Nikkia Joy: The insider story from a top beauty vlogger
Funny, relatable, and just a “joy” to be around (see what we did there), Nikkia Joy is among the talented brew of Australian beauty vloggers making a name for themselves across the globe. And while the last couple of years has seen her gathering a strong tribe of followers locally, this year really saw Nikkia hit the international stage when M.A.C picked her as one of its 10 global beauty influencers to create their own lipstick for the brand. Game. Changer.
After many months of patiently waiting to take a look at her lippie, Nikkia’s lipstick has finally hit the shelves in Australia this week – and let us tell you, it’s a goodie. But for those who don’t just want to take our word for it, you can find out for yourself from the creator herself – with Nikkia holding M.A.C technique classes and meet-and-greet sessions across Sydney and Melbourne over the next month (see below for a list of exact dates).
On the back of the launch and roadshow, we chat to Nikkia about everything from how she got her start in vlogging, to bloopers, to what’s coming up next – plus we go behind-the-scenes of her recent trip with M.A.C to Canada…
You’ve been a beauty vlogger since December 2014. What first got you started in this area?
It was actually a total accident that I fell into vlogging! Working as a makeup artist, I had a lot of clients asking me to teach lessons – but due to working/studying full-time, I just didn’t have the time. I remember one client asked me to film a ‘virtual lesson’ so they could all watch it, and after posting that video to YouTube, I was shocked by the response – it wasn’t just my clients watching the video, it was people all around the world!
Vlogging is such a big thing these days. Do you think it helped with your success that you jumped in a bit earlier?
I actually started a little later than most of the well-known vloggers, so it was quite hard to crack an already saturated market. As a result, my audience growth was quite slow in the beginning – staying motivated and persistent with regular content really helped.
You had a background in paramedics and nursing. Why the switch to makeup?
Yes, most people don’t actually know this about me – and are quite shocked when they find out! I’ve always had a passion for helping people and what I do now is the same thing but in a different avenue.
Did you do any makeup training or have your skills been learnt on-the-go?
I have done multiple workshops and short courses but I really do believe that makeup is art – if you are artistic, creative and skilled at painting/drawing – makeup will come easily!
What do you think it is about your channel that has seen it gain such traction in a saturated market?
I think it helps that I am a totally normal and relatable person. I have problem skin, I have days when I have acne and puffy eyes and everything else that comes with being a woman! Rather than trying to hide it, I am very open with my subscribers and we just have a laugh about it and move on.
Is it hard to have honest chats with readers while doing your makeup on camera?
It was at the start – I used to be so awkward in front of the camera and it is so cringe worthy for me to go back and watch my original videos, I just seem like a completely different person! It’s definitely something that you develop over time and after doing it for three years, I now feel completely at home in front of a camera.
Do you have any bloopers?
Haha, yes!! It’s always hilarious editing the videos and seeing all the bloopers – you sometimes say some really weird things when you have been talking to a camera for hours!
We love how professional your videos look – has it taken a while for you to hone your filming skills?
Thank you so much! It has taken me a long time to get them looking how they do now. It’s been a constant learning and upgrading process and it’s nice to know that it’s paid off. Lighting is everything when it comes to videos – it sounds crazy, but I use eight separate lights when I film!
What other equipment do you use to film a video?
I film on a Canon DSLR camera (and trust me learning how to use ‘the beast’ has not been easy!) plus a lot of lighting, tripods etc. Most of the hard work occurs post production with editing, colour correcting, metadata etc.
How long does it typically take?
Usually around 2 hours to film (it can be longer depending on the video) and then it can sometimes take 3-4 hours to edit. After that, I upload the content which is usually another hour and then thumbnail editing, description bars, metadata and so on. It is actually quite a lengthy process!
Are you a full-time influencer or do you still do some MUA gigs?
I still do the occasional wedding here and there – but I have stopped most of my freelance work. It’s not that I don’t love it, I just don’t have enough hours in the day to get everything done!
Have you had any terrifying moments since starting out as a vlogger?
It would probably be fair to say that most moments are terrifying, haha! Publicly putting yourself out there on such a large scale is terrifying all on its own. I love what I do though and I love learning to tackle the challenges that it brings.
What has been the biggest ‘pinch me’ moment in your career to date?
Definitely my collaboration with MAC! I still cannot believe that I am lucky enough to have such an amazing opportunity and work with a incredible brand that has played such a huge role in my creative career. It’s truly a dream come true!
What was it like when you heard you’d been tapped by M.A.C to be one of their global influencers to launch a lipstick?
It was like being given the biggest compliment you can possibly imagine! I couldn’t believe it – I still can’t believe it. Some days I still think to myself is this really happening?!
Can you talk to me about the experience of heading to Canada with M.A.C to meet the other influencers and create your lipstick?
It was nothing short of amazing! I had the absolute time of my life. Seeing the labs and what goes on behind-the-scenes of creating cosmetics was really fascinating. We always buy these beautiful products and never actually stop and think what goes into producing them. I have a whole new appreciation for brands and products after seeing what goes into it.
How long were you developing your lipstick for?
I had a few months to really think hard about what colour and finish I wanted to produce. The physical shade mixing and selection only took one day in the lab.
What was it like meeting the other bloggers?
It was so much fun! I had actually already met and spoken with a couple of them before so it was great to catch-up.
Who did you get on best with?
I like to think I’m a pretty social person and that I get on well with everyone! I spent most of my time with the US influencers Gabriel Zamora and Laura Lee though – it was like we had been besties for years!
And tell me, how did you choose your lipstick’s formulation and colour?
I wanted to create something that anyone could wear without having to think too much about it – a reliable lipstick that always looks good with any outfit, any skin tone and any makeup look!
Are you excited to be launching it across Australia?
I am so excited! I can’t wait for everyone to actually be able to get their hands on it and play with it! I’ve had my samples since January, so I have been wearing it literally every day!
Do you think you’re going to get into further product development?
I would love to! I actually have my own line of false lashes launching very soon – this has been another huge passion project that I have been working on for over a year. It takes a long time to get things perfect! If anyone is interested they can follow our Instagram account @nikkiajoycosmetics for launch updates!
And lastly, what’s next for you and the Nikkia Joy channel?
Every day feels like a new adventure, I absolutely love what I do and I’m going to continue working hard on producing new fun content and we will see what the future holds for me… 🙂
For those wishing to meet Nikkia in person, her roadshow dates include:
Thursday, May 25: M.A.C Technique class and meet and greet in Myer Sydney City
Saturday, 27 May: M.A.C Technique class and meet and greet in Myer Parramatta
Thursday, 1 June: M.A.C Technique class and meet and greet in Myer Fountaingate (VIC)
Saturday, 3 June: M.A.C Technique class and meet and greet in Myer Chadstone
Sunday, 4 June: M.A.C Technique class and meet and greet in Myer Melbourne
Saturday, 17 June: M.A.C Technique class and meet and greet in David Jones Pacific Fair
Tickets to the M.A.C Technique classes are full redeemable on product and the first 50 customers to buy a lipstick at her instore appearances will receive a Boldly Bare lip pencil free. The classes will see Nikkia teach tricks and tips to create the perfect smoky eye.
Article created in partnership with M.A.C.