Celebrity Nail Technician Kimmie Kyees

Kimmie Kyees
Kimmie Kyees

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!

Kimmie (left) and Nicole Scherzinger
Kimmie (left) and Pussycat Doll Nicole Scherzinger

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.

Kimmie worked with Zooey Deschanel for the cover of Complex.

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!

Rihanna, Kimmie and friends
Rihanna, Kimmie and friends

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!


Beauty Buy: Dermelect ME Fearless Beauty Collection by Fear No Beauty

You guys, guess what? After looking all summer for just the right shade of bubble-gummy pink, I found it. I feel kind of silly because it was pretty much under my nose the whole time, but, you know, bygones and such. The Dermelect ME Fearless Beauty collection, whipped up in collaboration with the fabulous Karie Frost of Fear No Beauty and celeb manicurist Elle, is so cute and just right for a slow transition into fall. I chose Moxie pink to show off, but there is also Renegade green, Buzz-Worthy yellow and Fearless blue.

Beauty Buy: Creating Cat Eyes with Pearly Green Lagoon Eye Pencil from MAKE UP FOR EVER’s Aqua Collection

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I’m loving the new Aqua collection from MAKE UP FOR EVER, especially the Pearly Green Lagoon Aqua Eyes liner pencil. Such a pretty color! I made sure to wear it with my emerald-colored sweater today. Drawing a cat eye took a little longer than I’d hoped, but this liner drew on easily. Since it’s waterproof, I expected a bit more resistance in applying it, but got none. Love!

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Fast Five: End-of-Summer Essentials

Most Angelenos will readily admit that summer never seems to end here, but rather, the temperature dips a bit (68 degrees—so cold!) and the Santa Ana winds whip through town every once in a while. But in most parts of the country, the leaves are turning orange and red and it actually is starting to cool. No matter where you are, the end of summer is quickly approaching, and FMLA has your end-of-summer essentials.

kate spade1. A Light Sweater

Because it’s cooling down—but not so much that you can wrap up in that fall jacket you’ve had your eye on for a few weeks now—you’ll need a soft sweater to keep you warm in the evenings. Especially this adorable one from Kate Spade (it’s the KSNY X Darcel). Her latest batch features punchy, girlish colors that still feel adult. I love the cyclops with a bow, but there are also clothes with donuts—sprinkles included.

night film2. Night Film by Marisha Pessl

Marisha Pessl’s second novel, Night Film, is out August 20. Pessl’s debut novel, Special Topics in Calamity Physics, is one of my favorites. The after her stunning debut, she made her readers wait almost seven years for a follow-up. No doubt that, much like her first book, Night Film will be perfect for any day, including the ones when you’re lazily sitting by the pool or ocean but are too sluggish to actually go in the water.

aveda3. Hair Repair

You sat in the sun all summer long and loved every moment of it. Except maybe those moments when your hair was ravaged by pool or ocean water, wherever you may be. Get to the salon! Or, take the easier route and apply Aveda Damage Repair. My stylist and good friend blessed me with a tiny sample to take home, but I’ve already got its full-size backup on the way.

Screen Shot 2013-08-16 at 10.44.53 AM4. Weekender Bag

For those quick weekend trips out of town—San Diego, Santa Barbara, Palm Springs, Las Vegas—to enjoy the warm weather just one more time, you’ll need to pack light. I love this colorful bag from Stela 9, the Isabel. To give you some perspective, it’s about as tall as your knees.

vichy spf455. Vichy Capital Soleil SPF 45 Sunscreen

OK, this is more of a year-round essential, particularly in Los Angeles, but my point: Never go without sunscreen. Never. Not even in the dead of winter on the cloudiest day. I’ve been using this particular sunscreen since I discovered it in May, and I’m addicted. It’s so light that you can wear it under makeup and it doesn’t smell like sunscreen.

Look of the Week: Rachel McAdams in London

Rachel McAdams in Roksanda Illincic Resort 2014 At the About Time world premiere at Somerset House on August 8, 2013 in London, England.

Admittedly, I have an affinity for redheads, but I think we can all agree that Rachel McAdams looks amazing with red-hued hair, which she debuted at the “About Time” world premiere yesterday at Somerset House in London. She set off her fiery locks with a lavender ensemble from Roksanda Illincic Resort 2014 .

Top 10 Must-Have Beauty Products to Survive an L.A. Summer

It’s hot, it’s steamy—and it’s really, really frizzy. Yes, hair, not the bodies next to The Roosevelt’s pool on a Sunday. (Though, that too.) Surviving a Los Angeles summer is a job all on its own, with moisturizing, SPF-ing, de-frizzing, smoothing, exfoliating, waxing and trying to find makeup that can last through the sweat of an afternoon in heavy traffic (which, let’s be serious, is every afternoon). Below are my favorites for getting through the summer days looking fabulous, always.

