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Meet Nicole Caldwell of Just Glam & Swank in Central and San Francisco Bay Area

Today we’d like to introduce you to Nicole Caldwell.

Nicole, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I started out in the entertainment industry as a background singer and crossed into the beauty industry literally at the same time. I was a makeup artist by trade just because I love fashion and beauty, but I also have a business degree and knew that I wanted to start my own business one day. I saw a need in the market for women of color in particular because it’s challenging for us to find shades that match our complexion. So while I was culminating my business plan and doing makeup, I started touring professionally so I ended up doing both at the same time.

I launched Just Glam Cosmetics in 2006. I wanted to offer cosmetics that were affordable for the everyday woman but also to make sure there are shades for every complexion. It’s a full range cosmetics line. I later launched Swank under the umbrella of Just Glam. Swank is a vintage accessories line that started out as a school project for my younger sister, who was attending FIDM at the time. Her school project was such a great idea that I decided to fund it as a business under the umbrella of Just Glam.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
I won’t say it’s been a smooth road, but the challenges have been rewarding and I’ve definitely gained wisdom. I’ve struggled with being in a competitive market with big brands that are basically conglomerates in the industry. They have the marketing dollars to solidify certain placements and platforms amongst retailers.

I’ve operated this business from my own funds since day 1, so I’m proud to say that I have a sustainable reputation and consistency in what the brand itself represents.

Another challenge I’ve faced has been starting a business at a young age. I’d walk into meetings with retailers or larger businesses and they’d say, “we’re waiting on the owner to arrive.” I’d say, “I am the owner”, and the response was, “Oh, we thought you were older.” It was almost as if they didn’t think I had the maturity or experience/knowledge to pull this together. So it’s important for me to make sure that I see other younger women starting their ideas and dreams early which is one of the reasons I started with my sister at such a young age. We are never too young or too old to do what we are purposed to do.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Just Glam & Swank – tell our readers more, for example, what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
Just Glam is a full cosmetics line. The slogan is, “it’s not just a look, it’s an attitude!” I came up with this because as women, we apply makeup and it’s an instant image booster, and when we look better, we feel better. It’s an enhancement tool. So the idea is that we not only look the part, but we embody what being beautiful is in our attitude and how we live.

I’m a CEO, and makeup artist, but the most rewarding part in this is the time that I take giving back to young girls in so many different facets, from juvenile detention centers to homeless shelters, universities, etc.

I also specialize in curating looks for clients that are usually looking to redefine their image and look, so it’s more along the lines of where do you see yourself headed, not where you are currently, and I create a whole schema around where women see themselves not NOW, but on the near future. I help them achieve their next in the now basically.

I’m known for inspiring while enhancing. Doing makeup is such an intimate space. Not just physically but because you are literally working on what and how a person presents themselves to the world. You have to be intuitive and listen to peoples wants and needs, while also being innovative in listening for the things they don’t say, all while being creative. You find out the most about how they feel about themselves just by asking, “what is it that you’d like to walk away with today?” They immediately start telling you, I like this feature, I like that feature, but I’m not so comfortable with this, can you make this look smaller, this looks bigger, etc. So it’s a real intimate space.

I’m most proud of the longevity and consistency with what the brand represents in various facets. From clients ranging from celebrities, congresswomen, filmmakers, and everyday women and girls who want to present their best selves to the world while being beautiful. I’m proud and honored to donate products and hands-on teaching to nonprofits, and organizations around the globe.

I think there are two things that set me apart. One is that I’m not just pushing a product. I literally love educating women on HOW to use what they are buying. What’s the use in buying it if you don’t know how to properly use it? Secondly, I’m hands-on in every initiative and endeavor the company takes part in as far as philanthropy and giving back is concerned. I want to be in the trenches with people literally. Feeling what they feel, listening to their stories, understanding life from their perspective. It keeps me in touch with the WHY behind what I’m doing.

So, what’s next? Any big plans?
I am currently launching a line with a celebrity…which is a secret right now. SHHHH. LOL. Rebranding is also underway which is a huge task and the Nik Caldwell Signature line will be a line dedicated to my favorite things. So Just Glam and Swank will be resurfacing all fresh and new.


  • Just Glam 7 Piece Princess Brush Collection-$65
  • Just Glam Single Eyeshadow Pots – $9
  • All Swank Shades range from $15-45

Contact Info:

  • Website: and
  • Email:,,
  • Instagram: nikcaldwell, itsjustglam, swankbyjg
  • Facebook: iamnikcaldwell
  • Twitter: nikcaldwell

Image Credit:

Mel Peters-Photographer, Ron T. Young, Photographer, Nicole Caldwell, Makeup for Just Glam Cosmetics

Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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