By Sierra Petro
Nicole Botte is short in size, but her black Tom Ford sunglasses, which take up half of her face, are a preview of this sophomore makeup artist’s style— larger than life.
Botte just worked her first New York Fashion Week gig, which was a sure step forward after years of preparation. Both her love for makeup and a heavy Italian accent were handed down to Botte from her family, who are in the funeral business. Her mother, a mortician, started taking her to work from the time she was in a stroller.
“Seeing a body in a casket didn’t faze me at all; it’s in my roots. I was about 5 when I started building memory of it, and I started wearing makeup to kindergarten,” Botte said.
“Teachers would call my mom as a sort of punishment for wearing blue eyeshadow and a sparkly lipgloss. My mom would be like, ‘Okay, and…'”
Though Botte watched her mom at work, it mainly served as entertainment. With special effects at her core, Botte may have developed her passion from her mom, but taught herself. All the makeup-related work she does is outside school hours, but majoring in sculpture helps with making prosthetics.
The two main ingredients Botte uses to make prosthetics are cotton balls and liquid latex. She applies them to a cast of her face made of plaster. This is the process of choice, since it’s easily accessible, cost effective, reusable, and creates prosthetics that are, “hard as a rock,” according to Botte.
Botte loves working on herself, but she also gets clients for occasions, like Halloween. She regularly posts photos on Instagram of smoky eyes to body painting, like a summer solstice look that even included a cherry red wig.
Every May, Botte attends The Makeup Show, where she walks through booths of products and shares her passion with other makeup-lovers. The event served as the meeting spot for Botte and the two professional makeup artists, Danessa Myricks and James Vincent, who brought her onto the makeup team for the show, which was for the brand, Revival Swim. The artists were having a makeup class, and those who signed up had the chance to do a show for fashion week.
The makeup for the show was a quick process, since the look was shown once before Nicole was given a model to replicate it on. The challenge for Botte, however, was getting the model’s face to match her spray tan. The lights on the runway were harsh, so Botte perfected the model’s glow by warming up her complexion after watching her do a practice run.
“There was such an amazing energy backstage during the show, and seeing my model walk out was just a dream come true. I can’t wait to continue growing my skills and creating new looks,” Botte said.