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Mikayla Nogueira is not your average beauty influencer — and that’s kind of the point. The Massachusetts-based, 23-year-old has recently reached a whopping 8 million followers on her TikTok and 1.2 million on Instagram. Her bold looks are accented by her Boston accent, which has made her all the more endearing to her fans. In every word Nogueira speaks on our Zoom call, her absolute love for makeup oozes through. In June, she launched a palette with Glamlite, her first collaboration. Though she’s not sharing details yet, it’s clear that 2022 will be an even bigger year for her. We spoke with Nogueira about her strict schedule, the indie brands she’s made go viral and her favorite makeup products.
I’ve read you wake up at 7 am to film TikToks — is that still true?
“Yes it is, everyday!”
Why so early?
“Well, I like to have a normal life, where you know you go to work at seven and you’re done at four and then you can spend time with your family for the rest of the day, you know? I’m very scheduled person, but I’ve always been that way.”
How many videos do you film a day?
“Usually between three and six. Today I did three, but I’m gonna do another one after this.”
Wow, does that mean that you have to do a different makeup look for every video?
“Not really, today I did a video about the eyeliner I’m wearing, the lipstick I’m wearing and the blush, so I try to do like the different areas of the face, so that I can do just one look. But yesterday I did two looks. And then right after this, I’m going to film a fashion video, so I try to like get as much done as I can with the look I have on.”
What eyeliner, blush and lipstick were on deck today?
“This is the new Milani matte lipstick in the shade Passion. And this is a PLouise base. It’s like an eyeshadow base, but they come in different shades, so I used one as a blush, just to see. I like how it came out. And then the eyeliner is a viral product that I saw. The video has like 11 million views, I think, and it’s sold out so I decided to buy it. But it’s from an indie brand called Matte Lashes and it’s very good.”
You seem to buy a lot of products, which is surprising because I know that brands want to send them to you?
“I like to support indie brands. I like to buy from indie brands. I find myself every week finding a new indie brand on TikTok. I’ll just buy something just to support them. But also, I don’t know, I find that indie brand products tend to be a lot cooler than like, L’Oréal.”
What are some of the best discoveries you’ve made via TikTok?
“Oh, my gosh, so many. Obviously, I’m primarily a makeup page, so I make a lot of makeup videos and a lot of my videos do go viral. And a lot of the products I talk about, I either try them because they went viral, or I think they have the potential to go viral. And then you know, they often sell out. And it happens very frequently. And I think that’s just the power of TikTok in general. It’s absolutely insane.”
Maybe it’s the power of Mikayla too…
“Maybe, I don’t know, I do think it’s fascinating that people trust me so much and really seek me out for product recommendations and advice. My philosophy in general is just to have the most fun. That’s what I want people to recognize — makeup is just fun, that’s all it is. It’s not that serious. It’s meant to be an art form and you should have fun with it and it’s really it’s not that deep.
In recent months, TikTok has really inspired people to get creative and have fun with makeup again. So when it comes to products that are really grabbing people’s attention on TikTok, I find that it’s the products that are really unique and fun. So like, for instance, I’m doing a series right now about the Makeup My Mario Master Metals Eyeshadow Palette. It’s a really unique, fun, different concept of a product that gets people drawn in. It gets people really interested because it allows people to step out of their comfort zone and have a little bit of a creative edge. And you can do so much with that type of product.
I also completely sold out and broke the website of the Kaima Cosmetics Chameleon Flakes, I did a mini series on those. They’re just these glitters that are very vibrant and sparkly and I think that’s what people want now.”
It seems like you have a sixth sense for what will go viral; how do you know?
“That’s a really good question. I definitely do have like this sense when I start to film a video, like, this might go viral. It just comes down to how different the product is. For instance when the KVD Beauty Good Apple Skin- Perfecting Hydrating Foundation Balm came out, that went extremely viral — probably the most viral foundation TikTok ever saw. It’s in this thin compact, it’s this pressed cream type of product, it’s not your regular foundation in a bottle. People were showing the insane before and afters, and that’s what really draws people, that before and after when you can really see the results of something. TikTok is [about] reviews and makeup videos from ordinary people, regular people and it’s very relatable and different than a Maybelline ad on TV.”
What are your current beauty obsessions?
“Oh my…let me pull up my TikTok account. There’s one that sticks out to me the most, the entire Makeup by Mario line. I’ve fallen in love with it. The contour sticks and the blush sticks are some of my absolute favorites. Any of the Makeup by Mario line I highly, highly recommend. I just tried yesterday the Fenty Diamond Bomb in How Many Carats and that thing is insane. That highlighter is incredible. Then I’m beyond obsessed with the Em Cosmetics So Soft collection that just launched a few weeks ago. I ordered that all myself and I’m floored by the products.”
Em Cosmetics is obviously an influencer-founded brand [by Michelle Phan], do you want to start your own brand?
“When I first started [doing] this and everyone was like ‘Oh do you want do you want to have your own makeup brand?’ I’m like ‘What?! I’m just some random person from the middle of nowhere and you want me to have a makeup line!?’ For me that’s so unreal to think about…but of course now that I’ve really started to accept that this is my career, I’m starting to be more comfortable talking about those kinds of things. Obviously, I did my collaboration with Glamlite, which was extremely successful. I’m so happy I did that, so that was an amazing start for me, for my first collaboration ever to be with Glamlite. I think that was a really good route for me to take. But there are absolutely things coming that I’m really really excited about that I think a lot of people are going to love. I just really look forward to next year.”
Do you worry about how crowded the influencer beauty space is?
“Well, that’s why I honestly wasn’t even going to bother with this career to begin with. I wasn’t even going to try because it is so crowded and I didn’t think I would be relevant in any way. So, I’m glad I took the shot, but I think it’s so insane how many brands, how many products, how many beauty influencers there are. It’s a lot. I’m very much a stay-in-my-lane person. I’m very to myself. I just make my videos and try to keep it real, I try to keep it 100 with myself.”