Trend-setting nail technician Adam Slee found an interesting route into the business. All set to become a PE teacher, he totally changed direction after helping out in his mother’s nail salon. Fast-forward and Adam has manicured the hands and nails of Anne Hathaway, Kate Moss, Kylie Minogue and Rita Ora; his work has appeared in all the international glossies of note, and he’s the go-to mani man for Alessandro Michele’s runway shows for Gucci.
WHAT ARE THE BIG COLOUR/FINISH TRENDS FOR AW16?
Colour trends are going to follow a little like spring/summer, so there are still lots of beiges and navy blues. The season will feature some opposites to what you imagine. It’s not all about your usual plum, rouge and grape shades, but more a mixture of natural, fuchsia and red, which I used at the Gucci cruise show.
WHAT ABOUT LENGTH AND SHAPE?
Shape is a natural soft round, keeping the side walls parallel to maintain natural strength. There aren’t quite as many long looks around this season, so life will be a lot easier for women – both in terms of everyday life, and staying on trend.
NAIL ART – WHAT’S FASHIONABLE AT THE MOMENT?
I feel nail art is still quite toned down; simple graphic lines are always a good option, as is negative space. I recreated a chipped nail effect for Gucci, which I guess could be categorised as nail art.
WHAT TIPS DO YOU HAVE TO KEEP SHELLAC/GEL NAILS IN GOOD CONDITION?
Never peel them off, no matter how tempted you might be. Nails are made up of numerous layers, so by doing this, you are thinning and seriously reducing the quality of the nail. Always apply plenty of cuticle oil as often as possible. Keep a bottle on your desk and/or by your bed – this is good for the skin around the nail as well, because when polish/ Shellac comes off with acetone, it’s very drying on the cuticles.
WHERE DO YOU GET INSPIRATION?
I get inspiration from everywhere. My job is all about colour, so things like the colour of the sky, a car, trees… it all becomes relevant. I also like to follow a few Instagram accounts to see how amazing and clever fellow nail techs are. @manicuresvideos has 2.9 million followers of just pure nail art step-by-steps – I can lose a lot of time watching them.
HOW MUCH SHOULD NAILS MATCH CLOTHES AND OTHER MAKE-UP?
The good news is that nails don’t have to match anything nowadays – that’s the absolute beauty of them; in fact, a clash or a mismatch is interesting. If you have a strong lip colour, then a toned down nail looks good for daytime, then change it up for evenings.
YOUR TIPS FOR KEEPING HANDS GORGEOUS AND YOUTHFUL?
Moisturiser… as much as possible. It’s good to get a hand cream with an SPF because remember, hands are exposed to the elements 24/7 and there’s very little you can do to reverse the appearance of ageing.
WHICH CELEBRITIES SHOULD WE CHECK OUT FOR GREAT NAILS?
I think Rita Ora, Rihanna and Lady Gaga are fab. They love nails of all lengths and colours and are always trying something new.
ANY OTHER TIPS FOR MEGA MANIS?
In the winter months, book in for a traditional paraffin wax treatment for your hands; hot wax makes them feel soothed and smooth as ve