I stumbled on Nikkie de Jager, or Nikkie Tutorials as she’s known online, through a random Pinterest link with suggestions for New Years Eve makeup ideas. Nikkie’s face was beautiful, glowy, and so fierce, that I immediately clicked on her video. With that one click, the internet grabbed me by the hand and pulled me in deep.
I emerged a few hours and many videos later, hypnotized by the incredible transformations and weirdly soothing rhythm that is Nikkie’s makeup tutorials.
I’ve heard of people having insatiable appetites for YouTube videos. Some like the niche things, haul videos or whisper show-and-tells (seriously, those are real), but most of the popular videos on YouTube for women are makeup how-to’s. And let me tell you, Nikkie’s tutorials are the holy grail of makeup how-to’s.
Every video has a clever theme, be it her latest 50 Shades Darker look to celebrate the upcoming movie, reviews of recently released products, or her ANTI-Valentine’s tutorial for people who are single and a tad angry about it. Uploads are professionally filmed and edited, include close ups, voice-over descriptions and product lists. Each look is thorough, colorful, creative, and different from every other one she’s done. Just as products improve over time, Nikkie’s style has evolved through her videos, so expect each one to be different.
My personal favorites are challenges, like doing her face using only kid’s makeup, or sharing the caked on way she did her makeup in high school, as those tend to be the silliest and most entertaining. Nikkie also makes a lot of fun of the complicated and clickbait makeup techniques found on Pinterest and Instagram, which, for us non-contouring/light-makeup-using ladies, is refreshing and encouraging.
You wouldn’t know it by her near perfect American accent, but Nikkie is Dutch and lives in the Netherlands. At 6”2’ and robust, she struggled to fit in as a teenage, and was bullied by her peers. Looking for a way to escape, Nikkie grabbed her mother’s video camera, balanced it on a cardboard box while doing her makeup and then posted her first video to YouTube. That was EIGHT YEARS ago, and since then she’s kept her commitment to releasing a new video every week. Now at 22-years-young she has more than 6 MILLION followers on YouTube and over a thousand makeup tutorials. Pretty incredible!
What do I admire most about Nikkie? Well, aside from being hilarious, she’s so upbeat that her positivity is infectious. She is thrilled by a creamy highlighter placed on her cheekbone so much, that I get joy from it too. She can talk at length about the products she uses, what she likes about them, all while making you laugh. I especially love when she coos over a beautiful lipstick.
She’s not afraid to be herself, as outrageous and unfiltered as that may be.
And, Nikkie is brave.
Though I don’t wear much makeup, I have never shared a photo of myself without a stitch of it on. The internet is a scary place full of cruel criticism and with my own fears of judgement of not being seen as good-looking, I choose to hide behind that under-eye concealer. But not Nikkie. There she is at the start of every makeup tutorial, barefaced, red skinned, looking exactly like she does in the morning. I’d like to be that fearless.
Despite being a YouTube success story, she is in no way immune to awful comments. Just take a scroll on any one of her videos and you can see some of the worst kinds of criticism. But it doesn’t stop her from continuing to thrive. Being able to be yourself, in front of the world like that is awesome and inspiring, and I love her all the more for it.
Nikkie is clearly a very talented makeup artist, but I think that’s not really the secret to her success. She’s open on camera, funny, creative, and aside from making videos that are deeply entertaining, she is trying to make makeup fun for the audience. It’s a passion for her, and she wants everyone who watches her videos to experiment, have fun, but most of all find joy in makeup.
Personally, I’m not a fan of the flawless, contoured makeup look, but if there’s anyone who could convince me otherwise, it’s Nikkie de Jager and her pillowy matte red lips.
If you have only time for one of her videos, be sure to watch the one below, and check out her YouTube channel, Nikkie Tutorials. Shall I give one of her lessons a try?
Screenshots and videos courtesy of Nikkie de Jager.