NAM VO

To enter the megawatt world that @NamVo has created, you need to speak her language. Dewy Dumplings, glow-porn, glow-job, Jesus light… these coy phrases of hers are the basis to her Instagram success which, if you haven’t already guessed, is all about creating a beautiful, luminous look.



Born in California to Vietnamese parents, Nam’s mother started her off on the right skincare path by never letting her walk to school in the sun. Following a move to New York, she worked as a makeup artist in a strip club, before her big break in magazine editorials and celebrities like Kylie Jenner and Chrissy Teigen came calling.

 

Her greatest success came however with the realisation that people responded better to an iPhone photo “with a mess in my apartment”, than glossy images from a highly produced shoot. Since the first mesmerising swipe of highlighter, she’s amassed a following by sharing her top ticks to achieve glowing “dewy dumpling” skin directly with her audience. “The fact of the matter is,” she tells us “through all the stages in life, everybody wants to glow.”

 

WE JUST HAVE TO ACCEPT THAT LIFE IS A BIG TBD RIGHT NOW.

Taking care of our mental health and self-care is more important than ever. Skincare sales rose during quarantine because when people aren’t feeling too good, a little piece of luxury like a face mask or a massage tool can help. My engagement was higher than ever during this period, and the best performing content was of a vibrator I was sent! So many of my audience reached out to thank me for being funny and not too serious.

 

TAKE CARE OF YOUR SKIN, rather than covering the problem. I’m bigger on skincare than I am on makeup. It’s 2020, you don’t need to have a huge budget, instead of buying expensive foundation or concealer, spend the money on your skin first. When you feel good you project. I’m all for spiritual and inner beauty but there’s something to be said about when you’re glowing from the outside, you start to glow from the inside, when you look good you feel good.

 

FIRST STARTING OUT ON INSTAGRAM, I didn’t know how to use it as a marketing tool. The first time it really clicked, I did a video for Bobbi Brown - it was just a swipe of highlighter and then I got my formula. It’s oddly satisfying, it’s fun to look at, there’s a lot of product pay-off, and you emotionally and visually stimulate people – I think that’s how you captivate an audience. I used to take every single paycheck I could, but the moment I really felt I “made it”, was when I was able to start saying no, I don’t have to promote this thing I’m not excited about.


For people starting out, really the best way to build your business is to “let it happen organically” and talk about the things you love. Stop watching what everyone else is doing. If you have acne, talk about that, if you’ve lost weight, tell people how you did it, you have to talk about what’s organic to your life recently.



I USED TO WORK WITH KYLIE JENNER and in every single article, they wanted to associate your name to a celebrity. I understand that we live in a world obsessed with name attachment but it’s a shame this currency holds so much weight. I think your talent lies in your work, not which celebrity you work with. At the same time, the business has really changed. A Vogue cover will not perform as well as a “glow-porn”, the content I do on myself performs better than celebrity content.

 

PEOPLE ALWAYS ASK ME IF I USE SPECIAL LIGHTING. I actually don’t, I don’t have a production team, it’s literally me and my old-ass iPhone going around finding the moment. I’m always laughing about catching “Jesus light”. There’s a video of a model and she’s lying down outside on this street divider with cars going by so I can get the right light. These glimpses of a real moment, that’s what people connect to.

 

THE MOST IMPORTANT LESSON I’VE PICKED UP IS HUMAN CONTACT AND HUMAN CONNECTIONS. It doesn’t matter if you’ve done a big celebrity for a magazine cover, I’ve noticed people don’t connect to that. One of my most successful videos is just me in a hotel room with a towel around my hair and I’m putting on highlighter.  People in every way of life are just looking for human connection.

 

I’VE BEEN DOING “GLOW-PORN” for the past 3 years and you think everybody would be sick of it but it’s still doing well. The fact of the matter is, through all the stages in life, everybody wants to glow. When you get married you want the bridal glow, when you’re pregnant, there’s the pregnancy glow, when you get divorced you want the comeback glow…so I hope to have a long-lasting career!

 

GLOWY SHOULD LOOK LIKE your skin just had a drink of water, it’s dewy and delicious like a dumpling. It should look highly moisturised rather than greasy and oily. My favourite place to highlight is the highs of the cheekbones into the temples, but if you have acne or pigmentation there are different ways. There are so many points to glow! You can put a little twinkle of glitter around your eyes, you can put highlight on your lips, your cleavage or your legs. Lots of sexy girls are wearing strapless tops and you can highlight your collarbone and shoulder. Highlight your best assets!