A beautiful conversation with V2 Cover-Girl Nikita Dragun
Nikita Dragun is charismatic, glamorous, smart and probably one of the funniest people you will ever meet. She had me laughing hysterically! But there is also a depth that Nikita has. She truly cares for her community and is an inspiration to many. As she says, she is doing a full Dragun makeover one kingdom at a time.
So grab those drinks ladies and enjoy a great read! -Shruti Sadana, Host, Senior Editor at HeyBeauti.com
What is one beauty product that you cannot leave the house without?
I love skincare, but I also think it’s essential to put a light layer of something on my face before I leave the house--a concealer or a sheer foundation. I never thought about it before, but I have been using a darker contour foundation on the areas where I would usually contour. It’s an actual foundation, but it is a little bit darker. I use the Vanish Hourglass Stick. I learned this when I was in Hawaii. I was super tan when I was there but not as tan when I got back home. I was using the same foundation but concentrating it on the outer edge of my face and then blending it in.
Vanish Hourglass Stick
Every single time I go to the gym, I throw on a little of the dark bronzier foundation on the outside and blend it in. Everyone at the gym is like “you look so amazing,” and I just say “omg what do you mean, I’m just working out” (laughs).
If you could have cocktails with anyone living or dead, who would it be? What would you drink? What would be your first topic of conversation?
I want to have cocktails with Jesus. I know this is going to sound crazy, but I want to ask, “is this how he wanted everything to go down?” I want his opinions on hair care tips, and I think he would have fantastic skin care tips as well. I would love to have margaritas with Jesus--a giant margarita (laughs).
Congratulations on the series Escape The Night! Talk to us about the process. Was it an audition or an offer? Who was the first person you called when you found out you booked the role?
It was a competition for a reality show. There were real contestants, and we don’t have any script while we are interacting with real-life actors in a whole separate world. If you think about a crazy Escape Room--that’s pretty much what it was. At that time, I didn’t have a million subscribers, so I was an underdog compared to people who had millions of subscribers and who have been on YouTube for their entire career or for a long time. I’ve only been on YouTube now for about three years, so it was exciting because I was a fan of a lot of them, and going into it; I’ve never even met some of these YouTubers. It was a crazy feeling-- at the moment I was nervous. One thing I am is very competitive, so I don’t care who it is or who I had to kill or if I had to kill zombies (laughs) I was going to do it in my six-inch pumps and my giant retro-poof. I was dressed like a go-go dancer.
I did not audition--my friend Joey who is a creator, executive producer and who is also on the show, had asked me to be on the show which was a decision that I was a bit reluctant about. It was his decision because he wanted to add that “spice” and “fire” that I bring (laughs).
I think I called my mom and tried to explain it to her. I don’t think she understood what it was even though I tried my best to tell her what it was. It’s funny now because my parents, siblings, and my sister’s fiance all get together and watch it religiously. Going into it I didn’t tell them I won. My parents are just as crazy and into it as I was.
If you had a chance to go to outer space or visit 50 different countries, which one you would choose and why?
I feel like I can visit fifty countries at any time. Honestly, I have to go to outer space. Could you imagine how cute I could make an Instagram video of me giving fashion advice in outer space while floating? That’s a once in a lifetime thing. I don’t know how long I could stay up there, but at least for one quick moment, I’m so there-- at least for an Instagram picture.
Get a boomerang (laughs)
If I can tweet about it, that’s fine. I would also take a quick little vide--“hi get ready with me in space” and have my makeup floating around me and throw on my wig. How fabulous would that be--I found the craziest shoes which are like ten-inch stripper heels. I mean, come on, homeboy walked the moon in a little suit but to be able to walk in heels on the moon with a pink suit with diamonds... (laughs)
If we were to spend a day in your life on your day off, what would we do?
I always wear no makeup and wear my hair in a bun with a headband. I’m probably in between spray tans on my day off. I’m pasty white, and I’m in sweatpants. I have these boy boxer briefs that are just so comfortable. I’m not glamorous at all. I always go to this sketchy hole in the wall massage place that is so amazing. The people that work there go so “ham” on me every time that it is the most relaxing thing ever. Then, I go by myself to get some food from a place I like and indulge.
