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06.24.13

THE PROFESSIONAL: CIATÉ FOUNDER AND CREATIVE DIRECTOR CHARLOTTE KNIGHT

THE PROFESSIONAL: CIATÉ FOUNDER AND CREATIVE DIRECTOR CHARLOTTE KNIGHT

Meet the mastermind behind trendsetting nail designs like caviar, velvet, and chalkboard manicures.

The term “nail art” once conjured up images of tacky animal prints, airbrushed palm trees, and glitter overload—then Ciaté came along and made chic and stylish nail art a reality. We chatted with Charlotte Knight to get the inside scoop on the cutting-edge brand and the future of nail art. RENEE TRILIVAS

How did you get into the nail business?
I was living in Dublin in 2005 and recognized a lack of nail salons during the boom of NYC-type nail bars. This led to a journey into the nail industry, and I quickly became an editorial nail artist. I was working behind the scenes at Fashion Week, mixing colors to use in the shows, and people kept commenting on the pigments I was creating. I decided I could do this on a bigger scale, which was when the whole brand idea came to me, from the bottle shape to the signature bow!

How did Ciaté become such a leader in nail art?
Caviar was Ciaté's first “wow” kit and it’s what the brand is renowned for. I suppose this was one of the first 3D nail art products that really worked!

What are some of your favorite basic Ciaté shades?
We have some amazing Paint Pots with over 150 different shades and textures, from crèmes and mattes to shimmers and glitters. My favorite has got to be Mistress; it’s my go-to for a classic red polish. But for a little sparkle, Antique Brooch is my absolute favorite shade. I wear a rose gold watch and this shade is a mix of rose gold and gold glitter. It is so stunning in the most sophisticated, on-trend way.

Where do you find your inspiration for new designs?
A lot of my inspiration is from fashion, both on the catwalks and on the streets. I am also inspired by my eight-year-old daughter, Gracie, and her passion for arts and crafts, which is where the Very Colourfoil manicure came from. Inspiration is all around us, from street art on the walls of East London to museums to nature. We just have to remember to walk with our eyes wide open!

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