Nicole Pigott, a Montclair State alum, makeup maven and fashionista, proves that with passion and dedication, any dream is achievable.
While Pigott is a beauty and style icon now, laughing, she revealed, “I had almost zero sense of style up until I was like, 17.” She continued, “I envied all the pretty girls in my grade who could be both sporty and chic, and I was just stuck in sporty and geeky. I also was always much curvier than everyone else, so I often tried to hide my body.”
Fortunately, Pigott’s love for the fashion and beauty industry strengthened while working at Anthony Robert Salon. Since then, Pigott has made a name for herself in the industry with countless shoots, celebrity clients, four New York Fashion Week (NYFW) seasons and one New Jersey Fasion Week (NJFW) season under her belt.
In 2012, Pigott created her successful makeup company, Matte and Gloss, of which she said, “Matte, in my head, represents the kick-ass, hardcore, sports-loving, fitness junky girl-boss that I embody, whereas Gloss represents the part of me that loves makeup, dresses, puppies and sappy movies. It’s a true representation of the mix that I am.”
With such an impressive resume, Pigott finds excitement and satisfaction in every opportunity. “The environment of a fashion show cannot be matched—being backstage is pure electric. However, the look on a bride’s face when she sees her makeup—the sheer happiness in her eyes— is also something that cannot be matched. And with shoots, there’s so much room to be creative and collaborate with such talented teams that it’s a learning experience as well.”
The recent Montclair State graduate, who majored in psychology with a minor in music, said, “Psychology is very important, especially with designers and clients, to understand where they’re coming from and what they’re trying to make their audience feel. With a client, though, it’s wonderful to see their self-confidence after a makeover.”
Pigott said that by incorporating fashion and beauty into an individual’s life, “It’s almost like a little piece of our minds being shown to the world.” Branching off the idea that fashion and beauty correlate to self-expression, Pigott said, “When I go to work, I try to be low-key, so I keep my hair and makeup natural. However, if I’m feeling sexy when I go out, I love to smoke up my makeup and accentuate my facial features. Even if I’m feeling sad and icky, a good face of makeup and a nice outfit can totally change my day around.
“I can do literally anything—any shade or color or shape anywhere on my face and it’s OK because there are no rules in makeup. Makeup is what each individual person wants it to be.”
The talented 23-year-old make up artist, who currently works as an e-commerce digital marketing specialist at PlanITROI in Denville, New Jersey, said, “Ever since the fall, I can’t stop using warm tones on my eyes and nude on my lips. My everyday look right now is the Anastasia Beverly Hills Modern Renaissance palette on my eyes with a small black wing, natural messy-looking brows, L’Oreal Pro‑Glow on my face for some sheer coverage, Glamour Dolls Makeup Fakecation Bronzer and a little highlighter.
“If I do wear lips, it’s Jeffree Star Cosmetics Velour Liquid Lipstick in ‘Posh Spice’ topped with ColourPop’s ‘Weho’ gloss. However, when I’m not at work, all bets are off for my makeup. You may find me at brunch wearing a dark smoky eye, or light eyes and a bold lip.”
As a multifaceted woman with a variety of talents and passions, Pigott said, “No matter where I am in life, makeup will be a huge part of it. In my future I see myself picking up my kids from school in a glossy nude lip and even having some kick-ass makeup in the nursing home!”
Makeup Tips From Nicole Pigott
Carlie: Favorite makeup brand?
Nicole: ColourPop! The pigment on their products is insane for the price.
C: Advice for makeup-maven hopefuls?
N: Practice, practice, practice! The world is at your fingertips with outlets like YouTube. I am 100 percent self taught—almost completely from Youtube.
C: Best makeup look for the winter season?
N: Casual look: sheer coverage foundation, cool-tone eyes like taupe with brown liner (so when we’re pale, it won’t be too harsh!) and a moisturizing lip.
Party look: Glitter pigments are in right now! Throw a smoky shade in your crease, and pack some glitter on your lid. If that’s not your style, try a darker matte shade on your lid and the tiniest amount of glitter or highlight in the inner corner of your eye. Pair it with an ever-classy nude gloss, or even dark matte berry lip.
C: Makeup & Skincare?
N: Take care of your face to your own individual needs, and don’t skimp on the moisturizer and ChapStick in the winter! If you don’t have either, just honestly buy a jar of coconut oil and cover your hair, face and body in it and you’ll be good. But seriously, like I said before, makeup is individual. No one ever knew I was a makeup artist in my classes because I never wore makeup to school. Do what makes you comfortable, and forget anyone who tells you otherwise.
C: Best makeup advice given to you?
N: Never apologize for who you are, what your style is and what you like. It’s impossible to be everyone’s cup of tea, so just be your own!