By Gemma Rimmington
Image: Graham Lacdao Styling: Emma Lightbown Assistant Stylist: Patricia Jones Florist: Hybrid Flowers Make-up: Bev K
Hairstylist: Nicola Marshall Nails: Sophie’s Cosy Corner Model: Julie Impens 1st Assistant: Ruta Juozaityte
My name is Sophie Donaldson. My business, Sophies Cosy Corner is based in Gravesend in Kent. I have been a Beauty Therapist for 17 years but my main treatment is now nails. My passion is the artwork. I love working throughout the year on nails for fashion shoots and LondonFashion Week but I also adore all my fantastic clients who come to see me for their regular nail appointments. I love the idea of creating nails for films where I can let my imagination go and create looks for made up creatures or characters.
How did you establish your career in the nail industry?
I noticed a lady on my social media posting about London Fashion Week and in a moment of madness I thought I would ask how she got involved. She told me she had a team already, but if she needed anyone to add to the team then she would post an advertisement. She advised me to keep my eyes peeled for it. One day the post came and it was a competition for creating a set of nails for London Fashion week with the theme of chocolate. Well, I was absolutely petrified, but I knew if I didn't take a shot at it then I would always be wondering! I created so many nails and felt like they were all terrible, but I posted them to her and in her moment of madness she chose me to join her team! Thank you Suzanne! I was in total shock and from then on my attitude changed. I still doubt myself, but I feel like if I want something then I have to put the fear aside and just try my best. After the show I stayed in contact with lots of the lovely models and some started to come to have their nails done with me. I continued to do catwalks, London Fashion week and magazine shoots. My life with nails is so exciting and I love how just a set of nails can change the way a model poses and how a person feels about themselves! When ladies have their nails done they use their hands differently and you can see from the catwalks that they suddenly feel more in character. It totally adds to the shoot! I never consider how well established I am in the industry but my main goal is always to just keep improving my skills and help the industry to grow. Nails should be thought of as just important in the fashion industry as hair style or outfit. The joy of nails is that no matter what a persons body goes through nails can always be a source of confidence. Our bodys are always changing and getting older but nails can always be made pretty and its a great way for people to feel good about themselves no matter body shape or age! I am still on a journey and growing in skills, one nail at a time.
What have been your career highlights so far?
I have enjoyed every day in this industry, but when I first met my London Fashion Week team they all brought so much joy to my heart and those girls are still some of my favourite humans. Working on London Fashion Week was incredible and it was an amazing beginning step to me venturing out ofmy treatment room and bringing nails to a wider audience for morecreative looks. It inspired me to start thinking outside the box and it gave me so much confidence. My second realhighlight was receiving my Teacher qualification after my son was still a toddler. It was a dream come true and one i really never thought Iwould have been able to achieve especially once i became a mother.
What would be your ultimate tip you would give to people who want to look after their nails?
Do not use your nails as tools. Think of every time your nail has broken. I bet it was doing something with them that you could have done differently. Also don't pick gel or acrylic off. Those are the 2 worst things you can do to your nails.
Pierre Garroudi London Fashion Week
As a Nail Artist, what is the biggest myth you have heard?
This would be that you need to let your nails breathe. I hear it so so often, but nails don't breathe as they aren't living tissue and if they don't have the right product on then they are going to be more vulnerable to breaking.
Where do you find your inspiration for your work?
If you ask my husband he would tell you as it get on his nerves.... the answer is EVERYWHERE!! I always want to stop and take pictures of things that inspire me from my toddler's books to cushion covers, flowers, nature, wrapping paper or clothes. I see colours and shapes and if I like them then my brain starts to envision it on a nail! Sometimes i actually have to write notes on my phone before bed because I don't want to lose a design idea.
Have you got any predictions for nail trends?
I predict abstract designs, non matching hands, more statement nails with monochrome or bright colours and looks of bright colours decorating a nude base. My personal aim is to inject more floral designs into the world of nails for the Spring/Summer season and I have been working hard on my social media to help nail technicians learn how to paint floral designs because i adore them!
What is your all-time favourite nail polish for yourself?
I actually love a brown on myself. I know that sounds strange, but with red hair I find brown makes me feel really good about myself. However, I am totally a floral girl and i always wear floral dresses even in winter so its hard to combine the both.