With the Golden Globes only days away, we're more eager than ever to see the many stunning gowns celebrities will line the red carpet in---not to mention, the equally-stunning manicures they'll wear to complete their look. Many of our favorite patterns, effects, and color combinations were painted up by celebrity manicurist extraordinaire Tom Bachik, and as he prepped to work with both Jennifer Aniston and Jennifer Lopez for the big event, we caught up with the pro to find out all about his creative process, and what goes on behind the scenes as he gears up for an awards ceremony.
As evidenced by their nail and gown pairings chosen for Golden Globes ceremonies of years past, both Aniston and Lopez have very different tastes, which makes things especially interesting for Bachik. "Jennifer Aniston is more classic and Old Hollywood glam, so she loves solid colors. We play with different types of nudes, and we'll custom-mix shades that work best with her skin tone," he tells InStyle.
"With JLo, it's different every day! I work with her stylist and Jenn will give a basic direction, so we do a lot of collaborating to create that look. She's always up for trying something new, and looks for us to bring that to her as well," Bachik says.
True to her Jenny from the Block roots, Lopez's nails always have an extra-personal flair. "She'll be like, 'I want ghetto, but I want it chic---I want bling, but I want it to be runway,'" he adds, "The nails are a great way to play off of her personality, and for me, I want to create something that complements the look for the night, but also has a little bit of you in it."
Bachik's creative process starts with seeing the gown, and from there, he works with the hair and makeup teams to put together a red carpet–worthy look. Many times, everything falls into place only hours before the event. "Sometimes, things change the day of! I'm kind of known for custom-blending colors in the moment, so if I don't have a particular one, I'll mix a few right then and there," he says. "I'm kind of like---how do you complete the look? It used to be with a handbag or shoe as the hot accessory, but now it's the nail. The nail is the finishing touch to the overall look."
Despite the various call times and last-minute changes, many of Bachik's favorite looks have come from those heat-of-the-moment decisions, and each event presents a new creative challenge he and the rest of the glam squad are always eager to take on.
"I love being part of the experience with them. It's such a great moment for their career, and to be involved in it, it's really special and it's where the teams become close," says Bachik. "Because things get down to the wire, it's important for the glam squad to be the calming factor in the whole scenario---we get them relaxed and motivated at the same time, while feeling confident and special."
Though details on both Aniston and Lopez's manis are still TBD, Bachik is predicting that nail art just might make a return to the Golden Globes red carpet, albeit a minimalist, understated take on the trend. "Even fashion itself has taken a minimalistic approach to design, and nail art went along with it. We've been '80s excess and '70s glam, and the nails followed suit," he tells us. "Now that we're doing a classic, simplistic look, the nails are making that shift, especially for red carpet events."
For a ceremony like the Golden Globes, an Old Hollywood aesthetic is generally preferred over graphic designs and 3D elements, but don't rule out seeing an accent nail or two. Because the dress already makes a statement, the nail look should complement rather than compete, with options like negative-space effects, a solo stud, or iridescent top coats.
"That's perfect for me, because I'm about art on the nails as opposed to nail art," Bachik says. "I love and can do graphics, but for me, it's about dimension, design, and creating depth of personality in the nails, versus just loading them up with things."