We had the good fortune of connecting with Nicole Elle King and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Nicole Elle, what is the most important factor behind your success?
I would have to say the most important factor behind my success is that I always try to come from a place of “how can I serve others?”. I believe that the reason I have been so successful is that I try to take my ego and myself out of the equation when I work with my clients and people in general. I also love to help people feel amazing in their skin and to let them shine for who they truly are. I always felt that my job was more than makeup and that is something that I am seeing come to life in my brand as I just became a certified personal trainer, I’m currently in yoga teacher training, I have created a wellness platform called Get Uplifted and love to bring these different aspects to what I offer as a makeup artist. I love to lift people up and encourage them and create a positive space and atmosphere while I am doing their hair, makeup, barbering, or anytime I am interacting with people.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Wow, where to start! I first off want to say I am beyond grateful to be a part of this beautiful journey and to be interviewed by you. I am so thankful for this wild and amazing life that I have been on with all of it’s twists and turns, ups and downs, new and exciting adventures and opportunities that I couldn’t have ever imagined. I would have to say my story starts with my parents who were so supportive and always encouraging me to follow my passions which has always been in the arts. From drawing, painting, dance, choir, color guard, cheerleading, theater, and anything in the creative field. I fell in love with drawing in high school and continued my passion by studying Fine Arts in Painting and Drawing in college at Penn State University. While there I also was in the Marching Blue Band, a 320 person organization, performing new routines every weekend in front of 110,000 people with practice being every day except one. It was an amazing experience and one that conditioned me to have a strong work ethic, discipline, being a part of a huge organization, time management, and most importantly how to be on time. My last year of college I continued my studies in the Fine Arts abroad in Florence, Italy which was an incredible experience and one I will cherish forever. I learned so much about myself, learned from amazing teachers and was classically trained in a variety of mediums and color theory. I learned how to paint in the lost art of fresco, did live sketches from statues in the most beautiful museums and it is an experience I will never forget. One that lead into a deeper understanding of the arts and all they possess.
After graduating college and retuning home from Italy I started thinking “Now What?” Shortly after graduating I became enrolled in Makeup School at Makeup Designory in New York City. After graduating from MUD I hit the ground running. I worked for free to gain set experience, to apply everything I learned from school, and to grow. I did a few Indie films with NYU students for their graduation finals and from there started growing with producers and directors who would later bring me on to be Department Head of Indie features like Person to Person, Keep In Touch, and many more. I was in love with everything makeup and was doing a little bit of everything from SFX, hairstyling, makeup, grooming, assisting with wardrobe, and always there to help in anyway I could. I worked at MAC in Flatiron for a few years and met some of my best friends to this day. When I left MAC to freelance for myself I did a range of things from photo shoots, music videos for artists like Carly Rae Jepsen, The Knocks, Matthew Koma, and Sky Ferreira. I worked for Fashion News Live at Fashion week for a few seasons as well as being a part of the makeup teams at Fashion Week. I worked with Harpers Bazaar.com and Elle.com where I had the opportunity to work with talent such as Cardi B, Nina Agdal, Kelly Deadmon and many more. I did a season of Miss USA, as well as an online show with Alec Baldwin called Love Ride. I worked with companies such as MTV, Ralph Lauren, VFILES, Cynthia Rowley, Vogue Italia, Allure, Women’s Health Magazine, E! News, Esquire, NAUTICA, GQ, People Magazine, Reebok, LaBellum, SAMSUNG, RAY BAN, and many more. I would have to say that all of these amazing opportunities came from the connections I made while working for free in the beginning, putting myself out there, being kind, and working with up and coming students that were dreaming big.
In 2016 I had the opportunity to be a part of the makeup team for the Go Red For Women Fashion Show at Fashion Week. I was randomly paired with Candace Cameron Bure and will never forget that moment and the show that changed my life. I am so thankful for that opportunity, not only was it for a great cause but it introduced me to an incredible client and friend such as Candace, who I am grateful to have been working with for over 5 years. I am a firm believer in the power of trusting the process, following your passion, and listening to the quiet whisper leading you. You really never know what type of opportunities will come from a simple yes and taking a leap of faith!
