Our newest Nails of New York features the incredible makeup artist Lisa Aharon, who got her start working with industry legends like Dick Page and Aaron de May. With more than a decade of experience, her exciting clients include Rachel Brosnahan, Florence Welch, Anna Kendrick, Gwenyth Paltrow, and Chloe Moretz (to name a few). Read more to learn how she launched her career working on films, how she uses her intuition to find color inspiration, and her favorite spas to relax and wind down.
How did you pick your manicure and color combo?
My go-to manicure color is almost always either a nude or more often an oxblood-red. I was feeling the latter but wanted a little something extra. Luckily Paintbox has an amazing Instagram and array of options in their menu to inspire. I scrolled and flipped and found a design.
In one word, how does your manicure make you feel?
Having my nails done makes me feel put-together and professional, even if I’m running an errand in track pants and a hoodie! As a makeup artist who’s always got her hands on and in people’s faces, it’s important for me to have clean, groomed nails.
Any funny, nostalgic nail moments or what’s your earliest nail memory?
It has to be when I was around 6 years old. My mom had bought me this pink-strawberry scented peel-off kids’ polish. I remember being obsessed with painting it on and scratching it off constantly. Then, one day, my baby sis got busted trying to drink it and sadly it was confiscated.
Tell us about your journey to becoming a makeup artist.
It was a happy accident for sure. I’d been enrolled in college part time, taking classes that peaked my interests at technical schools, working full-time as a sales rep and was getting frustrated. I couldn’t see a future for me on any of those paths and was craving something creative as an outlet. There was a makeup class offered at the film school I was already enrolled in so I signed on thinking it could be fun. Within six months I was working on my first feature film, then moved into fashion and advertising in Toronto, and finally New York. My New York journey began assisting Dick Page during fashion week and then Aaron De May as his first. I learned everything from those two makeup geniuses and wouldn’t be here without them.
What is your approach to color or color theory?
I’d have to describe it as an intuitive, gut type of thing. Color is a feeling for me and whether I’m applying it to myself or someone else, I go with what feels right.
When do you get your best ideas and from where do you draw your inspiration?
I’m very fortunate to live in a city with never ending artistic inspiration, though I do often use old fashion magazines and books for reference.
Three things you’re into right now?
How do you press reset and relax?
Sometimes it’s just a good night of binge-watching a favorite new show, but I also love a yoga or pilates class and a spa day. In New York, I like Soho Sanctuary for a steam and massage or Aire if I’m feeling a good soak. In LA, my escape is a treatment at The Now following a pilates class at Avenir in Silverlake.