Haute Off the Press: Nikkie de Jager’s Crash Course
Each week our no-holds-barred contributor Grace Gold picks apart a hot beauty topic. It’s our version of an op-ed—with lipstick, laser treatments and eyeliner.
Makeup tutorials have a way of capturing your attention. You quickly search YouTube for how to perfect a smoky eye technique, and find yourself 20 minutes later captivated by a video on how to put together a Lady Gaga look that would be too crazy to wear even on Halloween.
Recently the world of makeup tutorials has been literally turned on its head.
Nikkie de Jager, the 18-year-old, Netherlands-based vlogger behind NikkieTutorials, is using the medium to spread what is intended to be an unnerving message.
Smiling through what appears to be the beginning of a girly how-to on accenting eye makeup with rhinestones, de Jager is abruptly cut short by the screech of wheels and a violent crash that jolts and awakens you. If your heart doesn’t skip a beat, your pulse surely does. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
It turns out, Volkswagen teamed up with the vlogger to spread awareness on how applying makeup while driving is an act even more dangerous than texting.
According to a study by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, using a cellphone while behind the steering wheel increases a driver’s risk of crashing by 1.3 times and putting on mascara, lipstick and the like while behind the steering wheel triples that risk. The automaker also claims that over 500,000 car accidents in the U.K. have been the result of women putting makeup on while driving. Meanwhile, according to statistics kept by British car insurance company Diamond, one in five female drivers admits to primping while behind the steering wheel.
It seems to beg the question: just who would put makeup on while driving?
Well, I would.
Sort of. Let me explain.
I apply all of my makeup at home, in front of a mirror strategically placed in natural light. But I wait until I am in my car to primp my lips. Here in New York City (yes, I realize this makes you question my level of sanity even more), there are many stoplights. And every time I’m stopped at a light, I complete one more step in finishing my lips. First, I swipe on my Banana Boat Sunscreen Lip Balm. Then I do a Picasso-like sketch job with my MAC Cremestick Liner in Pink Treat. And, finally, I layer on Lancôme Color Design Sensational Effects Lipcolor in It Girl and dab on a dollop of Giorgio Armani Lip Shimmer Lip Gloss in Shimmer Pink at the top and bottom centers of my lips.
My song-and-dance routine hasn’t evolved out of necessity; I get up with plenty of time to get ready, since I hate to rush, require breakfast and am more than just a little high maintenance. (Can’t you tell?) I just like the idea of multitasking while I’m stopped at a red light, instead of idly sitting there and perhaps relaxing for a moment.
Now I’ve got to tell you, I would never apply makeup while the car was moving. But I’m not sure if that makes my dalliance any better.
This is why I give praise to Volkswagen for working within the creative lens of beauty to create a public service announcement that truly speaks to women.
But, I’m curious. Are you guilty of touching up behind the wheel? Do you do it under certain circumstances? And for those of you who take mass transit, do you risk an eye poke or lip jab while jostling with makeup on a train in motion?
Share your story.