Beauty Crew book club: Making It Up

Beauty Crew Book Club: Making It Up

From one of Australia’s leading makeup artists

In the beauty industry, there are makeup artists and there are makeup maestros. Nicole Thompson, also known as Pinkiiieee, falls in the latter category. She is one of the most well-known and respected makeup figures simply because she’s really, really good at what she does. Currently, she’s the Global Senior Artist for MAC, and her talent doesn’t just stop at creating editorial looks or dolling up models for advertising campaigns; she also gets to fly around the world and work on the biggest fashion shows in the world, for top designers like Giambattista Valli, Kenzo and Jeremy Scott.

As for her latest adventure, she’s launched her very first book called Making It Up, which covers off a comprehensive list of makeup tips and tricks that she’s picked up during her momentous career so far. Here, she exclusively shares the craziest thing that’s happened to her during her career, her favourite products that she always has in her kit, and more.

On where she learned about makeup… 
“I attended ACMUSE (Australian College of Make Up and Special Effects) in Sydney with dreams of becoming a special effects artist on movies, but on my way I stumbled across fashion - and then my path was set!”

On who she assisted at the beginning of her career…
“I assisted anyone and everyone in my early days and took a little bit away from each opportunity. Sometimes it was what to do and sometimes it was what not to do - but in both cases it was valuable. I’ve been fortunate to work on International Fashion Week for a number of years also, so working with people like Val Garland, Terry Barber and Tom Pecheux have been crucial to my development. We are never too old or experienced to stop learning!”

On the craziest thing that’s ever happened to her on a job… 
“Fashion brand Ksubi were shooting a new campaign in the early 2000s and I was asked to be part of the team. They were launching a new sunglasses range and chose a unique way to showcase them. We body-painted penises into different characters that incorporated the glasses. I’ll let your imagination work out the rest!”

On the standout moment in her career…
“My first fashion week in Paris was pretty incredible as it was my biggest goal when I started in makeup. But right next to that is publishing my book Making It Up. I’m so proud of it and ecstatic that I have been given the chance to share the colourful musings in my mind on paper!”

On the biggest misconception about her job as a makeup artist… 
“The biggest misconception about makeup is that it’s just about makeup. You may be a great artist but if you are not someone people like to work with, good luck getting work. Making a good connection and being kind has got me as much work as my makeup brushes have - I never underestimate that.”

On the best accidental discovery she made on a job…
“My best accidental discovery would be that the second time applying a lash always works. I was wrestling with a lash one day with tears coming down my face. As I resigned myself to having to reapply them, the glue dried slightly making it tacky, which saw them attach perfectly the second time around. Keep that in mind whenever you are applying a lash - don’t battle for too long, just take it off and start over.”

On the products we’ll always find in her kit…
“A full coverage foundation (such as MAC Studio Fix Fluid SPF 15) that I can mix with other products to create new looks - but most importantly, deliver flawless skin. A candy pink lipstick (like MAC Amplified Lipstick in Saint Germain) to use for lips and cheeks. An eyelash curler (such as MAC Full Lash Curler), because there is no use applying mascara to a lash that it is going down over your eyes. Shimmer powder highlighter because a) shiny skin is in, and b) a bit of sparkle makes everything better. An eyebrow pencil because brows give our face shape and definition (on a personal note though, without it no one knows what mood I’m in!).”

MAC Studio Fix Fluid SPF 15

MAC Amplified Lipstick in Saint Germain

MAC Full Lash Curler

On why she wanted to launch her own book…
“I’m all about paying it forward and I wanted to share the different things I have learned throughout my career to others - so they don’t need to make the mistakes I already have! I also wanted a beauty book that reflected a diverse view of beauty, whichever race, age or gender you might be.”


Making It Up by Nicole Thompson, published by New Holland Publishers, RRP $49.99. Purchase your copy here.

What’s the best makeup tip you’ve ever learnt? Tell us in the comments below.

Iantha is BEAUTYcrew's Beauty Editor, and has been part of the team since the site launched in 2016. Besides pinot noir, she has a healthy obsession with fake tan smell, wispy false lashes and CND Shellac in the shade Romantique. Her words and styling can also be found in previous issues of SHOP Til You Drop, Cosmopolitan and Women’s Health.