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.

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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!

Rihanna and River Island Debut Second Collaboration and It’s Hideous

Yet again, Rihanna’s “designs” are bland, boring and ordinary. There’s just so much camo, which I hate to begin with. This is another example of why celebrities shouldn’t call themselves designers just because their stylists dress them well. I won’t make you sit through the entire collection, but I will entertain you with the worst offenders.

I mean, it’s very possible this is an elaborate joke, in which case, well played, Rihanna.

Oh, Enough: Cameron Diaz is the Industry’s Newest Celeb-Turned-“Designer”

Photo Credit: Steve Eichner

Don’t get me wrong, I love Cameron Diaz and many of her fashion choices (particularly when she was a brunette). But her recent appointment as Pour La Victoire‘s artistic director is questionable. Hers is just another name on a growing list of celebrities who have been signed on to famous brands as some sort of director of creativity or artistry. Let’s not forget Rihanna’s disastrous collection for River Island, seemingly inspired by a passion for 90s midriffs. And, oh yeah, remember the time Lindsay Lohan declared an undying love for pasties in that Ungaro collection?

Designers spend years developing their talents in classes and ateliers, so why do we think it will be so easy for yet another celebrity with no actual design experience (and being sent free clothes or becoming besties with your stylist doesn’t count) to step into these roles so easily? I’m not asking to direct the next Spiderman—HELL NO would be the resounding answer—so it seems even more unreasonable for a fashion-happy celeb to suddenly shoot to the top of the industry’s very narrow ladder.

“I don’t do endorsements really. This is completely different,” Diaz told WWD in an exclusive interview. “Being influential in a brand and in its [advertising] campaigns interests me. I love fashion. It’s a large part of my life. What I wear is looked at. It influences what other people wear because that’s just the world we live in.”

Oh honey, I know, I love fashion too. That doesn’t mean I trust what you’re about to do. Not that it matters if Diaz is qualified; I’m not sure how much that factored in. I’m willing to bet a nice, juicy celebrity endorsement was the main motivator—but hey, I guess that’s just the world we live in.