Day in the Life of Beauty: Michelle Saunders, Celebrity Manicurist

By  February 06, 2014

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Glam checked in with manicurist to the stars, Michelle Saunders, as she treks through the snow to develop the nail looks we’ll love for Rebecca Minkoff and Altuzarra‘s upcoming shows. Here, she shares her schedule filled with snow, swatches, and more:

7:30AM Woke up to horns honking and snow plows scrapping the streets. Peak out window, looks cold outside. The news says its a “snow day” but not for me.
8:00AM My first appointment is with Rebecca Minkoff to go over nail looks for this season’s runway show. Luckily its not until 11:00am so I have time to stay cozy, drink coffee, and prepare for my day. I am grateful for this!
10:15AM Ordered an Über, which arrived promptly and off I went. I notice on my way that the sidewalks look like a cement slushie/ice.
10:45AM I arrive early and quickly find my assistant for the day, Alexa, who guides me to a narrow room where the hair and make up test was already underway. Its busy back here and feels like a mini backstage. I see Rebecca, we say hello and mention how soon the February shows seem to arrive vs the September ones. She says, “I’m thinking a garnet and navy nail.” I say, “Terrific”. I then start to polish our model with several of Essie’s colors, and come up with a modern two tone french manicure.
11:45AM I show Rebecca and her stylist the looks I came up with and they immediately choose the winning nail look, Bahama Mama at base and Midnight Cami on the tip. It looks tailored, festive, and beautiful (like her collection).
12:30PM My car is waiting and I rush off to the next nail test, Altuzarra.

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1:00PM It’s a serene atmosphere at the showroom and I welcome it. I notice the garments and inspiration in his collection and I spy a little color. I pull out several soft sheer nail colors, for I know they are a favorite. But just for fun, I sneak in a bright pink and royal blue.
1:15PM I manicure one model, polishing each nail in a different look so we have choices. We show Joseph, and he immediately sees the one he loves, a super elegant natural French manicure (I’m having a very French day it seems). I used two base coats as the base color (First Base and Ridge Filling Base Coat) and Essie’s Allure for the tip of the nail to create the sheerest French Manicure possible. Looks lovely. As I leave, I fantasize about wearing one of his coats home.

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3:00PM Must find food. I walk in the slush and soon find the comforting Le Pain Quotidien and order a vegan carrot soup and a veggie quiche which hopefully with fill me with the nutrition I missed at breakfast and lunch. I return emails and phone calls and search for a nearby dry cleaner (I spilled blue nail polish on the white lapel of my blazer at the Minkoff test) Ooops!
5:30PM My day comes to an end and realize that this day will most likely be the calmest day of my week. I take a deep breath and begin to prepare for the next 10 days of New York Fashion Week.