Tag Archives: Sophy Robson

The Interview: Sophy Robson, the Nail Queen

Kate Moss in Vogue - nails by Sophy RobsonSophy is arguably the hottest manicurist in the world at the moment, having just finished the runway shows for Louis Vuitton, Vivienne Westwood and Stella Macartney (not to mention creating the totally bad-ass ghetto nails at Henry Holland’s London show that were all over style.com), shot campaigns for Tom Ford, Longchamp and McQueen, and tended to the celebrity nails of Alexa Chung and every supermodel in the world – put it this way, Kate Moss is a regular. Not bad when only ten short years ago she was working in a nail bar in Soho!

She is loved in the industry for her sparkly personality and her endless technical skills – this is a lady who has custom blended fifty nail polishes for a runway show, has her own blog (which is ace by the way – check it out at www.sophyrobson.com for a real behind the scenes look at fashion), created the graded nail and basically invented this season’s trend, the Mannequin Nail. So without further ado, I bring you ten questions with the Nail Queen herself:

1) What are you working on at the moment?
I have just finished fashion week (thirteen shows!) come back and done a four looks nail story for Grazia and a Topshop make up and Armani campaign straight after so once I caught my breath, I am now working on a display for a press day next week at PR Mandi Lennard’s basement in Hoxton. I have never had a PR before so this is very exciting. I have also chosen a red polish for a new charity brand launching in April called All For Eve.

2) Favourite nails job ever?
I have enjoyed and felt fulfillment from many, many jobs. However, show-wise, I think my favourite was the first time I did the Louis Vuitton show last year, as working with someone like Marc Jacobs and an organisation as efficiently run as Louis Vuitton was both a demanding and rewarding experience. When I was re- booked again this season it was quite an honour for me, and the sense of accomplishment after we worked to produce another trendsetting nail for the runway is very high!Sophy Robson's nails in Elle

3) Worst nails job ever?
There was one nightmare job once but I have almost erased it from memory now. I don’t think the person in question is even in business any more so who cares!

4) Top 5 products?
Seche Vite – Dry Fast Top Coat
Solar Oil for cuticles
Diamancel nail files
Chanel Nail polish

5) If you could tell women to do one thing differently with their nails, what would it be?
STOP leaving your polish on for too long! This is the main cause of dehydration and yellowing of the nail plate.

6) How did you get started in the business?
Initially I was working for a trendy West end nail bar chain and I began to meet commercial models who would come in to get fake nails done for jobs. I was good at producing very natural looking fake nails, and began to collect their tearsheets from magazines as evidence of my work. Then I began to approach hair and make up agencies and it sort of went from there.

7) How is it different to when you started?
Nails have become big in fashion now. When I started there was barely any photographers or stylists that recognised the need for a manicurist. So the interest has increased, and generally manicurists are treated with much more respect than when I started. Also there are so many more opportunities now, as the demand for nails has grown so much.

8) Which work are you most proud of?
When the Mert & Marcus pictures of Erykah Badu in Tom Ford’s White Patchouli perfume appeared, I could not believe how good that image was. I felt like I was not likely to get a better representation of my work than that! The French Vogue cover of Laetitia Casta’s nails especially when someone told me it had been used as a reference for another shoot they were on. I am also proud of the “gradient” or Ombre” nails look as it started as a small post on my blog called “colour change nails” and went round the world. I love it when people write “I have never been that into nails until I saw this….”

Sophy Robson9) What do you love doing in your spare time?
Well when I have some I love to spend time with my daughter… she is becoming like a teenager now so we do girly things together like shopping, going out for dinner, cinema or bowling. I also love staying at hotels and going running in the park.

10) What are your trend predictions for the coming season for nails?
Pastel blue nails and other candy colours. Nails are a fashion accessory now so you can be as adventurous and stylish as you like.

