Merrick Fisher and CND's Jan Arnold
Fisher and Orly founder Jeff Pink
Fisher and Kandi Banks
Morgan Haile, Fisher, and Taylor Daniel at the Morgan Taylor booth.
I don’t meet too many MANicurists, so it was really exciting to be approached by Merrick Fisher at the NAILS booth during ISSE Long Beach 2014. One look at Mr. Fisher’s nails and it was clear that he practiced what he preached: a passion for all things nails.
Fisher did this turquoise-inspired design on his nails using Essie Turquoise and Caicos, Orly Luxe, INM Black Hole (which he water marbled), and INM Out-The-Door matte top coat.
I ran into him again when he was getting some nail art from Britney Tokyo at the Nail Labo booth. After checking out his Instagram and seeing all the other nail icons he met on the show floor, I had to get the scoop on this manicurist/blogger who was charming the entire industry.
Fisher with Natalie Minerva (back) and Britney Tokyo (right) at the Nail Labo booth.
Growing up in Beverly Hills, Fisher’s mother was “religious” about her weekly manicures, which she brought him along for. “I would beg and plead with my mother to use color, only for her to vehemently reject my polish proposal, permitting me only clear,” he recalls. Because he was never able to use colored polish, his obsession with nails grew, and in elementary school he began drawing on his nails with Crayola markers. “They were early signs of nail art,” he says. But markers were just the beginning. “Anything I could put on my nail to create a ‘look’ I would use, from Scotch tape to dental wax for my braces, I would press it into my nails and create a temporary long French nail. I also kept a journal where I would come up with creative and catchy names for the polish line I envisioned I would create one day,” he remembers.
Early milestones in his polish journey include discovering glow-in-the-dark polish, which looked normal at school, but when he slept, his nails illuminated his sheets and his soul. While in the fifth grade, Hard Candy debuted. “My parents refused to buy them for me,” he says. In college, a twist of fate led him to the home of Dineh Mohajer (the creator of Hard Candy). On a recent flea market jaunt he scooped up all the vintage bottles of Hard Candy he could find.
Attending college in Boston only fueled Fisher’s love for polish. He remembers painting the nails of all the girls who would stop by his dorm. During his sophomore year, Chanel’s Black Satin came out, elevating Fisher’s obsession to new heights. “I was on the waiting list for months to get a bottle, and was in the middle of a final exam for my law class when my phone rang. The caller ID said ‘Chanel Boston.’ I pleaded with the professor that I had to take an ‘emergency’ call. He relented, and I finished the exam as quickly as I could, then rushed over to Newbury Street to retrieve my prized possession. I also got an A on that exam.”
After returning to Los Angeles, Fisher took on a number of jobs he didn’t enjoy. Stints in retail, customer service, publicity, and real estate did not inspire his creativity. So he decided to use his spare time wisely, and began a nail art blog in 2011. At its inception, the blog was used to showcase the most creative nails he had seen. As time went on, Merricures came to include swatches, reviews, and technological advances in the industry. Despite his blog’s progression, Fisher still worked many other non-nail jobs during the day. It wasn’t until last February that he had had enough. “I told my 9-5 boss I would be leaving work early twice a week to attend nail school. They were fine with that, and I was over-the-moon excited,” he says. His nail instructors were young Japanese women who specialized in gel-polish nail art, teaching him a talent and respect for nails that he maintains today.
Fisher now resides in a two bedroom apartment in Beverly Hills, where he converted his second bedroom into a nail salon. He works as a freelance manicurist (clients e-mail him to book), specializing in gel-polish nail art. “A lot of my clients are what I consider conservative as far as their nails are concerned, primarily because of the type of job or profession they have, but I can typically convince them to add some degree of pizzazz- at least a glitter fade,” he says proudly. Although he is now a licensed manicurist, he still has the occasional nail disagreement with his mother, who was adamant he use his spare bedroom as a guest room. “I argued if Mariah Carey can have a hair salon in her home, I can have a nail salon in mine.”
Fisher’s nail story ends happily with his obsession turned profession becoming a daily part of his life. When asked which nail celebrity he got the biggest kick out of seeing at the show, I related to his answer. “My most favorite nail celebrity I met was probably Tom Bachik. He was so nice and funny, and I've always admired that he's a fellow MANicurist.” For a daily dose of this manicurist, visit his blog, www.merricures.com, or follow him on Twitter (@MayzingMerrick) and Instagram (@merricures).
Bachik and Fisher