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West Coast Vs. East Coast: A Day With 2 Celebrity Nail Techs

Associate publisher and editor Hannah Lee takes a look into the lives of two very in-demand, jetsetting celebrity nail techs for a day.

Kimmie and Lisa on set-of Lady Gaga and Beyoncé’s “Telephone” video. The two often recommend each other to their celebrity clients when they are traveling to the opposite coast. Kimmie is based in Los Angeles and Lisa is based in NYC.

 

Earlier this year, I had the pleasure of meeting first Los Angeles-based nail tech Kimmie Kyees at IBS Long Beach, and a month later New York-based nail tech Lisa Logan at ABS in Chicago. Both women were at the shows representing Minx, who they educate for and use (quite often) on their impressive list of celebrity clients. Little did I know the two operate on opposite sides of the country in much the same fashion — their days are jam-packed from sunrise until way after sundown with magazine and video shoots, as well as tending to their celebrity clients. And when one of them has a client traveling to the opposite coast, the other is sure to be ready to tend to her needs. I thought it would be interesting to take a peak into a typical day for each of them. 

 

A Day With Lisa Logan

 

April 29, 2010

 7:00 AM to 9:00 PM: Whew, what a long day! I just finished a 14-hour shoot with Mary J. Blige, working on a campaign ad for Carol’s Daughter beauty products. After dropping off my boyfriend Joe (who came to pick me up), I double-parked my car in front of my apartment, ran inside my house to kiss my kid and use the bathroom, and then made a ­U-turn to head back out.

 
9:05 PM: Off to New Jersey, where I have an appointment with radio personality Angie Martinez from the Hot 97 local radio show. I arrived at her house around 10. Angie wanted a mani/pedi with Minx, but I wanted to try something new so I suggested Shellac by CND. She went with it, but it took a while and I didn’t get home until 1 a.m.

 

I found a few seconds during the Mary J. Blige shoot to catch a few Zs.

 

April 30, 2010

5:30 AM: Ahhh! I’ve had less than five hours of sleep, but I had to set my alarm to meet Queen Latifah at her hotel. I’ve been working with her a lot because she’s been doing quite a bit of press for her new movie “Just Wright” that is coming out next week. I had to hurry and tag team with her glam team. My next stop was Beyoncé in Long Island City, which is at least a 30-minute drive away. I always have a good time working with Queen Latifah and her team. I quickly did a full manicure and re-polished her toes with Ginger + Liz Can You Keep a Secret nail color.

 
7:45 AM: Time to clean up and run to my next ­appointment!

 

8:25 AM: Thank goodness I re-routed the driver to the hotel so it was a smooth ride! I made it in perfect time to set up before Beyoncé made it to set, and now the creative work begins. Today is the House of Deréon shoot with Beyoncé. We came up with the concept of a sexy edgy/biker look — or at least that’s what I called it. LOL!

I’m going to create a really cool nail look, and I start by taking actual rose thorns and painting them red with a Zoya polish in Sam. I polished the nail tips as well and attached the rose thorns on top. I placed glue dots on the inside of the nails in order to stick them on top of Beyoncé’s actual nails. This way it won’t damage her nails later when we have to pull them off. I then stick the nails on the back of my hand so I can run to the set and have all the nails in order to install on her fingers quickly.

 

These are the red rose thorn nails I did for Beyoncé’s biker look.

 

1:30 PM: The shoot is still going on, and at this point we are running about two hours behind schedule, but this works great for me because I have a special order of Minx that is being flown in from Los Angeles and I’m still waiting for it.

 

1:45 PM: Whew! My boyfriend Joe arrives from the airport with the Minx order that he just picked up. They look fabulous! I worked with Minx co-founder Janice Jordan to create a template using the House of Deréon logo. Both Beyoncé and her mom, Mrs. Tina, love the Minx nails we designed and they look great on Beyoncé’s hand.

 

I worked with Minx to create this design of the House of Deréon logo to put on Beyoncé’s nails.

 
8:30 PM: As the day goes on, the shoot goes from the House of Deréon shoot to the Deréon shoot. And, word is that we might be shooting a short video too! Sounds like we will be spending the night on the RV tonight.

I gotta admit Beyoncé is really one of the hardest-working people in the show business. I’m honored to be on the team. She is really smart, and she managed to shoot clips of video while shooting the ad all at the same time.

 

In the May 24, 2010 issue of Star Magazine, I was honored in the Star Beauty Awards as Best Manicurist.

 

8:40 PM: I did three nail changes in total for the day. The last nail look was a hologram Minx layered ­under a gun metal gray Minx. It looked amazing. We worked in a big warehouse-type building with beautiful motorcycles. We shot on the top floor and the roof. It was really cool. There is plenty of food, and lots of laughter to keep the day going.

 
12:45 AM: Ah, finally the day is coming to an end. Now it’s time to pack up. We all say good night, and I hop in my car service and head home — until I decide to make a detour to meet Joe! My guy is saving a seat for me and has one of my favorite drinks, a Bellini, ready and waiting. We went home from there, and I showered and fell asleep like a baby.

Wait! I almost forgot my first appointment is at 8 a.m. Ugh. I have to set the alarm. Here we go again!

 

 

A Day With Kimmie Kyees

 

April 28, 2010

7 AM: Woke up! I opened my e-mail to find my call sheet that was supposed to be sent late last night. Ciara’s hairdresser Kiyah (we met on the “Ride” video) gave my information to a photographer for a photo shoot this morning with Brandy! I hadn’t worked with her before and was excited to do the project for Arise Magazine,  a UK-based magazine. But there was no call sheet — yikes! I sent a text to the photographer and he sent me the address. And, they moved my call time from 8:30 to 9, which was a little stressful because I had to be at another photo shoot my agent booked by 10:30.

