You will never look at your eyeshadow, contour, and lipstick the same way after you meet Nicky Hill—a 27-year-old makeup guru turned SFX fascinator who creates the most trippy optical illusions and transforms herself into any celebrity she wants. The now-professional makeup artist will make you look twice at her hyper-realistic and somewhat hallucinogenic designs and marvel at the spitting images of famous people and film characters. Inspired by her dreams or even getting ideas while walking down the street could explain her art's surreal and hypnotizing nature.
With currently over 11.8k followers on her Instagram account, Nicky’s makeup empire is growing and so is her imagination. Bored Panda got in touch with her and you can read about it below, as well as admire some of the works and let us know your favorites.
With her intricate designs, Nicky proves that the sky’s the limit when it comes to makeup and fantasy. The ‘professional shapeshifter’ has been in the makeup world for the past 7 years and has transformed herself into numerous characters, celebrities, and optical illusions. She told Bored Panda that art has always fascinated her and the creative streak was always there, but she never knew what to do with it even from a young age as ‘makeup art’ wasn’t really a thing. Experimenting on herself later led to making up friends for their nights out, who started complimenting her on her brilliant skills and suggesting that she make a career out of it.
Nicky started as a self-taught makeup artist, gradually incorporating art into her work and using her face as a canvas. The feedback after posting the pictures online was phenomenal and really encouraged her, but it was a trial and error process. "One of my looks went viral 4 years ago, and still, to this day, it is circulating, but unfortunately, because I was young and didn’t know I needed to watermark my work, I never got credit for it. When I say it went viral, I mean like shared by millions of platforms globally and it threw me off massively. I stopped believing in myself and fell off the makeup wagon for a while."
Makeup for Nicky is therapeutic and anything that tricks the mind, making people look twice, is what she is really into and ends up incorporating a lot in the designs. Some of the makeup, such as her Robin Williams transformation, can take as long as 12 hours and requires a lot of concentration for the detailing and shading. Nicky also shared that she often sends her makeup looks to her partner Adam before posting them online. "He is my biggest supporter, and is always messaging people about my work to get my name out there. He will always be honest with me and tell me if he thinks things need anything added—and that really helps me keep my creative flow!" And if you’re curious, Adam does model for makeup sessions and gladly volunteers.
The pandemic and boredom in the lockdown was what reignited her creativity again. The artist started to be inspired and expressive again, which boosted her Instagram followers from 7k to 10k within months. "My looks were being shared again—globally and people were recreating them and crediting me. Made me realize that I do actually have a talent worth sharing!" Once the lockdown restrictions are lifted, Nicky is planning to make herself up as a celebrity (choice number one being Angelina Jolie) and go out in town. In the future, she is hoping to turn posting makeup looks into a full-time career. She does miss her clients and currently is trying to get a job to see her through the current situation. If you’re fascinated by what people using makeup can do, you can also check out some of our other articles here, here, or here.