Who doesn’t love a good mani? Take it to the next level and express yourself with some NAIL ART… it’s the equivalent to accessorizing your little black dress with some hot heels, but you won’t want to hobble home at the end of the night. I spoke to Leeanne Colley, owner of Tips Nail Bar in Toronto, the Canadian spokesperson for Revlon Nails, as well as an editorial nail artist with P1M to get her take on the trend!
LUCKY: Why do you think nail art is such a hot trend?
LEEANNE: It literally is everywhere and it’s beating out solid colours by far! I think the best way to say it began was on the runway. Nail art has always been around but not in as much of a high fashion way as it is now. We see it in print on a regular basis, too. With beauty editors and make up artists reporting straight from the runway it makes it easy to see what will be happening for seasons to come.
Nail art is a form of self-expression but with instant impact. It’s an easy and inexpensive way to stay on trend. It’s also very versatile and comes in many forms. You can be bold and crazy or stay a little more subdued and have one playful nail. The beauty of it is you can take it off the next day! It’s also an easy DIY, the blogs have gone wild and everyday we see something new. There are so many websites now dedicated nail art.
How did you get started in this business? And what do you think keeps your clients coming back for more?
When I was a teen I would go to a nearby salon with my mom to have my sculptured nails done. It took hours and the thickness of them made me cringe. While my mom sat and had her service done I would sit and file my nails to a decent thickness and realized after a few visits that I was pretty good at it and really enjoyed it! So I took a nail technology program in ’96. Soon after that I was hired on at a salon and started competing in international competitions and I won a few awards which pushed me even harder. Since then I have managed salons, created product lines, own Tips Nail Bar and I am the Canadian spokesperson for Revlon Nail as well as an editorial nail artist with P1M I have quite a few clients that have stuck with me from the start of my career. I think they really enjoy the bi-weekly visits where we’re able to catch up and they know I am always there to listen. It’s like a visit with a girlfriend every two weeks.
Tell us what to look forward to for fall nail trends.
I have to say I am having a serious love affair with textured looks right now. Playing with metallic and holographic glitters and giving nails an almost adorned baroque look. We will be seeing lots of this from all brands in the fall. So I am pumped, prepped and ready for it!
Do you have any nail gurus/artists that inspire you?
I have to say so many people inspire me. I have been a Jan Arnold stalker for many years. She is the founder of CND and she is the brains behind the entire line. Her creativity has led many of us down the paths we lead. She was the 1st to connect and create with designers for runway shows in NYC. She is a leader in the nail fashion world.
Where do you look for inspiration?
I look at everything! Art comes in every form for me. Sometimes I catch myself at Home Depot looking at back splashes, carpet and think “Woah! That would be an amazing nail” I always try my best to think outside the box.
What is the most unusual/outrageous request you’ve had in terms of nail art?
Fan Nails? Duck Nails? Jersey Shore? So I have been asked on a few occasions to create these nails but I refuse. I think it’s a very unnatural way of wearing nails. Its also not very feminine and they just aren’t pretty. Can’t do it!
What are the key safety/hygiene practices that all manicurists/nail artists should use and that we as clients should look out for?
CLEAN, clean, clean. New files, disinfected tools and pierced skin should NEVER be involved. Feel free to ask your tech how they clean their implements, if they don’t have a standard practice in place you should probably find somewhere else. Tools should be scrubbed and submerged for 20 miutes in 70% isoprophyl alchohol. Foot baths that contain jets should be cleaned with 10:1 bleach/water and the solution should be run through the jets for 20 minutes between clients try and opt for places that have jet free systems in place for pedicures.
Do you have any DIY nail tips?
Applying polish can sometimes be tricky. Always prep the natural nail first and apply base coat. Apply the enamel without using pressure (pressure=streaky) from the brush just use a light feathery touch. Remember it doesn’t have to be a perfect application with the 1st coat. Allow the 1st coat to dry for 3-5 minutes before applying your 2nd coat. Have some acetone and a small art brush or corrector pen handy to clean up the cuticle area. This is probably the most important step as polish can really look messy and cakey around the cuticle.
Let’s dish. Tell me some of your most famous clients and what you did on them!
I think the most fun look I have created for a celeb would be for Carly Rae Jepsen for the MMVAs. I Created a look with 10 completely different looks staying in the same range of shades for each. She even let me pierce one of them and dangled a cute heart ring from one. She had a mix of holographic, glitter, fades, hearts, 3D and solids.
Photo: WireImage / George Pimentel
Title Image: P1M