Beauty is in the eye of the beholder or so they say. But it seems that beauty is in the hands of Victoria Nunns - and whatever she turns her hands to.
From makeup artistry to illustration to YouTube and social media, Victoria is the multi-threat with a sweet smile, approachable manner and killer Instagram game. This foxy mama has a total of 17K followers on Instagram, 2.9K on Facebook and 1.6K on YouTube and growing. Her bold makeup looks give her pictures an almost anime-character-like perfection.
So when we get together for lunch at St Johns on the Wellington Waterfront just before her upcoming travels Victoria surprises me with very little makeup, active wear and a super laid back ‘tude. The only evidence of her fashionable chops the startling dyed grey hair she sports. “It was for fun” she shrugs, smiling warmly. This seems to be the number one rule for Victoria Nunns Beauty Inc. Have fun - and don’t take yourself too seriously.
Growing Up: "I loved Enid Blyton"
Victoria Nunns was born in Wellington and grew up in Northland, in the Western suburbs of Wellington.
As a beauty lover, one would expect Victoria was hyper girly as a child. I ask whether she was more into Barbies or playing tag as a kid. “I think it was a mix of everything” she replies. “That’s why now I have to have so much variety in my life because I enjoyed lots of different things. I would be outside playing war games with my brother or adventuring and exploring - and then you would go inside and draw or read books. I read a lot while I was growing up. My mum was quite strict.”
"From makeup artistry to illustration to YouTube and social media, Victoria is the multi-threat with a sweet smile, approachable manner and killer Instagram game."
Victoria would pour for hours over all the classics as a child “Secret Seven, the Famous Five, Anne of Green Gables. I loved adventuring books…books that are not typical of today” she laughs, “I loved Enid Blyton!”
Life was a playground for Victoria where she and her siblings would roam the streets in Wilton and Northland. “It was very safe” says Victoria. Every second week they would visit her father, who lived in Miramar. “It was always really fun, being on the other side of town, going down to the playgrounds on our bikes.”
Victoria's Teenage Beauty Style
At St Mary’s School for girls in Thorndon, Victoria soon noticed the power of makeup and would wear it on a day to day basis unlike some of the other girls. Her makeup antics sometimes attracted attention especially because some looks were more successful than others. “There was this one time I showed up at a netball practice with bright blue eye shadow on” she recalls. “All the other girls looked at me like ‘What the?’ I hadn’t realised it wasn’t normal to show up at netball with blue eyes”. Her friend used to be able to tell that it was her “a mile away” because of her “orange foundation”. “I was using my Mum’s foundation - I didn’t know what I was doing!” she laughs.
Victoria also admits being guilty of over lining her eyes (“like a racoon”), over plucking her eyebrows and raiding her mum’s makeup. “Total beauty blunders” she groans, also cracking a grin. “I was more skater chick style back at school. It was good when I could earn my own money.”
“I need to be active or I get grumpy. It’s important to me to lead a healthy lifestyle.”
Today Victoria embraced a mix of elegant dresses, tops and activewear (her and her boyfriend, Saimon Lomaloma, a chartered accountant, own a water sport business (Jetboards) which gets Victoria out and active regularly). “I need to be active or I get grumpy. It’s important to me to lead a healthy lifestyle.”
Drawing it out
After school, Victoria did a gap year. When that finished, she started a course at the New Zealand Broadcasting School in Christchurch. “I began that thinking I would be all about Radio. I ended up being drawn to producing because I loved computers and making things. Towards the end of my first year I realised that maybe it wasn’t for me.” She did however have a backup plan. “A friend at the time was at design school and I liked what he was doing,” Victoria explains. “So I moved back to Wellington to an illustration degree at Massey.”
Victoria embraced her illustration degree whole heartedly, studying for the full four years. So what led to her taking up beauty blogging and Youtube? “I needed more in my life than drawing. Afterwards it was hard to find work as an illustrator when I wasn’t yet established.” Victoria ended up getting a job working in business development at KPMG, and freelancing on the side.
The Big Break: "Positively Wellington Tourism were so supportive. I ended up spending probably 150 hours on top of my normal job working on the piece."
The ‘breakthrough moment’ towards being a full-time freelancer was through a job with Positively Wellington Tourism illustrating the Wellington Christmas Advent Calendar. Siobhan Donaldson, a friend of Victorias [and mine! - Lucy from The Residents] suggested the job. Victoria turned down the chance to pursue it at first and despite Siobhan not putting her name forward, Positively Wellington Tourism found her through another channel. “The experience was amazing!” Victoria remembers. “Positively Wellington Tourism were so supportive. I ended up spending probably 150 hours on top of my normal job working on the piece. Crazy hours over the two month period. It opened doors for me and showed me I was capable.”
It gave her the push she needed. She quit KPMG and invested in her already existing clients to go freelance (with the odd temping job). The road to success, however, is not paved with Tom Ford makeup. Victoria admits lying awake at night not long after she went full time freelance and wondering how she was going to pay rent. “That’s when I realised I had to be brave, to put those fears aside, because worrying isn’t conducive to creativity” she explains. She found the strength to pull up her bootstraps and knuckled down to do the work. Victoria has recently boosted her YouTube content and is exploring her social media presence with the help of an agency.
Sun, sea and Sai
Victoria recently came back from three and a half months in Queenstown for the summer months, helping Saimon run their business. They’ll be back next year.
“We both work so much we haven’t stopped for a break in a very long time.
Up next? “We’re going to Cancun for the World Jetsurf competition to support our friends, then LA for a few days and then having a break. We both work so much we haven’t stopped for a break in a very long time. Then we are coming back for a week and then we are off to Fiji so we can run the Jetboards business over there during Winter. I’ll be working on my illustration and my YouTube Videos as well as helping with the day to day running of Jetboards. YouTube is definitely where I am heading. You can do so much more than in a static image. That’s what I want to do.”
I ask Victoria what is her approach to beauty. “Makeup is for anyone. It can enhance people’s features and make them feel more confident about themselves. I love when I do makeup on people and they feel more beautiful. Where I am now, getting to be a more public figure, I can help people feel better by wearing makeup. At the end of the day though, makeup is for fun. You can wipe it off at the end of the day. It’s not a big deal.”
“Makeup is for anyone. It can enhance people’s features and make them feel more confident about themselves. I love when I do makeup on people and they feel more beautiful"
Victoria loves Wellington. She believes that in her hometown you can be whoever you want and do whatever you want to do. She was never told she couldn’t do anything growing up and credits this for giving her the confidence to start blogging and blogging. Victoria wonders whether she’d be able to do the same anywhere else.
Above all, Victoria wants to do a job she enjoys with Sai and for them to not be ‘grumpy people’ for any future family they may have. YouTube can give her the freedom to work anywhere in the world along with Sai’s business. Freedom is the goal. However, there is always home. “We will probably come back to our families in Wellington after we are away” she says “because Wellington really is a great place.”
“We will probably come back to our families in Wellington after we are away” she says “because Wellington really is a great place.”
If you want more cool stories about Wellington and exclusive snapshots of life in the city, subscribe to the blog (above), follow on YouTube, Instagram, Twitter and add me on Snapchat (residents_welly).