Tell us about a challenge you faced or a time where you felt genuinely discouraged. What did you learn from that experience? What would advice could you pass onto others?
We don’t take enough time to compliment ourselves and take a moment to reflect on all the things that we have accomplished. I also get caught up in wanting to do more--this and that, and I feel as if I always need to be doing more. I’m so restless in that I haven’t achieved what I wanted to achieve, but even though it’s hard, I have now learned to sit down and give yourself a damn pat on the back. Look at how many things you have around you in your life, how many things you have going for you, how many things you have achieved and will achieve. We look at the past too often, but I think it’s fantastic to recognize the things you have done. Take that moment to breathe and have a moment for yourself.
There’s that saying “You can be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world, and there's still going to be somebody who hates peaches.” How do you handle the pressures of Hollywood and any criticism that comes your way?
I get criticism all the time (laughs). What I have found challenging in the past year, that I recently got over, is being the “ideal woman.” Through my transition from male to female, there was this hurdle of wanting to be the “ideal woman.” For the longest time, I was constantly taking in the critiques that I would receive online. I would receive negative comments about me not being enough of a “woman.” I would internalize that, and I didn’t even realize that I started to create this crazy over the top or unachievable “woman.” Every woman seems to deal with that today-- being the woman that society wants, looking a certain way or being a certain way or only doing certain things.
For me, once I got in the mindset that “no one can ever be the best Nikita”--that’s when I thought “oh shit, I’m in my lane.” I’m doing my own thing, and I don’t have to worry about these constant pressures. As challenging as it can be, I try not to overlook the kindness and amazing support that I do have from my fans. I think it would be selfish of me to focus on one comment out of thousands. Now, if I read one comment that sets me off, I try to read at least five or ten comments that are positive and respond to that. There’s not enough love in the world, but there is a lot of negativity (laughs).
Albert Einstein once said “Imagination is everything. It’s a preview of life’s coming attractions.” Of course, we have to take action and do the work to get to where we want to be but, having a vision and believing in it is essential too. What do you see yourself manifesting in the next two years?
Oh my gosh, I am the biggest believer in manifesting things. I have manifested every single thing that I have in my life today. I think what I’m manifesting lately is--I want to get to a place where I feel stable.
Maybe that’s not income-wise, but I want to be in a place where I’m stable enough where I can do things for people around me and my community. I see people getting out there and actively changing things. I’m not the type of person who tells people what they should or shouldn’t do, so I’ll go out there and do it myself. I want to get more involved in helping my community regarding politics. I know that sounds so crazy coming from someone who is into fashion and makeup (laughs). I think there is a lot of change that I would like to see and I feel like there are changes that I can make myself. I’ve seen so many different instances where influencers, celebrities, or influential people who can make a fantastic positive difference in the world--or our little country (laughs). I think that’s a place where I want to get to, not only where I am manifesting my career and success, but potentially manifesting the success of others.
I think for me it’s about being able to get to a platform where I can share my journey, my story and get that message out there whether that’s on CNN or any magazine. I think that would be a great way to help my community. I would love to manifest that.
What mantra do you live by daily?
It is going to sound like a crazy one, but for me, I’m not afraid to be ugly. That sounds so wild, but when you’re not afraid to be ugly, you’re not afraid to be ugly to other people. I do green hair one day, pink hair the next, and then I’ll do black.
I’m not afraid of people saying “oh that’s ugly,” whether it’s my crazy makeup style or something else. I’m not afraid to be whoever I want to be. I think that is so important. The phrase “ugly” is what other people can think of you, so if you’re not afraid to be ugly, then you ’re not caring what other people think. I think that’s the attitude I represent in my everyday life.
This year was wild for me. I think I am getting into a lot of things outside of makeup — things people wouldn’t expect of me. Regarding entertainment--I had some cool acting moments. This crazy rockstar/popstar lifestyle I live is just slowly kind of taking over the whole world. It’s like honey; I have a lot of different wigs that I have to wear (laughs). There’s a lot of things I need to get done, and I have to do something different every day creatively. That’s just the kind of person I am. I’m going to do a full Dragun take over, one kingdom at a time (laughs).
Photographer: Nikko Lamere
Hair: Jesus Guerrero
Makeup: Steven Tabimba
Stylist: Joey Thao
Location: Estrela Sunset / @estrellasunset