The Interview: Manicurist Anatole Rainey

After a year-long hiatus, The Interview is finally back! With my makeup work being really busy I got a bit slack with the longer posts that required me to be, you know, organized. But I’m thrilled to offer you my new Interview with suoerstar manicurist, Anatole Rainey. I used to see Anatole on jobs on a regular basis and always found him dapper, charming and entertaining – I was always happy to see his name on the call sheet! Then one day on a Burberry campaign shoot we whiled away quite a few hours in the upstairs of an amazing old house in London, chatting about everything under the sun. One of the things we talked about was social media, and I was delighted a couple of weeks ago to find him now on Twitter. (Follow him @anatoleNR)

In a long and varied career Anatole has worked with many of the world’s major photographers, including Patrick Demarchelier, Mario Sorrenti, Annie Liebovitz, Emma Summerton, Dan Jackson, Michael Thompson, Miles Aldridge and Mert and Marcus amongst others. He is also known for his work with celebrities including Cate Blanchett, Keira Knightley, Gwyneth Paltrow, Brad Pitt and Kate Moss.

Graciously despite running between London and Paris and shooting the campaign advertising for next year, he found time to send me this:

1. What have you been working on lately?

Ever since the shows finished in September I’ve been immersed in what they call ‘campaign season’, shooting all the Spring Summer ‘13 advertising. It’s been full-on but fun!

2. Favourite nails job ever?

I loved doing a classic YSL nail on Mariacarla Boscono for the SS12 YSL campaign: fairly long, round, and a deep red. The fact that the shoot was also with a dream of a team meant that it was one of the most enjoyable jobs in recent memory.

3. Top 5 products?

  • Essie nudes; Pillow Talk is my current fave.
  • YSL Reds
  • NailTek Files – they almost get better with age
  • Deborah Lippman cuticle oil; I love that it comes in a dropper, and that the oils are all natural.
  • Sisley Sisleya Anti-Age hand cream – the best, period.

4. Favourite photographers to work with?

I like the fact that every set is so different; its one of the things that keeps the job interesting.

5. How did you get started in the business?

I started by carrying my pregnant manicurist friend’s case to work when I was bumming around Paris after university unsure about my next step; she gradually got me to start doing the models’ toes the bigger she got, and eventually taught me everything I know and started putting me on jobs. From there the seeds of ambition were planted, and a job became a career.

6. How is it different to when you started?

I started just before digital photography became the norm, so that’s easily the biggest change. Being able to instantly see everything in such detail is amazing, and good discipline when it comes to nails.

7. Looks you are loving for the current season?

At Topshop A/W12 we tried to bring back the French manicure – a look that hasn’t been in for a while. With all the heavy military-inspired clothes of the collection it looked really fresh and cool though, and I’m still feeling it through to next season.

8. Nail icons who are always inspiring?

My mentor, Yuna Park, happens to be inspiring not only in life but also for nails. I also love the work of Sophie Harris-Greenslade of The Illustrated Nail, but the most inspiring people are the girls on the street or on the Tube who wear all these fun looks for real.

9. What do you love doing in your spare time?

Switching on Radio 3 and spending an afternoon cooking and baking is my favourite way to relax, but I also like to draw, read, and be sporty.

Anatole is represented by Premier in London and B Agency in Paris and you can view his portfolio here.

Guinevere for Miu Miu by David Sims
Guinevere for Miu Miu by David Sims

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