Nail polish has become huge business lately, especially with nail art. essie Canada’s lead nail artist Rita Remark has done some of our favourite nail art technique videos so we decided to get some tips on how to make our nails look amazing.
What’s your first memory of using nail polish?
When I was younger, I was never allowed to wear make-up and polishing my nails was the first beauty ritual that my mom allowed me to indulge in. I remember buying a box full of nail polish from a yard sale and spending the afternoon with my cousins polishing our nails and toes in all different colours and taking pictures. You could say it was my first photoshoot.
What are your favourite nail shades and trends right now?
This summer, I’m smitten with orange and blue. Bold blues like Essie “Strut your Stuff” and sunny melon and tangerine shades like “Tart Deco” are never far from my fingertips. Trends that are catching my eye are negative space and nude. Both of these trends pertain to a nail look that is either partially polished or seemingly unpolished. For seasons we’ve been putting everything on our nails, but now we are leaving areas of the nail bare, for a surprisingly stronger effect.
What nail trends absolutely drive you crazy?
Though I can’t say any particular nail trend drives me crazy, I can say that there are some habits that I wish would disappear. One is chipped polish. A manicure is not meant to be worn past its due date. Let it go and get a fresh polish change. Secondly, I cannot stand uneven nail lengths. We’ve all heard someone say, “Just because one chipped, it doesn’t mean that the others have to be short too.” Well, I’m here to say they do. Heartbreaking though it may be, it is like what your friends told you about your bad haircut: they grow back.
We’ve seen your nail art videos, we love the ink spill! What’s your favourite nail art to do?
Before I was a nail artist, I studied to become a visual artist, so my favourite nail art to do is the kind that you would normally do with a paintbrush. I love watercolouring, like I did with the ink spill, but I also love using other traditional painting techniques like stippling, blending, dry brushing and marbling. They’re very easy to do and always create unique works of art on your nails.
Is there a trick to doing nail art so I have both hands looking great?
Always start with the hand that you find most challenging. Nothing could be trickier than trying to polish with your non-dominant hand when it’s wearing wet polish. When it comes to applying nail art, try to use your dominant hand to your advantage. I’m right handed and when I’m polishing a stripe onto my right hand, I hold the striping brush still in my left and, rather than brush it down, I move my right hand up. This makes polishing nail art less stressful and more controlled.
What are the nail essentials we all need to have?
A basic manicure kit should include:
-A nail file (especially in your purse for on-the-go touch ups)
-Nail polish remover. This isn’t just for removing our polish. I like to use it to wipe my nails free of excess oils and residue before applying polish.
-Base coat, like essie’s “Grow Stronger,” for a manicure that not only lasts, but also benefits your nails.
-Quick dry topcoat, like essie “Good to Go” because no one likes smudges!
-Cuticle Oil, like essie “Apricot Cuticle Oil.” Not only does it soften dry cuticles, but moisturizing the cuticle area daily will overtime restore health and strength to your nails.
-An angled eyeliner brush. Dip it in a bit of nail polish remover to quickly and accurately wipe away any polish mistakes.
How do you come up with ideas for runway nails?
When it comes to designing nails for the runway, no two shows are the same. Sometimes designers have an exact idea in mind, while others may give me a bit more creative freedom. It’s all about asking the right questions. I want to know what inspired the collection. A country? A feeling? A film? I like to know who the woman is that they are dressing this season. Is she bold? Professional? Demure? Does she live in this era? This country? Finally, I love being able to see the actual clothing, the patterns, fabrics and textures. This all plays a role in finding the perfect nail look to suit the collection. Then it’s a matter of me drawing out design ideas in coloured pencils in my sketchbook, polishing some ideas on myself and presenting some options to the designer. The best part is always choosing the right look and seeing it walk down the runway.
What shades should we be getting our hands on for the rest of summer, into fall?
There are plenty of polish colours that lend themselves to both summer and fall you can invest in this season. First, try for a bolder, deeper shade of blue. Not quite midnight; royal or teal blues pack just enough punch to compliment your summer sandals and brighten your fall scarf. Try essie “Style Cartel” or “Go Overboard.” Next try a bright red. Red, as we know, never goes out of style, but a brighter version like essie’s “Haute in the Heat” or “Fifth Avenue” is perfect for both hot and cold weather. Finally, find yourself a bold bare polish. The nude nail trend isn’t going anywhere, so a complexion-flattering opaque nude should be your never-fail go-to. Try essie’s “Sand Tropez” or “Topless and Barefoot. “