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She’s the nail tech you need on your glam squad.
But between doing Kim and Kourtney Kardashian’s nails and painting delicate gel designs for the likes of Kerry Washington, Anya Taylor-Joy and Katy Perry, it’s likely Kim Truong won’t have much time for us.
But don’t get too disheartened, because she’s just released a stunning collab with Lottie London consisting of three on-trend designs that have been worn by her celeb clients.
Being a nail tech to the stars isn’t always as glamourous as it sounds, though.
‘Appointments can go from one hour (where I have to just make it work) to like two hours. There’s a client who likes to take breaks and I’m there for maybe four or five hours,’ Kim, 34, tells Metro.co.uk.
‘That’s what is so interesting about different personalities and people, you don’t know what to expect, like even on photoshoots you don’t know what’s going to happen.’
Though she has big-name clients, she’s ever the professional when it comes to sharing juicy anecdotes about individual celebs. But she does reveal that concentrating at the hands of Hollywood royalty for hours on end is physically uncomfortable.
‘Especially with shoots, sometimes I’m under the table, hunched down trying to not get in the way of hair and makeup who have to be in front,’ Kim says.
‘You’ve got to work around all of that, while trying to do nail art with a steady hand.’
It takes talent to book the biggest names in the biz, but Kim started out from humble beginnings.
She moved from Vietnam to America when she was just four years old, at which point her mum got a job as a manicurist.
‘I grew up with nails in my blood basically,’ she says.
She got her nail licence at 16-years-old and began working at the salon, alongside her sister, that her mum had opened.
‘We would paint nails and help her with acrylics, at the time there were no gels, so we just did a lot of polish applications,’ she says.
Kim put herself through college by working as a nail tech and then moved to California for further education.
‘I started working at a salon in West Hollywood and celebrities would come in and I started doing a makeup artists nails that was doing makeup for the Kardashians,’ she says.
The makeup artist suggested Kim to the Kardashians who promptly asked her to do a house call.
‘I had never done a house call at that point and she said “they only want you to go to their house, they won’t come to the salon, will you come and do nails?” recalls Kim.
‘So I had to go and buy everything, I had to figure out my kit on the spot, so I didn’t have that much but I got what I could because I couldn’t miss the opportunity.
‘So I started house calls and it snowballed from there, it was just word of mouth at that point.
‘They were just like “oh we like her she does a good job” so the Kardashian family kind of bounced me around and recommended me and then I found an agent to represent me, who would recommend me on photoshoots and other clients.’
At £7.95 per set, the newly released collab with Lottie London thankfully doesn’t come with a celeb price tag, but Kim reveals each look was inspired by a star.
Kim’s tips for keeping your nails looking their best:
- Always keep your nails manicured with a clear polish to keep them protected
- Moisturise them with cuticle oil to keep them from snapping
- Nourish the nails and keep them tidy to help them grow, don’t just let them go.
The Glazed and Unfazed was inspired by the design Kim created for Kerry Washington at the Emmys.
Kim says: ‘I didn’t know what she was wearing, I came into the glam session and they said this is the dress, do whatever you want on my nails.
‘She had this beautiful dress with these 3D feather flowers, so I was like “oh I’ll delicately paint those flowers on her nails” so I did a recreation for the Glazed and Unfazed. So you can get a Kerry Washington makeover at home.’
The Groovy Chrome set was inspired by a set Kim did for Kourtney Kardashian.
The colour block design was inspired by Kim herself and her love of colour.
‘I love getting French lines, it’s really flattering and I think colour is going to be nice for spring,’ Kim says.
‘I think the colour block will be really bit, abstract designs and neons will be big for the summer for music festivals.’
Buy Kim’s celebrity inspired nails here:
Kim also has to exercise her creativity on the spot with little to no prep time for big events.
‘Sometimes fittings don’t happen until right before glam, so there’s not powwow time,’ she says.
‘It’s kind of talked about during the prep, because the nails are going to be prepped, the skin is going to be prepped, the hair is going to be prepped.
‘The dream is for everyone to have that information ahead of time and go in and know what’s happening but it can be creative on the spot.’
But despite the crazy pressure and long hours, Kim says she loves what she does and the celebs she works with.
She adds: ‘I truly love all my clients. There’s some that don’t give you a lot of time so the only stressful thing is the pressure you’re under in the amount of time you have to get things done.
‘My dream would be to have endless amounts of time with them but they don’t want to sit there for hours and hours – time is money.
‘It’s a lot of money for them, they like the convenience that we come to their home, we work fast and their manicures last and don’t chip in two days.
‘But they’re all lovely, they’re all kind and they all treat us very well.’
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