Behind the Look: Bare, Buffed Nails at Saint Laurent's L.A. Show

Saint Laurent Show at The Hollywood Palladium - P 2016
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images For SAINT LAURENT

The manicurists break it down.

The clothes and makeup at Saint Laurent’s Hollywood Palladium show Wednesday night were rich, ornate and opulent. The models’ manicures? Quite the opposite. “As is usually the case with Saint Laurent, they opted for a beautiful clean nail,” says manicurist Whitney Gibson, one of the five-woman Nailing Hollywood team who worked their minimalist magic backstage.

The final clean, buffed look. Photo by Reina Santos.

While stars including Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber, Demi Moore and Jane Fonda mingled in Hedi Slimane's front row, the ladies tended to the cuticles of more than 70 models. Still, says Gibson, “the vibe backstage was surprisingly relaxed, probably because makeup artist Aaron de Mey and hairstylist Didier Malige have such a laid-back and welcoming energy!”

Debbie Leavitt at work backstage. Photo by Whitney Gibson. 

The manicurists' supplies. Photo by Pilar Noire. 

The tools for the nail squad were the Nailing Hollywood No-Nip Cuticle Remover ($10.50), Hydrating Cuticle Oil ($10) — “my personal hero product of the evening,” according to manicurist Pilar Noire — and the Nailing Hollywood Nail Shaper ($5), which they used to even out the models’ length and shape. “Nails were kept neat and chic to not compete with the ensemble,” says Noire. The trick to getting flawless nails sans color: cuticle oil, followed by a light buff and shine. Also, says Gibson, “I used Hope Gillerman Travel Remedy ($48) to get the blood pumping into the hands of the jet-lagged models.”