Get to know the Mother of Draguns!
Today, HOLR had the incredible opportunity to sit down and chat with mega influencer, make-up icon, model, and reality star, Nikita Dragun. As a proud trans woman and role model in the LGBTQ+ community, Nikita is showing everyone how she’s a total boss babe as CEO of her beauty brand, Dragun Beauty, and one of the stars of a new Netflix show airing this fall. In addition to her wildly successful YouTube Channel and Snapchat Show, Nikita is taking the world by storm with some amazing projects she has in the works that she couldn’t wait to share with us!
Keep reading to learn all about the Mother of Draguns.
So excited to be chatting with you today! You took your passions and creativity online and you are now an Internet legend with your own show and beauty brand among so many other exciting ventures in the works. What inspired you to initially share your life online and how has your content grown from your first appearance on the web up until now?
Nikita: Thank you! Well, my first appearance on the web was initially a place for me to find friends. I grew up in Virginia, and at the time I was a little gay boy who was a little too flamboyant for the conservative town I was living in and really just wanted to find friends.
I grew up in the digital age and I found myself in this new world where I could be anyone or anything I wanted to be. So by posting pictures and doing my thing, I found not only friends but also a community. More than that, I found people not knowing or caring whether I was a boy or a girl, and later on in my journey, I used the internet as my diary. The first video I uploaded on YouTube was when I said I was transgender – which was crazy because it kind of felt like a letter to myself. In my mind I thought if it’s out there and it’s posted I just have to deal with it- and deal with it I did!
It went viral overnight, and it’s actually how my parents and family found out, and everyone started sharing it. It was a movie moment for me because I put it out there and it just blew up. That was definitely the start. Then, my journey moved to documenting my transition – really for myself – and I was using social media more selfishly for me to showcase my life and document it. I really just wanted to show my life and I had a lot of frustrations initially because I couldn’t find a lot of answers online for trans people regarding things like hormones, or sex, or relationships, and this was because people just weren’t talking about it.
I’ve always – from day one- said that I will show anything and everything – nothing is off-limits! Things have definitely gotten a little bit harder the bigger I’ve gotten now with a larger audience, and being a role model, but I really try to keep the same mindset.
As a proud and confident trans woman, your journey has inspired so many people around the world to embrace their true authentic selves and “be the fantasy.” How are you supporting your community in your everyday life?
Nikita: I support my community by just living my life unapologetically and standing by my truth, which is just a testament to the construct people have in their mind of being a part of the LGBTQ+ community. I never wanted to have the idea of being the perfect spokesperson- I’ve always said this is my life and this is how I choose to live it, and I will bring my brothers and sisters of the community with me.
Even when I was a broke college girl, I still wanted to donate my money to charities and organizations that supported my community, to help those less fortunate than me and who weren’t essentially given the same opportunities that I was given. I continue that too now with my brand, Dragun Beauty because we actually just partnered with Instagram and we were able to donate to multiple initiatives and give back in as many ways as we can. Every time I launch a product, I always first give back to the LGBTQ+ community and places like the Trans Wellness Centre.
In terms of actual support, it is important to note that my journey and the platform I’ve been given is not the reality of what it is for the average trans person. There are different lights to the trans community and it is so important that I personally highlight them by showing all aspects of all sides. I think it is important to talk about my community, in addition to the stigmas and the violence. I would rather people discuss it – even if it means I get hate for it- than to just shy away from it.
As a boss babe, you are now the CEO of your own successful makeup and beauty line called Dragun Beauty. Can you tell us about your experience with makeup, the products we can shop for, and what inspired you to start your own brand?
Nikita: What inspired me to start this company was just this leap of faith, which is basically the line I use for all of my endeavors. I kind of just had this frustrating moment where I was in the beauty space and I had this thought where I was like why can’t there be a brand by a trans person that creates inclusive products for trans women and all people? At the time, there were not products made for people like myself and I felt like there was education that needed to be had in the beauty community – both socially and through user application.
I had all this info from trans women who taught me everything and that I wanted to share with everyone so that they could implement them into their everyday routine and transform themselves into the beauty they wanted to be. I want you to be the architect of your own beauty through Dragun Beauty– whether that’s through catfishing, on-the-go, etc. I’ve always been in love with beauty and makeup because I could transform myself and see who I always wanted to be on the inside, reflected on the outside.
