Our Nails of New York series is one of our favorite parts of the Paintbox blog. And it's a very special honor when we get the chance to feature a beauty editor, like Anne-Marie Guarnieri—Editor-in-Chief at xoVain.
Anne-Marie was one of the first people to walk through our doors when we opened in May and we're thrilled each time she returns. We're huge fans of xoVain and everything this beauty expert has to say. As a former editor herself, Elle knew all the right questions to ask. And because Anne-Marie is Editor-in-Chief of a self-professed "new kind of beauty site where there are no secrets," Elle had to ask Anne-Marie to divulge a few of her own.
Anne-Marie wears Midas Touch from the Paintbox Fall Winter '14 collection.
Elle: What are some of your favorite polish shades for fall / winter?
Anne-Marie: I know that brighter, bolder colors are what people typically gravitate toward during fall and winter, but I find myself liking these not-quite-white shades that have been popping up lately. Colors like Jin Soon's Kookie White, which is slightly blue; Essie's Urban Jungle, which is slightly pink; and NARS Anarchy, part of its limited edition 3.1 Phillip Lim collection, which is beige-y.
Elle: How does having a perfectly-polished manicure make you feel?
Anne-Marie: It definitely makes it look like I have my act together, even if I feel like I don't. And if I'm having a stressful day or week, I can look down at my nails and think, "Well, at least your nail art is on point! How bad can things really be?"
Elle: Is there a nail trend you wish would go away?
Anne-Marie: Hmmm... I try to keep an open mind about trends, even if I'm personally over them, because really, who am I to tell anyone what does or doesn't work for her? But I guess, if pressed, I would say toenail art. I find it really... strange to have toenails long enough that you would get art on them.
Elle: What direction do you think nail art is going in?
Anne-Marie: Minimal. Chic. Simple. Graphic touches. Negative space. No more wild embellishments or chunky appliqués.
Elle: Do you prefer gel or polish?
Anne-Marie: Both! Gel if I'm going away for the holidays or on vacation and don't want to think about my nails for a few weeks. I also prefer gel when getting any kind of nail art. For a pedicure, it's always polish. And polish is also fun at work when I'm testing new formulas and finishes—I'll polish one hand with five different shades. That's how you can spot a beauty editor in the wild. One hastily painted hand is a dead giveaway.
Elle: As an editor, what's your favorite part about writing / editing nail stories?
Anne-Marie: Nail stories are often the most cheerful beauty stories you'll edit. And nail artists and manicurists tend to be really funny, easy-going people. For years, they toiled away quietly behind the scenes, because until recently, nails weren't a big focus of a beauty editorial or runway look. Now, nail artists are just as involved in the conversation about beauty trends as hair stylists or makeup artists. They have their own polish collections, some are on TV shows, and a few are household names. It's been really interesting to watch all of that evolve.
Elle: What's your most embarrassing nail moment? Any nail secrets from the past you want to divulge?
Anne-Marie: Oh, wow. OK. Well I went through an airbrush acrylic French manicure phase in the early 2000s. I was just starting out in my career, and I thought that those nails combined with my Limited pantsuits was the HEIGHT of professionalism. The tips were short but aggressively square, the French part was stark white, and my nails were probably an inch thick when it was all done.
Elle: What nail care tip have you heard while interviewing a dermatologist or manicurist that you now use on your fingers?
Anne-Marie: I don't love paper nail files and metal ones are too harsh on my nails, which are on the thinner side. A manicurist turned me on to using glass files. The grit, which tends to be less abrasive than paper or metal files, won't wear off; glass is gentler on brittle or peeling nails; and the best part—you can clean a glass file by throwing it in the dishwasher. That appeals to my inner germaphobe, for sure.