When we met Nicole on Instagram, we became instant fans of her gorgeous photos. When we first spoke to Nicole, we learned that she is a makeup artist from Ireland and a total sweetheart. We knew within minutes that she had to be an Eye Candy Girl and that our readers would fall in love with her like we did. Nicole was just as excited as us to sit down for an interview and send us some beautiful photos.
Thanks for taking some time with us for this interview. Let’s start off by asking – Where are you from?
I’m from County Roscommon in the west of Ireland.
How long have you been dressing?
I’ve been dressing now for about 3 years but suppressed the feelings I was having for about 10 years.
How did you start dressing?
I started with small things bras, stockings and heels, like I said, because I was suppressing the urge to dress for so long it was all very confusing at first. I didn’t know where to start to be honest. But with some help from my girlfriend and a lot of YouTube tutorials I got started on Nicole’s image.
How did you come up with your Femme name?
Honestly I didn’t really have any idea that I even needed a femme name to begin with. I started to talk to other crossdressers online and noticed that a lot of them used names close to their actual names Paul/Pauline or Joe/Jane. But for me it was more about attitude, I had this ideal image of the girl I wanted to be but we’ve all seen the meme for dreams v reality :p so I had to try out some different styles to find the right attitude for me, the right vibe. The rock chick look has always been a very appealing look to me ( I’m in a band and we play everything with a rock’n’roll edge, but we’ll get to that later 😉 Nikki just had a certain sass to it, to go with that rock chick look and so Nicole was born 🙂
Did you have the support of your family if/when you first told them that you were genderfluid/crossdresser?
I can gladly say yes and not a day goes by that I don’t realize how lucky I am. I have heard so many stories about people coming out as transgender to their family and friends across the spectrum with sad outcomes. I first knew I was different at about 15 years old. I didn’t find the things my friends were interested in interesting. Stuff like football, hurling, GAA sports (Irish sports btw) I had no desire to get involved with any of it. But I did to fit in, maybe even over compensate, if you will. But none of it was enjoyable to me. Sure, I enjoyed hanging out with my friends but, I always felt out of place. I would look at the girls at my school, (what teenage boy didn’t 😉 lol. I was always attracted to girls so I knew I was straight, but I wanted to be like them so I was pretty confused. I didn’t feel comfortable talking to anyone about it. I felt like I was weird and no one would understand me, so I hid it from everyone. No one suspected anything. I acted out a lot as a teenager because of this. I lost friends and before long I wasn’t very popular with the guys anymore. I was always angry because I didn’t understand what was wrong with me. I got along with the girls better than the guys after a while. I made some good girl friends and felt better in their company, again what guy wouldn’t lol. My sister was the first family member I told. I knew from the start she’d be cool with it as she is pro LGBTQ. My close friends are all typical guys who love their football, beer and banter….. I don’t wanna stereotype, but they really do 😉 So telling them was difficult as I had no clue how they would react but luckily I chose good friends. I told my parents and my brother, they are ok with it, they just prefer I visit them in guy mode. I think because my parents are from a different generation where they were used to the world moving slower it’s harder for them to adapt to change in today’s world. As for my brother, he has too much testosterone. Lol, I’m kidding, but he just sees things differently to me I guess. But they don’t have any issue with me and it hasn’t changed our relationship so I’ll take it as a win 🙂 Since telling everyone I felt like a huge weight was lifted off my shoulders and really regretted not sharing sooner – so much lost time 🙁 But it’s not all that bad. My sister and my friends have even come on nights out with Nicole and my girlfriend so I am very lucky to have supportive people in my life.
Are you in a relationship? If yes, are you able to share your female self with your partner?
Yes I am engaged to my fantastic girlfriend 🙂 We are together over 5 years now and she’s been great about me being me. She helped me a lot with makeup and clothes in the beginning. She’s been my rock through some hard times figuring out this journey.
Include a few fun facts about yourself – Hobbies and/or activities you enjoy while dressed or not dressed?
Hmm… Well I love music it’s a big part of my life, I’m in a band where I play guitar and lead vocals. My music is where I lose myself, where everything else falls away. We play everything from new and old with a rock vibe thrown into each one. You see now why Nikki’s rock chick look is important to me 😉 I sing pretty much everyday. In stark contrast to being a rock chick I play golf, I enjoy fishing and of course I exercise. I have a rigorous work out regime… a girl’s gotta stay in shape 😉 When I’m having Nicole time I like to go out for drinks with friends or just chill at home with my girl and watch movies.
Favorite outfits or styles when dressed?
OMG how am I supposed to choose lol. There are so many styles I adore, but I love anything with lace. I own a lot of skirts and long sleeve dresses, as they are a must. I love the casual everyday look heels, leggings and a nice top or sweatpants and a hoodie because sometimes I’m a lazy bi*t*h ;). I love low cut tops and skirt combos. My rule of thumb is that any outfit I wear needs a pair of heels. I rarely wear flat sole shoes unless it’s the end of the night and every girl knows how good it feels to take off your heels at the end of the night 😉
Some of your favorite places to go when dressed?
