While I was in New York last February for Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, I met up with Sally Hershberger Face Place manicurist Erica Marton at The Campbell Apartment near Grand Central.
Within minutes of meeting her, I realized that 1) she has a great name, 2) she is fun, sweet and gorgeous (Erica was sporting blonde locks when I met her) and 3) she is MY KIND OF GIRL.
After examining my hands across the bar table, Erica gave me the best manicure tip I’ve ever received: Smooth down the hard edges of your cuticles with a nail file. (Watch the video below to see what she’s talking about!)
I asked Erica if she’d share more of her expert tips with Makeup Bag, and she graciously obliged (even sharing her excitement over a new Chanel color called Dragon that will debut in the US this fall):
Makeup Bag: Did you always know you wanted to do nails? How did you get your start?
Erica Marton: As long as I can remember have been in love with fashion, hair, nails, makeup and all that glam. When I was a little girl I would beg my sister to paint my nails. She painted them red for my 11th birthday and ever since then it’s been a lovely life of manicures & pedicures. After I finished nail school I worked in a couple salons in Florida. I moved to NYC six years ago where my love and passion for my work has led me to work with some of the most talented celebs along with the everyday working girl. I think if you love what you do you will be successful no matter what. I care about how the client feels, I want them just to be happy and relaxed after they sit with me.
Makeup Bag: I heard your signature treatment is a “Medicure.” You must tell me all about it!
Erica Marton: A medicure (medical pedicure) is a good old-school pedicure with elbow grease. I start off by soaking your feet in warm water with a special powder soak that I make. I remove polish, shape nails to the clients desire, push cuticles trim cuticles if needed…and here is where my magic begins I use my drill to take down bigger calluses (mostly on the side of the big toe, heels, pinky toe & pad of foot). Then I use a good old fashioned foot file and buff away. I also use a pumice bar after that. When I am satisfied and I’m sure I can feel no more “ruff” spots I place warm towels over feet and give a good massage (its almost the best part right?!) and to finish I paint the toes or do a buff shine. Whatever the client wants.
Makeup Bag: What other words of wisdom do you send your clients home with for keeping their cuticles soft and pretty?
Erica Marton: The best way to keep those cuticles soft is with a cuticle pen (They are sold at Sephora or the drug store. Revlon makes a great one.) and hand lotion. Also keep a file in your purse or bag and gently file the sides of your cuticles. Whatever you do, don’t try to cut your own cuticles. It will just be a hot mess when you go to see your manicurist. Also try not to cut your cuticles every time you get a manicure. I suggest telling your nail tech to “cut only what’s hanging loose”—after a while you will see a major change in your hands.
Makeup Bag: Do you have any tips for creating the perfect paint job?
Erica Marton: Sorry to say the best way to paint your own nails is practice. But if you paint them a light shade and you have a steady hand, place one hand firmly on a table that kinda helps. Also, don’t worry if you get a little polish on your skin or cuticles, the polish will just peel off the skin when you shower or bathe.
Makeup Bag: Having all the necessary tools is key to an at-home manicure (for me, anyway). I love my Mehaz cuticle nippers and my straight Tweezerman nail clippers. What tools are essential for you?
Erica Marton: My essential tools are my drill, Seche Vite top coat, Sally Hansen Instant Cutical remover, Qtica quick dry drops & my Flash Buff Shinner. As far as other tools, all the Mehaz tools rock!
Makeup Bag: I’m still obsessed with near-black nail colors. Red-black, brown-black, purple-black… I love them all. What trends are you seeing on your clients this spring?
Erica Marton: Well after talking to my client/friend Ramya Giangola (she is also a fashion consultant) there are two trends this spring: the boyfriend blazer/boyfriend jeans and a harder look with black leather leggings, a lot of hardware on bags and harem pants. If you’re going towards the first look go with a red nails. A bright red brings the girly out in a more boyish look. Another one of my clients/friend (David Rubenstein buyer for Jeffreys NYC) brought me back a great Chanel color named “Dragon.” He got it from the show over in Europe so I’m not sure its out in stores yet but when you see it get it! If your going for the harder look choose a skin tone polish. The pale shade will be a nice contrast and people won’t think you’re all crazy 80’s.
Makeup Bag: I’m so excited about Chanel Dragon! This color launched in Europe this spring as part of the Rouge Allure Laque collection. It’s a bright, classic red that will be available here in the US come fall. I will definitely be getting it! What is your all-time favorite nail shade?
Erica Marton:Â I like almost all shades but because I do paint alot of nails, I always try to match a personality or a style. I feel out their energy. I personally LOVE Bordeaux by Essie its the best red. I haven’t found one person it doesn’t look good on. Also Vixen by Revlon & Waltz by Essie. I mean I could go on and on and on….but if I was trapped on an island those would be my top three. It really all depends on your skin tone.
Makeup Bag:I love that you’re at a swanky salon, yet your manicure prices are totally affordable. If a girl wants to “treat” herself, what would she splurge on at your salon?
Erica Marton: Ah, Sally Hershberger Face Place. We have a great team here—it’s a small staff and we all love each other. The best thing a girl could have done is our only facial treatment while getting a manicure and medicure (pedicure) all at the same time! It all takes but a hour & half! You kind of feel like Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz. Its very popular—drying time for the nails is all done because you’re laying there enjoying our relaxing treatment. My co-worker Tom and I like to call it “decadent indulgence.” We have clients that come in every week for this treatment!
Thank you so much, Erica!
Next time you’re in New York, visit Erica Marton at Sally Hershberger Face Place at 425 West 14th Street, 3rd Floor. Call for an appointment at (212) 367-8200.