YouTube makeup expert Nikkie of NikkieTutorials comes out as transgender

I do not watch many YouTube makeup tutorials, because whenever I do I just end up buying a ton of products. (The last time I watched Hot and Flashy I bought $44 Charlotte Tilbury highlighter. It’s good, but it’s not $44 good you know?) I try not to even visit since I usually spend at least $100. However I have seen Nikkie of NikkieTutorials as she’s a very popular makeup artist. She even made Lady Gaga over this December in a joint promotion with Haus Laboratories. Nikkie is Dutch, she has over 12 million subscribers and is an influential and surely well paid YouTuber. Nikkie is making headlines for coming out as a transgender woman. She recorded a video making it clear that this was not her decision and that she was being blackmailed. I didn’t think I would cover this, but then I watched the video and her announcement is so touching and heartfelt that I wanted to talk about it. That video is above and here are some of her quotes.

I’m taking back my own power and I have to tell you something. When I was younger I was born in the wrong body, which means I am transgender. Filming this video is scary but it feels so liberating and freeing. There always was going to be the day where I would tell you I did not expect that day to be today. If we’re going to put a label on it, yes I am transgender, but at the end of the day I am me and at the end of the day you are you.

I am free to share my story, not the power of makeup but the power of me. The power of you, just like me. You get to write your own story. Live your life… without any restrictions. You can be you. You are in charge of how you live your life.

I am here to openly share that I am transgender. With this message I want to inspire little Nikkies around the world who feel insecure, out of place, misunderstand. I hope me standing up inspires others to do the same. To truly live your life. This world needs us. We need to accept each other, hear each other and understand.

Ever since I was born, I’ve always thought I was a girl. All of me was girly. My mom knew immediately that I either was going to be gay or a different type of story. And it turned out to be a different type of story. I’m most thankful for my mom because she has been there for me since day one. She always supported me.

By the age of six I grew my hair out. By the age of seven or eight I wore girl’s clothes only. It was amazing. I always lived my youth as a girl. Growing up the hardest part was meeting new people and growing close to them and telling them. Many times I’ve had to tell close friends my true story and it’s heartbreaking especially after transitioning and closing that chapter.

People are going to ask, yes I fully transitioned at the end of 14. They gave me growth stoppers, hormones and by the time I was 19 I fully transitioned. I transitioned while on YouTube.

The number one thing on my channel is my love of makeup. I wanted my art to do the speaking for me. Nothing changes, because on my channel my number one passion is the power of makeup.

I have been blackmailed by people that wanted to leak my story to the press. At first it was frightening to know that there are people out there who can’t respect someone’s true identity. I’m not scared. [sticks up middle finger]

First of all her makeup is flawless! I’m going to definitely watch more of her videos as I would be thrilled if I could achieve even 50% of that look. Second, she owned this story. Everyone is talking about her, but more than that I felt like she shared something deep with us after watching this video. This was hard for her, I can’t even imagine how hard this must have been, but she put on that gorgeous face and powered through it. I came away from this feeling like I understood just a little bit more what it’s like to be transgender and to be born in the wrong body. I’m getting teary thinking about it. Plus I loved all her positive messages and she moved me.

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69 Responses to “YouTube makeup expert Nikkie of NikkieTutorials comes out as transgender”

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  1. GR says:

    Good for Nikkie for not letting the blackmailers control her! I hope she gets millions more subscribers!

  2. Frida_K says:

    Oh, what a sweetheart! I wish her all the very best. She’s brave and talented and I hope that speaking up this way was healing for her and that it will be inspirational for anyone needs it.

  3. YAS says:

    I don’t watch many YouTubers whose aesthetic preferences lie in “the full beat” because it’s not how I like to do my own makeup, but I religiously watch her videos because she’s so sweet, charming, talented, and creative. It makes me sick that someone was blackmailing her and forced her to come out before she was ready to make that information public.

    I’ve looked at a number of the messages she’s received in response to the content she’s posted about this and while a lot of it is positive, I wish people wouldn’t comment with things like “OMG I never would have guessed!” or “you don’t look trans!” because it implies you can clock a transgender person or there’s a “look.” I think people generally are trying to be supportive and positive, but that’s not the best way to be a trans ally.

