Nicole 'Pinky' Thompson

Just Jump In ~ Celebrity Makeup Artist Nicole ‘Pinky’ Thompson Shares her Secrets to Success

Nicole ‘Pinky’ Thompson is one of Australia’s leading makeup artists, Global Senior Artist for M.A.C cosmetics and the Author of her debut makeup book ‘Making It Up‘ – Make Up Minus the Rules.

I recently attended one of Nicole’s makeup masterclasses, a wonderful makeup artist with such a fun, caring and down to earth Nature. Nicole kindly agreed to squeeze an interview with me into her busy schedule and share her secrets to success in the industry…

The makeup industry is a very competitive industry, what do you feel has enabled you to become such a strong leader in this field?

Wow, so nice. 

It sure is competitive, and more so now with the change in the Beauty industry following the rise of Social media.

I believe I have been able to stay ahead with seemingly traditional methods- 

Being nice, positive and a hard worker. 

I have been very fortunate to have been aligned with a Brand like MAC at the forefront of the Beauty and fashion industry, which has presented many opportunities to throw myself into the unknown. 

I am a firm believer of, saying yes with confidence, then figuring out the detail and scary bits afterwards! They are never as scary as they seem. 

You are known for your distinct sense of style. In your new book ‘Making It Up’ you talk about how this strengthened you as a person, can you tell us more about this?

My timing for pink hair was good. All by chance! Pink and colour was always something I loved to surround myself with, I never guessed it would be how I am known in the industry, and I am completely fine with that! 

My style has put me in front of many challenges; the biggest one has been changing people’s perception of me, and what I can do. It’s always easier to look back on those challenges than it is when you are going through them. 

It made me work harder, made me want to prove myself. I am thankful I pushed through, now I can look back on it and laugh!

Were there any specific strategies you used in moments of doubt to keep pushing forward?

No, I am always making it up as I go along, hence the title for my book. 

I would really like to say it was something specific, but in reality it was my survival skills in the industry. So similar to the survival skills we need to get through adolescence.

I try to brush things off and look at the positive things and be grateful. Gratitude is a strong survival technique  I am mastering. When you focus on the good things in your life it becomes easier to brush off the bad. 

Are there any particular people you look up to as leaders who have inspired you along the way?

Yes! So many! 

I can be specific with 2. 

Leaders come in many forms, they don’t always have to be “superior” or a “manager”

Val Garland has been a person I have looked up to for many years as a leader.

Superficially from a far- admiring her work. Then in real life working on her shows and shoots over the years and she has inspired me to no end.

She has inspired me as a person who  went through many looks herself, some crazy some not- but her personal expression never hindered her career and I am inspired by that. I am inspired by the way she makes people around her feel and how she pushes people to be their best. 

My Husband has been a luge leader in my life! 

We have supported each other for 15 years and he has inspired me with his belief of me and what I can do. 

There is NO WAY I would be where I am at today without his encouragement to just jump in, to go just for it, and to remember how good I am at what I do when I am feeling down. He has inspired me to want to do that for other people!

In what ways do they continue to inspire you?

All of the above!

What are your next big goals?

Good question!

After writing the book and seeing that come to life in such a great way- it was a bit of a shock at the beginning of this year to not be run off my feet crazy busy like the previous year. 

Right now I am focusing on planning what’s next for me. 

I feel like I am always running, so it is nice to take a moment to smell the roses and make a plan. 

The head of my Agency said to me “don’t look at the big picture it will just freak you out” and she was so right. 

I always want to go big! Sometimes we need to take one step at a time to get to the BIG. 

Are there any particular strategies you use to achieve your dreams and goals?

Exactly as above. 

Small steps. 

I like to start at the end result of what I want, then work backwards from there, breaking it down.

The big picture seems unachievable and scary, when we break it down and feel ready- we can do it!

What would you say to anyone doubting their ability to achieve their own dreams of success?

Just jump in. 

Sometimes it’s better not to think, but to feel. 

Even if it is a mistake it’s ok, you learn from a mistake and you won’t make it again.

Stop making excuses, stop looking at everyone else and JUST DO IT. 

Thank you so much for sharing your wonderful secrets to success Nicole. You are a wonderful inspiration to everyone – really embracing who you are, grabbing life with both hands a creating a life you love!

Emily-Rose Braithwaite ~ Life Coach

Nicole’s book – ‘Making It Up

Featured photograph by Steven Popovich

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