I am often asked about what I get up to at London Fashion Week, so thought I would share the crazy madness with you all.
For those who are not aware, I have been working as a Session Manicurist at London Fashion Week, twice a year for approximately 6-7 years (I loose track after so many shows and seasons)
My first experience of working at London Fashion Week was all the way back in 2009!
For the last two years I have been 'Lead Nails' for designer Mark Fast.
I first started working as a Manicurist on his shows as part of the 'Jessica Nails Hands On Team' which I have been part of for many years. Since February 2018 I have been the lead manicurist with my own team manicuring the models backstage and have recently completed my 5th show lead, which is a dream come true and something on my career achievements I always wanted to achieve! Mark is the loveliest, most down to earth designer and it is a real privilege to be part of the 'Mark Fast Glam Squad'
For this particular show, I set my alarm for 3:30am and ready with my nail file and nail polish ready to manicure my first models nails at 6am. On average hair, make up, nails and styling get approximately 3 hours backstage to work our magic. This is amongst models eating, rehearsals and being briefed. The backstage area is definitely not oh so glamorous as most think! There is usually just one medium sized room full of over 100 people from hair, make up, nails and wardrobe plus photographers and people who work at the venue. I have the advantage at times of only being 5ft 1 and 1/2 inches (that extra half is important!)
My preparation usually begins 4-5 weeks prior to the show, meetings / emailing the designer and stylist creating individual looks to compliment the theme and style of the collection.
From there it is contacting nail sponsors and creating nail designs, ready to present to the designer at his London studio, for fittings and final looks.
Models, there is on average 32 for the Mark Fast show, that being a lot of nails to manicure! Sometimes we also have to make their toes look camera ready also. Time goes so fast so you constantly have to be on the ball and alert. It is quite literally all hands on deck from the moment you arrive to the moment the show ends.
I have an amazing group of manicurists, I don't like the word assistant as I simply could not do the show without my team. I trust everyone of my manicurists and most importantly we all work so well together and the final look is always achieved, the designer is always so happy with the final nail looks. Phew!!
Most recently was the Mark Fast AW20/21 London Fashion Show. The theme was 'Swinging Sixties' we had a change of venue this season, which was held at Immersive London in Mayfair.
The nail look breakdown
Mark wanted a feminine elongated nail, to ensure all models had the same shape and length we chose to use a press on nail, which were supplied by Elegant Touch. We chose shape oval. For the nail colour, to compliment the skin tones of the models and the clothes, we had a variety of shades. We used a slate grey, creamy mocha and warm mahogany with shimmer contrast supplied by The Edge Nails. For the male models, we kept the nails clean and fresh and hydrated with a sweet aromatic cuticle oil.
You can visit the full collection via the Vogue website
The Evening Standard also featured the show. It is always amazing to see my nail work grace Vogue and featured in the newspaper.
A huge thank you to my wonderful nail team, Hazel, Katie, Sarah and Laura for being part of NAILS BY MICHAELA JOHNSON xxx
A huge thank you to my amazing nail sponsors, Elegant Touch and The Edge Nails xxx
Products used ;
Monaco - The Edge
Cafe Au Lait - Annika (via The Edge)
Paris Chic - Lcn (via The Edge)
Bare Oval Press On Nails - Elegant Touch
Brush On Glue - Elegant Touch -
Edge Non Acetone Nail Polish Remover - The Edge
Nail Saviour - The Edge
Gel Nail Applicators - Elegant Touch
Speed Dry Spray - Elegant Touch
5 Star Base - The Edge
5 Star Topcoat - The Edge
Nail Files - Elegant Touch and The Edge
Nail Tools - Elegant Touch
Aromatic Cuticle Oil - The Edge
Hand Cream - Lcn (via The Edge)
I am proud to be a BRAND AMBASSADOR for The Edge Nails, get the look by using code MICHAELA10 at the checkout via The Edge. Please tag me in your orders and nail creations!
To keep up to date with my events and nail work, FOLLOW @nails_bymichaelajohnson on Instagram
Private appointments available within Essex / London
For photos of the show, visit
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