NYLON Nineteen

Mikayla Nogueira Is TikTok’s Funniest Makeup Artist

The makeup artist and textbook Gemini has taken over TikTok with her winning personality.

When I heard my first-ever “What’s poppin’!” delivered in an unapologetic Masshole accent, my TikTok For You Page — and life — was forever changed. Mikayla Nogueira’s now-signature greeting lets you know what’s coming: honest makeup reviews, a willingness to try any and all viral makeup trends, and slice of life moments, all delivered with an effortless sense of humor. TikTok has no shortage of professional makeup artists slinging their insights, but Nogueira’s artistic prowess and genuine personality have amassed her both critical acclaim and a devoted viewership — 12.5 million followers, and counting.

Nogueira keeps her schedule packed, regularly recording and uploading multiple TikToks each day, which is exactly how she likes it. “I'm very happy with where I am right now. That's just sharing my passion for makeup every day,” she tells me from her at-home makeup and filming studio over Zoom. “My dream was that I could show the world my passion for makeup, create a community of people that are supportive, and we have fun and have a good time. I did that. I accomplished that. I get to live my dream every day.”

And now, with her supportive community in tow, Nogueira is ready take on whatever turns her makeup journey takes — one swatch at a time. But until then, she’s taken the NYLON 19, where she reveals her ultimate makeup tip, her favorite meme, and her lifelong love for War of the Worlds.

1. What’s your astrological sign (and do you believe in it)?

I am a Gemini. I absolutely believe it. I think I am a Gemini to a T. I think there's different types of Geminis. I'm the type that I'm one way with certain people, and I'm another way with other people. That's like my twin flame, so two different personalities may come out.

2. Do you believe in ghosts, (and have you ever seen one)?

I used to be a big fan of that Ghost Hunters show. I do believe in ghosts. I think ghosts are definitely real. I've never seen one. People always see an orb in the back of my videos. They're like, "Mikayla, there's some energy around you." I'm just like, "I don't know!" I've also gone to a lot of mediums where they literally talk to family members who have passed. I just think it's crazy what some mediums can do.

3. What’s your go-to drink order? (And if it's boozy, what’s your go-to hangover cure?)

This is so random, but I'm addicted to hot chocolate. Dunkin' Donuts, I get a hot chocolate. Starbucks, I get a hot chocolate. Restaurants, hot chocolate. Even when it's hot outside. Then alcohol, I love Moscato. So random, but I love sweet alcohol. I think Moscato is the best for that. For my hangover cure, I drink a ton of water. But I don't get a hangover with Moscato, because it's such a low alcohol percentage. I can drink the whole bottle and I'll be okay.

4. Who would be the three headliners of the music festival of your dreams?

This is so easy. These are the three I'm obsessed with. Bazzi, Charlie Puth, and Mimi Webb.

5. What's the weirdest snack that you make?

To be honest, I make baloney sandwiches as a snack, or baloney rollups, where you put a slice of baloney, a slice of cheese and then mustard, and you roll it up.

6. What's a bad habit of yours that you've been meaning to fix?

Dishes. I'm really bad at doing dishes. I hate it. I will avoid it at all costs. I have a dishwasher, and I refuse to use it. I don't know why. It's right there. I stare at it. My sink's completely full, and I just ... I can't do it.

7. What was the last internet rabbit hole you went down?

I have been going down the Johnny Depp and Amber Heard trial. I will watch those TikToks for hours. The case itself is very serious, but some of those TikToks, man, they crack me up. It's just interesting to watch that. That's pretty much my entire For You page right now, so I can't really avoid it. The thing I thought was most interesting was with the color corrector. As a makeup artist myself, when I heard that clip, I was just really confused, because that is not how I would cover a bruise. I think it's really interesting to watch a court case, and the way the lawyers handle everything. It's interesting. You know? Criminal justice is just fascinating.

8. What is your favorite pair of shoes that you own, and why?

They're the ones I'm wearing right now. It's different than a slide, because it's like a cloud. It's like walking on a cloud. The brand's called Cushionaire. Every time you step down on it, it feels like you're defying gravity. It's just really cool. They're very comfy. I wear them all day.

9. What was the last DM you received?

Well, I posted a pretty vulnerable picture of myself on my Instagram story. Just showing how I'm dealing with some acne right now, and sometimes I get a little insecure about it. I posted a picture to show people that, yes, I do get acne just like everybody else. All of my recent DMs are just saying, "I really appreciate that you're willing to post these vulnerable things, because it helps someone like me who is struggling with the same thing." I have a pretty supportive direct message inbox. I can read it and not be afraid.

10. If you could be in any music video, what would it be?

The Black Eyed Peas have had some really cool music videos, so I'd probably want to be in one of theirs. I love the Black Eyed Peas.

11. What is your favorite fast food place, and what’s your order?

Probably going to go with McDonald's. I get a double cheeseburger with fries, a Coke, and I will typically get a six-piece chicken nuggets. You can't get it without the chicken nuggets. It doesn't feel complete.

12. What was your favorite movie as a kid?

This is such a random answer. War of the Worlds with Tom Cruise. I would watch it almost every single day. I was obsessed with it. Still am.

13. What was your teenage AIM screen name?

It was SingingRocks123. I've always just loved to sing. I thought singing rocked, so I made it my screen name.

14. What's your favorite meme/internet joke and why?

I'm into the, I don't know if the right word is grotesque, but have you ever heard the joke bofa or ligma? You just drop it on someone. It's like being iced, but it's like, "Have you had any ligma recently?" Then they're like, "Ligma?" Then someone says, "Balls." Like lick my balls. “Bofa” is “both of these nuts.”

15. What is your best beauty tip or trick?

I think the one thing that people ask me every day is, "Why does my makeup not look smooth?" The biggest reason for that, typically, is a lack of exfoliation on the skin. I use glycolic acid pads before I do my makeup every day. It's an AHA, which resurfaces that top layer of skin. You can get glycolic acid pads from lots of brands, but you just take one every day before you start your makeup, and you just resurface that skin, it'll help the makeup go on smoothly. Each time you do it, it'll get better and better. It's a slow kind of thing, but it takes time to get your skin where you want to get it.

16. What is your favorite red carpet look of all time worn by someone else?

I absolutely loved the look from Blake Lively from the 2022 Met gala. I thought the hair, the makeup, the outfit switch that they did was a very beautiful look.

17. What is one thing everyone should buy that is under $10?

Every single person should have a lip balm. I am addicted to lip balm. I use it multiple times a day, every single morning, every single night before bed. You will never catch my lips being dry. That helps with lipstick application, too. If you want a smooth lipstick application, or if you're kissing someone and you want to have moisturized plump lips, lip balm. Everybody needs it. Right now, I’m using the Tony Moly green apple lip jelly. It's called a lip jelly, but it's the same thing. I love it.

18. What is your go-to sad song?

Right now, it is Bazzi, “Will It Ever Feel The Same?” It’s a very emotional song.

19. What reality show would you most like to appear on?

I am engaged, but if I wasn't, I would totally go on Married At First Sight. It's one of those shows that builds up so much anticipation, because it begins with this couple, these two people that have never met in their lives, and they get married right on the spot. Then it's a long show. There's 20 episodes leading up to this final decision where they have to say, "Yes. I do want to stay married to this person," or, "I want a divorce." So much happens from beginning to end. It's very good. I'm obsessed with that show.