If you are one of Nick Barose’s Instagram followers, you’ll know that this makeup pro loves to reference glamorous idols from the past, doesn’t hold back when poking fun at snobs and wannabes, and has a fierce fashion sense (with an accessory for each occasion). It’s no wonder he left his native Thailand in the ‘90s to study environmental design at Parsons School of Design in N.Y.C. But a deep-seated love of makeup artistry nagged him to switch gears, which led him to begin assisting the legendary Kevyn Aucoin.
It wasn’t long before Barose made a name for himself, using his talent to make each look unique and completely suitable for each client, outfit, and event. He has traveled the world with Lupita Nyong’o and frequently works with Rachel Weisz and Gugu Mbatha-Raw, to name a few. So how does this hard working pro use his precious downtime? Creatively, of course.
In our new series, “A Perfect Sunday,” we spotlight our favorite tastemakers and their ideal Sunday vibe, life advice, and beauty and style must-haves. Here, Nick Barose shares his routine.
“Sunday can be quite a myth because often times I work or travel. But when I have a day off in my own bed in N.Y.C., I love waking up with no alarm, though my body clock always gets me up before 7:00 a.m. anyway. I make a large pot of strong coffee (usually Cafe Bustelo) and have some super-chill music to wake up to, like Cafe de Anatolia, Cafe del Mar, Bob Marley, and Earth, Wind and Fire. Or some classical music from my part of the world, like Balinese music — it makes me think of Southeast Asia while I’m in N.Y.C. For breakfast, I’m a creature of habit and I try to go with quick and simple, so it’s usually oatmeal with soy or almond milk, banana, and berries.”
“I usually buzz my head once a week. After that and a shower, I usually massage my scalp with Sunday Riley Clean Rinse Scalp Serum. I also have my at-home spa day by scrubbing with Sunday Riley Charcoal Smoothie. This is also the day I do my mani-pedi. As a makeup artist, I keep my nails short and take care of them by using my friend Deborah Lippmann’s Cuticle Oil.”
“I try not to do any work-related things, like cleaning my brushes, organizing my makeup kit, or reading about fashion, beauty, or entertainment news. I love finding great, random documentaries from around the world on YouTube. It’s such a great way to get unique, new inspirations and world perspectives to keep fresh and away from the endless cycle of the same entertainment and fashion news bombarding us online and social media. I also love to garden on my balcony when it’s warm out. Right now, I have an orchids hobby that I’m really good at. I collect beautiful orchids native to Asia that I buy on Etsy or from different nurseries. Etsy is also my favorite activity on Sunday — to look for new orchids. I also make my own fertilizer for them and have quite a high success rate for making them bloom, even the rare ones that people warned me cannot bloom in N.Y.C.”
“I love having lunch on my balcony in the sun. If I’m not too tired, one of my favorite things to do is try a new recipe from YouTube. I recently made chicken tikka masala and it came out really good.”
“I like to play in my closet. I collect a lot of fun vintage from Gianni Versace, Jean Paul Gaultier, Giorgio Armani, and Thierry Mugler, as well as other fun random great finds from around the world. I like to have a little fitting of my own so I can plan a few looks with my clothes, shoes, bags, hats, etc. It’s also a fun way to get rid of stuff in my closet that I don’t need.”
“Since my job is so social, I really try to keep Sunday to myself. I enjoy solitude on Sunday. It’s usually a Seamless order and movie streaming night for me.”
“I swear by my Dr. Arrivo Ghost Premium. I love spending 15 minutes on it and it really helps my face a lot, especially when I’ve had a hard week with too many early call times, long hours, and travel. I love my satin pillow cases and sleeping mask. My mom uses them and she turned me on to them. Now I travel with my satin pillow case when I go to hotels and it helps a lot. At home, I try not to stay up too late and I’m usually passed out by 11:00 p.m.”
What’s a great piece of advice one of your clients has given you?
“Kim Cattrall showed me that you have to fight for a personal life outside of work. This industry can be crazy and you end up traveling, working long hours, and you’re always socializing with people you work with. Often, you see them more than your friends and family. My family lives in Bangkok and L.A., so I make sure to talk to them often — they keep me sane.”
What’s one of your career highs?
“Getting to experience the Oscars with Lupita Nyong’o in 2014, the year she won for Best Supporting Actress. It was unreal and magical.”
What are some of your beauty must-haves?
“I started using Sunday Riley Auto Correct Eye Cream this year and love how it helps de-puff and brighten my under eyes. It’s my essential for long flights, worn under my sleeping mask. Armani Luminous Silk Concealer is kind of my two-in-one when I travel. I use it under eyes as well as spot coverage for the rest of the face to even out my complexion. It looks so natural. I have dark hair but as I age, I feel like my brows have faded so I usually like to make them darker for definition with Glossier Boy Brow. I use it on my mustache, too. It brings out my features more, especially in photos. I have an oily T-Zone, so Lancome Prep and Matte Primer really helps keep my skin looking polished, not shiny and just the right amount of glow. I discovered Lanikai Coconut Oil in Puakenikeni on my first trip to Hawaii and fell in love with it. The Puakenikeni floral scent is one of my favorites because it’s so fresh without being too too sweet or too floral (which would give me a headache). It’s the flowers that the Hawaiian and other Polynesians made leis with. Though not now, it’s more rare.”
When you travel home to Asia, what are some things you stock up on?
“A brand from Thailand, Harnn. I discovered it at a resort I stayed at. I always make sure to stock up on aromatic diffusers, candles, incense, and room spray in various scents so my N.Y.C. place smells like back home in Thailand.”
How does your global perspective influence your life as a makeup artist? And is there anywhere you are itching to visit?
“These days, especially with social media, people are inspired by each other and more connected. I love getting DMs from places like India or Brazil about looks I’ve done for red carpets in the U.S. My job as a makeup artist is always getting inspiration from different cultures and people around the world. My next dream destination would be Madagascar, as I’m always fascinated that the first people there came from my part of the world in Southeast Asia and a lot of them look like me.”
Describe your style.
“I’m a mixed bag. Sometimes I like classic, clean lines — Giorgio Armani or Tom Ford. But I always like to funk it up so it’s not too, too serious. Sometimes I love being flashy with my bold prints in my vintage Gianni Versace or some funky vintage Jean Paul Gaultier or Thierry Mugler. It’s fun to use clothes to express how you feel that day. I love looking like movie villains. The villains always get the best wardrobes.”
If you could change one thing about the beauty industry, what would it be?
“To be more authentic. Don’t do the most obvious thing for the optics — your consumers are smarter than that. It’s about building long-term trust. It’s funny/tragic that it’s the industry that loves waving the inclusivity flag, but still is afraid of authenticity. The beauty ideals being sold to women — that everyone should look under 30. The hypocrisy of how brands constantly want to exploit and reduce inclusivity to just another buzzword, and still want to ‘go in a younger direction’ because that’s where they think the money is. They end up looking like another clout chaser in this very saturated market of everyone looking the same.”
And finally, do you have a most treasured possession?
“My IWC Chronograph watch that I bought myself with my first big check in my young career. It’s casual and glamorous at the same time. I wear it during the day but also wore it to the Oscars with my tux. My dad loves watches and he owns some IWC so I grew up more of an IWC guy than Rolexes.”
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