Nikki DeRoest, aka the celebrity makeup artist responsible for creating the glowy complexions of Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Bella Hadid, and Hailey Bieber, has the most effortless approach to achieving “minimal glamour” — so simple, she has this beauty writer changing her makeup routine completely. Best known for her signature high-glow, radiant looks, the Global Makeup Artist for bareMinerals says the secret is to keep things simple. “Makeup is a beautiful tool to make you look and feel like the best version of yourself. It’s simply an accessory,” she says.
And since we’re all coveting that Insta-worthy makeup look, we caught up with DeRoest to figure out how she successfully nails this look every time (even on herself!).
The glow you create is very high in shine, but how do you make it look so believable?
I err to the side of using liquid highlighters or creams because I feel they’re a lot more natural and the moisture from them also helps give you the best reflection. I always apply with my fingers and really press into the skin. I kind of do a “C” shape starting at the points of the cheekbones and take it all the way up about the mid-point of the eyebrow.
What foundations do you think works best for this look?
I like the Complexion Rescue Foundation Stick ($40). But if an occasion calls for more coverage and long-wear, I love the BarePro Foundation ($42) because it does give a really natural finish — it looks just like skin— and it’s very flawless.
What are the key pieces that bring success to your signature glowy complexion?
For me, it’s all about the prep before any foundation is applied. If your skin is not exfoliated or hydrated, basically any makeup you put on isn’t going to look pretty. It’s going to look dry or uneven. I really am passionate about everything you do before or actually use makeup —basically getting to the point where makeup is an accessory. You don’t really have to have it.
So what skincare products do you always pack in your beauty kits?
I am crazy for the Skinlongevity Serum from bareMinerals ($60) and I use that day and night on myself (even on the plane) and on my clients. It’s great to use even as a refresher in the middle of the day, so that is kind of a no compromise for me, I always have to have that. I love any sort of oils, but they have to be clean, natural and organic for me to use them. I usually mix an oil in with any sort of moisturizer that I’m using — like two or three drops.
What started your journey with this look in particular?
I think with anything in life, you kind of attract like-minded people and usually, especially if they’re new clients, they’ll be like, “I want my makeup to look like yours.” I do kind of do tend to create similar looks that I do on myself which is kind of funny.
What other looks have your clients been requesting?
I’m getting a lot of requests for anything ‘09s-inspired, which I love because those were the icons and supermodels when I was a kid, so that’s always fun to recreate. Definitely going back to glossy lips is major. I actually love using the Gen Nude Lip Glosses ($23) especially for that ’90s look because their nudes are better than any that I’ve seen as far as shade ranges go. I’m so over really, really over dry looking lips.
How do you come up with each celebrity look?
It’s a little bit of a combination. If I know who I’m going to be working with, I definitely study before I go. I’ll look at their past red carpet looks just so I can get an idea of how they photograph on the carpet to figure out what I want to emphasize. I start there, and I always have to see what they’re wearing before I even start with makeup. Usually, I consult with the hairdresser as well because, at the end of the day between styling, hair and makeup, it all need to be cohesive. Sometimes, they have an idea of what they what. Like Rosie very much knows usually what she wants. With others, you kind of have to discuss it and pull some inspiration photos and kind of go from there. I’m really collaborative. For me, I’m not the person walking out on the red carpet, so I’m always going to make sure they feel good and kind of lead the ship.