You know what we haven’t talked about enough through this Adele album release cycle? Like, of course, we’ve covered what the songs are about, how she went away for so long and has come back with what I personally consider to be the strongest album of her career, how she’s giving us the soundtrack to our autumn tears…
But also, Adele is “ready to be famous again” as she told Vogue and in embracing her fame to support this album, she’s been showing the sh-t out of her work, especially on the press side. It’s been an excellent combination of traditional media – like magazine interviews and television specials and junkets – with new media, and engaging with a target influencer crowd not just to “reach young people”, which is the ambition of every marketing push, but making sure that the effort matches her brand.
Adele, one of the biggest superstars in the world, had her face done by YouTuber Nikkie de Jager aka NikkieTutorials. The full video is below, it’s half an hour, and if you haven’t watched already, set aside some time tonight once you’re ready to let go of the week and pour a glass of wine to drink (if that’s safe for you) along with Adele and Nikkie and enjoy it, it’ll fly by.
Nikkie is mega popular but still, Adele is a huge get for anyone – and credit to her, she is a natural at the celebrity interview, there’s no awkwardness, no excessive fawning, the video is presented with the same energy that most of her videos are done, it’s not like they put together anything special or fancy because it was Adele. And the result is half an hour of entertainment and beauty education!
For Adele, though, to go back to how she’s showing the sh-t out of her work, celebrities at her level generally try to keep their distance, and avoid intimacy. But few settings are as intimate as the makeup chair, not just for celebrities but for civilians too. It’s physical intimacy, for starters. An artist has to get right up in your airspace. They’re touching you all over. And they’re right up in your face, and your face is stripped. It’s a vulnerable position to be in, and that facial vulnerability, so to speak, often allows for emotional vulnerability. Makeup artists see it all – anger, fatigue, joy, ego, anxiety, insecurity – and they hear it all: the makeup chair is often a confession booth.
Adele knows this. There is no way she wouldn’t know this, being as famous as she is, and she went for it, telling Nikkie right off the top of the video that when she and her team were deciding on what her promo would look like for 30, Nikkie was at the top of the list.
And she didn’t show up just for the sake of showing up to promote her album and get the f-ck out of there; if she was going to show up for Nikkie, she committed to doing it right: no artifice, a bare face, and ready to get real. Which is why they have a real conversation that goes one way and then the other, splitting off into tangents and jokes, with all kinds of revelations along the way. Like how obsessed she is with Dwayne The Rock Johnson. Like how she learned how to dye her own eyebrows during the pandemic and does it once a week. And her thoughts on reality shows like Real Housewives and Love Island. Why she named her puppies Bob and Fred (“Bob loves a job”, lol). That Rich Paul went with her to Oprah’s for the interview and they were freaking out over being at Oprah’s.
After a while, you kind of forget that this is ADELE, and it’s just Nikkie and another beautiful woman talking eyeliner and shooting the sh-t about whatever, but of course it’s not just anyone, it’s Adele, who is so good at making work look not like work. Because she’s having fun, she’s completely present, and that is one of the keys to showing your work.
If you didn’t think you could love her more… Adele in the makeup chair, one of the best Adele’s ever.