    • MMC says:

      Me too! I honestly think her makeup ends up looking pretty bad most of the time, but her personality is so sweet I watch her anyway.
      Good for her for coming out but how sad it was not on her own terms.

      From the video I got the impression her fiancee didn’t know either? But I’m not a native english speaker so maybe I got it wrong.

    • Amy Too says:

      I also watch her videos and I had no idea that she was transgender. And you know what, I don’t care. It makes zero difference to me that she is transgender and my brain isn’t categorizing her any differently. I know that’s how it should always be. We shouldn’t think about people differently because we know they’re transgender, or intersex, or gender fluid. But we do, sometimes. We think “this is a trans woman,” instead of just “this is human woman.” Where they’re always “transgender“ first and foremost (“So and So the Transgender YouTuber”), rather than “So and So the entrepreneur, make-up expert, blonde, white, young, Dutch, millennial, artist to the stars, whatever else YouTuber.”

    • Tootsie45 says:

      I love her! I would NEVER do my makeup like she does (because lets face it, I don’t have the guts), but her sweetness, enthusiasm, passion, skill, creativity and just JOY are so infectious. What an incredible woman <3

  4. Ali says:

    Honestly I was shocked.

    Then I watched the video and I was really impressed with how she talked about her life.

    • Carol says:

      I just thought she was transgender but didn’t talk about it- which I guess ended up being true. I love her makeup tutorials

    • Godwina says:

      Same. I don’t watch her tutorials because her makeup style is waaaaaaay too Kardashian slap for me, but she was adorable on the MUA reality show contest thing.

  5. SarSte says:

    She just seems like the most lovely, talented person and I’ve loved all the positivity I’ve seen in response to her video. Her mom sounds like the absolute best.

  6. fomekk says:

    The CEO’s sister of Too Faced took the time to call Nikkie a liar for keeping this from the public. Yeah I really highly recommend people boycott that brand. The Blandinos get into public fights with customers, Jerrod (CEO) made a cake titled “Rich Lives Matter” and posted it on Insta, and now they are taking the time to trash Nikkie.

  7. Valiantly Varnished says:

    Im a HUGE beauty YouTuber (I watch a lot of YouTube in general) watcher. I subscribe to a decent amount of people’s channels. I used to be subscribed to Nikki until she started hanging out with Jeffree Star and then I had to stop because I can’t support anyone who hangs out with that racist bully. BUT in recent years she took a huge step back from him and matured quite a bit and I’ve started watching her again. I was really proud of her for taking her power back. It’s always a win when you own and can stand proudly in your truth. And I think this sends such a fantastic message about accepting people for who they are. And also to young trans people struggling with their own identity that it’s okay to be who you are.

    • Celebitchy says:

      VV if I know you from Insta you are way more advanced with products and application that I am. Who would you recommend I start watching to get better?

      • Valiantly Varnished says:

        @CB I always recommend Samantha Ravndahl to people. She is a trained makeup artist whose videos are really great to learn basic techniques. She also has a great personality and is fun to watch. Another would be Mariah Leonard.

      • Ennie says:

        Not VV, but do check the application Master Lisa Eldridge.

      • Celebitchy says:

        Thank you both this really helps!! I will check out Samantha, Mariah and Lisa. 2020 makeup goals.

      • Valiantly Varnished says:

        I second Ennie on Lisa Eldridge. And also Caroline Hirons for skincare. She’s a licensed esthetician and a hoot.

      • greenmonster says:

        I would like to add Sam and Nic Chapman aka Pixiwoo aka Real Techniques owners as well.

      • Leriel says:

        I would recommend The MakeUp Chair, she’s trained mua artist and she shows in her videos step by step how to do different aspects of make up: how to blend foundation, how to do eyeshadows different techniques and sometimes she shows different looks with different pallets of eyeshadows. And she shows detailed process, not like most youtubers who sits away from camera and complains about concealer.

      • Bella says:

        Sam, Mariah and Lisa are fantastic and all great and you will learn something disfferent from all of them. Sam is seriously laugh of loud hilarious!

      • TaniaOG says:

        Check out Allie Glines or Arna Alayne. So good!

      • Nibbi says:

        Love Samantha Ravndahl for her goofiness and humor.
        In terms of “wearable” makeup looks I actually aspire to, tho, it’s Lisa Eldredge, hands down.
        I’ve learned about a couple really great products and tips from Wayne Goss, too.

