This evening, I’ll be attending the 27th Contessa Awards at the Westin Harbour Castle in Toronto. Hosted by Noah Cappe (from Food Network’s Carnival Eats) for a second consecutive year, the special gala honouring creative Canadian talent: hairstylists, colourists, salon teams, makeup artists, and nail artists!
Follow me on social media because I’ll be sharing some photos and videos. Mainly, I plan to share them on Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat (username: swatchandlearn), but in case I also post them on Facebook, Google+, and Pinterest, I’m including those links, too.
Recently, I had the opportunity to interview Valerie Ducharme, a Canadian nail artist from Quebec who’s a Contessa Awards 2016 finalist and last year’s winner! (Good luck to her tonight!)
She took the time out of her busy schedule to answer some questions I had, and it was fun to get a closer glimpse into the nail industry.
Below is just one of the many intricate nail designs she’s created.
Check out the rest of this post to read her responses to all my questions and to see more photos of her inspiring nail art!
My Interview with Canadian Nail Artist, Valerie Ducharme
Below are the questions I asked, along with Valerie’s answers. 🙂 Hope that you find this as insightful as I did!
What does nail art symbolize to you?
It symbolizes a lot to me. It’s my passion, my hobby, the way to express my creativity. On top of that, I’m able to make a living out of my work. I couldn’t be happier. The nail art industry has been growing a lot in the last years. I feel very fortunate to be part of it.
What were some of the biggest challenges you faced in the nail industry when you started out, and how did you conquer them?
The biggest challenge is to gain customer’s loyalty. You need to work very hard and be proactive. You need to put a lot of time and effort to build up a name.
Which techniques are your favourite, and why?
I’m not sure how you call this technique in English, but we call it ‘Résine et poudre’. Basically it’s glue and powder. I know it’s a technique that is not widely used around the world, but here in Quebec, it’s the most popular. I love this technique because there is no strong smell and it soaks off easily.
How do you sharpen your skills and stay up-to-date in the industry?
I search a lot on the web, and I watch a lot of videos to learn new techniques. Whenever I have some free time, I practice on my own nails and I try different styles. I’m also inspired by fashion designers like Valentino and Dolce Gabbana. I’d like to go to Europe one day to learn new techniques and styles.
What are five adjectives that give people a quick snapshot of who you are as a nail artist?
I’m creative, I’m passionate by my work, I’m a perfectionist, I’m proactive, and I always try to learn more. Learning is the key; we can never know too much.
How often do you paint your nails, and how often do you sport nail art?
When I have time to do them! Most of the time, I have my nails done. Unfortunately, they don’t stay pretty for long because of all the nails I file in a day.
What are some misconceptions that people have about nail artists?
A lot of people think that it’s not really a good job because the income is not good, that you can’t live well with this job alone. Well, if you work hard enough, and if you are able to develop your skills, you will succeed.
What are some fall/winter nail-art trends?
This autumn, the cold colours are trendy, like dark red-purple and different shades of grey. Nude colors are still popular, too.
Which are your all-time favourite nail-art trends?
I love what’s been going on for the last few years. There are a lot of lines, patterns, and different textures.
If you were going on vacation, what are the three nail-polish shades you’d take with you?
I would take with me: 1 shade of blue-turquoise, 1 black, and 1 cold red. I prefer cold and dark colors 😉
What are some goals that you want to achieve in 2016?
I will participate in the Mirror Award in January. I hope that I have enough time to participate maybe to an American contest, like NAHA, which is similar to Contessa in the US, or Nail magazine, Nail It, etc.
Below are some more photos of Valerie Ducharme’s work. (All photos in this post were used with permission and sent to me courtesy of PR.)
Which of the above nail looks is your favourite? If you could ask Valerie Ducharme or any other nail artist a question, what would it be?