One of the biggest reasons I set up Boyfriend Mag was to create a space where successful and emerging creatives can share the same platform and be treated the same. This came from a string of rejections to be published from larger publications because my CV was not ‘credible’ enough, despite the fact that they liked my work, so I thought I’d do something about it.
As such, over the coming weeks, I will be sharing with you some talent whom I believe you should get to know because, well, they’re brilliant at what they do! This is also a great way to find out how they go to where they are, and how they navigate their way in this complex industry. I’ll be introducing you to people in various positions, from stylists, make-up artists, hair stylists and nail artists, through to PR’s, buyers and designers…
This is one of my favourite parts of the job, bringing people together and introducing people to new clients and teams to make magic happen, so I’m excited to turn this into a regular feature!
Kicking off my ‘Editors Introductions’ is regular contributor to the mag, the brilliantly talented Nail Artist Marie-Louise Coster.
Marie-Louise did the nails for our 2nd cover issue, and is regularly published in magazines such as Esquire, Vogue Italia, iMirage and many more. Marie-Louise also provides nails for many runways we see at Fashion Weeks in both London and Paris, including the SS20 show for Edward Crutchley at LFWM in June.
So let’s get to know Marie-Louise a little better shall we?
Tell us a bit about how you came to be where you are today…
I started out working in a beauty salon as a Saturday girl 26 years ago! Although it seems like yesterday, it was as a result of this job that I realised my love of all things beauty, so I went to college and trained as a beauty therapist. I was very late applying to college and there wasn’t any space for me at the time I applied (unless someone dropped out but she had a list of 30 girls all waiting for a place already) but I was guaranteed a space for the following year. I really didn’t know what I was going to do for a year, and I didn’t know that I could wait that long, I was so eager to learn!
I continued to work in the salon, but the jobs I could do were limited, and in the last week of August Mrs Dibble (the head of Beauty at the then Brunel College) called to say there was a space for me and I need to get my kit etc and be at college the following week. I arrived full of equal amounts of excitement and nerves and at the end of my first day I saw Mrs Dibble and thanked her for my place and expressed my surprise that so many people dropped out, she looked at me a little confused and said ‘but they didn’t Marie-Louise, I only had one drop out’, so I asked her why I was there when there were 30 people on list before me and she replied ‘because none of them wanted it as much as you did, now don’t let me down’.
From college I went on to work for some of the biggest skincare companies in the world in various roles, I taught at further education colleges, I owned salons and a training school – which I still do – but my love for fashion, nails and nail art still needed to be fulfilled.
In 2016, shortly after the birth of my daughter, I was selected for the Nails Mastered programme, and under the mentoring of Marian Newman, we were given an insight into the fashion industry and the part nails plays. This reignited the fire in my belly and gave me a kick up the bum, it gave me the courage to contact agencies and manicurists and I started assisting some brilliant manicurists and I learned a lot very quickly.
I am very lucky, I have worked very hard to be where I am but I am very lucky, I would love to see Mrs Dibble again and show her what I have achieved.
What would you consider to be your biggest achievement so far?
That is a difficult one to answer… I have worked for Vogue, Victoria Beckham, Gucci, Michael Kors and Hermès, and so many other wonderful people and companies, but the job I am most proud of is being Lead Manicurist for Edward Crutchley.
He was the first person to take me on as a Lead Manicurist and give me the opportunity and he has asked me back for the past three seasons now. Each time the nails have become more of a feature and he allows me to interpret his vision, which is a great honour, I will always be very grateful to Edward. As a result of being Lead Manicurist for Edward, I have been Lead Manicurist for other great designers including Wesley Harriott and Renata Brenda, both of whom I worked on their debut shows at LFW.
What (or whom) inspired you to get into the industry?
Sophie Harris-Greenslade is a huge inspiration as she is so creative, so talented and so kind. Pebbles Aitken, Rebecca Jade Wilson, Lucy Pickavance and Jessica Hoffman are also exceptionally lovely people to work with. You meet a lot of not very nice people in this industry, and whilst sadly some can be quite difficult and unkind to work with, not everyone is that way. It can sometimes feel like no one is pleased for you if you do well and they see everyone as competition, but I believe there is room for us all to succeed.
What piece of advice would you give to anyone considering starting out in the industry?
Be patient – these things don’t happen over night.
Say yes to every opportunity that comes your way – some of them will be great, others you won’t want to repeat, but each will be a great learning experience so take from it what you can and move on.
Have you got anything exciting coming up that you can share with us?
Not that I know of sadly, but with this industry, things change on a daily basis so you literally never know, and I am always hopeful that something exciting is just around the corner waiting for me.