Backstage at TWFW FW’17 with essie

Hi everyone, today I’ll be sharing all of the #essielook’s from Toronto Women’s Fashion Week fall/winter 2017!

Being backstage at Fashion Week is always hectic but it’s truly incredible to be able to see how all of the beauty looks come together before watching them come to life on the runway. This season, essie Canada‘s lead nail artist, Rita Remark, created six designs for Toronto Women’s Fashion Week (I was lucky enough to work on her team for two shows; Rachel Sin and KQK)!

“For the past few seasons, fall/winter has been random,” says Rita Remark, essie’s global lead educator and nail artist. “I was telling people to wear white and glitter shades. This season, however, we are back to working with very traditional, quintessential fall/winter shades like deep red and dark charcoal, mixed in with metallic accents.” 

Check out the six looks designed by Rita and how to re-create them below:

Rachel Sin

The #essielook at RACHEL SIN | Image by: essie 

Inspiration: “Imagine yourself ballroom dancing, as the movement of your skirt flows with every twirl. The chevron design was used to mimic the neckline of a traditional ballet wrap bodysuit, while the soft palette was the perfect pairing to the muted colours of Rachel Sin’s FW17 collection.

“It’s a negative space at its most demure”, says Rita Remark, essie Global Lead Educator and Lead Nail Artist for essie Canada.” – essie

Nails by me backstage at Rachel Sin

How to get the look: Apply ‘topless and barefoot’, leaving a negative space chevron near the cuticle. Take a striping brush, and trace the line of the chevron, letting one of the lines extend to the tip of the nail using ‘between the seats’. Finish with a coat of ‘matte about you’.

Evan Biddell

The #essielook at EVAN BIDDELL | Image by: essie

Inspiration: “The Evan Biddell collection was inspired by the idea that old is new again. The entire collection was produced from second hand clothing, using surrealist elements and encouraging the viewer to see clothing in a new, refreshing light.

“I wanted take this idea of surrealism and apply it to the nails, using a a glossy black polish as the base and applying a thin line of gold to resemble a cat’s eye”, says Rita Remark, essie Global Lead Educator and Lead Nail Artist for essie Canada.” – essie

How to get the look: Apply two coats of ‘licorice’. Next, draw a line from the cuticle to the end of the nail with ‘good as gold’ using a striping brush. Seal in with ‘good to go’ for an extra glossy finish.


The #essielook at ROCH | Image by: essie

Inspiration: “The latest collection from ROCH encompasses the idea that fearless women are both beautiful and threatening. This was inspired by the Valkyrie of Norse mythology, where the fallen angels sent to battlefield, choose who shall live or die. Rita Remark, essie Global Lead Educator and Lead Nail Artist for essie Canada, created a negative space nail art look with a sharp polished arrow on top of a clean bare nail.

“I wanted to create a minimal but bold and striking look”, says Rita.” – essie

How to get the look: Using ‘licorice’, start at the cuticle and meet at the end of the nail making a negative space diamond point. Finish with ‘good to go’.

Stephan Caras

The #essielook at STEPHAN CARAS | Image by: essie

Inspiration: “Stephan Caras Fall/Winter 2017 collection was inspired by an opulent garden party that goes from day to night. This play on lights and darks allowed Rita to mirror the deep burgundy reds and golds from the collection in the nail design.

“I was able to create rich looking nails that give just a peek of negative space at the cuticle”, says Rita Remark, essie Global Lead Educator and Lead Nail Artist for essie Canada.” – essie

How to get the look: Apply ‘wicked’, stopping mid-nail leaving a negative space near your cuticle. Using a striping brush and ‘good as gold’ trace the border separating the bare and polished space. Finish with ‘good to go’ for high shine.


The #essielook at KQK | Image by: essie

Inspiration: “Sophistication and street wear sensibility is what the KQK Fall/Winter 2017 collection captures for the woman that embodies both styles. Rita Remark, essie Global Lead Educator and Lead Nail Artist for essie Canada, designed a nail look to capture this juxtaposition of classic and edgy using a cherry red that fades seamlessly into a deep, blackened burgundy.

“Using the classic ombre design was the perfect way to create this fierce and commanding look”, says Rita Remark.” – essie

Nails by me backstage at KQK

How to get the look: Apply a thin layer of ‘a-list’ to all nails and let dry. Next, blend ‘a-list’ and ‘wicked’ on a cosmetic wedge sponge and stamp it onto the nail, repeating until desired opacity. Seal everything with ‘good to go’ to really “melt” the two shades together.

TIP: Use a latex barrier and a brush dipped in acetone to clean up around the nails.


The #essielook at HENDRIXROE | Image by: essie

Inspiration: “Think of a tough, pink rock girlfriend or a sullen glam rock band to envision the latest collection from Hendrixroe. With this in mind, Rita created a heavy metal inspired nail art look to complement the collection.

“The design is meant to look like silver studs on a worn dark leather jacket”, says Rita Remark, essie Global Lead Educator and Lead Nail Artist for essie Canada.” – essie

How to get the look: Apply two coats of ‘smokin’ hot’. Using a dotting tool (or bobby pin), place four small, even dots at the base of each nail with ‘no place like chrome’. On the right index finger and the left thumb nail, extend these dots all the way to the tip.


The essie Canada team at Toronto Women’s Fashion Week fall/winter 2017 | Photo by: @annielamstyling

I had SO much fun working backstage with Rita Remark and the rest of the essie Canada team backstage this season! It was such a surreal, cool experience to actually be able to paint nails backstage. Although I was super nervous at first it ended up being one of the most amazing things and I’m glad I pushed myself to do it – thanks essie! 🙂

Will you be re-creating any of these looks? For more information on all things essie, be sure to check out

♡ Lauren

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4 years ago

That’s so awesome you got that experience Lauren! Sounds amazing.

4 years ago

Omg it’s about time!! I’ve been following you forever and I swear I thought you were ALREADY doing the nails backstage 😂😂😂🙌🏼

Sara H.
Sara H.
4 years ago


4 years ago

Hey Lauren, may I ask what is your lipstick in the main picture on your blog (the one on the right)? Thanks.

4 years ago

I rlly love posts like this Lauren! I hope you are okay? You haven’t been posting much lately 🙁 I completely missed this post somehow. ❤❤

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