After working on my own I freelanced for Honey Artists, Starworks, The Wallgroup, and that’s where I met an incredible artist named Kumi who took me under her wing and taught me about all things men’s grooming. She brought me on to assist her and taught me everything about the grooming industry. I am forever grateful because she is not only incredibly talented but has a kind heart and has been an amazing mentor and friend.
In 2018 I went to Barber School from January to April and as hard as it was to balance school everyday while working I’m so grateful I did because I learned so much in such in a short amount of time. I graduated feeling confident in what I was doing as I focused more on Men’s Grooming. In 2018 I had the opportunity to fill in for Jimmy Fallon’s Makeup Artist on The Tonight Show for a few months and learned so much while on set working alongside Jimmy and his amazing team. In 2019 I was signed with The Wall Group and focused mainly on men’s grooming and was so grateful to have worked with such amazing clients. One of my last jobs in 2020 was my absolute favorite. I had the opportunity to travel and do makeup for Candace’s book tour that started in New York and ended in Waco, TX where we met Joanna Gaines and took a tour of Magnolia Farms. It was such an amazing trip and I was so grateful to travel with Candace and our incredible team! My heart was so happy to have that experience and I was gearing up for many more exciting jobs and trips. I was so excited to see what 2020 had in store but like everyone in the world we were shut down and things became very uncertain. I knew I had two choices and the one I chose was to keep everyone safe and to stay home as well as take time to look back, reflect, reevaluate, and really get clear on my purpose and what’s next. As much as everything has come to a complete stop I continued learning about my craft, connecting with other artists and was excited to create a new way of returning to work.
While makeup was at a stand still I knew I needed to fill my time with something positive and something that would help me to find structure. Because everything was so uncertain and makeup isn’t something you can do remotely I started joining live workouts on Instagram and zoom. I was filling my time with movement, creating a strong foundation to build on, and joining in to feel a sense of community. I realized while things were shut down how passionate I was about movement since it has always been a part of my life from a young age. When a friend ask me to show her a few workouts, as much as I wanted to share I knew I wanted to do it in a way that I could properly teach her how to execute each move safely. I knew right then and there that I needed to take my love for fitness to the next level. That same week I signed up to start studying to become a NASM certified personal trainer. I dove into all the material, dedicated many months of studying, and I loved every minute of it. I was so fascinated by everything we were learning and the science behind how our bodies work and move. In February 2021 I took my exam and I am proud to say that I am now a Certified Personal Trainer though NASM! I am so excited to share my knowledge and love of movement with people to help them feel amazing inside and out! I am also currently enrolled in Yoga Teacher Training with SoulFire Collective and will be a certified Yoga Instructor in June 2021. My whole idea about pursuing these different avenues is to bring a wellness approach to my brand, where I help people feel their best in a way that is deeper than just makeup. I want to provide tools and resources to help people feel absolutely amazing in their skin through the power of movement, helping them work on mindset, lifting people up, and to celebrate them for who they are. This shut down has allowed me the time I needed to follow my passions and became certified so I can help others find something that makes them feel good and something they love.
