“I’ve been seeing a lot of doily-like lace and perforated leather—innocent but sexy at the same time.”
Step By Step
1. Use press-on nails (Remark’s go-to, Kiss Full Cover Nails in Active Oval, $10, are shown throughout), to make for easier DIY. Prep with a base coat.
2. Start with a neutral foundation over the entire nail, then paint two white semicircles on each side and let dry. Gather different-sized dotters and brushes.
3. Paint a smaller neutral semicircle inside each white one. Create a lacy look by outlining with rows of tiny circles. Finish with Essie Matte About You topcoat, $10.
The Backstage Darling
Rita Remark, Lead Nail Artist with Essie Canada
“I’ve always been obsessed with beauty rituals,” says Kingsville, Ont.–born Remark. “I was the girl who couldn’t wait to wear lipstick or curl my hair.” Growing up, she struggled to get her mom’s approval for makeup, but managed to get the go-ahead for nails. “I remember spending an afternoon polishing my fingertips each a different colour.” Remark moved to downtown Toronto for Ryerson University’s New Media program, but then began yearning for a different canvas. Post-secondary round 2: an aesthetics certificate from George Brown College, where a manicure course changed it all. “I realized that was pretty much everything I wanted to do.”
She began working in salons, and now, less than five years later, Remark just finished her first season with Essie’s nail team at New York Fashion Week, where she assisted at The Row, DKNY and 3.1 Phillip Lim. As Essie’s lead nail artist at Toronto Fashion Week, she heads up the avant-garde manis on the runway, employing the arty aesthetic of stippling, watercolour and dry-brushing techniques. “Recently, one of the coolest things happened,” she reveals giddily. “I saw a woman at a coffee shop wearing the exact design I created for the Ashtiani show. I kept thinking, Oh my goodness! This woman saw my nails online and brought them to her manicurist to recreate.”