Nikki Pennie is dropping the beat for Dior Beauty. The stylist-turned-DJ has signed on as ambassador for the brand, a post formerly held by fellow Brit and DJ for the fashion set Harley Viera-Newton.
“When I started DJing full-time professional[ly] about two years ago, I was like, ‘Oh my God, my dream is to have an ambassadorship like she had with Dior Beauty.’ It’s the ultimate brand for me. I have always wanted to work with them,” said Los Angeles-based Pennie. “I DJ’d for them a couple of times and, when it came up that they were looking to fill the position, I was so happy that it worked out. I have been wearing Dior for a while to DJ big events, so it just kind of happened organically.”
Pennie gives kudos to Dior Beauty for thinking outside the box for their artist affiliations. “It’s smart and cool that Dior does this with DJ’s. It’s something very modern. A DJ before was someone who just played the music. They wouldn’t have a persona. Now, I go to a party and wear an elegant dress, and set the tone. You are a reflection of the event,” she said. “Whatever you wear — the makeup and the clothes — is so important because everyone views that. It’s almost like a different form of a catwalk show.”
As a DJ, Pennie underscored that music and makeup go hand-in-hand. “With DJ’ing, your face is one of the main things on display. I call it the ‘booth face.’ It has to be something dramatic at night for parties. I like to do a dramatic eye or maybe a lip. I play around with it,” she said. “People think it is hilarious because I will open my case to get my mixer out, and there will be all this makeup. I have my stash of makeup with my audio equipment because one of the key things is to apply it sneakily underneath.”
Dior Beauty products help Pennie endure lengthy DJ jobs. “The [Dior Addict] Lip Glow really helps because I get dry lips. You have to have something that you put on that doesn’t need much maintenance. That really nourishes your lips and gives them good color,” she said. The Fix It 2-In-1 Prime & Conceal is also a favorite. “For a DJ that works long hours, it is amazing. It hides all your dark circles. I literally use that religiously,” said Pennie.
Inside the DJ booth, Pennie’s hair is as striking as her makeup. She credits colorist Tracey Cunningham with creating her vibrant red tresses. “When DJ’ing started to take off for me, I told Tracey, ‘I need something that you can see from the booth.’ She was like, ‘I don’t know about red Nikki. It can go either way.’ She did it, and it has literally changed my life,” said Pennie. “I get more compliments on my hair than anything else. It has made me stand out as a fashion DJ. It became my trademark.”