August 30 2014

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Varnishing Act


Designers often call upon nail artists to complement their runway collections. But roving illustrator-turned-manicurist Sophie Harris goes one step further: The English beauty queen has made something of a subspecialty of replicating runway prints and patterns on ten very small canvases—her clients’ nails. Trained as an illustrator and animator, Harris fell into nail art after leaving university, when her mother, who works in the beauty industry, convinced her to take a few classes in cosmetology. Her skills and quick way with Nail Supreme’s refillable nail art pens have found her in hot demand, both for editorial work (with magazines like French Elle and Easy Living) and with private clients. Harris was a guest of honor at artist Rita de Alencar Pinto’s Gettin’ Nail’d Halloween event last week, and while she’s in town, she’ll also be holding court at a one-day residency at the West Village salon Seagull, the jewel-box shop’s first-ever event. (“There are 50 people on the waiting list already,” Harris reports, but if you’re feeling lucky, you can put in a call to the salon at 212-989-1807.) Harris’ Tumblr, The Illustrated Nail, displays pictures of her Chanel and Versace-inspired creations, and at a preview event on Sunday, we watched her replicate Givenchy’s Resort ’12 motifs (direct from the app, no less). She’s headed back to London on Thursday to join fellow nail artist Sophy Robson’s next Nail Porn tip-painting party, but she’ll be back in New York in March for the Spring Gettin’ Nail’d event. Words to the wise for when the time comes: Harris makes house calls. “Just e-mail me.”

Sophie Harris be will in residence at Seagull, 240 W. 10th St., NYC,, on Wednesday, November 2, from 12 to 9 p.m. For appointments and availability, e-mail

Photo: Courtesy of The Illustrated Nail