I had the immense pleasure of meeting manicurist Alisha Rimando during Fall 2009 Fashion Week. She's a total genius who's worked backstage at Tony Cohen, Erin Fetherston and more. And she's unbelievably nice to boot! Read on to find out her predictions for hot summer colors, the product she can't live without and so much more!
Can you tell me a bit about yourself?
I was born in San Francisco and moved to Oklahoma in the 7th grade. I went to college at East Central University in Ada, OK, and then went on to Oklahoma City. I moved to Dallas in 1997 and lived out my fabulous 20s there, until I met my husband in 2005, and moved to Manhattan Beach in southern California. In August 2008 we moved from LA to NY and now we call Port Washington, NY home!
How did you first become interested in nails, and what led you to become a manicurist?
I always loved beauty and fashion and wanted to do makeovers! When I went to beauty school at 19 I happened into nails as it was the shortest course and I needed to start working ASAP! I thought I would get licensed and start making money so I could either finish college (law/foreign language major) or take the full cosmetology course.
Have you worked with any manicurists that inspired you? What did they teach you?
I met Tom Holcomb when I first started in the industry. He was an amazing artist, a really fun guy and an amazing teacher and competitor. We became instant friends and I also became his model. For the next 13 years of my career we worked side by side and became best friends. He coached me through my career and my life. I would not be the artist, or the person I am today without him.
There have been many others that have inspired me in different ways. My students and peers have all played a huge role in my success.
What are some of the moments that have stood out as highlights in your career?
1) Winning first place at the 2005 World Masters Championships in Austria.
2) Winning first place with Tom Holcomb in Japan in the French Pairs competition.
3) The many 1st place trophies that were won when I modeled for Tom!
4) Working with Zac Posen, DVF and Tony Cohen during NYC Fashion Week.
What are your favorite nail polishes and why?
I love soft peachy pink creams for the hands. You want just enough sheerness to see the free-edge and just enough coverage to hide the flaws. It looks clean and beautiful. It makes the fingers appear longer and thinner ... and when it starts to chip it is barely noticeable.
What are the products you simply can't live without?
1) A wooden pusher, or otherwise known as the orange wood stick. It can push back cuticles, clean dry cuticles from your nail plate, clean up messy polish, or under the nails, and they cost like $1 for 5 sticks!
2) Vitamin E for the cuticles! Just poke a hole in the pill and drip on cuticles before bed. It’s great!
3) Foot file! I use one from a company in Japan called P-Shine. It’s amazing! But whatever file you use, make sure it’s not too rough (150/180 grit is perfect), and try to use it daily directly after your shower to slough away dry skin. If you use it daily, the calluses don’t get thick and your feet stay smooth!
What are your top 4 nail tips?
1) Push back your cuticles with a wooden pusher after your shower. It just takes a few minutes to loosen the cuticle from the nail plate. This will keep your cuticles from stretching down as your nail grows which will cause splitting or tearing, known as hangnails.
2) Scrub your nails clean with alcohol before base coat! Use with gauze pads to avoid cotton strands in your polish!
3) For a smudge-proof home manicure, wait at least 5 minutes in between each coat of polish.
4) ALWAYS polish the edge of the nail with your base, color and topcoat to avoid chipping.
I could go on and on...
What do you think are the big nail trends for summer and heading into fall?
Summer is definitely orange! Plain, faded, bright or spicy, all things orange will be a trend this summer! It will match or contrast with your outfit, but either will be sunny and fun.
Fall will be going natural and glossy! Try a thin black free-edge on your fall manicure for added drama!
Being a manicurist must be fun -- but what do you do for fun when you're not playing with nail polish?
I am a new mother, well my son will be 2 in July, but I feel like a new mother. Everything is new for him and new for me! It’s the most fun I’ve ever had. Being in his world is an amazing learning experience for us both! It’s the most fulfilling job and the hugs and kisses are the cherry on top! I manicure his little fingers and toes while he sleeps!