Nam Vo is Building a Dewy Dumpling Empire — But Probably Not In the Way You’d Think

Nam Vo

I first met Nam Vo by happenstance at a holiday party. I had been chatting with a fellow beauty editor when Vo, gleaming like tinsel, approached us and introduced herself. She really needn’t have, though: With a loyal Instagram® following of 252K, a Rolodex® of A-list celebrity muses, and the unofficial title of “Glow Queen” to her name, Vo is a force in the beauty sphere.

In case you’re new to our world, though: Nam Vo is an editorial-turned-celebrity makeup artist. Her ascent (or what she calls “the glow up”) began at a strip club, where she created makeup looks for exotic dancers. Today, her clientele spans from Kylie Jenner to Rosie Huntington-Whiteley — though her artistry is always rooted in a specific theme: hyper-luminosity. Born from highlighter, skincare, or a crafty combination of the two, the technique has since been coined Dewy Dumpling SkinTM. Vo’s work is splendid in the truest sense of the word, but it’s her unfiltered, devil-may-care attitude that has skyrocketed her to such sizable recognition. 

“I've literally made a career out of being myself,” she tells me today, almost a year after our first encounter. We’re lounging on a blush-hued couch in her West Village apartment. Larger-than-life swan murals flank the walls; a gorgeous marble-topped vanity shines from our right. The room isn’t particularly large, but the vibe it gives off could be described as palatial nonetheless. “If I wasn't a makeup artist, I'd be an interior designer,” muses the 37-year-old, glancing at her reflection in an oversized mirror. Late August light bounces off her cheekbones. Vo’s skin is everything you’d imagine it to be: practically poreless, mesmerizingly glossy, and as plump as . . . well, a dumpling.

I call people dumpling, doll face, sugar muffin. I call people all kinds of things!