    • Erinn says:

      Nikki is someone I go back and forth on (only because I don’t like doing much dramatic as far as makeup goes). I think the talent is amazing – and the kind of hustle involved to make it where she (I think that’s the right pronoun here, but if not, I apologize deeply) has is extraordinary. I had watched a beauty tea spilling video not long ago that was talking about how she got screwed in the industry early on – brand deals were taking advantage of her talent and not properly compensating her for it. It’s a hard industry, and Nikki has proven over and over that she’s a talent to watch.

      I used to be atrocious at makeup. I think I do a pretty okay job, now haha. But any and all skill has been because during especially painful time during the diagnosis of my chronic pain condition I spent SO much time watching youtube makeup tutorials and just practicing because I needed an escape. I find them relaxing and super helpful, you just need to find someone who shares your coloring or eye shape or whatever if you’re looking for something specific. Arna Alayne is someone I started following because she’s hella pale like me, but also she just seems super sweet and well educated. She’s not one of the bitchy beauty gurus at all. Used to watch Kathleenlights, but I haven’t in quite a while. Samantha Ravndahl has some really helpful tutorials, but not everyone loves her. I do, because I have a similar sense of humor. Tati has had her fair share of drama, but I find she gives a pretty solid review (read: honest) and has some decent tutorials. Rachhloves is a delight as well (and Canadian!). Like Ennie said above (Lisa Eldridge who I really only stumbled onto because her name is like two letters off from my mothers and it threw me for a loop when I read it) – and Wayne Goss is someone who anyone with deepset or hooded lids has NEEDS to look into.

      • Valiantly Varnished says:

        I dont follow most big YouTubers anymore. And that includes the big five (JS, JC, Tati, Manny and Nikki (I watch occasionally now but I am no longer subscribed).
        I have mixed feelings about Kathleen Lights after her n-word drama. She apologized but then her brother came behind her and tried to defend her using the word. Samantha Ravndahl is unproblematic but people still hate on her. I like Jackie Aina (she’s probably the only big YTer Im subscribed to).
        I believe in supporting smaller YTers. They have more interesting content anyway. I like Rachhloves but her makeup skills arent the best IMO. I subscribe mostly because she’s funny. I LOVE Anjelica Nyqvist, Mel Thompson, Kinky Sweat, and I like Wayne Goss as well. I love Stephanie Nicole but she barely posts anymore and Caroline Hirons for skincare. I could name a ton more I like lol.

      • greenmonster says:

        @Valiantly Varnished: the only one I care about out of the big five is Nikki. JC and JS are nothing but drama. The only one who annoys me even more than these two is Shane Dawson, not a real Beauty Youtuber but he surely likes to cash in on the community.

        In general I go for “older” Youtubers. I’m not 20 and I don’t care what works AMAZINGLY for that age group. Give me MUAs in mid/their late 30s and up.

      • Erinn says:

        Ugh, yes! That’s around the time I had cooled off on KL. I don’t think she’s an evil person necessarily, but that was a stupid hurtful thing for her to do, and it wasn’t handled great. I think she’s probably mainly a good kid and I think she WAS distressed over having done it, but man, that bothered me.

        I find Rachh super sweet and funny, but you’re right – she’s not at the same skill level as some of the others. She still does a pretty good job – but it’s not as technical at all. She’s just super adorable though, so I’ll end up watching because you come out of her videos feeling just… sort of cheerful I guess.

        I never really understood a lot of the Samantha hate. I think she’s SUPER funny, and I think she’s really talented. The only thing that drives me nuts is when I pick up a product she recommended and it becomes discontinued haha – she’s a magnet for that happening. I think she’s friends with RawBeautyKristi who I also will watch here and there. People like to rip her up online a lot over her appearance, which is just so ridiculous.

        Jackie is super talented too – I love the ABH collab palette that she came out with, but I didn’t pick it up. I’m SO fair and I worry I wouldn’t use it the way it deserved lol. There seemed to be enough lighter gold kind of shades which would have definitely helped ground it for me, but I chickened out on it.

      • Valiantly Varnished says:

        @Erinn I love RawBeautyKristi too. I actually was subscribed to both her and Sam when they became friends so it’s been fun to watch their friendship grow. There are tons of lighter skin tone YTers who used Jackie’s palette with no issue. Maybe check some of the tutorials out. I have the palette and it’s fantastic- and still available!

