Hands & Nails
Tips! Tricks! Techniques!
How to: Become a Celebrity Manicurist
Fri, 10 August 2012 3:02PM
They say the hands are the first things people notice about you, as we so often ‘talk’ with them. So whose hands do actresses, singers and models put their trust in when it comes to manicures? Ali Magliveras, of course, spokesperson for Essie and manicurist to Sandra Bullock, Elle Macpherson, Cate Blanchett, Miranda Kerr, Kylie Minogue, Kate Bosworth and more.
Emma-Charlotte Bangay: What got you interested in becoming involved in nail artistry?
Ali Magliveras: “I was the typical young girl that always loved playing with makeup and you could say I never stopped!”
ECB: How did your career begin?
AM: “It all started with my first boss, Christina Fitzgerald from Double Bay. She was the first manicurist of her kind in Sydney and I was fortunate enough that she believed in me and took me under her wing making me her protégé. I took so much from my time working with her. To this day I still soak clients hands in lanolin, not water, as it dehydrates the nails, which is one of her trademark tips. If it wasn’t for her I wouldn’t be where I am today, she elevated what we do to the next level, making it more than just a profession but an exciting career.”
ECB: What were the steps you took from there to get where you are?
AM: “Working with Christina really ignited my passion and after eight years working with her on everything from private clients to almost every touring celebrity that came to Australia, I had the platform to build great industry contacts that I still maintain today. I then moved to New York for two years, and I continue to return to yearly to ensure I am keeping an eye on the trends. I think what sustains me is that I have always had a strong work ethic, I truly love my clients and I always strive for perfect nails. I think my passion for what I do really shines through and helps me stay current, constantly searching for inspiration.”
ECB: What is the best thing about being a nail artist?
AM: “The best thing is that I have such great clients and I am my own boss, but most importantly I get the new season colours first! I get to wake up every morning and do something I love, it offers the variety and keeps me interested from fashions shows, private clients, advertising shoots, film and music videos. I have also had the opportunity to work with some amazing people. A highlight would be Linda Evangelista, and funnily enough I loved doing Rupert Murdoch’s nails. He is charming man, a true gentleman and he has immaculately maintained cuticles!”
ECB: What is your advice to would-be nail artists?
AM: “Practice makes perfect, to understand that the different brands and polishes are very different to paint, and that every hand, every texture and every color is unique. Being a people person is a bonus as you need to be able to work with a variety of people and personalities and building positive rapport will lead to repeat clients and job opportunities.”
ECB: How does a look for a shoot come about? Is there liaison with the client/talent in some cases or is it purely organic and all happen on the day?
AM: “Every shoot different but most designers do have a particular theme they are trying to represent. It’s my job to help inspire them through the colours and textures I can offer. For fashion week, the design of the nail and the shade are ideally selected well in advance and trials done to ensure the best complement to the designers collection.”
ECB: How did the Essie gig come about?
AM: “I discovered Essie in 2002 when I was living in New York. I found their iconic shade Ballet Slippers, $18.95, from David Jones, and fell in love. When I moved back to Australia I bought Essie back in bulk in my suitcase because I wasn’t sure if I could get it here. It’s all I’ve used since. I feel like I know the range better than anyone, and am often asked which polish is my favourite and what I like to use. I was at a dinner party and doing my usual passionate rant about how Essie polishes are the best, and it turned out the person I was speaking to worked for Essie, and so my career with the brand started from that chance meeting!”
ECB: How do you keep abreast of makeup trends? Who is your source(s) of inspiration?
AM: “I am addicted to my iPad, I love following beauty blogs, but most of all I love just experimenting myself. I follow the international shows as the focus has really shifted towards catwalk beauty, which is great. Before all of that I had a mountain of magazines that I pored over. Locally I think PRIMPED is great trend-based site, but also offers great how-to advice for people wanting to experiment.”
Primpettes, are any of you interested in becoming a manicurist?
Or currently studying to be one?
Do you have a favourite Essie nail polish shade?
Posted by: ecb