Lisa Logan – Manicurist to the Stars
Tell us about yourself, what is your background & where do you come from?
I was born in New York, but raised in Virginia. Now I live in Manhattan.
Did you fall in love with doing nails at an early age or was it something you grew into?
When I was 22 years old, a friend of my sister’s was opening a salon, and this friend offered to teach me to be a nail technician. So, I started working at her salon, and I found that I really loved it. At that time, you could get your license under a “grandfather clause” if you were working with a licensed technician, so that’s how I originally secured my nail technician license. It wasn’t until four years later that I went to school to formally study to be a nail technician.
What are you currently working on and excited about?
Well, just last night I worked with Cyndi Lauper, so that was really an iconic moment. She is such a legend!
Cyndi is currently on the “Celebrity Apprentice” show, and the call time is really early, so she has to be ready and downstairs with the rest of the apprentice contestants at 6:00 am or 7:00 am. So, her hairdresser, stylist and makeup artist all assembled themselves in her living room around 3:30 am in the morning, and Cyndi walks out of the bedroom and looks at all of them, and then looks at me and says “who are you?” I think she forgot that she agreed to have her nails done so it was funny.
Cyndi was initially worried about having her nails done and wanted to know how long it would take to dry. So, I showed her my book with Minx nails and told her that Minx didn’t require any drying time at all, and that we could easily apply it while she was having her hair and makeup done. She was really pleased about that and said “This is genius!” Cyndi sat and looked through the book, and had about five different designs picked out, but then when she found the Cheetah, she was like, “this is it.” So, she ended up choosing Cheetah Minx for her fingers, and Tiger stripes layered over Golden Lightning Minx on her toes.
What’s the most amazing place you’ve ever done nails?
Oh my gosh, I’ve done nails so many times while still driving down the street in a moving vehicle, on our way to a location.
But, maybe the most memorable was when I did Beyoncé’s nails in Bermuda, in a famous underwater cavern with stalactites and stalagmites all around it. That was surreal.
Tell us about Minxing at the Vogue shoot.
I was on a Vogue shoot that my agent had booked for me, and one of the stylists on that shoot was talking to me about some ideas she had for an upcoming project. She showed me a Dolce Gabbana dress that she wanted to feature, and I told her that I had nail fashion that would match it perfectly. She said “what do you mean, nail fashion? How can it match perfectly?” and I pulled out my book of Minx designs and showed her a set of Minx with cheetah spots that matched beautifully with the dress. She said it would be fantastic if we could match all the dresses on a shoot with the models’ nails, and I told her that Minx could definitely do that.
She was really excited, and at the next editor meeting she brought up this theme and editor-in-chief Anna Wintour gave the final approval on the project. Vogue called me and we got on the phone with Minx co-founders Janice Jordan and Dawn Lynch-Goodwin, and began the process of creating customized nails for about 30 different high-fashion ensembles.
We had less than a week to create the customized Minx! As Vogue interns worked feverishly to provide high resolution images of each item of clothing to be featured, Janice Jordan was at the Minx manufacturing facility in California overseeing the creation of customized designs. At the end of the week, Dawn Lynch-Goodwin flew to New York and worked with me on set to prepare the Minx for each model.
In the space of three days, dozens of Minx designs were matched and photographed with designer ensembles.
The October issue of Vogue, on newstands now, features a striking two-page spread showing a close-up of customized “Zipper” Minx, followed by fashion from Diane Von Furstenberg, Dries Van Noten, Jonathan Saunders, Nicolas Ghesquiere, 3.1 Phillip Lim, and Marc Jacobs, all featuring customized Minx nails.
You were specifically requested for the new Jimmy Choo campaign for H&M with customised Minx designs, tell us a bit about the shoot.
The new Jimmy Choo for H&M campaign is such fun! I’ve seen the advertisements in a lot of magazines already, and my friends have called me to tell me they’ve seen the photos. I was specifically requested for the shoot, and Jimmy Choo worked with me and directly with Minx as they wanted customized Minx designs that would match their new line of shoes which featured a lot of animal prints and textures.
The shoot itself was a night shoot in a hotel, so I arrived there at around 2:00 pm. There were three models, and the shoot was incredibly well-organized so everyone knew which model was wearing which outfit. Of the customized designs that Minx had created, the stylist had selected the Blue Lightning Cheetah, Silver Lightning Cheetah and Electric Blue Minx colors for their three models, and they each wore the same color on their fingers and their toes. The shoot went very smoothly and I ended up staying until around 1:00 am.
