At a launch the other week I noticed the immaculate nails of a fellow beauty journalist and asked who did her nails. Now I love a good manicure/ paint job. In our fast paced world where I get around 300 emails a day it seems a bit naughty and decadent to take 45 mins out for a relaxing manicure and gossip. Having lovely nails makes me feel like a groomed Hitchcock siren and a laydeee. I love Essie nail colours as they really don’t chip or budge and come in a scary range of colours. I never knew there could be so many pinks! I personally love Sugar Daddy (ironically I wore it on my wedding day) but I also love this deep Plumberry shade, which I am wearing now as I type. Check out the new season spring shades, which are Neo Whimsical and Pop Art Pink, they are chic and look clean on the nail but are also bang on trend with the new pastels.
There are a few people I really rate when it comes to touching my nails (there are lots of dodgy dirty people out there I would prefer to do it myself) and I am so excited to say Alex at Neville, www.nevillehairandbeauty.net in Knightsbridge is one of them. She is super talented and warm. Other nail gurus I love are Danielle at Daniel Hersheson, www.danielhersheson.com, Andrea Fulerton, www.andreafulerton.com, Leighton Denny, www.leightondenny.com and Nonie Crème, www.butterlondon.com, Jessica Hoffman at John Frieda Alford street and Sophy Robson, www.sophyrobson.com. They are all superstars in the beauty industry and what they all have in common and what makes you want to keep going back to them, is that they are warm, maternal (paternal in Leighton’s case), a good laugh, discreet, fabulous and not afraid to take you in hand and make you experiment with a bold new colour. As a ‘seen it all before love’ beauty journalist, to be able to trust these great nail artists, is quite refreshing and means I never fall in a pale pink nail rut.
After my chic and precise manicure with Alex at Neville weirdly I bumped into Inga also another amazing manicurist who I love and we had a lovely long catch up. It was then that it hit me how much your own personal glam squad becomes part of your inner circle and personal war cabinet. I love going to Daniel Hersheson, it’s like a therapy session and I always come out feeling fabulous as well as looking sharp and fixed up. I don’t think it’s an accident that hair stylists, facialists and nail experts often become friends and confidantes - the people you tell your secrets to. Look at most Diva’s entourages they all consist of hair stylist and make up artists - and yes I am talking to you Kate Price.
We all live in a digital age where instead of having a chat in the local butcher we do online shopping and as a freelancer I email in my copy and pay my bills online as well. There is not much face time with the outside world. However, the beauty world is one of the last places you can go into a huddle, have physical contact and be close to other humans and chat without it being pervy.
I used to work as an Estee Lauder Bureau beauty consultant working on brands such as Bobbi Brown, Estee Lauder, Prescriptives, Clinique and Crème de La Mer after university - before I became a beauty journalist. I worked in Harrods, Selfridges and Dickins and Jones and it was like being a bar tender. There were huge amounts of women who would come to my counter looking for a red lipstick or new lipgloss and would end up crying in my arms. Through sobs they would tell me how their boyfriends had left them after 7 years and they had only come in for a beauty pick me up. I always gave them free full make overs and a pep talk and sent them out with a spring in their step. It was there I saw how women really bond over beauty and a hair salon, nail bar or spa is where women go to decompress, gossip and get advice on how to deal with wayward husbands, frenemies, bitchy work situations and talk about being 4 weeks pregnant when no one else knows and generally reboot in order to face the fast paced digital world again.