Keeping the Fashion and Beauty Industry Well-Polished

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Self, a breath of fresh air

Magazines are shot 2-4 months in advance, so when I walked onto the set of the Self February cover shoot on a cold November day, I was delighted to see so many bright, colorful clothes for our supersweet cover model, Brooklyn Decker. I found out she was also born in Ohio! Ohio girls rule :)

We decided to go with one of my favorite sheer cool pinks, O.P.I's "It's a Girl". I also used one of my favorite foot creams of all time, L'Occitane's Shea Butter Foot Cream. A fan of L'Occitane for a long time, I only had one problem: I didn't know how to pronounce it. Want to know my trick? Hang around the shop's register for a bit until the phone rings. When they answer, listen for the correct pronunciation. (Oh, and its pronnounced "Loxxy-TAHN") xx

New Year, New Work

This week marked my 3 month anniversary in New York. Its hard to believe how time has flown. I have been very blessed with some great photo shoots and I have been dying to share them with you!

First up is a spread in V Magazine, issue V69. I was extremely excited to work with fashion photographer duo Daniele + Iango, and hair stylist Luigi Murenu. I had all 9 models to myself, so I had to work faster than I ever had before! All the models wore a custom blended nail color to exactly match their skin tone, followed by matte top coat, except for Melodie, whose nails are actually glossy red!

Colors I used are:
China Glaze's "Nude" (a semi-sheer creamy beige) on the fair-skinned models
A layered/custom blend of Nude and about 3 other colors on medium-toned girls:

On Melodie, I used Milani's appropriately names "NY Apple Red", a gorgeous cool creme red.

Ajak is wearing a deepened version of China Glaze's "Ingrid". A slightly shimmery deep taupe, from the Fall 2010 Vintage Vixen collection, "Ingrid" has quickly become my favorite fashion shade for deep-toned beauties.

I was so busy manicuring the girls I didn't even have the chance to see them on set, something I love seeing when I can. Our makeup artist Virginia managed to pull me away for a peek... and I was quite impressed with what was happening. Don't you agree? ;) xx

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Kawaii nails

Next week I am FINALLY going to 2 places I have wanted to go for years: Singapore and Tokyo. Singapore for the food, because I love to eat just about anything. And Tokyo, for, well everything. We planned our trip around Tokyo Nail Expo, which is the weekend after Thanksgiving. I first fell in love with Asia during a trip to Hong Kong in 2008. I learned many of my gel techniques there during that trip.
The Japanese are extremely into nails, and NO I do not mean the little discount nail salons on every corner. Totally different. Japanese Nailists are into glitter nails, 3-D, gems, charms, bows, chains, dangles, Hello Kitty nails, everything cute and sweet, well they put them on nails. And going to a Japanese nail trade show? I've already mentally spent 3 month's rent. Can't wait to share what tips, tricks, trends and fun goodies I bring back to share!

Want to see more? Just google Kawaii Nails. wow.


In addition to doing nails freelance for private clients and photo shoots, I will be spending my weekends at a gorgeous new salon in Tribeca, called TenOverTen. tenoverten is NOT the usual NYC manicure joint. In fact, it just had a great writeup about it in Vogue's October issue. Check out for salon info, and click on Press to see the Vogue article yourself!

Only the best quality products, a huge range of lacquers to choose from including Chanel, Essie, OPI, RGB, and the new Uslu Airlines line. tenoverten will be the first salon in the US to carry Uslu Airlines. Be sure to come in, or at least come say hello and see the new space!

Roots and Wings, part II

August was a long month, I had decided to make the move from the suburb of Cleveland where I grew up to New York City to freelance full time. The hardest thing was telling my boss. But like I hoped, she was, and still is very supportive of my career, even if it is not in her salon anymore. I began telling my clients of my plans, and looking for nail artists to step in and take over my clientele.

I arrived to NYC late on a Sunday night with 3 suitcases: all my nail stuff, and as many clothes, shoes and toiletries I could fit in between all the bottles of nail polish :)

For the longest time I was planning on taking my career to Los Angeles. I have friends in the business there, and I hate the cold more than anything... except driving. Which is what ultimately made me choose NYC over LA. The traffic in LA is horrific and the NYC subway entertainment at rush hour cant be beat ;)

I rarely get lost on the subway anymore, and tourists (or what I would rather call them, 'travellers') frequently ask me for directions. Because I remember just last year, with all my nail stuff in tow (one large, heavy suitcase and one medium one) getting so lost on the subway, at night, alone. I was meant to go to the Lower East Side... and ended up in the Upper West Side. Not fun.

