Tag Archives: Nails

Amazing nails

Right Now: Mastered – Nails with Marian Newman

Last week I had the pleasure of being on a job with one of my favourite nail artists, Marian Newman (it’s been a long time in between jobs with Marian so it was such a treat to see her name on the call sheet!).

Marian has had more Vogue covers than any other nail artist in the world (over 50 so far) and regularly does shows for Givenchy, McQueen and Vivienne Westwood, amongst many, many others. She’s also worked with lots of celebrities including Cate Blanchett, Nicole Kidman and Natalie Portman, so there’s a reason why she’s known as “the Supermanicurist” and has been asked to create the latest Mastered course.

Mastered.com is kind of genius actually. It’s a series of online courses with the top fashion creatives in the world. It started with Val Garland’s makeup course, then Nick Knight did one for photographers, and hair maestro Sam McKnight did a hair one. Now it’s Marian Newman’s turn for nails.

I’ve worked on some shoots for the photography course both in London and Sydney, and know many, many people who’ve done the makeup, hair and photography courses. Most people say it’s one of the best things they’ve ever done as it teaches you to deal with briefs and pushes your creativity beyond your normal boundaries, taking your work to levels it’s never been before.

It’s about being taught how to get to the top of session work, by someone who has actually done it. Only 400 people globally will be accepted into Marian’s nail course, and Marian told me so far she has been blown away by the incredible talent that has been coming through from the applications.

The program is entirely online and there are online video tutorials filmed by Marian and also other top nail techs to give you all the inside info that it takes years of assisting and working in the fashion trenches to figure out. Then after the 12 week course, there are lots of other opportunities to reach out to others in your industry to get your own ball rolling.  There’s community forums and feedback, and every week there is a new challenge, where winners of the challenges get their work seen by people actually working in fashion.

I warn you though, it’s NOT for you if you want to learn how to do nails. There is a basic requirement that you already know that, that you’re already working as a manicurist but you want to get to the next level in your career. It will help explain the nuts and bolts of actually getting your dream career working in fashion and with celebrities, which I can tell you right now is not something you can easily find out on your own. You could even up working backstage at the shows on Marian’s team!

The course starts on the 12th of April and I know there aren’t many places left, so if you want to apply, you’d better get registered.


Marian Newman's Nail Course

MAC Nail Transformations

Right Now: Marian Newman and MAC Nail Transformations

I’m loving these new nail topcoats from MAC, in collaboration with mega manicurist Marian Newman. Marian is arguably one of the world’s top nail technicians with over 50 British Vogue covers under her belt, and given that her career before becoming a top manicurist was as a forensic scientist, the precision and perfection of her work has to be seen to be believed.

Marian would quite often be booked on the same shoots as Kay Montano when I was assisting Kay, and I used to love chatting to her as she was so lovely and fun to be around. She gets booked for countless celebs (from Keira Knightley to Lady Gaga) and runway shows in the dozens from Valentino to Givenchy. I remember one Vanity Fair shoot with Miles Aldridge shooting English actress Gemma Arterton, she very kindly chatted to me for ages about the best nude nails – and I still have the polishes she gave me from her kit. How lovely is that?

When MAC asked her to create a collection, Marian wanted to make it something exciting, that could expand on your existing nail wardrobe and create a myriad of looks. Check out the video below for all the different finishes:


Balmain Nail polish

Right Now: BeautyMart have the Balmain Paris Nail Couture Collection!

I’ve discovered the most delicious new nail polish collection, from the house of Balmain in Paris. I’ve been a fan of their clothes ever since Olivier Rousteing became the house designer in 2011. Three nailpolishes in all that I think are so

chic, so beautiful, so perfectly chosen – like everything at BeautyMart, who stock them, which if you haven’t heard is just about the hottest beauty destination in the world right now.

BeautyMart is the brainchild of Millie Kendall (yes, of Ruby and Millie fame – what a great beauty brand that was!) and Anna-Marie Solowij, who has been a beauty journalist for twenty years. Six of those years she was Beauty Director at Vogue, so she’s no slouch in knowing great makeup and skincare when she sees it. In short, these two know their stuff. So they pulled together all their favourite, fool-proof beauty products and created BeautyMart. It’s at Harvey Nicholls, in Shoreditch (bien sur), and now online. They stock all kinds of makeup and beauty deliciousness, cherry picking the best of Paul & Joe, Bourjois, TopShop, Revlon, Illamasqua, Homeoplasmine, Japonesque, Barry M, to name a few – I’m getting a bit breathless just typing it.

