When Nicole Faulkner, who is known as Lipsticknick to her 771,000 followers, first moved to Los Angeles as an aspiring makeup artist, there was no Instagram to show off her work on a mass scale. Back then, she tells me, it was purely about hustling, booking jobs through word of mouth, and saying “yes” to every opportunity no matter how big or small. That, or you could work at M.A.C. or behind a makeup counter, the latter of which Faulkner did when first starting out. Now, she is the director of global artistry for Morphe, Emmy-nominated celebrity makeup artist and a production artist on “RuPaul’s Drag Race.”
Pout is open to everyone, no matter what age, gender, etc. — everybody is welcome here.
Her latest exciting venture is a one-stop-shop for customized hair and makeup services called Pout Beauty Bar. And the launch comes at a perfect time. With Halloween around the corner, Pout specializes in creating your favorite look, offering Fresh Paint (half face for $35, full face for $65) and a service called “Drag Me,” where you can transform into your drag dream for $175. And if you head to the brand’s website and you will find other factors that set Pout apart. They offer services for kids 12 and under who want to learn more about hair and makeup and the myriad of different techniques there are. That, and they recently started holding happy hours on Fridays to encourage walk-ins, foster community, and of course, get glammed-up before going out for the night (or, alternatively, home to take selfies — whatever’s your jam). Faulkner specifically wanted to have a safe and supportive place where people could come to get glam and simply feel good about themselves. “Pout is open to everyone, no matter what age, gender, etc. — everybody is welcome here,” she says. “We want everyone to feel comfortable and at home, which is why, again, it is so important for me to find a team that would help me see that through,” she adds.
But it didn’t happen overnight. Faulkner explains how it all went down when it came to casting artists — over Instagram. “Basically, I just put out a super vague casting call on my story explaining that I was looking to build a team of professional makeup artists for an upcoming project, and from there I received over 250 responses,” she says. Despite her huge following, Faulkner was floored. “I mean it’s one thing to see your following grow, but I had no idea I’d have that many people apply,” she muses. Even though she has more than half a million followers, Faulkner remains humble and still gets surprised by the sheer volume of folks that look to her for advice and inspiration.
From there, Faulkner had everyone send her a video application and she was able to narrow it down. “It was really important for me to do the video component because you can really tell how much they want it, plus you can get an idea of their personality, too,” she explains. She then dialed it down to 80 people, then 40 — all of whom went through an in-person makeup application in which they were asked to do different beauty looks — and then finally got it to the team of 12 she has now. “They’re all insanely talented and egoless,” she says, her voice filled with pride. “It was super important for me to find the most talented people who are also really nice and make you feel comfortable so that no one’s intimated walking in the door. It’s a safe space,” she adds.
Speaking of which, the space was another major factor that mattered to Faulkner when building the Pout brand. Inspired by L.A. culture, the walls are emblazoned with brightly colored graffiti and neon lipstick lights, both of which always turn heads when people pass by. “I wanted it to feel really cool and unique but also clean, polished, and modern at the same time,” says Faulkner. The same goes for the actual experience itself. Unlike traditional salons, Pout offers a full menu of services specifically tailored to “typical L.A. things,” such as headshots and the drag makeup. Additionally, the all-inclusive spot features everything from bridal beauty, to basic men’s grooming, to fantasy Halloween-style looks, and more.
“My girls and boys can seriously do an-y-thing,” says Faulkner. “It wasn’t easy to find people like that who are also humble and kind, but ultimately I’m so proud of the family we’ve created,” she adds.
All this to say: If you live in the L.A. area or are planning a trip around Halloween, you should definitely set aside time to visit Pout and find out first-hand what they are all about. Here’s to Faulkner for creating such a ground-breakingly cool way for people to connect with professional makeup artists.
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