I have to admit that I love to get my nails done and I’m pleased that I can call one of the industry’s best, celebrity manicurist Tracylee Percival, among my personal Glam Squad. Tracylee is a formidable force in the manicure industry with a long and impressive resume: a recent stint with Damone Roberts, magazine cover clients like Olivia Wilde, Veronica Webb, and M.I.A (and the models on the cover of Harper’s Bazaar above,) and private Manhattan elite clients like major magazine editors and fashion designers like Alice + Olivia’s Stacey Bendet. In between her jam-packed schedule, she also sneaks in expert MINX manicure workshops and teachings around the country and consults with hot up-and-coming brands like Ginger&Liz. Oh, and, well, she also does my nails.
I realized that you should be privy to the regular advice and tutelage I receive on a regular basis from this fabulous woman. Here are some hot summer tips from the Mistress of Manicures, my beloved Tracylee:
FSB: So, as a celebrity manicurist, can you tell us what colors you’re loving for this season? What’s hot for summer?
Tracylee Percival: I’m in love with blue/teal polishes for the summer, like Zoya Nail Lacquer in “Robyn” ($7.) It looks great on every skin tone and it just looks so fresh and clean. I’m also doing a lot of white polished gel nails, which I can’t get enough of!
FSB: What are some of the common mistakes people make when they get manicures/pedicures done? Are there some things we should be sure to ask for/avoid?
Tracylee Percival: The biggest mistake that I see daily is that customers allow the nail technician to cut the live tissue at the base of the nail (cuticle area). Cutting into live skin tissue will not only result in uneven, thicker regrowth of the tissue (which will make you want to cut it again, a vicious cycle), but it can also lead to infection. The skin is there to protect the matrix of the nail and prevent bacteria from entering the body. So never have live tissue cut! Your nail technician should only be pushing back the cuticle attached to your nail plate, and gently, sparingly trim any dead tissue.
Another mistake I see is that people allow nail techs to cut the corners of their toe nails. I’ve even seen some where they’ve cut into the side of the toenail, trying to make it look thinner! This will not only lead to ingrown toenails (which are very painful) but it’s another action that can also lead to infection. Toenails should be cut or filed straight across, gently softening the corner edges. You should never have anyone cut into the sidewalls of the toenail EVER.
FSB: Do you have any tricks for a good home mani/pedi? Perhaps some tool recommendations to go along with it?
Tracylee Percival: Use an orange wood stick to clean up nail polish along cuticle. You can also keep your pedicure longer by purchasing a callous smoother/foot file and, here’s the trick, only use it on slightly dry skin after a shower or bath (never wet, it’s less effective) to keep callouses under control.
FSB: What about fall trends? Are you seeing anything from the runways that you’re excited about for the upcoming season?
Tracylee Percival: I think the we will be seeing dark-colored nails this fall in deep burgundy/blood red, eggplant purples and black/white nails. What I am most excited about this fall is we’ll be seeing a lot of texture in nail finishes, whether it be the illusion made by layering techniques or from using textured materials being applied to the nails. Exciting stuff!
FSB: You work on plenty of celebrities. Any fun stories? C’mon, you can tell us.
Tracylee Percival: My job is full of fun stories! As someone that is in an industry built on trust, mum’s the word when it comes to all my clients confidentiality :) Sorry.
I tried, folks, but then again, I wouldn’t want her spilling all the girl talk I spew when she’s doing my nails! Hope these nail tips help you look your most fabulous and gorgeous best this summer. Remember her advice about what not to do! It might save you a lot of pain and an infection!