  8. Elle says:

    Everybody has some female and male energies, but damn she is such a girly’s girl that it was hard for me to process it. I thought it was a joke. But then April’s fool is months away and she looked sincerely emotional.
    Good for her. I think that it will affect her only positively.

  9. Not Usually Mean says:

    This was 100% the most surprising news I’ve seen in a long time. I’m so happy she didn’t let the blackmailers leak the news and I wish she wasn’t pushed into revealing it. I don’t follow her YouTube because she uses A TON of foundation and I generally prefer natural looks. But I’m definitely very familiar with her work and as a bonafide gossip, I even know she’s getting married soon. I wish the best for her this year.

    And I hope Jerrod Blandi-whatever of “Too Faced” cosmetics and his sister finally get cancelled for the transphobic comments the sister made. I might even unfollow Jackie Aina even though she’s my favourite because she keeps supporting that racist. Ughhh.

  10. Cdubois says:

    Not to be rude or insensitive, but who couldn’t already tell she was trans? I mean come on, it was pretty obvious. I assumed it had already been addressed and was a foregone conclusion. Guess not

  11. Enid says:

    Nikkie is such a great example of the power of supportive parents and community on young trans kids.

  12. AppleTartin says:

    I have watched her for years no idea she was born a different gender. But makes no matter. She is extremely talented person. No one should be blackmailed and I hope she got the authorities involved to go after their lame asses.

    I love Dutch people they are direct and honest and she did the right thing telling her truth.

    • hunter says:

      I wouldn’t have guessed either but there are a handful of people here who have always found it obvious. Weird, right?

      Maybe it’s like gaydar and some people are just more tuned into some intangible quality.

  13. Cee says:

    I was moved, too, because even though she decided to take back her power, she was forced to talk about something private before she decided to do so.
    I’m glad she stressed how positive and nurturing her environment was for her to be able to express her true identity years before transitioning. Her mother, friends and school teachers all supported a 6 year old’s wishes and preferences.

  14. MrsBanjo says:

    There are some seriously transphobic comments on here.

    • MB says:

      No there are not.
      Just because some people are making comments that don’t meet your standard of ‘correctness’ that doesn’t make them transphobic. If we keep using that term when it doesn’t apply it will lose all impact.

      • Shannon Bullock says:

        Something tells me you are not transgender and I don’t think the transgender community appointed you the gatekeeper of what is and isn’t transphobic. Kindly take several seats.

      • MB says:

        Oh stop. I re-read every single post and there was not one single comment that was showing a dislike of or prejudice against transgender people.
        Everyone here has been commenting about their support and/or neutral surprise. Perhaps some were clumsily written, but none of them were transphobic.

    • Jane Doe says:

      Thanks for calling it out. I really hope some of these comments get deleted. They are violent and harmful.
      Forcing people to out themselves is hateful and dangerous. It reinforces the idea that trans folks have an obligation to disclose that they are trans, or risk being labeled as deceitful. Nobody has to share personal details about themselves unless they desire to do so.

  15. Leriel says:

    I watched some of her videos, it was a review of full coverage foundation, but I never subscribed, I don’t watch big beauty bloggers, they are full of drama (I mean just look at Jeffrey Star) and they get makeup mostly as pr, so I don’t trust their reviews, and that’s all I want from them – products reviews. Nikkie is fine, I was sorry for her when that horrible story with Too Faced collab blew up (when she didn’t get paid well for that and products were crappy). It’s great that she decided to come out, but it’s bitter that she was blackmailed to do that, and Too Faced still salty about her, I hope they will fail even if I like their BTS mascara, but I can find new one, it’s not like market gives a poor choice.

  16. Jillian says:

    Good for her, and I’m sorry that she was put in this position. I’m more shocked to hear she is Dutch, I had no idea.

    • sassafras says:

      You’re Dutch-phobic. (I’m JUST kidding. Some of my best friends are Dutch. ;-) )

      • Jillian says:

        Don’t get me wrong, I love the Dutch! I know who this Nikkie is based solely on my makeup artist sister forcing me to watch a few videos, and I think the current trends in makeup make everyone look like a drag queen (which is cool, I love drag queens). I had no idea she was trans and don’t care. My big takeaway from the article was “She’s Dutch? Now that is surprising”. Completely vile that someone would try to blackmail her over something that should be an entirely neutral issue.

