Born and raised in West Kendall, Miami, Nico Gallardo had always found a strong sense of home in the city he came from. Going by the name of Papi Pookz, he has traveled across the entire country, but he has always planted his roots in Miami. At such a young age, he developed a passion for putting on makeup, but it quickly turned sour when he got bullied for his unique interests.
At the time, Papi Pookz was also morbidly obese. He struggled with fitting in, and he was constantly bullied for his appearance. All of that quickly changed when he went on a life-changing weight loss journey which allowed him to shed off 145 pounds. That was the catalyst for most of his early success, and through his newfound confidence, he decided to pursue a career in the beauty industry.
By following his passion, he became a self-taught makeup artist working across the United States in cities like Los Angeles and New York. He built a strong network of people by traveling all around the country, making friends, and fostering long-lasting connections. His social media platforms grew organically as he met people along the way. A lot of people deeply admired Papi Pookz and all the work he has done. The younger bunch looked up to him as a massive inspiration.
His makeup career all started when he was inspired by drag queens at such a young age. Through his skills and talents, Papi Pookz quickly rose to prominence within the night club scenes, raves, music festivals and practically anywhere with a crowd and a fun time. Eventually, he would further hone his skills, seeing great results as he serviced more and more clients.
Papi Pookz’ clients have greatly shown their satisfaction with his work, to the point of dubbing his craft as the “magic touch.” After several years of networking and showcasing his work through his various social media channels, he got the opportunity to work with celebrities like female rapper Leaf.
He also did productions at DJ Khaled’s studio, applying makeup on models for fashion brands, and working at various music events all across the United States doing makeup for VIP clients. Papi Pookz provided a unique experience that attracted many people from all across the globe to build a closer connection with him as they work closely together.
However, much like everything else, the global pandemic has caused a complete halt of the activities that Papi Pookz enjoyed. So he quickly pivoted toward an alternative way to express his art and his persona somehow. The solution he came up with was to make his makeup available to everyone through the digital space.
Utilizing his background in graphic design, Papi Pookz innovatively used Augmented Reality to create a way for people to learn the nuances of makeup. He created his first-ever filter in the middle of the pandemic which smoothed an individual’s skin as if they were wearing foundation and concealer, it also added eyeshadow above their eyelids and contoured their faces.
In just 24 hours, over 500,000 Instagram users were already using the filter, reposting and tagging Papi Pookz on their Instagram stories. This resulted in his own account going viral as he made people feel good about themselves from the comfort of their very own homes despite the lack of social interaction.
Papi Pookz is a true testament that hard work and innovation could always go a long way. Despite these trying times, he has managed to put a smile on people’s faces through his forward-thinking approach and his thorough application of modern technology. Papi Pookz is a true inspiration to everyone, and it’s exciting to see how much he will continue to succeed in the coming years.
To know more about Papi Pookz make sure to follow him on Instagram.