The Balmain Paris Nail Couture collection funnily enough fits with my perfect nail wardrobe, which has been classic red (Chanel Fire or Pirate), black (Chanel Black Satin), or nude (Essie Ballet Slippers) which I’ve been sporting pretty consistently for years. Plus it has a matte Top Coat to give your nails just the right finish. So here it is, in one gorgeous coffret, from the achingly cool and reinvigorated House of Balmain – the ultimate red, black and nude polish to take you wherever you need to go. Which in my case is going to be straight to BeautyMart, as soon as I land back in London.


Lana del Rey for Vogue Japan

The Interview: Manicurist Anatole Rainey

After a year-long hiatus, The Interview is finally back! With my makeup work being really busy I got a bit slack with the longer posts that required me to be, you know, organized. But I’m thrilled to offer you my new Interview with suoerstar manicurist, Anatole Rainey. I used to see Anatole on jobs on a regular basis and always found him dapper, charming and entertaining – I was always happy to see his name on the call sheet! Then one day on a Burberry campaign shoot we whiled away quite a few hours in the upstairs of an amazing old house in London, chatting about everything under the sun. One of the things we talked about was social media, and I was delighted a couple of weeks ago to find him now on Twitter. (Follow him @anatoleNR)

In a long and varied career Anatole has worked with many of the world’s major photographers, including Patrick Demarchelier, Mario Sorrenti, Annie Liebovitz, Emma Summerton, Dan Jackson, Michael Thompson, Miles Aldridge and Mert and Marcus amongst others. He is also known for his work with celebrities including Cate Blanchett, Keira Knightley, Gwyneth Paltrow, Brad Pitt and Kate Moss.

Graciously despite running between London and Paris and shooting the campaign advertising for next year, he found time to send me this:

1. What have you been working on lately?

Ever since the shows finished in September I’ve been immersed in what they call ‘campaign season’, shooting all the Spring Summer ‘13 advertising. It’s been full-on but fun!

2. Favourite nails job ever?

I loved doing a classic YSL nail on Mariacarla Boscono for the SS12 YSL campaign: fairly long, round, and a deep red. The fact that the shoot was also with a dream of a team meant that it was one of the most enjoyable jobs in recent memory.

3. Top 5 products?

  • Essie nudes; Pillow Talk is my current fave.
  • YSL Reds
  • NailTek Files – they almost get better with age
  • Deborah Lippman cuticle oil; I love that it comes in a dropper, and that the oils are all natural.
  • Sisley Sisleya Anti-Age hand cream – the best, period.

4. Favourite photographers to work with?

I like the fact that every set is so different; its one of the things that keeps the job interesting.

5. How did you get started in the business?

I started by carrying my pregnant manicurist friend’s case to work when I was bumming around Paris after university unsure about my next step; she gradually got me to start doing the models’ toes the bigger she got, and eventually taught me everything I know and started putting me on jobs. From there the seeds of ambition were planted, and a job became a career.

6. How is it different to when you started?

I started just before digital photography became the norm, so that’s easily the biggest change. Being able to instantly see everything in such detail is amazing, and good discipline when it comes to nails.

7. Looks you are loving for the current season?

At Topshop A/W12 we tried to bring back the French manicure – a look that hasn’t been in for a while. With all the heavy military-inspired clothes of the collection it looked really fresh and cool though, and I’m still feeling it through to next season.

8. Nail icons who are always inspiring?

My mentor, Yuna Park, happens to be inspiring not only in life but also for nails. I also love the work of Sophie Harris-Greenslade of The Illustrated Nail, but the most inspiring people are the girls on the street or on the Tube who wear all these fun looks for real.

9. What do you love doing in your spare time?

Switching on Radio 3 and spending an afternoon cooking and baking is my favourite way to relax, but I also like to draw, read, and be sporty.

Anatole is represented by Premier in London and B Agency in Paris and you can view his portfolio here.

Guinevere for Miu Miu by David Sims

Guinevere for Miu Miu by David Sims

Twinsets Chanel

Right Now: Vogue’s Fashion’s Night Out with Chanel

Every year Chanel do incredible events for Vogue’s Fashion’s Night Out, around the world. Here’s a lovely video from London a couple of years ago, with two of my favourite people, makeup artist Kay Montano and lovely British supermodel, Daisy Lowe, getting into the spirit of the evening:


Chanel is also renowned for launching special, liimited edition products for the occasion, and this year in Sydney is no exception. This Thursday, 6th September, will be the launch of Les Twinsets de Chanel, created exclusively by Peter Phillips, Creative Director at Chanel Makeup. Les Twinsets will be available exclusively at The Chanel Makeup Studio, Myer, Sydney City for Vogue’s Fashion’s Night Out.

