Leeanne Colley is highly regarded as the top manicurist in the Canadian Fashion industry. Also known as, “The Nail Guru”, Leeanne is the founder of Tips Nail Bar & Spa in Toronto’s east end. We hung out with Leeanne and her technician on set at the Sirens September 2011 photoshoot at a classic old theatre on Bloor Street West in Toronto. Check our Q&A with her below and here what she had to say about everything nails.
S: When did you first realize your love for everything nails?
Leeanne Colley: In my late teens I visited a salon with my mother every two weeks. We always had the same thing every time, thick, long French manicures. One day I realized there was a way to make them look more natural. I’d sit and file them for hours and my mom was so jealous at how great my nails looked. So I decided to take a summer course and learn how to do nails myself. During my course there was a live competition in London for student nail artists. I entered and won! From that moment there was nothing that stood in my way. Clothing, shoes and even accessories inspire me; designing nails have definitely become an art in the beauty industry.
S: Being a top manicurist, I have to ask… Do you always have perfectly manicured nails?
LC: I usually do! Sometimes it gets so busy that I slack a bit but not often. I feel like it is such a surprise to new people I meet. They usually say “Wow! I’ve never seen a manicurist with perfectly manicured nails!”
S: Myself being so wrapped up in everything Sirens, there are definitely those days when I glance at my own nails and think, “Man I need a new mani” and wonder if anyone else notices the atrocity that is my chipped and mangled nails. If you had to choose between bare nails or chipped what would it be?
LC:Manicured nails are very important. People look at our hands constantly. Chipped polish is a definite no-no! Bare nails or a simple coat of clear is the better route to take if you are bogged down and out of time.
S: As someone who sees nails as an art form, what do you have to say to The Nail-Biters?
LC: Most nail biters hide there hands in shame. There are ways to kick the habit if you go to the right place. Keep your nails short and your cuticles clean at all times. Weekly manicures for a little while can also help.
S: We have to say, we all LOVE the nails you designed for the Sirens Fall 2011 shoot. What was your inspiration?
LC:My inspiration was the leather and the prints that we’ll be seeing this fall. Using matte topcoats with bits of metal accents definitely gave the nails a rock star chic look to them.
S: With nails being such a focal this upcoming season, what colour will be on rotation in your medicine cabinet? Or can you choose just one?
LC: Classic red and a gunmetal metallic will be my colours of choice this fall. Both colours are wearable and work with all colours in our wardrobes.
S: Coming from someone who has built their career on nails, what tip can you offer to those of us painting our own nails?
LC: Always paint your dominant hand first. It’s the most difficult hand to do and it makes painting your non-dominant a breeze.
S: And the final question in everyone’s mind.. Or at least in mine. Real or fake? What’s your preference?
LC: There are so many great products available on the market now. Fake can actually look real! My preference is definitely nails that look natural and always perfect. This can be done now with new coloured gels and lacquers. French manicures are classic however not the look you want for this fall. For people who have no time, be risky choose colours that show your personality. Try and stay away from “safe” colours. Taupes, reds and deep metallics will be the hot looks for Fall 2011.
Visit P1M to check out more of Leeanne’s nails!