Essie's Rita Remark talks nails and beauty

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Rita Remark, Nail Artist, Essie


Interview by Kelsey Zahn

There are people in the world whose spirits are so genuine you can’t help but smile when you're around them. They are warm and inviting, kind and wonderful... you feel safe when you're with them, chatting in a way usually reserved for grandmothers or therapists. And every now and again, if you are lucky, you'll find yourself working alongside them. Rita Remark is one of these people and I have been fortunate enough to work with her on several occasions. 

Rita is the bright-eyed, beautiful, blonde with the bedazzling smile you see in all the behind-the-scenes photos of fashion week, although in these images she is usually half crouched over putting the finishing touches on a top model's immaculate manicure. She is a young brilliant Canadian with a passion for polish, professionalism beyond her years and sense of humor worthy of Saturday Night Live. 

I first met Rita on set, when styling her platinum blonde tresses for Essie’s tutorials (you must check them out! Rita and Michelle will teach you how to do the most complex nail art in the simplest way). She blew me away with her kindness and humility and I instantly knew we would become fast friends.  

While I could (and would) wax on all day about her creativity and joy for life, I will refrain and instead allow you to see it for yourself. 

Can you introduce yourself and give a brief description of what you do? 

Hi, my name is Rita Remark and I am an on-set Manicurist, Nail Artist and Expert.  I am also proud to say that I hold the title of Essie Canada’s Lead Nail Artist. I love all aspects of my industry and try not to limit myself to just one area. I polish nails for video and photo shoots, design and polish them for runways in both Toronto and New York and I also teach and share my love of the industry both on-camera for shows like ET Canada and as an educator at George Brown College in Toronto.  

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Have you always liked the world of manicuring and nail art? 

I have always loved the beauty and fashion world. First I thought I’d become a Make-up Artist because I thought it was the best way to express my love of the industry.  However, when I was studying to become an Esthetician, I discovered manicuring and nail art and the rest, as they say, was history. 

I am always most excited when I’m reinventing, creating or carving a new path in my industry.

Favorite part of the job? 

I love the creative aspects. Whether it be working with a designer to match a nail design to their runway show or finding new and unique polishing techniques, I am always most excited when I'm reinventing, creating or carving a new path in my industry.

At the end of the day, I like feeling like I’m making my mark.

If you weren’t a ‘Leading Essie Nail Artist’ what would you be doing? 

In a world where anything is possible, I’d be an actress on Broadway singing my heart out in Wicked. Realistically? I’d be a photographer or a graphic designer. I’ve always been obsessed with the fine details, so if I couldn’t execute that passion in nails, it’d be captured behind a lens or crafted in photoshop.

What motivates and inspires you? 

I am inspired by people in my industry, be they make-up artists, manicurists, hairstylists or others, who love what they do, work hard at it and who are constantly improving.  Working alongside people like that motivates me to never get lazy, keep getting better at what I do and to never forget how lucky I am to be doing what I love.

In five years I hope I’m doing something that hasn’t been invented or done yet.

Where do you envision yourself in five years time? 

If you had asked me that question five years ago I could never have predicted what my life would be like and the position I’d be in today. My industry has come so far in just a few years so I hope it's not dodging the question to answer by saying that in five years I hope I'm doing something that hasn't been invented or done yet.

I consistently crave new experiences and challenges, so it’s my hope that my career continues to provide them.

What is a little life luxury you simply can’t live without? 

Time!  It IS a luxury.  As I’ve gotten busier, moved away from home and essentially, just grown-up, I’ve realized that nothing is better than quality time spent with people I love. 

Beverage of choice?

In the morning: An americano with almond milk and one sugar.  In the afternoon: sparkling water and lemon and/or cucumber and/or mint.  In the evening: A cold glass of Sauvignon Blanc.


What are you currently listening to? 

Songza is currently streaming “I. The Worst Guys” by Childish Gambino and it’s making me pretty happy.  Aside from that, these days I’d choose from anything from Beck’s catalogue, Alvvays, Future Islands, Rhye, Shad or Beyonce (obviously).

And finally, what is one piece of advice you received that has stuck with you? And what advice you would give to aspiring Nail Artists? 

When I was in school to become a Nail Artist, my teacher routinely reminded us to “do what we love and the money will come”.  At the time it seemed a little unrealistic, but looking back on it now, it has been the truth for me.  

I tried on a lot of different careers and the size was never right. As soon as I realized that a career in nails was the perfect fit, everything seems to fall into place. I'd say do what you're passionate about and be willing to work hard at it. That, and just be kind to everyone.


It’s a very small industry and you never know who will be working with you or recommending you in the future.


Wise beyond her years with talent to match! You can follow Rita's colorful adventures be sure to follow her on instagram and twitter at- @ritaremark Her fashion week posts are sure to blow you out of the water! Check out her tutorials on youtube as well, she will seriously improve your nail game! 


All images courtesy of Rita Remark/ Essie