Our latest Nails of New York spotlights Madeline Hemingway, director of store design and partnerships at HeyDay, an ultra-cool facial shop with five Manhattan locations. Super passionate about skincare (and how your lifestyle affects your skin), Madeline also has a keen eye for interior design, helping transform the HeyDay locations into luxe-but-approachable havens with brass detailing, lush plants, and shelves of chic beauty products. We're proud to share her story of what she loves about her job, how she gravitates towards manis with negative space in neutral palettes, and how she grew up painting her older sisters' nails.
How do you pick your nail designs?
I usually choose my design based on what will grown out the most gracefully, so I love working with Paintbox's negative space designs. I also try to pick a pale, neutral palette that can vibe with my wardrobe and won't be distracting.
In one word, how does a manicure make you feel?
Polished (not trying to be punny!).
When do you notice your nails the most?
I feel like I notice my hands a lot when I am having a one-on-one conversation or in a meeting. I am pretty expressive and tend to talk with my hands, so they're pretty visible.
What's your most embarrassing nail memory?
I've had a few unfortunately–everything from a last-minute job interview with half painted nails to paintbox just my big toes for certain sandals. But my most embarrassing nail memory is probably a phase I went through when I first got Instagram in 2012, where I constantly was giving myself 'artful' manicures and posted a lot of photos of them. On one occasion, my sister called me out for having less than perfect cuticles in one of those photos.
Other nail nostalgia moments?
I grew up with older sisters, so we were always painting each other's nails. We went through a pretty aggressive Hard Candy phase in the 90s where we collected dozens upon dozens of their colors.
How is Heyday different?
Heyday is a one-stop skincare shop. We're taking the facial out of the traditional spa experience and making it more affordable, accessible, and less fussy. Rather than getting a facial once a year as this full-day, hard-to-schedule indulgence, it's an activity that you can easily incorporate into your monthly routine. We're trying to make taking care of your skin easy, educational, and fun by having flexible hours, a super smart team of skin therapists, and a totally different layout.
Have you always been into skincare?
As an adult, I have been into skincare and beauty/grooming, but since I joined Heyday it is safe to say my knowledge within the skincare category has grown exponentially. As I learn more about how to treat skin, I'm less interested in more of the beauty and makeup aspects of skincare. There is always more to learn, especially how all of our lifestyle choices (i.e. food, alcohol, the environment, stress) play into our skin's condition. If has definitely made me more cognizant (some may say obsessive!) of triggers that might cause a breakout or reaction in my skin.
What's your favorite part about your job?
I love my job, so I like a lot of aspects of it! I love creating beautiful things, so for me seeing and transforming a space from a dusty, barren construction site to a bustling, happy Heyday shop is super rewarding. I also feel really lucky to work for two sharp, creative, forward-thinking co-founders, Michael Pollak and Adam Ross.
When do you get your best ideas?
I get good inspiration when I am in transit, whether on a weekend trip or just on walks around the city. Experiencing other stores or restaurants is always inspiring, just to see how other businesses design, plan, act, dress, etc. Also, New York is a retail/restaurant mecca, so it is easy to get lost perusing gorgeous objects and commercial design–Paintbox very much included!