“If I see something tacky and over-the-top, I must have it.”
There was a time when shades like Essie’s “Wicked” (a dark blood red) and “Ballet Slippers” (a pinky nude) were the only acceptable options in the workplace. “Your nail polish colours had to be serious,” says Rita Remark, Essie’s global lead educator. This is not the case anymore, she adds, with more than a little relief in her voice. That’s because Remark, who has been working with Essie since 2012—nabbing the title of the brand’s lead nail artist in Canada when she was only 24—has a reputation for creating designs that are simultaneously simple and striking, resulting in a distinctive style that’s now instantly recognizable as hers.
Remark’s unique ability to take a nail trend and tweak it, twist it and strip it down to its bare minimum is nothing short of inspiring. It’s also the reason why the list of trends, colours and textures she’s obsessed with at any given moment is long. “Anything foily, pearly, metallic; I want to see full-on jewel patterns,” she says. “Yellow polish, ultraviolet, nail polish on hands—think of Lorde’s black-tipped fingers at the Grammys in 2014.” To Remark, nothing is off limits. “Oh, and I don’t even mind when black nail polish is chipped,” she says, “because it reminds me of the punk boys I was attracted to.”
Using shades from Essie’s winter collection, plus a few of her all-time favourites, Rita Remark highlights some of the many nail trends she’s currently loving (above), like chunky glitter, pierced nails and ’80s-inspired magenta polish. “If I see something tacky and over-the-top, I must have it.”