Top 10 Beauty Products to Survive an L.A. Summer

1. Aloxxi Flexible Hairspray

Aloxxi Flexible Hairspray_HighRez

Oh, the humidity! Seriously, the humidity will destroy your hair style after you worked so hard on it this morning to smooth and straighten it to perfection. Aloxxi’s Flexible Hairspray fights the humidity and gives hair a light shine while protecting it from UV damage. Plus, for the many animal lovers out there like me, Aloxxi Colour, Care and Style products are PETA friendly. $17

2. Veria ID Tame the Tangles Leave-In Conditioner

Veria ID Tame the TanglesIt seems impossible to live in L.A. and not need a detangler when so many of us are at the beach and the pool for so much of the year (weather!). The aloe and herbal extracts in Veria ID’s Leave-In Conditioner smooth out locks and leave them static free. The rosehip and jojoba oil smell sweet in this spray that also works on color-treated hair. $12

3. NIP + FAB Viper Venom Eye Fix

VIPER VENOM-EYE FIX-NIP+FABNow, I’m still young, young enough that crow’s feet don’t yet concern me (too much). But I’m old enough to see them coming, and I’m starting to realize that aging gracefully is mostly about maintenance. NIP + FAB’s Viper Venom actually reduced some of those dark circles around my eyes that have seemed to set up camp as of late and smoothed the finer of my lines (I refuse to call them wrinkles yet). It also rolls on over makeup so you can keep using it throughout the day. $14.99

4. Kate Somerville Daily Deflector Waterlight SPF 50+

Kate Sommerville Daily Deflector WaterlightThere are lots of fun ingredients in the Kate Somerville Daily Deflector Waterlight sunscreen, but there are really only two important things to note: It’s SPF 50+, which, yes, can be found many places, but this sunscreen is different in that it’s lightweight and blends easily without feeling like you’re wearing a heavy mask. Use it daily under makeup or when you’re planning an afternoon outside, either way, it keeps the wrinkles at bay. $48

5. Kaplan MD Lip 20 in Candy

LIP 20 in CandyLipstick in the summer can be tricky. You don’t want it to wear off, but you also don’t want to wear anything heavy or sticky. Kaplan MD’s Lip 20 is just the right amount of color, but it also hydrates and doesn’t feel thick. Plus, it has those magic letters that are essential for the summer: SPF 20. $30

6. Rain Conceal…Reveal Foundation SPF 15

Conceal... Reveal Flawless FoundationI love that the brand describes its Conceal…Reveal Foundation as “an affair for your face.” I usually avoid foundation because most are too heavy and I can just feel the product sitting on my skin. This foundation, however, is nice and light (I’m guessing thanks to the oil-free formula) and still provides enough coverage to last through the day. $28

7. Sanctuary Spa Warming Microbrasion Polish

Warming Microbrasion Polish High ResFor some reason, despite the heat in Los Angeles, I insist on going to hot yoga classes at least three times a week. While my body feels great and detoxed afterward, my skin starts to break out from the sweat, and I can feel the dead skin cells piling up on my face. That’s why I also love the feeling of exfoliation and how smooth it makes my skin. Sanctuary Spa’s Covent Garden Warming Microbrasion Polish warms skin to open pores and stimulate circulation, pulling out all those dirty little impurities that cause blemishes and roughness. $25

8. Rodial Dragon’s Blood Hyaluronic Tonic

Rodial DRAGONS BLOOD-HYALURONIC TONIC-100ML-CMYKSo my husband is saying goodbye to me the other morning, and it starts out very sweet: “You look so pretty in the morning,” awww “your hair is all wavy,” baaaabe “and your skin is so smooth!” WHAT. When is my skin not smooth? OK, he didn’t mean it like that, but that’s where my mind went. Anyway, In my pro-smooth skin efforts, Rodial’s Dragon’s Blood Hyaluronic Toner gave mine a nice firm and soft feel, but without the tightness that seems to result with other toners. Plus, it preps my skin for makeup. Also, how can you not be intrigued by something called “dragon’s blood”? $35

9. Smashbox Limitless 15-Hour Wear Cream Shadow

Smashbox RichesEvery summer I have the same problem of eye shadow that only lasts a couple of hours and then is only visible in the creases of my eye folds at the end of the day.  This summer I wised up with Smashbox’s Limitless 15-Hour Wear Cream Shadow, which stays put, even when weather is at its hot-and-sweatiest. Riches is my favorite color because it stands out against my brown eyes, but there are many more to choose from. $20

10. Kiehl’s Super Multi-Corrective Cream Anti-Aging Moisturizer

SuperMultiCorrectiveCream_75ml_Final_RGBThough Kiehl’s Super Multi-Corrective Cream Anti-Aging Moisturizer is a bit more pricey than the other items on this list, like so many fine things in life, the results are worth the splurge. It’s great for sensitive skin like mine; I like to apply it in the morning because, while hydrating, it also gives my skin a bit of a lift during the day, but it can be used at night, too, for your evening beauty routine. $68