Illamasqua Nail Competition

Illamasqua Nail Varnish CompetitionBy starting my blog, I have discovered a few strange things about myself that I didn’t know before: I don’t like writing in the afternoon, I’m obsessed (and probably always will be) with Shu Uemura eyelash curlers, I’ve never met a primer that I didn’t think was a load of old bollocks , and I have a secret, unexplored fetish for nail polish. Bizarre in that I have no desire to wear it myself (can’t be bothered), but I absolutely love all the colors it comes in. So when I found out about this new nail polish comp from Illamasqua, I just had to let you know.

They are launching a global competition to discover the ‘It’ colour of 2010 – right up there with the Chanel nail stars like Jade and Particuliere. Simply send in your entry describing in 50 words or less why your color should be the one. Include an image or photo of the idea (the grey of your cat’s tail, the inside of a crocus, your favourite cupcake frosting – whatever floats your boat), and the winning idea will be put into production and sold at Selfridges around the UK by October 2010. The judges are indeed a stellar line-up – the world’s most creative makeup artist Alex Box, manicurist to the stars Sophy Robson, and Pixiwoo, the YouTube makeup artists who leave Lauren Luke in the dust.

Get those thinking caps on fellas!

From the Front Lines – Supermodel Eniko in Chinese Vogue

The amazing Alasdair Mclellan ** shoot in Chinese Vogue is out on newsstands, and the pictures are gorgeous. Anastasia Barbieri styled it, and the inspiration was Romy Schneider in the iconic 60’s film La Piscine.

Kay Montano did the makeup and to achieve Eniko’s golden girl glow, she used a slightly darker foundation and lots of Chanel Bronze Universal crème. On the eyes she used Bobbi Brown shadows, with Mahogany in the crease for that true 60’s style.

The beige nails to end all beige nails were done by none other than ‘Nail Queen’ Sophy Robson. She has a fabulous blog on her website which is a must for any serious fashionista – it’s a real inside view of the very top end of fashion and showcases her work in Vogues around the world and campaigns like YSL and shows for Louis Vuitton (amongst others). Her website is www.sophyrobson.com

From the Fashion Frontlines – Kate Moss’s Metallic Red Manicure

Kate Moss - Manicure by Sophy Robson

Super-cool manicurist Sophy Robson, manicurist to the stars, is the lady responsible for the gorgeous red shiny nails that Kate Moss was sporting recently with her futuristic Balmain dress. The color? Essie’s aptly named After Sex. Kate loved it so much she kept in on for over a week, which in model time let’s face it is FOREVER.

Check out Sophy’s website at www.sophyrobson.com

Paris or Perez? Nail Polish

If you’re minted (like Paris) or just need a cheap guilty little pleasure (like Perez), this section covers both ends of the shopping spectrum.

 For this week’s lovely luxury versus cheap and cheerful, I have commandeered the talents (and knowledge) of major manicurist Sophy Robson who has tended the talons of Keira Knightley, Natalie Portman, Kate Moss and Kylie Minogue, not to mention all the biggest models in the world in her editorial career which can be found in the pages of W and French Vogue.

 Pop BeautyIn the quick treat cheap corner, she’s crazy about Revlon nail polishes which have great colours (Sophy is particularly loving the new peach color, Mad About Mango, for summer), last beautifully and don’t cost the earth. When she’s feeling like busting out a fluoro or other seasonal trend color, it’s Pop Beauty for mad colors that cost £6. And let’s face it, when nail trends seem to change quicker than Grazia’s cover star, who wants to fork out £15 for a color you’re going to use twice?

YSL Nail Polishes

Good staying power and even better disposability make this your sweet budget treat.

 If you’re feeling flush Sophy thinks you can’t go past the Rolls Royce of nailpolishes,YSL La Laque, the ultimate in nail luxury. Sumptuous packaging, gorgeous colors and now the expertise of new Yves Saint Laurent Beauté creative director, Val Garland – how can you go wrong? They do fabulous reds, perfect pinks and nudes and the ultimate color for the season, Tuxedo Grey, which for some reason is looking totally right in the sunlight.


 PS For all our American readers, apparently Pop Beauty Nailpolish is available at CVS Drugstores.