It turns out that the sweetest person in showbiz works behind the scenes: Kimmie Kyees, celebrity nail technician (take that how you want—she has worked with Rihanna, Katy Perry and a number of other famous names, but is also a celeb in nail tech circles), has spent 20 years nailing her craft and shooting to the top of her industry. Interviewing her was a joy, as she was so genuinely excited to discuss nails. We were thrilled to find out her thoughts on upcoming fall trends for both polish colors and nail shapes and get her recommendation on how to spot a quality nail salon.
What do you love most about being a nail tech?
Getting my girl fix! Chatting with my clients and experimenting with colors and designs.
Do you have a polish brand that you prefer to use, or have you ever thought about developing your own nail polish line?
I love different things about all kinds of different lines—right now I am loving Morgan Taylor. I really like new lines, I have thought of doing my own … especially after a friend of mine who does a blog was telling me how much people make selling nail polish! Plus, I have always had a dream of naming my own colors thanks to OPI‘s amazing color names!
What are the upcoming nail trends for this fall?
I am seeing a lot of square nails on the carpets again …. I think there might be a shift back into that shape—as far as trends, texture nail polishes are big for the fall and a lot of jewel toned colors.
You work with a number of celebrity clients—how did you steer your career in that direction?
When I moved to L.A., I learned about mobile spas, [talent] agencies and house calls [for celebrities], which was all new to me!
Who all have you worked with?
I have been really fortunate to get the opportunities to work with all kinds of celebrities. My career has moved more into the music side of the business, working a lot with Katy Perry and Rihanna.
Do you have a favorite client?
I love my clients and for all different reasons, I can’t pick just one!
Many people outside of the nail industry don’t always know what to look for when they visit a nail salon as far as quality, cleanliness, etc.—what’s important to know when we’re choosing a new place?
Make sure you see them cleaning after the client before you—no dirty files or rings around the tubs. And make sure the implements are submerged in sanitizer or coming out of a sealed package!