin and looking back, I’m so grateful I started a routine that early on. It marked my first steps towards becoming a young woman.”

First Beauty Memory

“My first beauty memory is watching my mum cut hair in our house. I loved it. I also remember she had two shelves in her bathroom cupboard full of OPI nail polish. I used to climb onto her bathroom counter every Sunday and explore all the colours, deciding which one to use myself. To me, it was such a treat.”

Career Lessons

“I’m often asked for advice on how to become a make-up artist. Mainly, I recommend staying open, saying yes, and checking your ego at the door. Lead from a place of curiosity, never stop learning, be on time, seek out those you want to be like and tell them – it opens a lot of doors, trust me. It’s also important to take care of yourself physically, spiritually, and mentally. Finally, remember it’s okay to be different to your peers – there is room for everyone.”


Standout Moment

“I have too many career highlights to count. I used to think I was still waiting for ‘the moment’ but recently I’ve realised every single step has been a moment in itself. There are things that are more outwardly recognised – like the Vanity Fair red carpets and the Met Gala, but it’s more about the people you meet, the experiences and connections you’re able to have and the places you get to go. I also love the positive impact you get to have on other people’s lives.”

Memorable Advice

“My mother always taught me to have nicely manicured hands. I’ve never seen my mum without nail polish and it’s something I’ve adopted myself. It’s a classic and simple way to feel pulled together.”

Latest Empty

“The last product I used up was my Nutrafol Scalp Exfoliating Hair Mask and I’ll definitely be buying it again. I am lucky to be sent a lot of make-up and skincare, but haircare is my guilty pleasure. It’s the one thing I buy on repeat. I'm yet to find ‘the ones’ for shampoo and conditioner – I like to switch it up – but this scalp mask is destined to be a repeat purchase."

Most-Used Products

“There isn’t one product I use the most in my kit. A lot of what I do is about layering. If I had to pick one thing, it would be my mini palettes that I have from Artist Kit Company – they are full of my customised favourites and mixtures. The problem is I don’t have them labelled, so often I work by colour, texture and feel – it’s less about the brand.”

Essential Tools

“I have a few tools I am never without. If I want a major lift and a quick fix, I love the Face Gym Pure Lift Face, but it’s not designed to be used daily. I also love the facial roller by Joanna Czech for a quick lift. If you know me, or have followed me for a long time, you’ll know I am a big advocate of LED lights and treatments. My holy grail is the Celluma Pro LED Light – I’ve had it for years. I also just ordered the Lyma Laser which is a major splurge – stayed tuned for my honest thoughts.”


Desert Island Essential

“Sunscreen is the one thing I couldn’t live without – even on a cloudy day. I am on a constant journey of trying to find the perfect one and have tried so many from every brand. The one I always go back to is the Face Reality Mineral Sunscreen which was recommended by my facialist. It’s safe for acne sufferers and works well with other products.”

Top Shelf Heroes

“My top shelf has every single product from Allies of Skin on it – believe the hype, the brand is amazing. It also includes Tower 28’s mascara, Bobbi Brown’s Vitamin Enriched Face Base and Lip Serum, La Mer’s Lip Balm and the iT Cosmetics CC Cream. I love the Loewe candle in ‘Beetroot’ and for my body, I am obsessed with Costa Brazil’s Silky Oil. For my hair, I always buy Kérastase’s Nectar Thermique and I’ve been loving the Shark hairdryer, as well as the Aquis hair turban for speedy drying. Finally, I love MILK Makeup’s Future Fluid Concealer – it’s one of the best I’ve tried.”

Rules To Follow

“It’s important to have an everyday routine. Perfect it and make sure it allows you to be the best version of you. Use that as your baseline. Then, take the time on the weekends or in the evenings to explore or play. That way you can keep it fresh and exciting. Another rule - always wash your make-up off at night.”

Daily Inspiration

“I have too many mentors to count, and I’m grateful to them all. Mostly, I'm inspired by the youth of today – especially those who don’t know too much about the hardships of ‘life’ yet. There is something so beautiful about that raw instinct and intuition that hasn’t been knocked back yet.”

Beauty Shopping

“No matter where I am travelling, I always stop into local pharmacies to check out the beauty products. I like to stock up and learn. In LA, I love Violet Grey and in London it’s always Liberty. The Parisian pharmacies are amazing and it’s the same in Asia – I could spend days just going shop to shop. As far as brands go, I’m always most drawn to those that are made by artists. I find they have the most innovation or thought behind their formulas and textures."


Make-Up Hacks

“Dewy, healthy-looking make-up, it all starts with hydration – you almost want to over hydrate. I use a facial oil as my last step before applying any foundation. Then, I tend to use base formulas with a long-wear or matte finish, so the skincare and hydration peeks through. I also love blusher – no one should underestimate its power. I like to press blusher into the skin instead of just swiping it on. That way it leaves behind a more natural pinch of colour. Another beauty tip I swear by is to apply a second or third coat of mascara to only the tips of your lashes. This helps them to look longer and it’s an easy way to freshen up your look before a night out. Finally, for good feline flicks, try using a gel or kohl pencil. Use one or the other to etch in your shape, then use a small, pointed brush to smooth and blur the edges.”

Go-To Brushes

“I’m always working on my own personal projects, so the brushes I’ve been using lately have been samples from my factory. That said, I love all of Sigma’s brushes, as well as the ones by Rose Inc., Rare Beauty and Sephora Pro.”

Brow Grooming

“Brows are so important. Try filling them in with a finely tipped pencil or pen first, then comb them into place with a clear brow gel. If you don’t need to draw any extra hair in, just use a tinted gel, but make sure it’s a shade lighter than your natural brow colour. I like to start at the tail of the brow and backcomb it in a gel to create more volume and texture. I’ll then smooth them back out with a spoolie.”

Best Skin Tip

“Hydration. The more, the better – even if you are prone to breakouts. I always up the hydration for my clients ahead of big events because it’s much easier to take away excess shine than it is to try to create glow. I like to lather my face in Vaseline as the last step in my night-time skincare routine if there’s an events the next day. If the event is that evening, I’ll keep the layer on during the day. It’s such a good protective barrier for your skin.”

Final Takeaway Tips

“Just because you saw something on TikTok doesn’t mean that it’s a good idea. It also doesn’t mean you need the product – I am a big believer in shopping savvy. Finally, always follow a strict beauty routine. It should go skincare, sunscreen, foundation, concealer, highlighter, bronze and then blush – don’t deviate and always work in thin, light layers.”

Follow @NikkiDeRoest for more beauty tips & tutorials



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