The Expert

Nikki DeRoest

Meet makeup magician to the stars, Nikki DeRoest. Learn from the best: the inspirational entrepreneur offers Luminaire a fail-safe guide to the ultimate daytime look for spring 2022, skincare included!


Nikki's makeup for Kate Bosworth at the LA premiere for 'Along For The Ride'

@nikkideroest // Instagram

You were practically born into the world of beauty. What was it about hair and, particularly makeup, that captured you at a young age?

Honestly, it was all I ever knew. My mum was a hairdresser. We had a salon in the basement, and my mum would sit me on the client's knee while she worked. It’s almost like I couldn’t help but go into beauty. I was always the girl in school cutting or styling my friends' hair. In games, I was never an athlete, I was always the team manager, braiding hair for volleyball. First, I trained as a hairdresser, doing an apprenticeship alongside my job working in the makeup department at Nordstrom and later moved to LA, where I was mentored by hair stylist and creative director, Howard McLaren. We’d do photo shoots, and I’d always be pulled in to do the makeup. I began building up my kit, started to advertise the service, and committed to makeup. But, it’s so helpful to be comfortable with both.

Your changemaking moments?

The first time I worked with Rosie Huntington-Whiteley - that was a big moment for me. We really clicked from the moment we met. After that, there was a real momentum, as younger models like Bella Hadid and Hailey Bieber look to Rosie to see who she’s working with, and typically want the same. She can make people’s careers. She’s a muse. Another gamechanger was my first magazine cover with Behati Prinsloo. Then the awards shows are always special. The Vanity Fair red carpet with Rosie, the Met gala with Emma Roberts. I also did several events with Phoebe Waller-Bridge, and I respect her work. She thanked me for contouring in one of her acceptance speeches - ‘I’d like to thank my makeup artist for giving me these abs that I don’t have!’ The other pivotal point was when I got my first contract and it was with Bare Minerals which opened up incredible opportunities, travelling the world and teaching other makeup artists, consumers and influencers.

Kaia Gerber's Oscars look by Nikki

@nikkideroest // Instagram

Nikki creating Rosie's look

@nikkideroest // Instagram

What’s your process?

For me, it's always skin first - coverage if you need it but not looking or feeling like you’ve got a ton of makeup on. It’s a balance. I also like to choose between a cool eye or a bold lip - I don’t like to do “big” everywhere, blinding with makeup! And even with that made-up eye, it has a softness and a lived in feel so that it’s enhancing not distracting. I'm also known for full and textured eyebrows.

How do you prep skin?

I try to get my clients skin perfected without me, as well as with and often recommend Allies of Skin and I now work closely with the founder on a daily skincare routine that will create a lovely canvas.

Who is in your expert circle?

For monthly maintenance, I see a facialist in LA called Goddess Lynne at her little spa, Goddess Lynne Body and Skin. For a red carpet pre-facial, I’d always go to Joanna Czech who is incredible. And you also just want to hang out with her - she’s very cool.

What does beauty mean to you?

Being in my late 30s, it's about acceptance and embracing yourself whereas in your 20s it's about a little crazy experimentation. But beauty is so personal whether it's a full face of makeup or naked. The older we get, the more we come to that space of recognition. Like I love bangs on other people but every time I cut them on myself I'm like ‘why did I do this?’ It’s not my look.

Nikki at Palm Heights in Grand Cayman

@nikkideroest // Instagram

Nikki in LA

@nikkideroest // Instagram

What one piece of advice would you give your 18-year-old self?

I'm happy that I did it all. When I first moved to LA and started working with Howard McLaren, I had this great copper hair with a crazy cut. Howard looked at me and said ‘you look like a hairdresser. Grow your hair and wear your natural colour.’ But I would say try everything because you only live through experience.

You’ve built an amazing social community through inspiring, and sharing your beauty ideas. What does that community mean to you?

I see It is a big opportunity to teach people and share. And that’s my “why” behind this all - that’s the gift I can give. Feeling good translates into everything else you’re doing.

The latest addition to your kit?

New Chanel foundations - they’re serum-based, and really beautiful, giving a glowy second skin. I like to keep three different types: Giorgio Armani Power Fabric Foundation for a velvet matte finish and Surratt Dew Drop Foundation for a sheer finish.

Who influences you?

My muses are all my friends! Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Behati Prinsloo - she emulates this rocker hippie with her looks and always blows me away. Hailey Bieber has incredible style. She’s very into really fresh, beautiful skin. I’m also inspired by Kate Moss and her ad campaigns - Helmut Lang, Jil Sander, Tom Ford when Tom Ford was risque, Gucci, and Celine.

Nikki with Hailey Bieber

@nikkideroest // Instagram


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