Pro Talk: Nicky Hilton X Smashbox Cosmetics

Pro Talk: Nicky Hilton X Smashbox Cosmetics


“My sister [Paris Hilton] introduced me to makeup when I was 16 and we started going out. I never really wore makeup and when the fake I.D.’s failed, she put makeup on me and said, ‘this will make you look grown up.’ I’ve loved it ever since.

As for the cat inspiration, I think there are dog people and there are cat people. I’m definitely a cat person. I always had cats growing up. I love them; I think they’re elegant, they’re mysterious, they look after themselves, and they’re just easygoing and chill. I have two cats right now; one rescue that I found on the beach in Miami at the Soho House.

Davis Factor [of Smashbox Cosmetics] has been a friend of mine since I was a teenager and we always wanted to work together. Six months ago he called me and said that he wanted me to meet his team. We all met at the Polo Lounge and they brought bags and bags of all of their latest products, and they said, ‘What would you want to do?’ I immediately said, ‘Cat eye. I love cats and I wear a cat eye in some shape or form every single day. And I want to make a really cute kitty cosmetics bag to go with it.’ At the time, they were launching their new gel eyeliner [Photo Angle Pure Pigment Gel Liner] so we knew we wanted to put that in the kit, along with an eyeshadow trio which is reflective of my favorite cities, the places that I spend the most time in: New York, Los Angeles, and London. All of the colors in each Cat Eye Kit are reflective of the lifestyles in each city: LA is bronzy and beachy with neutrals, New York’s a little more sophisticated with a black, brown, and beige, and London is more colorful and poppy with purples. I love Smashbox’s Full Exposure Mascara, which is also in each kit.

I was very, very involved in the process and would fly from New York to LA to go to the studios and sit with the team for hours going through every color; all of the new products, the pigments, the technologies. We really spent time making these kits, and it was very important that, if I was going to put my name on something, it’s going to be very me.

All of the colors in the shadow trios really compliment each other, so you can blend them to make really pretty, different looks. With the New York Kit, I even use the brown eyeshadow as a brow powder. I use the beige shade as a highlighter and a base color for my lids. I think the secret to creating a cat eye is just being confident and going with it. A lot of people trace before and overthink it and they end up with uneven cat eyes, which is any makeup lover’s worst nightmare, including me. So I think you’ve just got to flick, and I usually get a Q-tip and makeup remover and edit any mistakes.

One of my favorite makeup application tips that I’ve picked up along the way is using white eyeliner in your waterline to make you look instantly woken up and your eyes pop.

Another tip that was passed down to me was about using eye cream and moisturizer before putting on primer. I never used to do this, but it really makes a difference. I actually started using age-preventative products when I was 17-years-old. Anti-aging eye creams, night creams – you’re never too young to start.

When it comes to makeup, if I could have only three pieces in life, they would be mascara, lip balm [Nicky is a die-hard fan of Rosebud Salve], and brow powder.”

To buy Nicky Hilton X Smashbox Cat Eye Kits ($54 each), click here.


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