Q+A with Rihanna’s Met Gala Manicurist

“Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garcons: Art Of The In-Between” Costume Institute Gala – ArrivalsNEW YORK, NY – MAY 01: Singer Rihanna attends “Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garcons: Art Of The In-Between” Costume Institute Gala at Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 1, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by John Shearer/Getty Images)

At the 2017 Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute Gala, A-listers stepped out in avant-garde ensembles inspired by the night’s honoree Japanese designer Rei Kawakubo. Never one to be outdone, megastar Rihanna stole the show in a Kawakubo creation of stacked fabric petals and one of the night’s most talked about manicures: baroque French tips created by celebrity nail artist Maria Salandra. Here, the New York-based tech, who has worked with the “Love on the Brain” singer for the past four years, breaks down the creative process behind Rihanna’s regal tips.

rihanna-nailsSinger Rihanna at the Met Gala

NAILPRO: What was the inspiration behind the nails?

Maria Salandra: After seeing her gown, I thought she looked like a modern-day version of Marie Antoinette, so I showed her a few [damask nail decals]. She loved the idea, and we ended up with a floral french look.

NP: How did you decide on the contrasting blue base color?

MS: originally, I thought we’d go with a red, nude or coral shade, so I made sure to bring those colors with me. On my way out the door, I grabbed Red Carpet Manicure Insta Famous (a baby blue cream shade) because I know that Rihanna likes blue. My gut feeling was right—she chose the blue hue over the rest!

NP: What products and techniques did you use to create the look?

MS: I started by giving Rihanna an acrylic fill with prohesion and prepped her nails for color. Next, I applied two coats of Red Carpet Manicure Insta Famous, followed by gel top coat, curing after each. After removing the tacky layer, I buffed the nail to remove any shine. Then, I used water to remove the E.Mi Naildress Slider [nail decal] from its packaging and applied it to the tip of the nail, letting it dry for a few seconds before moving it into place. I finished with a second layer of gel top coat.

Read this article in our August 2017 issue of NAILPRO. Tell us what you think of Rihanna’s avant garde Met Gala manicure in the comments below!

[nail photo credit: Getty Images and Maria Salandra ]


More in Trends