So let's just say I don't mind helping non-locals find their ways around NYC transit... because, we've all been there. And like the title says, "Roots and Wings: Remember where you came from, but know where you're going". xx

Roots and Wings

Well as you can see it has been VERY long time since I've written anything, and I don't really have a specific good reason for it! Just really SO much has happened that I didnt know where to begin.

In a nutshell: July was hectic. First I went to Atlanta to do the nails of the beautiful Cynthia Bailey for the cover of Upscale magazine. My great friend Sunii, a fashion stylist got me the gig and I can't tell you how much I admire Sunii's drive and dedication to this field.

I came home for one day to attend the Lady Gaga concert with all my best friends. Gaga is so inspiring to me, I love how she is not afraid to be herself, and, oh my God, she actually sings, and dances, and plays the piano, and writes all her own songs... the woman is a God(dess) in my eyes. I love how she stands up for those who may have been picked on in school, because I know all to many people that were as well.

The next morning (after 45 minutes of sleep) I was off again to the airport to Miami fashion week. It was Swim 2011 season, and the designers were showing off all the adorable, sexy, and gorgeous swimwear thst would be the trend for next summer. We did about 8 shows with the great M2M team!

After I got home from Miami I took a secret day trip to New York. I was interviewing with my agency... and they signed me! Artists by Timothy Priano is the only agency I was really interested in, and the only one I even interviewed with.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

A new passport

Today, as I renew my passport, I look back on the last 10 years since my last passport photo was taken. That boyfriend and I have broken up, I've been to 3 continents, worked on a cruise ship, married and divorced, done a few million sets of nails, half a dozen magazine covers, a handful of fashion weeks... and it makes me wonder... what's going to happen in the next decade? What is my next passport photo going to look like? will I have a new name? and most importantly, what country's stamps will I find as I flip through its pages?

Friday, June 18, 2010

Its been awhile since I've written anything... mainly because I have been unable to decide upon a creative name for my blog. I'm still deciding between a few, but I think whatever I decide upon really sets the tone for what I blog about.

This past week was a very successful week for me in LA. I actually had some time off (!), went to 6 Flags Magic Mountain, LA's Fashion district on a buying trip, and to Santa Monica.

I usually go on work trips alone, mainly because I work so much its pointless for me to ask anyone to come along. Often I get booked at the last minute so its impossible to plan anything anyways.

One day this week I had the opportunity to work on a men's beauty story for a big fashion magazine, with a great photographer. I'm not allowed to say who or what yet, but I can promise you, its pretty hot :)

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Experience is...

"Experience is Priceless"

Think about it. Its one of my favorite quotes, one I believe I made up all on my own. Correct me if I'm wrong!

Just thought it deserved its own post :)

First Things First!

I get a lot of questions about how to break into the world of freelance. I'll tell you, but you have to understand a few things first. These are not to discourage you! If I had known... heck I would have done it anyways :)

1. You simply cannot do this full-time from a small town. You MUST live in a big city, like NYC, LA, or Miami, Chicago. I am extremely fortunate that at my "day job" I am able to take off at a moment's notice to go to a job on either coast. But that can only last so long, and is a very rare occurance.

2. You do not make any money starting out. In fact, you will spend a LOT of money getting started. Doing this and last year's taxes I felt sick, after adding it all up. I'm talking mid-4 figures a year here. Flying to LA, NY, accommodations, food, transportation, printing photos, buying a book (portfolio) and so on. If you think you're going to start out making a lot of money, you are sadly mistaken.

3. You need to pay your dues before getting the big jobs. I had the incredible opportunity in September and this past February to key (be the lead manicurist for) some shows at New York Fashion Week. This is only after I did a dozen or so small, local, un-glamourous fashion shows, events and photo shoots. And let me tell you, after one particular fashion show at a local college, I almost stopped doing them. But I didn't :)