    • Nibbi says:

      I had no clue she was Dutch until her recent appearance on Doutzen Kroes’ channel. THAT was adorable – i def recommend :)

  17. Jekelly says:

    I love Nikki and I’m so proud of her and the way she handled things. I can’t imagine how difficult it was to be blackmailed over this.

  18. lucy2 says:

    I’m very sorry she was blackmailed, but glad she took back control and came out on her own terms.
    I don’t really watch makeup tutorials (it’s all too much work for me, I’m a mascara and out the door kind of person) but she seems sweet, and I did just watch the Gaga video. Gaga looked really pretty in that one, she reminded me of early Madonna, but the makeup at the end was too much.

  19. BANANIE says:

    This was so brave of her. I really hope she is happy she made this decision, even if her hand was forced. This is the kind of decision someone should only make for themselves, not have someone else make for them.

    I feel kind of confused because I suspected she was trans, and I don’t think that’s a bad thing. I don’t think it’s wrong that my brain’s instinctive reaction when seeing someone with such hyper-exaggerated makeup and a strong jawline was that they might be someone who was born in a male body wearing a ton of makeup. Because I ascribe no judgment or opinion to it. I don’t care what anyone’s gender is, and I can’t help that socially up until now we’ve been trained to recognize perceived “male” vs “female” features.

    I hope that doesn’t offend anyone. I just don’t think anyone who looked at her and had the gut reaction that she was born a male but heavily made up is automatically a bad person.

    But much, much more importantly, I’m sorry she had to go through this.

  20. Insomniac says:

    Nikkie always seemed like a genuinely sweet person, even when she did get tangled up with freaking Joffrey Star.

    I’m sorry some ass blackmailed her into coming out before she was really ready, but glad that she’s taking her power back.

  21. ME says:

    I am happy for her…I truly am. A few things about her video though…she said she didn’t tell her boyfriend that she is transgender until a while into their relationship. Is that really the right thing to do? I think you should be honest upfront before starting a relationship. It’s not fair to her boyfriend and I can’t imagine how shocked he must have been and maybe even a little betrayed. Hopefully they can worth through it. Secondly, I don’t understand why her doctors chose to stunt her growth? What is wrong with being a tall woman?

    • amiloo says:

      Well she is 6’2″ — a tall woman by anyone’s standards.

      Maybe she has a REALLY tall father, grandfather, or brothers, and she didn’t want to end up 6’7″.

    • Shannon Bullock says:

      I do not think it is an appropriate expectation to think that transgender people should reveal that to someone they are casually dating considering the risk of violence they face in doing so. She transitioned entirely, her external genitalia is indistinguishable from someone who is born female.
      There are lots of people who are born with ambiguous genitalia, and people with non-binary sex chromosomes (including XXY) and hormonal conditions that also appear to be the gender they prefer. Do you think they should tell everyone they just started dating too?
      I think the assumption underlying this thinking is that transgender people are lying about being their preferred gender and I disagree with that. Nikki is no less a woman than I am and I was born female.

      • Em says:

        To someone they just started dating, no. In the first few dates you don’t owe anybody anything.
        But once it starts to get serious, then yes. You need to disclose.
        Just like you need to disclose medical issues, debt, previous marriages / kids, infertility, general desire for family / marriage / kids, religion, etc.

      • ME says:

        Well in my comment I said once you start a relationship…which means more than a few dates. You know when you decided to actually be dating each other exclusively. I didn’t say you need to shout it to everyone on the first encounter. But it isn’t fair to keep that secret for so long, as she did. Yes, of course Nikki is no less a woman than any other woman, but she still should tell her partner about her transition and make sure her boyfriend is comfortable with it (some might not be).

  22. Jillybean says:

    She is always a joy to watch and her videos are excellent! I wish her all the best!

  23. Shannon Bullock says:

    I’m really upset for Nikki that she had to reveal this information under threat of being outed. It’s none of our business and it should have been 100% her decision if/when she wanted to share it.

  24. Skittlesandkittens says:

    So much plastic surgery in those pics that it’s hard to concentrate on the makeup.

  25. mew says:

    I’m not a Nikkie fan but this is just so powerful. You go girl!