I actually enjoy just going for a drive sometimes, but I love going out on the town. Usually the George Bar in Dublin. With Halloween coming up you can bet I’ll be out :). A lot of the time I’ll get dolled up and head to my sisters and have drinks with take out.
Any go to accessories or must haves for a night out?
A girl always has must haves for a night out but there is rarely enough room in the bag to bring it all ;). Of course being a crossdresser presets its own set of problems as we need a little more help to stay looking on point. I have to have my breast plate – my best assets ;p. My wigs – I always need to have them styled and ready to go. My setting powder goes everywhere Nicole goes.
Wearing the extras makes things heat up especially in a crowded club, so my setting powder keeps my makeup in place. Hair pins! gotta keep your do doing what it’s doing, you can never have enough hair pins; omg they seem to just disappear every night lol.
How often do you post to Instagram?
Usually I post twice a week, I don’t have time every week to get dolled up and post, so it’s usually weekends. And besides I wouldn’t want to post everyday people can get tired of seeing you in their feed.
What do you enjoy most about posting on Instagram?
Hmm… I guess it’s the support I receive from my followers 🙂 I get to talk to some really interesting and lovely people. I enjoy helping others in the community like me who may be struggling with their gender identity and need someone to share with, that’s very rewarding 🙂
Do you have any role models? (either in the community or not)
I have so many female idols I look up to. I fashion a lot of my look on Christina Aguilera because well… you’ve seen her right? ;). I love Lady Gaga because she’s a nonconformist like me and does what makes her feel good and that’s a very rare thing today. A lot of people lose their individuality because they spend more time following the majority instead of carving their own path and leaving a trail for others to follow. Within the trans community itself I am a big fan of Laverne Cox from the T.V series Orange is the New Black. She has played a strong role in raising awareness for trans people through her work. Also Marsha P. Johnson if you don’t know who she is read her story it’s both tragic and inspiring.
I would consider you a role model for others in the community. Do you get contacted often by others who look to you for advice or help with their journeys?
Thank you so much for saying that :). When I started my Instagram journey it was about me, my self expression and learning to love who I am. But now it’s about so much more than that, it’s bigger than me. I never thought in a year I’d have as many followers as I do, I never did anything just to get attention but I found myself receiving a lot of it. I’d get contacted by girls young and old – new to the life that needed advice on anything from makeup tips to fashion advice or just to ask where I got my outfit from. Of course there are those who need help with the heavier issues like how to tell family and friends. I’ve spoken with a lot of people and shared my experience and advice based on their individual circumstances. I can’t reply to everyone unfortunately, as I receive literally hundreds of messages. Many girls in need often get lost in with messages from guys asking for my number and other things… You can use your imagination, for the record I don’t give my number or anything else. It’s a shame because there is so much pain out there in the community that I just wanna heal but I can’t do it all, and so I try to help one person at a time.
Tell me about your XYX Gender Studio project and where does that stand at the moment?
I’m trying to raise money through my gofundme page at the moment to start it as an image consultation service for transgender/gender-fluid people. Some people find it hard to find time to explore their gender identity because they may not have the privacy at home and they may keep it from friends and family until they have had time to explore it themselves. My aim is to help them become more comfortable in themselves and the image they wish to portray by providing them with the make-up skills and fashion advice that will help them in the future. With my non-judgmental and confidential service I want to create a safe space for them to explore their gender 🙂
Being a makeup artist gives you an opportunity to experiment on different makeup looks for dressing En Femme, do you have any makeup advice for your fellows CDs out there?
There are a lot of dos and don’ts when it comes to makeup and the one question I’m asked time and time again is, Nicole where do I start? Well the truth is where ever you like. I do advise to start with practicing eyeshadow and blending, it’s tricky at first to get the hang of but once you do, you can have fun with a wide range of looks.
Matching your foundation to your skin tone! This seems like an obvious one but I see so many girls walking around like tangerine oranges because their foundation is 5 shades darker than their natural colour :o. So girls watch that foundation at the counter before you buy it 😉
Beards! Yes, shaving is very important to achieve the best finish for your makeup. You can buy beard cover makeup, but it’s often overpriced, I just use orange lipstick, rub it around the beard area not too heavy; experiment with how much you need. Apply your foundation over this. You can even use it under your eyes if you have dark circles. The reason this works so well is because orange is the opposite of blue on the colour wheel. Check out the colour wheel for reference 🙂
Everything else from contour to blending can be found on YouTube tutorials. Check out Joseph Harwood and Wayne Goss for great tips on these techniques 😉
Like everything girls, practice makes perfect 😉
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Hopefully happy, healthy, a little wiser and married with some kids 🙂 I would like to still be proactively helping others in the community with their struggles and of course still en femme 😉
Any closing words to your fellow girls out there?
Just keep being your fantastic self. If you haven’t already, try to accept who you are. I spent so many years denying myself the right to be happy, to be myself. I was so scared of what people would think. I’d decided that I’d been selfless for long enough suppressing my feelings. It was killing me pretending to be someone I wasn’t. I’d thought I was being selfish expecting everyone to accept me. But in reality my selflessness caused me to be miserable. So be yourself because no one else is better at being you!
Thank you so much Nicole. It was a real pleasure to get to know you and I’m sure our readers will agree!
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