Salon quality nails without the salon quality small talk!
You meet a lot of interesting people when you cover the backstage beauty world. I’ve been reporting from backstage at New York fashion week since it was at Bryant Park (where’s my Golden Buckeye card?), and have been lucky to interact with and interview the beauty industry’s dons: Guido, Orlando Pita, Diane Kendal, Francois Nars, Lucia Pieroni, Pat McGrath, Gucci Westman, Odile Gilbert, and on and on.
An interesting shift over the last few years has been the rise of the manicurist. Typically, it's the aforementioned hair and makeup people who get most of the attention (and the brand sponsorships), but with the uptick in popularity of nail art over the past few years, manicurists are finally getting the recognition they deserve.
One of my favorite manicurists to run into backstage is Jin Soon Choi, who handles ultra-cool shows like Derek Lam, Rag & Bone, and Proenza Schouler. Jin has been quietly grinding it out for a long time, working on editorial (Vogue, Elle, W, Marie Claire, etc.) and advertising campaigns (Prada, Louis Vuitton, Dior, J. Crew, etc.), and has painted the nails of pretty much every big starlet you can think of (no really, all of them).
In 2012, she launched JINSoon, her namesake line of nail polishes, which are 5-free and have an insanely long wear time. (Among my favorites: Blue Iris, a bright, deep blue.)
Her spring collection features Kookie White, a creamy not-white, not-gray, not-blue shade that seems to change every time I look down at my nails.
I am not a fan of pure white nail polish, even though it’s a very big trend for spring, because it doesn't work with my skin tone. Kookie White is cool--the gray-blue tone keeps my hands from appearing corpse-y. (Is that an adjective? It is now.)
Also, unlike a lot of super-opaque formulas, this one doesn't streak. One coat could be enough coverage, two brings out the color more.
Jin would hate the condition of my nails and the messiness of my desk manicure (I usually outsource my nail situation); when you run into her backstage, the first thing she does after saying hello is assess your hands. And if you’re extra-lucky, she’ll do (or re-do) your nails on the spot.
Her on-the-fly manicures have been known to last weeks; the same is true of the ones you get at her nail spas in New York City. It's worth a visit/splurge next time you're in town.
What's your favorite nail polish color for spring?