Recent posts: essie

RTR: The Matte French

Matte topcoat for nails is a growing trend, and I’m going to show you a few looks from the runway that are easy to recreate in the salon. While we’ve technically moved into spring, these looks from fall/winter will translate, especially if you use the techniques and mix up the colors.


This look was the result of a social media contest: Out of three looks presented by essie’s lead manicurist, Rita Remark, this matte layered look was selected to go with the collection:

Model Yumi Lambert in the essie look for Wes Gordon MBFW f2014


Prep nail and use basecoat. Add one or two color coats of essie Good As Gold, keeping it streak free


Evenly apply one layer of essie Bordeaux. This gives the red a ‘lit from witin’ look


Add an even layer of essie Matte About You topcoat to get a velvet effect


Finish off with a French tip in essie Licorice.  I actually went a little more chevron here; for the show, a striping brush was used to create a thin French tip. A winning look for sure!



The part matte, part shine, inverted French


DKNY’s show was all about spunk and sass and lead manicurist Michelle Saunders had the task to create three nail looks for this show.  This inverted, partial matte French (shown on my very cool model) was a runway and runaway hit. You *must* try this.

The original look required the following:

– basecoat

– 1 even coat of essie Blanc nail polish

– 1-2 even coats of essie Smokin’ Hot – Apply Smokin’ Hot, leaving a small space of Blanc exposed around the eponychium/cuticle line. It can feather off or be exposed around the entire nail

-1 coat of essie Allure – Only over Smokin’ Hot to lighten color

-1 coat of essie Matte About You – over the purple area only

That was a lot of work, especially backstage, but you can see it was totally worth it.  Fortunately, essie has just come out with the Cashmere Matte collection and the purple Coat Couture is a perfect substitute for Smokin’ Hot + Allure.  The work is already done for you.


Salon tip: Matte nail polishes often last a shorter run than traditional, perhaps 4 days.  To extend the life for your clients, I recommend a regular topcoat (like essie Good To Go) over the entire surface, then use Matte About You as an effect.  You’ll keep the strength with regular topcoat and still get your desired look.

DONT’s with Matte: Skip quick drying drops with this look.  They contain a bit of oil, which is great for conditioning the cuticles, but will shine your look up instantly. Mattes tend to dry on the faster side, anyway.

Any questions?  Comment right here on the post. You can also find me on social media channels under Solessence.


24 March 2015 Nails On The Runway by Hillary Fry Read more

Recreate the Runway fw2015: Rock at the Top by essie

In my first installment for Nail Talk Radio, the show at Nanette Lepore was all about ‘rebel glam’ and the nails proved the point. I love layering, especially over a good glitter. This essie combination gives an old gold, rock n’ roll feel that’s all at once loud and muted. Try it on your clients as a party finger, or really go all out with all ten digits.


Learn how to do this nail in the salon in the video, or follow the steps below:

You’ll need the following essie products:

  • Basecoat
  • For The Twill Of It
  • Rock At The Top
  • Shifting Power
  • Topcoat (Good To Go or Matte About You)

1. Apply one good coat of For The Twill Of It


2. Apply one to two coats of the glitter Rock At The Top. This glitter has very fine to large pieces. Layer with abandon. The look should be chunky. If you feel you need to dab for coverage in spots, go for it.


3. Finish the look with a thin veil of Shifting Power. This sheer gold will calm the shine, while giving the nail an over all antique metal look. Fabulous!


4. Finish with a high shine top coat, like Good to Go.  After after a few days, you can refresh your manicure with the new Second Shine Around. It softens dull polish and retasks to a high shine.


5.As an alternate look, try matte over the metal.  I love the look and feel, and matte is the trend right now.


Are you a gel polish user?  essie doesn’t have a gold glitter version in their essie gel (yet), but they do have Twill Seeker.


To get the Rock At The Top look, make a custom mix of fine gold, white gold, and hologram glitters. It doesn’t matter that it isn’t a replica of the look. You are capturing the feeling for your client.




Would you like to win a set of the essie nail polishes used at Nanette Lepore to recreate your own runway set of nails?  Click on the Rafflecopter giveaway link below. Giveaway starts on 2/28/15 at midnight!
Enter to get the 3 piece set of essie nail polishes used at Nanette Lepore, New York Fashion Week (scroll down and click on Rafflecopter giveaway) a Rafflecopter giveaway

~ Hillary

27 February 2015 Main  Nails On The Runway by Hillary Fry Read more