 

8:30 AM: I arrived at the location for the shoot. Brandy arrived not long after — she was fun and full of energy. She was so excited there was a manicurist and even more excited to see the Minx heating up under the light. She said “I love Minx.” We got started on her nails and then the rest of the beauty team arrived! Brandy was wearing acrylics that needed to be rebalanced so it was a little tough to apply Minx, but we beveled the re-growth before application and they looked great! She wore Silver Minx, and she asked for my card so I hope to work with her again.

 

10:30 AM: I’m just leaving the Brandy shoot, which means I’m running late. Ugghh! I’m headed to Smashbox Studios for my next shoot!

 

I put silver Minx on January Jones for the July issue of Malibu Magazine. It was her first time being Minxed!


10:55 AM: I arrived at the shoot! We were shooting for Malibu Magazine with January Jones from “Mad Men”. I set up and I was about to begin when Enzo (the hairdresser) walked into the room. We had just worked together on Katy Perry’s album artwork the day before. I was able to Minx January’s hands and toes in silver before hair and makeup was done. Thank goodness. Everyone was very understanding about my tardiness and very happy with the nails, especially January. When we were choosing the look for her nails she said she wanted something that really stood out or something super light. That was the first time she had been Minxed. I assured her that her nails would stand out.

 

I hand-painted these pink polka dotted nails for Katy Perry’s “Teenage Dream” album artwork.


After I finished I went to get my camera to show Enzo photos from the end of the Katy shoot. (He had to leave early.) We were looking through the photos and the photographer said he had the same camera (the Canon G11) and he asked if I would shoot some behind the scenes shots today since he forgot his camera at home! While I was hanging out, in between taking photos, I did the makeup artist’s nails in Zoya Charla (this is my favorite new spring shade from the Sparkle collection). I did the editor’s nails in Orly Lift the Veil, the photographer’s agent in China Glaze Gussied up Green, and my old agent (who works at Smashbox Studios) in OPI’s Off with her Red. I often offer to polish the women’s nails on set — it keeps me busy and makes the day go quicker — plus it’s a great way to make friends. Hee hee. It was a fun shoot. January used to be a model so her poses and the way she worked the clothes was fantastic. The story is going to be beautiful.

 

3:30 PM: I received my call sheets for my job tomorrow with Britney Spears for Candies and Cosmo. I suggested doing a nail prep later tonight since it can get a bit hectic when everyone’s trying to get her ready on set. Plus she usually has me put a full set of acrylics on her. I got the go-ahead from Candies and reached out to her assistant Brett. Unfortunately they can’t to do it tonight.  

 

These are the nails I did for Rihanna’s "Rockstar”  video.


4:15 PM: Right before we were about to wrap I got a call from Lady Gaga’s assistant Wendy asking if I could come to CBS studios right away to do Gaga’s nails for a performance! So I packed everything up as quickly as I could, said my goodbyes and ran out the door. Good thing Britney didn’t want to prep tonight.

 

4:45 PM: I arrived at the studios, my gate pass was there and I headed into the parking lot. I got rock star parking — right by the studio doors. (Something as simple as a great parking space is like Christmas when I’m in a hurry!) Wendy met me at the door and helped carry some of my stuff. I was taken up to the green room and waited there for a little over an hour with Perez Hilton (who has lost a ton of weight and looks great by the way) and some other music people who work with her.

 

After a last-minute call to go to CBS to do Lady Gaga’s nails for her performance on American Idol, I stayed to watch them tape her performance.

 
6:30 PM: Wendy came to get me to do Lady Gaga’s nails and told me she wanted black Minx. Thank goodness I travel with everything all the time so I had them. I grabbed my Minx lamp and just the things I needed since I knew it would be a small room. It was a tiny room and full of people and stuff — the hairdresser laughed when I set up my little table and commented that she was just thinking that this room could use another table. Gaga said that it was good to see me and thanked me for coming so quickly. I squeezed in a small space next to her. I did a mini mani and Minxed her nails. After my lightening fast Minx application she thanked me for being so quick and talked about how a manicurist she once worked with was so slow — she asked Gaga after every nail if she liked it! One of the funniest moments was when her dog Yoko grabbed her wig and tried to run away with it. We all laughed.

 

These are the nails I did for Rihanna’s “Hard” video. 


7 PM: I packed up but I wanted to stay and see the performance. The hallway was full of famous folks — Shakira, Randy Jackson, and Ryan Seacrest to name a few. There were also some familiar faces like Thomas, Gaga’s security (we met while he was working for Rihanna), and Victor, one of Gaga’s dancers who I met while he was working with Kelis.

 
9 PM: I am finally leaving the studio — she was running a bit behind because they had to sew her in the outfit. They did a rehearsal and taped the performance two times. But it was worth the wait! I can’t wait to see the performance on the show next week!

 

I think you’ll agree after you’ve peaked into their lives that Kimmie and Lisa are rockstars themselves!


9:30 PM: I arrived home — missed my 9 p.m. workout so I decided to see what was left on my DVR that I haven’t seen yet — “Army Wives” and “American Idol”. My running shoes are by my door waiting for me to put them on. We’ll see.


1 AM: Decided to run 2 ½ miles — yay I did it! I think I am going to try and give up chocolate for a month. I have an unhealthy addiction. Wish me luck. Now a quick shower and off to bed — I have a double shoot with Ms. Spears tomorrow!   

Keywords:   celebrities     fashion     manicures     Minx     nail art     techniques  

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