Meet Holly Falcone

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Holly is a freelance manicurist based in New York City. She was trained at the Christine Valmy International School and was introduced to the nail world by assisting notable manicurists Madeline Poole, Naomi Yasuda, and Gina Edwards on shoots and fashion shows. Holly has done editorial and advertising work for clients including: Armani Exchange, Calvin Klein, Saks Fifth Avenue, Opening Ceremony, The New York Times, i-D, Harper’s Bazaar, Vogue & many more.
 
 
  Shoes, Chanel

Shoes, Chanel

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  Top, Adam Selman ; Skirt Vintage

Top, Adam Selman ; Skirt Vintage

  Dress, Coco Fennel ; Shoes, Chanel

Dress, Coco Fennel ; Shoes, Chanel

on her morning routine

When it’s an early work day I have a very tight 30-minute routine. Sometimes even less if I snooze! I wash my face (Biologique Recherche Lotion P50) and put on eye cream and moisturizer,. When I get ready to go out, I like to measure my "out-the-door" time by songs. So usually it takes me a full album to get ready. I like to trick my friends and say “I'm leaving in 3 Drake songs.” Who knows how long those Drake songs actually are?

on being a manicurist

I always loved painting mine or my friends’ nails, until one day a photographer friend of mine, Ben Ritter, asked me to do nails on a photoshoot about female bodybuilders, called "Swole," for Vice Magazine. I was so nervous, but it was a success! From there, I met people who put me on more jobs and it grew! I started assisting some really awesome manicurists like Madeline Poole and Gina Edwards, and I finally found myself on the roster of Kate Ryan Inc.

I love my job. I love being in a new environment each time, and being a part of amazing creative teams. The downside is that nail polish options are endless... I drive myself crazy deciding between five shades of red that are exactly the same...and somehow I am constantly in need of new shades!
 

 

 Molly's favorite books
I’m obsessed with air brush art. It’s just so wild how realistic it can look. I especially love the fantasy women. I’ll draw inspiration from things like the hair or nails of a Vargas girl, or I’ll see some crazy outfit on a Japanese airbrush girl and it will inspire an Ebay search! The two zines are from friends. “Some Velvet Morning” is a zine that three of my best friends made about a cross country road trip they made last year. If I’m feeling stumped creatively I’ll flip through it for inspiration or just a mood boost. “Kink Nails” is also by my friend, artist Tamara Santibanez. It’s a collection of nail shots from a variety of fetish magazines. I love how much expression is in hands and nails. There’s so much personality in hands and manicures.
— on her favorite books & zines
  Dress, Coco Fennel ; Shoes, Chanel

Dress, Coco Fennel ; Shoes, Chanel

on finding her career

I’ve had a variety of jobs where I was either doing something creative or working with people. Most of the creative jobs I had dealt with jewelry so I learned to work on a small scale drawing and working with beads, stones, and metal findings. Doing nails now, I definitely notice myself applying skills I learned from those days. I’ve also had a lot of practice working with people from various shop jobs, styling, and production jobs. Working with people is definitely 50% of the talent as a set manicurist.

on her favorite shops

In New York, I’ll check in on vintage shops like Fox & Fawn, Mahps, and Stella Dallas. Occasionally, I’ll get something new at Reformation or Opening Ceremony. I also love the online convenience of ASOS. I could go on and on about shopping. There's definitely something I love about each and every retail institution from the dollar store to Bergdorf Goodman.

on her shopping habits

I shop on EBAY. Even though it’s insanely popular, there are still tricks and ways to get exactly what you want! I also believe that a woman's watchlist is a very sacred thing between her and those closest to her. I love it for vintage because I tend to love things from eras before my time or when I was too young to appreciate them. I also love thrifting. Chicago and Miami are hands down the best spots. Miami especially for vintage Versace.

 

  Robe, Vintage

Robe, Vintage

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  Top, Vintage ; Shorts, Fendi

Top, Vintage ; Shorts, Fendi

on her beauty routine

My make up on work days is no fuss but still polished. Kiehl's Micro-Blur Skin Perfector, Diorskin Nude Concealer under my eyes, and mascara. Right now I'm obsessed with Dr. Perricone No Foundation Serum. I love to look a little glowy so I’ll dab argan oil or MAC strobe cream on my cheek bones as the last step. I use Dior Capture DreamskinHeritage Store Rosewater & Glycerin Spray, Glossier Moon Mask.

When I go out, I’ll add MAC Lip Pencil, Chanel Rouge Allure Velvet, Chanel Illusion D'Ombre, Marc Jacobs Beauty Twinkle Pop Stick EyeshadowChanel Le Rouge Collection Les 4 Ombres Multi-Effect Quadra Eyeshadow, and eyeliner to my routine. For hair, I’ll either do dry shampoo, Oribe Women's Dry Texturizing Spray, Bumble & Bumble Invisible Oil, Fekkai Brilliant Glossing Styling Creme, or just water depending on what my hair looks like.

holly's tips for nail care

My #1 insider tip is to hydrate your cuticles! Coconut oil or cuticle oil (Essie Cuticle Oil or Deborah Lippmann)! Dab on some during the day and definitely overnight! If you’re in a pinch, lip balm (Lucas Papaw Ointment) works and gives nails a nice healthy glow. I can’t tell you how many times I have suggested Nailtiques Formula 2 to cure peeling nails and encourage growth and have had friends come back to me a few weeks later with the strongest, longest nails they’ve ever had. I’ve sworn by it for over 10 years!

  Robe, Vintage

Robe, Vintage

Usually I’m inspired by something hands could hold or be in front of for a photo, like something I’m wearing, a fancy wine glass, the list goes on. Then I think of the nails that would go good with it. That comes from working on jobs and having to develop a nail look to compliment the clothing, make up, or set. If I’m inspired with the nails first it’s usually a color combo I’m feeling, or the pattern from an article of clothing or a texture like velvet, gemstones, marble, etc.
— holly's manicure inspiration
  Dress, Vintage ; Bra,  H&M  ; Underwear, Dollar Store

Dress, Vintage ; Bra, H&M ; Underwear, Dollar Store

  Outfit, Vintage

Outfit, Vintage

holly's favorite books

Some Velvet Morning Zine, Kink Nails Zine, Airbrush in Japan I by Peter Feierabend 

holly's favorite places in nyc

Five Leaves for Brunch, Rye has a great dinner (especially the steak!) 

Dokebi for Brunch, lunch, or dinner! Spina for coffee and flowers.

Aire Ancient baths to chill out.