You do nails for Beyoncé Knowles among other celebrities. Any tips for ambitious nail techs who want to work with celebs?
Well, first of all, it’s very important that you be extremely good at your profession. If you are working with celebrities, you are working with people who are looked upon as trendsetters and fashion icons, so you must research the newest and coolest nail products and you must be able to apply or use these products correctly and skillfully.
Minx is a great example of this – it’s still relatively new, and the application method is entirely different from polish, so I had to quickly bring myself up to an expert level because my celebrity clients were hearing about it and demanding it, and they expected me to be proficient with it.
Also, just as with anything in life, it’s not just what you know but also who you know. I have to admit that in my case, I just happen to know a lot of people, and I was at the right place at the right time, even from the very beginning. So, my advice would also to network all you can because you never know who the friend of a friend may be. Also, once you know one celebrity, make sure that celebrity knows you are happy to have other clients, because they undoubtedly have a lot of other celebrities as friends. Word of mouth is always the most powerful advertising.
Whose nails would you love to work on?
My first choice would be Michelle Obama. She’s such a classy lady and I admire her so much, that I would love the opportunity to work with her. I’d also like to work with Oprah. I don’t even think she really gets her nails done often, and it seems like she favors natural polish, but I’d love to work with her. Also, Will Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, would be a great client. I like to work with people whom I know will let my work be seen. That’s one reason why Beyoncé is such a dream client – she’s so high profile!
We know you love Minx, what other nail products or techniques do you use frequently?
I use of lot of Zoya products, and I also use Essie and OPI. The new nail colors for Nails Inc. are lovely as well. They have some amazing polishes and they last a long time.
If you could waive a magic wand and change one thing about the nail industry, what would it be?
Hmmm…. What would it be?
I would like to see manicurists enjoy the same status as makeup artists and hairstylists. And, I think we are getting there… in the last couple of years, there has been a lot more attention being paid to nails, and I think Minx has a large part in that.
I was one of the first manicurists in New York to learn how to apply Minx, and as it’s a new product with a new application system, my expertise really increased the demand for my time and talent. It made a lot of people in the fashion industry realize how much artistry and impact a good nail technician can bring to a photo shoot.
How do you use the Internet in conjunction with your nail business?
I don’t have my own Web site, although my profile is posted on my agency’s site. But, I do have a lot of colleagues and friends who have their own blogs, and they are always asking me for my input and for information about my latest projects. I often send them photos and news that they post.
Who inspires you?
My friend Kim Kimble is really an inspiration to me. She’s a celebrity hairstylist, and she’s worked with so many people, from Beyoncé to Shakira. I love the way she works, I love her techniques, I love the way she interacts with people, and I love the way she does business. She has built her profession into a very successful company and into an international brand, and I have a tremendous amount of respect for her.
Any tips for nail trends in 2010?
The shapes of nails right now are very attractive, and I really like the whole “reverse French manicure” look. It’s also great to see a lot of imagination and creativity again, with rhinestones on the nails and other designs – nails are becoming really fun again.
Nail art is making a comeback and so many celebrities are really using their nails as a canvas to show their personalities and fashion sensibility.
What are your top 3 tips for great nails?
That’s pretty simple: good cuticle oil, a nice nail file, and a great topcoat!
Apart from nails and trips on a private jet to the Bahamas, what else do you enjoy?
I love my family above all. There’s nothing I enjoy more than being with my beautiful daughter and boyfriend. Just relaxing with them at home, sitting on a couch together watching a movie, is pretty much a perfect evening. I enjoy my work but it’s also important to get away from business for a while and just spend time with family. I also like to take my daughter to different restaurants around the city, and to try new foods in top-rates places. I’m a bit of a “foodie” and I love introducing her to new tastes, and to teach her how to appreciate a great dish. Sometimes we meet up with some of her friends and we all go together.
What do you imagine yourself doing in 10 years?
I would like to be running my own agency for manicurists, where they would be doing the things I’m doing right now, and I would be able to work with them and mentor them.
It would be such fun to work with people who have the same passion, work ethic, and ambitions that I do!
A big thanks to Lisa for answering our questions, be sure to keep up with the latest about her on her portfolio. Plus, if you haven’t already entered our Minx Nails Giveaway be sure to enter today! Competition Closed – check out the winners pics
Stay tuned for more interesting interviews with other fun & fearless members of the nail industry.