With all of these amazing things coming into the picture I was still feeling lost and questioning how I could continue to do what I love with my industry being shut down. I love the energy of working with people and was trying to find a way to replicate that feeling and energy while staying at home. I remember my Dad always talking about taking the spotlight off of yourself when you are in a funk and find ways to help others. Since we were in lockdown a lot of volunteering opportunities were not happening so I thought “what would be another way to help others?” I began brainstorming and collecting all the things that help me such as morning routine, inspiration, movement, quotes, podcast, fitness, beauty, and many other things. I started playing around with logos and came up with the name Get Uplifted. After coming up with the name the rest just started to unfold naturally. I created a website and reached out to the 7 people I had written down during my morning prayer and meditation and they all said yes! I knew that I needed to trust my inner voice so I kept moving forward on it. Get Uplifted’s mission is to create community through Wellness, Fitness, Beauty, Mindset, and Positivity. Over the month of December I brought on 7 people who inspire me and we had genuine conversations on recorded zoom calls where they share tips, tools, and resources that help them during times of difficulty. I started Get Uplifted to help people find community and something to tune into that would be inspiring, motivating, and something people could listen to and feel like they were a part of the conversation. I honestly have never done something like this but I knew it needed to be created and was trusting my inner whisper and intuition on making this come to life. In the first series I brought on 7 guests individually ranging from fitness trainers, life coaches, beauty gurus, celebrity makeup artists, yogis and released two videos a day on YouTube over the weekend of December 18th- 21st in 2020. It honestly was unlike anything I have ever done but I knew it needed to be created even if it just reached and helped one person. A mentor of mine said “the worst case scenario is you help someone” and that is what I leaned on as I created this wellness platform. It was a great success and I loved watching the premieres on Youtube with family and friends all in the comforts of our own homes. I am still moved by messages that make my heart flutter from people telling me how these videos helped them or someone they know. I thought it was going to be a one time thing but after seeing the momentum with this series I knew I had to keep it going. I just launched our February Series with 5 new guests ranging from motivational coaches such as Angela Manuel Davis, fitness enthusiasts, Tone It Up Trainers, makeup artists who are creating community through education and safety, and much more! I am beyond moved by Get Uplifted and the community we have created. I created Get Uplifted to help others and now see how much it has helped me to learn, grow, reflect, and shine a mirror on my life. I’m so grateful for these conversations and know that everyone can take away something that resonates with them. I am thrilled to gear up for our next series and I’m so excited to see where this all will lead.
My biggest take away as I reflect on my journey is to trust the process, lean in, show up, be authentically yourself, find what lights you up and go do it. Life is short but so amazing if we flip the script and look for a new perspective. Take chances, get out of your comfort zone because you never know where it will lead and the person it will shape you to become. Be kind to people, love yourself and others, trust yourself and know that you “were created in purpose, on purpose, and for a purpose”. – Angela Manuel Davis. If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
My favorite spot in Jersey City would be Hamilton Camp. It’s a new spot outdoors that serves everything out of it’s airstream. It truly is a beautiful space with huts to dine in, string lights, fire pits with Adirondack chairs, and greenery. I love it because it is adaptable in all seasons. The fire pits in the winter with warm drinks fire side make it a cozy vibe where as in the spring/ summer it has a tropical feel to it. I love it because it is outdoors with plenty of space to enjoy drinks and food with your friends and feel safe. Another place I love is Porta, a restaurant that specializes in Italian dishes and pizza down on Grove Street. It is an amazing spot with Napoli style pizza and wood fire ovens that makes their pizza taste straight from Italy. Next to Porta is South House house which has amazing cocktails and delicious food with a southern style to it.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
There are so many people, opportunities, and groups I would love to thank. First I would like to thank my parents for supporting me and allowing me to follow my passions and always encouraging me to Dream Big! It’s because of them instilling a great sense of faith and encouraging me to trust the process that I am where I am today. It’s because of them that I am grounded with a strong foundation and faith and one that has led me to the life I live. I would also like to thank everyone who has supported me and the amazing friend groups I hold dear to my heart who always believed in me and were there to fan the flame as we lift each other up and support one another. To my mentors who have taken me under their wing and were not only amazing teachers but incredible friends such as Allison Brooke, Erica Whelan, Kumi Craig, Mayela Vazquez, Yvonne MacInnis, Bethany Townes and so many more amazing people who I am forever grateful for. To my amazing, patient, and loving husband who has been by my side since day one moving to NYC, encouraging me to stay true to myself, to never give up, to dream big, and to do what I love. For all the jobs, people, and opportunities that took a chance on me especially in the early stages of my career such as AnnaRose King, John Morrow, Mike Covino, Jon Read, Sara Murphy, Sydney Buchan, Allie Tsypin, SandenWolff, Bella Wing- Davey, Candace Cameron Bure, Jeffery Brooks and so many more incredible people who I have had the honor of working with! And to my amazing clients who I am so grateful for everyday, thank you for trusting me and allowing me to pursue my passions and for the amazing opportunities that you have allowed me to be a part of! and also, Hannah to the shoutout part, I would like to thank my agent Hannah for believing in me and for everything she has done to help me to expand my brand.