Elsbeth Schuetz, Celebrity Nail Artist
shares insight on her career as a nail artist to the stars!!
How long have you been doing what you are doing and who are your customers?
ES: For over 25 years, I’ve been doing nail art and manicures. I have VIP show biz clients such as Katy Perry, Hillary Swank, Jessica Simpson, Paris Hilton, Teri Hatcher and many others. Often, I have to work in set trailers so speed and precision are very important. Stars have little time so spectacular styles and designs have to be mastered quickly.
How has fashion changed in the manicure world over time? What is relevant today?
ES: When I first started, super long nails were the thing and they were usually filed with a square tip. Playful motifs and figurative styles were “hot” and required a lot of artistic skills. I’m thinking of pin-up girls faces or flowers. For about 2-3 years, however, the trend in the U.S. has changed completely. Short nails are in, about 98% of orders that I’m doing usually go beyond just the nails straight across the fingertip. All the stars want a retro-style, like Jackie Kennedy or Grace Kelly. So rather classically inspired, even in terms of structure. One could describe it as an almond shape with softly rounded nails. Red is back, a “Bette Davis” or “Grace Kelly-Red”, in addition to gray, and black mud. Greenish gold is also currently very on-trend. Animal prints have been replaced by dots, simple graphic motifs also still have a great impact. I work a lot with very thin metallic films, which I secure on the nail with glue or nail polish. Filing, and then putting one coat over the top. The effects are spectacular and it’s quick.
What is your view of the latest trend?
ES: Python-nails with real snake skin, that’s just the hype and the stars love it. However, it can cost you up to $300. I paint nails with white nail polish twice before I place the paper-thin Phytonskin (that I get from pythons after they shed their skin in the terrarium) onto the nails while the nails are not fully dry yet. With a slide, I press on the Phytonskin and then file away the overhanging parts. I put on a top coat and there you have it – an exclusive style. It lasts surprisingly long and suits any style of clothing.
Do you have any tips for us. What should we consider when getting a manicure and how do we improve the shelf life of nail polish?
ES: Soaking nails to soften cuticles is not ideal, the nail swells and if you then paint it the nail varnish fragments and cracks more quickly as the water has evaporated and the nail has shrunk. A modern manicure done almost dry and the cuticles are gently removed with cuticle removers. It is also important that the nails are oil free before you varnish them.
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