Pro Spotlight: Marisa Carmichael
Meet celebrity nail artist Marisa Carmichael. Not only has she had the honor of perfecting the nails of stars like Halsey, Zendaya, and even Brad Pitt, but she creates works of art that will blow you away. We sat down with the mani extraordinaire and got the scoop on how she started her career, her favorite OPI shades, and much more.
When did you decide this is what you wanted to pursue as a career?
I was working in photo production in NYC and was always jealous of the manicurist on set. I had gone to beauty school out of high school and worked in salons and gotten burned out. I didn’t know that being a manicurist on set was a job that existed. A colleague one day said to me, “if you want to be a manicurist, be a manicurist and stop talking about it.” I enrolled in nail school the next week to re-hone my skills and get licensed
How long did it take to become a pro?
It was a good 2 years of assisting, testing and working in a nail salon on weekends to build my speed and feel confident in my skills again.
When did you start getting noticed?
Because I had been working in fashion and photo production for a long time before I made the switch, I was lucky enough to have those contacts and start testing and assisting right away.
Any tips for working with high profile clients?
Be prepared for anything that could come up service-wise. Be a team player on set.
What’s a milestone in your career you’re most proud of?
Probably my first US Vogue Cover.
What are your favorite OPI shades?
The color that I have not taken off for 2 months is Suzi Needs a Loch-Smith. Humidi-tea, Big Apple Red, and Lincoln Park After Dark.
What’s a must-have item/tool in your nail art kit?
Lint-free nail wipes, gloves, and drip dry.
What’s the best part about your job?
I get to be creative, I love talking to people and learning their stories.
And it makes people feel good to have nice nails!
I love that I can do that for someone.
Where do you get inspiration from?
Everywhere – clothes, cars, nature, animals.
What trends are you looking forward to in 2020?
I’ve been doing minimal nail art, and details and small accents for many upcoming campaigns.
What OPI product can you not live without?
I think OPI’s gel base and top coats are the best.
What’s your favorite nail look?
I’m a sucker for a classic red nail.
Who is your favorite celebrity client? I LOVE Cindy Crawford & Christy Turlington, I had pictures of these women on my walls when I was growing up and they are the nicest and I still pinch myself when I see them.
What do you wish more people knew about being a nail artist? A beautiful nail Is more than just a polish. The health of the nails and the skin is just as important. Nail care and meticulous prep are essential.
Do you have any career advice for aspiring nail artists? Take care of yourself physically, we are exposed to chemicals everyday, and that exposure can add up, wear gloves, wear masks. Also Body work! It's a physical job, get massages, pay attention to your posture.