Famously known as “Icky Viki,” a spin off name from a renowned baby sitter featured in the American television show “Fairly Odd Parents,” Viktoria Baumgartner has spent most of her high school career in building her platform up to become one of the most recognizable makeup artist in Grand Rapids. Starting off with fazing out her football jersey for eyebrow pomades, she has grown tremendously as an artist to create flawless looks not only for herself, but for any client who wishes to experience only the best quality products, and even more impeccably well done makeup application by yours truly. But starting on July 31, 2017, she will ditch the mitten state for life in a small, blush pink house in Santa Monica, Los Angeles. She will first attend Santa Monica College for recreational purposes, but then transition to the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). Her pursuit in life is to create an all-inclusive cosmetic line of products that can benefit all people of color, no matter what their skin tone might be. Combining high end, quality products, along with combating the issue of cosmetic representation for millions of dark skinned individuals around the world, is not only Viki’s main goal, but her passion in life. As she delves into how her makeup fascination began, and what her plan is to make an impact on the world, Viktoria Baumgartner opens up to give you a one-on-one peak into what her future has in store for her.
Where did your fascination with makeup begin with?
So, it kind of came out of nowhere. Like I had played football for four years, and I was the only girl on the team, but I was not into makeup at the time. When 9th grade hit, I think it must have been puberty or something that I started getting into makeup. At first it was BAD though. I had really liked eyebrows to begin with, and I would practice on all my friends, and do all my friend's prom makeup and stuff like that. Originally I had started off doing makeup for free, and then eventually I would progress to like, five, then ten dollars, and upward because you would gain that skillset, you know? That way you could up your prices, and that's what I essentially did. And yeah, I don't know, I ended up figuring out that I was into it. Like I always loved art and stuff, but I've always been such a science person that I'd thought for most of my life I'd never get into art in the first place.
Was there ever a specific moment that you can recall that you knew you wanted to pursue the art of makeup as a career?
I think it was gradual. Like the better I became doing makeup, the more I loved it, you know what I mean? Once I got really good, as well as gaining more recognition, I kept discovering the more passion that I had for makeup. I had graduated early from school, and knew that I had wanted to become a makeup artist, but originally I had taken a gap year, and I didn't even plan on going to school. Since that gap year I had just realized that I'd missed education so much. Like yesterday I was going through boxes of stuff from 3rd grade, and projects that I created about "what I want to be" had said I wanted to be a scientist, as well as this and this and this. I knew I had wanted to go school for that, but I didn't know if I wanted to go to school at all, and that's why I'm going to school for chemical engineering so that I can tie in my passion for makeup, along with my passion for science.
Do you have a set plan ahead in life for your makeup career? If so what would that plan be?
Of course! So first, my plan is to build up my name and my brand. The ultimate goal is to become a public figure, and I plan to do that by building up my Youtube platform, and building up a following. One of my inspirations is Jakie Aina with her Youtube channel and platform, and the huge public base that she has. Once I do get a platform though, I want to be able to have the freedom to discuss things that I'm personally passionate about, socially and politically. With having a unique brand, I'm going to have to think about what I want to create, so that I can set myself apart from every other cosmetic company in the world.
What is your plan to set yourself and your company apart from every other cosmetic company? How will you plan to tackle the issue of the lack of representation in cosmetics for all people of color?
One of the main things I'm planning on doing is starting out with a shade range, because a lot of makeup brands don't cater to darker skinned tones. So, I definitely want to make a shade range that can cover all people of color. And one of the most prominent reasons why companies don't cater to darker skin shades is that it's physically harder to formulate the pigmentation, chemistry wise. But when companies do come out with darker products, they tend to beee, you could say, sub-par. I want to come out with, and have a quality, high-end product that EVERYONE can use to their delight. I feel like there is such a gap between the few products that are made for darker toned people, and the quality that exist within these big named brands that don't pay any representation to millions of black women and men in the world. Another thing is, that when working with makeup, I absolutely DO NOT understand how big brands can just put out bad products, because I don't want to be a brand that you're just paying for the name. Like for example, Too Faced Cosmetics. Their quality is so bad that you're only paying for the name. I want my brand to incorporate the quality and formulas I like from my favorite brands and areas of makeup, for example: eyeshadows and lipsticks. Like THOSE kinds of qualities I want to be able to infuse and completely mold around my makeup, and I do not want my brand to ever become name over quality. Of course at first I'll have to start out as an indie brand (which translates to higher-priced products), but then I will eventually be able to lower my prices to make my products more accessible to everyone that can get their hands on them.
How do you feel about moving to Los Angeles, and what are you the most excited and nervous about?
One thing I am very nervous about is meeting the right people. I'm at a point in my life where I'm fed up, and I have absolutely no tolerance for people who don't respect me. I don't want someone to do me wrong out there in the world. I would say that the one thing I'm most excited about LA is that it's so high paced, you CANNOT be lazy. Like literally everyone there is ambitious, and everyone there has a motive and goal, so when you move to California, you move there to become big or whatever. You are who you surround yourself with, and that's so cliché for a reason because it's SO true in your life, and I'm excited to surround myself with ambitious people who want to do big things.
Who/ what is the one influence that keeps you driving to pursue the passion of yours in life?
Well... I would say it's a mix. It's not necessarily a person, it's more of a lifestyle. I love feeling powerful, and I one day desire to have a voice. And I feel like with a huge platform, you DO have a voice. I also love to make people happy as well, and I'd for sure love to make people happy with my products. I would say that I don't have any particular person that I love and follow too much, unfortunately. It's just more of a lot of people's lifestyles that they live, and their influence that they project onto others all combined. I want THAT, and to be able to have that, and that's my drive.