At the Vanity Table with… Nicole Chen A.K.A. the Nictionary

Learn her trick to getting crystal clear skin and more.

At the Vanity Table With… is a series that dives into a personality’s beauty tips, tricks, non-negotiables, and more. In this edition, dancer and online personality Nicole Chen A.K.A. Nictionary talks of the beauty goodies she yearns to try, as well as the women she looks up to.

You’ll never run out of things to look at when you’re browsing through Nicole Chen’s Instagram feed. She takes her now almost 30,000 followers along for the ride, and it includes her travels and even her home renovation journey. Known for her authenticity, the creator has also raked up a nomination at the TikTok Awards Malaysia 2023.

If you’re not tuned in to the beauty scene, then you probably know her better for her dancing chops. But when she has her beauty hat on, Nicole is probably one of the most adventurous creators out there. She has dyed her hair in every colour there is and has posted some of the most expressive makeup looks we’ve seen from Malaysian beauty junkies. If you think it’s only reserved for Halloween, it’s not, because she’s simply a bold beauty lover at heart.

Ahead, she shares her beauty opinions, must-haves, and little fun facts that make her Nicole Chen.

Confess a beauty crime that you have committed before

When I was younger, I used to spray hairspray on my face for dance performances because I didn’t have enough money to buy setting sprays. My makeup stayed on perfectly fine, and honestly, my only crime was being young and broke.

A beauty item you would immediately replace if it’s lost

Anastasia Beverly Hills Eyeliner, so far, has been the only eyeliner that doesn’t smudge after a long day. I cannot live without it.

Three items that are on your beauty wish list right now

The Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter. Why haven’t I tried this out yet? The Numbuzin No. 5 Vitamin-Niacinamide Concentrated Pads, too. I hear those have worked wonders on people’s skin! And lastly, the Judydoll Curling Iron Mascara, has been going insanely viral on TikTok.

A person you have the biggest beauty crush on, and why?

It’s Mei Pang (@meicrosoft on Instagram) for sure. Not only because she is Malaysian Canadian, but I’m more curious about how she constantly reinvents makeup with every look. I’m in love with her brain.

Something you’re gatekeeping right now. Spill.

A queen doesn’t gatekeep. I share everything, so the key is trying to sort through my content to find the little nuggets!

A trend that needs to die

Clean girl makeup, bring back the 2016 bold glamour!

A viral product that does nothing for you

It’s got to be the Mario Badescu Drying Lotion. I heard so many amazing things about this product helping to dry out pimples, but it never worked on me.

A makeup step you will never skip before you head out the door

I usually go out without makeup unless I have to, but on my good off days, I’ll never skip lipstick that can double as blusher. A little dash of red on the lips and cheeks goes a long way.

The skincare item that completely transformed your skin for the better

Nictionary, Nictionary favourite beauty product, la roche-posay

The Effaclar Duo+ Corrective Unclogging Care by La Roche-Posay. It’s affordable and has helped me with my hyperpigmentation and blemishes. Overall, it has made my skin look like glass.

Your trick to achieve the best hair day

There’s no shortcut to it. Shampoo twice, mask your hair, and condition your hair. Use heat protectant, blow dry in an organised fashion. The trick is to try very very hard, only to look like you ‘woke up like this’. Sorry guys, there are no shortcuts in life.

An unexpected beauty hack you always incorporate into your routine

I love putting two dots on my lower eyelids with eyeliner. It makes my eyes twinkle, and the effort-to-payoff ratio works tremendously in your favour.

An underrated perfume you think everyone should give a chance to

Nictionary, Nictionary favourite perfume

I love the brand Journal from Thailand. Their scents are so affordable, and I love that it’s created by Southeast Asians. I’m currently using the scent Charm. I basically drown myself in it before leaving the house every day.

The last beauty indulgence you had done

Probably a facial? I honestly never have the time to take care of my skin, so the fact that I manage to find time once every two months is beyond me, but I should definitely go more often because my skin always feels so amazing after!

A song that will always get you in the mood to get ready

Any song by Jungle. Their new album is absolutely amazing, but if I had to pick a song, it would be “Back on 74”.

Brands that check all the boxes for you

Fenty Beauty. Rihanna has completely revolutionised the market by creating such an inclusive and extensive foundation range, that all brands just had to follow suit. She continues to innovate and try something new with every release, and I’m always excited to make a pitstop at Fenty Beauty in Sephora every time I go, even if I don’t buy anything.

Malaysians you look up to

Kittie Yiyi is probably at the top of my list right now in terms of creators. Her narrative is quirky, unique, and endlessly interesting—and she still manages to cater to her audience while maintaining her authenticity. That’s not easy to do. I am absolutely in love with her and her work and would like to be her for one day just to see how her mind works.

A mantra that you live by

It sounds morbid. But life is a game. Mash all the buttons, make mistakes, try and be the best, and do your best and see where it takes you, we’re all going to die anyway.