In terms of my brand, that was the idea! When I launched people probably thought I wasn’t going to be hands-on and that I just slapped my name on a product but that is definitely not the case at all. I initially launched with a brightening powder and a colour corrector and everyone thought I was so stupid, telling me I won’t be successful and that there was no way I would make it in the industry. I didn’t let this stop me- I held true to what I believed in and the biggest lesson I have learned in business is that it’s hard being an entrepreneur and a woman in the business space, in general. Overall, there were a lot of hardships and learnings I took from it. I’ve never been as forthcoming with my business aspects and it’s been such an interesting journey- I have grown and learned so much and I have such a great team around me.
We’re inside of Morphes around the world, and Amazon worldwide that just launched and now we’re about to launch our second partnership with Instagram to do an Instagram live shopping event. It’s so amazing to be supported as a brand and a trans CEO by these industry leaders. I would rather people underestimate me and not know I’m over here in my fantasy factory whipping up amazing products.
In terms of what you can shop for, I have my DragunFire Orange Colour Corrector and my best-seller which is my TRANSformation Face Powder. The brightening powder helps you sculpt and change how the light hits your face and it gives you this overall filtered effect- I love it! This is the product that is on the next level.
My setting powders are also insane! Plus, you can shop my DragunGlass lip products that are so amazing, juicy, and yummy – they also smell incredible. I have even more products on the way which have been super exciting to develop.
Talk to us about your upcoming role in Netflix’s The Hype House coming out this fall!
Nikita: At first I was just supposed to be a cameo in the show- and you know, these are my genuine, real friends- but I live such a crazy, wild life that I think people will be really surprised! The reason why I wanted to do it was to show my friendships because I kind of shy away from showing my family and friends just because I hold them really close to my heart and I just feel like with this lifestyle I live, whatever I do might affect them- and I don’t want that. With this show, it’s a different side in a way that I never thought I could show or talk about. There are raw emotions, and we talk about the lifestyle, and at the end of the day our real friendships.
You have these kids that are living in LA with millions of followers and eyes on them and there’s so much that goes on but we’re essentially just trying to live normal- to some extent- lives. For me- before I even got on the show- I kind of told myself like “I wish I could go to high school as Nikita now” and I definitely got my wish granted! This is a crazy all-in-one situation that I just think will just really surprise people.
This is not just a TikTok- this feels like a new age of The Hills, where it will focus on the core friend group and you kind of go off into each person’s life and how they mix into each other’s lives. I’m really excited about it but also really nervous to see how people view me afterward- I really drop my “wig” if you will!
We’re obsessed with your Snapchat show, Nikita Unfiltered, which gives viewers a glimpse into your personal life and your experiences with love, friendship, and navigating fame. What are some of your most memorable moments from the show and what can viewers expect when watching?
Nikita: Oh my gosh so in terms of memorable moments of course I flipped a table, I ran into my ex once at a nightclub, I accepted an award, I got into a love entanglement- oh I’ve done so much on the show!
I would say that this Snapchat show is more like a highlight reel of my life. We always film at the craziest moments of my life and it’s just a high dosage of me in 8 minutes- which is good and bad! Some people might think I’m dramatic but that’s what it is- there’s such a small amount of time to translate a moment in my life.
I’m excited to see it shift gears a little in the Netflix show because it’s not as individualized on me and it will be longer and more ensemble- showing a different side overall. My Snapchat show is more focused on my dating and friendships, in a sense. This is like the overdosed version of my life.
So, what’s next for you? We hear that you *might* have a secret project coming up- can you drop any hints as to what we can look forward to?
Nikita: I feel like in 2022 I’m just gearing up for my next era. I am a pop star in the making, and I’m very excited in particular for Fashion Week, the VMAs, and different things I have in the works that I feel like will just set me up for the new journey I’m on. For the first time, I feel like this is going to be a chapter shift in my life, and I am the type of person where once I do something I’m already bored of it so I want- and crave- an evolution. In my brain and my spirit, I feel very centered and focused, and I know what I want next.
So yeah! This is just going to be a new era- I feel really empowered and excited for my next evolution.
Published by HOLR Magazine.