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Beauty Social Star NikkieTutorials on Her New Makeup Line: “I Want To Always Stay True To Who I Am”

When the Dutch beauty YouTuber best known as NikkieTutorials first looked into launching her own beauty brand, she was determined to do it her way. Having previously collabed on products with other brands, and fended off offers from larger beauty groups, she soon became determined to create something that was purely her own vision. Visiting Dubai for the regional launch of her beauty brand, Nimya, landing exclusively at beauty retailer Watsons, the social media star (full name Nikkie de Jager-Drossaers) tells Vogue Arabia that she turned down previous collaboration offers because she wanted to make sure she had full control of the project. “I didn’t want an entire team of people saying what I should do, when I know best. The products I could create needed to be truly me.”

Having self-funded her beauty brand, Nimya, which first launched outside of the Middle East in 2021, de Jager-Drossaers says that her persistence has paid off, with the brand reflecting the products that she wants to use. “Beauty is a very saturated market, there’s a lot of people coming out with brands,” shares de Jager-Drossaers. “Our number one philosophy is that we always want to stay true to who I am, what I believe in. Every product we create is something I truly believe in 100 percent, because it’s all my own money.”

Nimya – its meaning is a secret that de Jager-Drossaers keeps close to her chest – offers an intriguing range of skincare designed to be used in conjunction with makeup, with each product designed to enhance, extend, or support makeup looks – a kind of skincare-makeup hybrid. “For me, I want my products that I wear all day myself to actually benefit me as well,” she explains. “My mom is a skin aesthetician, so I could never come out with something which is harmful to the skin as my mom would kill me.”

She admits that the initial product offering surprised her 16.6 million Instagram followers and 13.9 million YouTube subscribers, with de Jager-Drossaers well-known for her elaborate and colorful eye looks. “I think it’s very expected that whenever people come up with a new brand, they always come out with an eyeshadow palette first, and I don’t want to be predictable. I kind of want to have a plot twist and make people go oh!” But, a full foray into color cosmetics isn’t off the table, with de Jager-Drossaers taking her role as a self-funder entrepreneur seriously.  “People are like ‘when are you coming out with your magical, full coverage foundation?’, she recalls. “I would love to come out with that, but [new formulas] cost so much money. Hopefully some day we do get to that point, but I know right now we can work on products that give you that transformative power, and give you that little piece of Nikkie in your routine. That’s what I’m really proud of.”

The current offering, which covers a priming moisturizer, serum, setting spray, eye stick, and lip products, is well-suited for women in the Middle East, with the formulas created to promote long wear, even in the region’s infamous humidity and heat. De Jager-Drossaers says that she’s excited to see how Nimya is adopted here. “I think what [women in the Middle East] love the most is knowing whatever they put on their skin is good for their skin. And if there’s one thing I can help with, it’s longevity and staying power. When I step outside in the heat here, I know I’m not the only one who wants all that hard work to last.”

Read on for the founder’s thoughts on some of Nimya’s offerings, and a Vogue Arabia exclusive video of NikkieTutorials’ best beauty hacks and tips.

Where It All Starts Cream, AED144

“There isn’t a day that I don’t use Where It All Starts. Usually when you start your base, you have like a primer, a moisturizer, a serum. I was like, can I combine this all into one product? Where It All Starts is a moisturizer and primer hybrid – it took three years to develop. You put it on and it moisturizes the face, it gets rid of any dry patches, but also it leaves a sticky magnet-like layer. So anything you put on top is going to stay on. It makes you look very glowy, very awake, very radiant.”

Spill The Juice! Lipgloss, AED98 each

“I take my lip gloss game very seriously. It has to stay feeling moisturizing as you wear it, it has to hydrate the lips. I’m really picky about my glosses because I need them to have long wear – they stay on for so long, and they hydrate, they moisturize, and they take care of fine lines. After the 2016 matte lip trend after everyone had crusty looking lips, and after going through the pandemic and covering up our lips all the time, I was like we might as well really show them off and catch the light.”

Set It & Forget It Setting Spray, AED120

“A lot of setting sprays that give you longevity have alcohol in them, and that dries you out. So then we found out about PVP [polyvinylpyrrolidone, a bio-gradable, water-binding polymer]! It sounds dramatic, but once you spray it, it kind of creates a layer like a barrier on top of it like a shield, and this will make sure nothing comes out, but nothing goes in either. It really keeps all the oils at bay. I love makeup, I love powder, I love to bake, I love it all. And after doing all those steps, I tend to look a little flat. But our spray just makes skin look like skin again, where it brings back that natural sort of sheen, that radiant shine that makes you look real again. I’m proud of the fact that one, it makes your makeup last in this heat and humidity, and two, it makes it all look a little bit more believable.”

Blow Before You Go Fan, AED72

“When I use a setting spray, I always use a hand fan to dry it, because as soon as you dry it, it locks in all the ingredients and makes sure nothing moves. I feel for a lot of people here in the Middle East, the fan is the hero product because even in this heat here, it keeps you cool. It’s tiny, but it’s super powerful with three different modes. One is very chill, the next is like a good breeze. And the third is like a wind tunnel, full Beyonce moment.”

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