There are three unique harmonies in the range, matching lips and eyes like a twinset – resolutely feminine.


  • LA PROVOCANTE & PROVOCATION: a unique Autumn plum shade.
  • L’INFIDÈLE & INFIDÈLE: an intense pink with a burst of energy.
  • LA DÉLICATE & DÉLICATESSE: a refined expression of beige to play on the
  • natural side of sophistication.

This is the perfect excuse to indulge in a bit of Chanel lipstick and nail polish action – like you ever need one of those.

Top Shop Nail Polish

Current Obsession: Top Shop Nail Polish

One of the biggest revelations for me from my recent sojourn to London was getting to try Top Shop’s range of makeup. One of my very first (in fact embarrassingly fast after we landed) trips was to the Top Shop flagship store on Oxford St, where I was, literally, like a kid in a candy store. The nail polishes are like yummy gum drops, the range of lipsticks is to die for, and they have all these cool lip markers and chubby lip and eye crayons in all sorts of amazing colours.

So I picked up quite a few pieces whilst I was there and then as soon as I got home I did some fancy rearranging and muscled them into my kit, and now with summer shoots coming up, they are doing me proud.

My absolute favourites are the nail polishes and the lipsticks. When I was in London I was on a job with a top manicurist – I won’t say their name as they have a contract with another company, but they were raving about the staying power and the colour selection of the Top Shop polishes, comparable to some much more expensive brands on the market.

I snapped up the nail polish in Late Show, a bright purple which for some reason reminds me of Willy Wonka (don’t worry, that’s a good thing!) as it’s the exact shade of his jacket in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory:

PS How crappy is that machine in the Willy Wonka YouTube clip? It looks like something that Sooty and Sweep might have put together. But I digress…

and Easy Breezy, the perfect turquoise robin’s egg blue which I pulled out recently to use on a Virgin Suicides shoot as it’s 70’s girlish innocence in a bottle. It’s the colour of the dance (if a 70’s high school prom could be a colour) from the Sofia Coppola film.  It also fits perfectly with the season’s blue obsession. It’s like a mintier version of Chanel’s Nouvelle Vague from a couple of season’s ago. Delish.

This season nail colours have all been a bit off, a slightly kitchsier, more interesting take on classics and these were no exception. I’ll be doing more Top Shop beauty reviews over the next few weeks as I’m yet to find a product from the range that I don’t like – and they’re a bargain as well. Top Shop, you can do no wrong!


Right Now: Sophy Robson Nail Art now at SEPHORA

London Nail Queen, Sophy Robson, has been a busy gal of late – not only has she opened a new uber cool nail salon on the King’s Road in Chelsea, but she has also collaborated with OPI and Sephora to create exclusive nail art looks. Each nail art look comes with it’s own tutorial, and if you want to see a true nail artist in action, check this out!

As well as her Sephora collaboration Sophy has recently shot the new Marc Jacobs campaign with Juergen Teller (Helena Bonham Carter at her madcap best), worked with Terry Richardson and done Kate Moss’ nails for her wedding. How she fits it all in I don’t know!

You can follow all of Sophy’s high-fashion nail-jinks on her awesome blog at www.sophyrobson.com

Illamasqua Gamma

Hot Polish – Illamasqua Gamma

This is, quite literally, a hot polish. It’s a fluoro orange colour that’s so bright that it hurts your eyes, and it’s exactly what I need at the moment. I’m in desperate need of a holiday and I’ve been quitting caffeine, so when you’re tired and the only vices you have left, are well, nailpolish and other assorted beauty items, you want them to be retina searingly fun. And Gamma is that. It’s the type of polish that looks like Gidget in Hawaii on acid, and I for one am currently in need of both (well, Gidget in Hawaii yes– less so the acid part.)

Roll on les vacances!




Stop Press! Sophy Robson @ Paris Fashion Week

The nailista style sista London manicurist Sophy Robson was creating the cult nail trends backstage at Paris Fashion Week, and now the nails are done you can check out her awesome blog
As always I am absolutely blown away by her incredible attention to detail and her way she manages to encapsulate a designer’s vision on the smallest of surfaces – a nail! Here’s what the glossy syrup-y nail she created for Marc Jacobs at Louis Vuitton. Sophy Robson Nails for Marc Jacobs at Louis Vuitton show
Sophy Robson Nails for Chanel - Paris Fashion Week Also she watched the Chanel show and had this exclusive peek at the new Chanel nail colour, apparently called Black Pearl. Mmmm, new Chanel nail colours….
PS -Thanks all for bearing with me whilst I had a much-needed holiday this week. I’m now back (with a slight tan, thank you very much!) and ready to get right back into the wonderful world of makeup.