In the third installment of The Beauty Business, I’m interviewing celebrity nail technician Zarra Celik who not only has an impressive list of celebrity clientele including Jessie J and Rihanna but is also Max Factor’s Nail Ambassador. I’ve had the pleasure of getting my nails done by Zarra and I spoke with her about her career and picked up a few tips too like painting just above the cuticle in a straight line to create a neat look!
What made you decide to become a nail technician and how did you go about becoming one? I decided to become a nail technician when I was 18, I used to get my nails done at a local Vietnamese salon and decided I could do a better job than them! I was at college training to be a beauty therapist and knew I would specialise in nails by the time I left college. I enrolled at a private college that specialised in nail technology.
You’ve worked with a number of celebrities, on shoots and for brands. How did you get those opportunities and what advice would you give to other nail technicians aspiring for the same? I assisted other nail technicians for a few years to build experience, I also owned a beauty franchise which introduced me to a lot of celebrity clients. I now have an agent so most of my clients come through them. Advice I’d give? Assist, assist, assist, and don’t be a know it all, there’s a lot more to this industry than just being able to paint nails!
What’s your number one nail product that every woman must have? Seche Vite Top Coat - keeps everything looking slick and shiny, whether over polish or a natural nail.
Nails have recently been in the beauty spotlight with trends such as caviar, velvet, crackle and other special effects; which trends do you predict in the coming months? I love fabric on nails! I often inlay lace into acrylic nails and love the look of leather on a nail.
What’s your tip for rescuing nightmare nails? Regular manicures!!! If that’s not feasible, a light buff of the nails, a good nail strengthener, OPI Nail Envy is a good one, followed by lashings of cuticle oil, applied as often as possible.
Dead or alive, who would your dream nail client be? Rita Ora is my current obsession, I plan on making this reality though. I’d also love to manicure Sheika Mozah Bint Nasser Al Missned, the wife of the Emir of Qatar, the owner of Harrods in London. She is so elegant and beautiful.
We don’t all have a manicurist on speed dial, so what are some easy tips for us to follow? Gently file and buff nails, use a base coat, two coats of colour and topcoat for longevity and a great shine.
What has the biggest highlight of your career been? Definitely doing Rihanna’s nails.
What’s the best part about being a celebrity nail technician? Is it really that glamourous? There are glamorous moments, I found myself partying with Rihanna, Jay Z, Beyonce and Solange Knowles after Hackney Weekender which was surreal! I’ve been on some pretty grim location shoots, such as in the middle of a park, in the rain with wild deer, or in a freezing cold warehouse. It’s not bad for the most part, and how many people love going to work everyday?!