The harrowing story behind kiwi mums viral makeup videos

Publish Date
Sunday, 29 April 2018, 5:52PM


Nicola 'Nix' Adams recently shot to Facebook fame after she posted videos of herself doing a make-up tutorial on her Facebook page Cooked Koreros With Nix.

The funny videos, which have been viewed hundreds of thousands of times, show Adams explaining how to apply winged eyeliner using a dark blue Vivid pen and a cut up manila folder while another sees her making a face mask out of cigarette ash instead of charcoal.

But Nicola didn't start her Facebook page as a platform to make funny beauty videos. It began as a way to help her reconnect with her children who she lost contact with after her son died and she began doing drugs.

"Four years ago my two-year-old died, and I just lost everything."

"I went from having the children, the house the car the husband to absolutely nothing. I barely had the clothes on my back. When you're in that kind of world, just like everyone - well most - you end up in jail," Nicola says.

When Nicola lost her son to a virus, she began to take methamphetamine. Her husband then took their remaining three children out of Australia and back to New Zealand.

From there, Nicola says she fell deeper and deeper into depression. Her struggle with methamphetamine became stronger and she eventually began to sell herself through prostitution to support her new-found addiction.

Eventually, Adams wound up in jail, the first time for taking meth and the second time for taking part in an armed robbery, which she maintains she wasn't involved in.

"When I lost everything, I wanted to commit suicide. There wasn't a day that went by that I didn't contemplate it."

But she powered through before realising she had made a mistake.

"It (prison) gave me time to reflect. I got put on a six-month bail programme and I just worked my arse off.

"I made so many promises to my children that I never kept. And so when I got out I thought 'I need to do something' because my children aren't going to go off my word that I am getting my sh*t together."

She started her Facebook page when she walked out of prison in December last year.

"I thought to myself, I need to do something more. So I started doing videos. And that's how it started, me on the train going to my job that I was volunteering at, showing my bad days, showing my good days, my small little accomplishments.

"Within a month of me doing that, my children that I had lost video called me. And I was like, 'Oh my god, that's the prize at the end of the tunnel'.

"I never wanted my children to know I was lying on my back. But at the same time they need to know what was going through my mind. And look at that, they forgive me, they still have faith in me. They still have hope."

But Adam's raw live videos didn't just have a positive impact with her children. She started to draw in other viewers - thousands of them.

"I carried on doing that (videos) and people started messaging me saying how inspiring I was. And I was like 'what the hell?' - I never thought it would go like that."

Adams tells Herald Focus she tries to keep her videos as real as possible but likes to have a bit of fun with her make-up tutorials.

"I've been broke my whole life so when I do my make-up tutorials and that, it's baring in mind that honestly people cannot afford $2 for eyeliner. Do you know how hard for some people it is to even have $2? I do, I definitely do. It's just utilising your resources and that's what I love to do.

"There's so many families out there who can't afford that stuff but just because you can't afford it doesn't mean you can't look winning."

Now that her Facebook page is doing so well, she has started travelling around to small towns in New Zealand to meet some of her followers and help them get back on the straight and narrow.

"So I've got a van that I've kind of Maori-ingenuity-up with a bed and [I'm going to] travel to these towns and meet these people.

"There are a lot of families all over. Peoples wanting to catch up with me to talk about their daily struggles.

"They want help, they want to get off the drugs, they want to be able to keep their children."

And she hopes the success of her Facebook page will help her do just that.

"I'm using this platform [Facebook] to talk about real sh*t. It's not just for make-up, it's not just about doing the perfect wings. It's about real stuff."

Where to get help:

• Lifeline: 0800 543 354 (available 24/7)
• Suicide Crisis Helpline: 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO) (available 24/7)
• Youth services: (06) 3555 906
• Youthline: 0800 376 633
• Kidsline: 0800 543 754 (available 24/7)
• Whatsup: 0800 942 8787 (1pm to 11pm)
• The Word
• Depression helpline: 0800 111 757 (available 24/7)
• Rainbow Youth: (09) 376 4155
• CASPER Suicide Prevention
If it is an emergency and you feel like you or someone else is at risk, call 111.

This article was first published on and is republished here with permission.