We were incredibly excited to meet Nikki Phillippi at Beautycon NYC because, let's be honest, we had been fangirling pretty hard up until that moment. Not only does she have some of the best and simplest beauty/fashion hacks around, we love, love, love getting to watch her experiment with her hair while learning about her day-to-day life (her and her husband truly are #relationshipgoals). When we finally got to sit down with her, we were so ready to learn all of her beauty secrets.
As you can imagine, Nikki is just as sweet and bubbly as she is on her channel. Talking with her is like talking to your makeup-savvy best friend with the to-die-for tousled locks, and needless to say, the girl crush is so real.
Luckily, through all of our gushing over her general adorableness, and how nice it was that her husband accompanied her to Beautycon (have we mentioned that they really are so perfect together?), she was able to share some of her mystical Nikki-esque beauty wisdom that we are already trying to perfect. Her first note? What she absolutely must have for fall.
"What I'm really obsessed with for fall is the Tarte matte LipSurgence pencil in the color Envy. It's a deep, rosy-like neutral, with almost a tan/beige color. It's like my lips but better," she explained. "And then the cat eye, gotta have the cat eye. I don't vary up my makeup that much for seasons, maybe add like a berry lip for the fall. But I'm a big fan of cat eyes all year round."
Yes, cat eyes forever, Nikki! Nothing says timeless perfection like the cat eye, and she was totally rocking it. Tarte's matte LipSurgence pencil in Envy ($24, Tarte)? Well, we are putting that on our lists.
When watching Nikki's videos, we also couldn't help but notice that the beauty blogger is a big fan of light contouring as a more simple, everyday look. With contouring being considered such an intense, face-reshaping à la the Kardashians, we were curious how Nikki keeps it more casual.
"I am so fair, and for me personally, I don't like the look of a harsh a contour, so it's just like it sounds. I go really light with it," she said. "A little under the cheeks, a little on the nose, down the neck and right around the nose, and I use a really light hand and then blend it out with a stippling brush."
To achieve the light contour look, Nikki swears by Benefit's Hoola Bronzer ($28, Ulta), a product we noticed a lot of beauty bloggers use.
Beyond the light contouring, she also had some great advice on steps most of us are missing in our beauty routines. According to Nikki, there are two major additions we should be considering: retinal products and primer.
"Retinal products...they are such a game changer. Retinal is just Vitamin A, but concentrated, so when you apply it to your skin it causes your cell turn over to speed up, and you exfoliate better. It helps acne scaring, fine lines and wrinkles and all of that," she said. "And then with makeup a primer. A primer does miracles. It makes your makeup set so much more smoothly and stay so much longer."
Nikki's a Tarte girl when it comes to her primers, but she recently started using Smashbox's Photo Finish Color Correcting Green primer ($39, Sephora) because green is a good corrector for redness.
After hearing so many of her pro-tips, we couldn't help but wonder what made Nikki decide to start making vlogs for YouTube (though we are so thankful she did). And in classic Nikki fashion, her answer was equal parts funny, endearing and all-around awesome.
"I always tell people that I sound crazy, and it takes the question way deeper, and if you're not religious, it sounds kind of crazy, but I literally woke up one morning and felt like God was telling me to get on YouTube. And I was like, 'To look up cat videos? What am I doing on YouTube?' and then I discovered the beauty community," she told us. After several moments of uploading and taking down some of her first beauty videos, Nikki started vlogging, and never turned back.
"As far as all the viewers, it's always been a goal, but it's surreal. You meet people and it's like, 'These people know who I am?' It's really crazy."
Despite having over 1 million subscribers on YouTube, Nikki remains super down to earth and thankful to all of her fans. One of the ways she loves reaching out is by adding uplifting quotes to the end of her videos that she hopes will make her viewers happy and inspire them to realize their own beauty, inside and out - and we absolutely love her for that!