What Happens When You Have 45 Minutes to Get a Celeb Red-Carpet Ready, and Your Luggage Is Lost?
Rachel Brosnahan stunned at the Golden Globes on Sunday in a sunshine-yellow Prada piece that echoed her Marvelous Mrs. Maisel character, the cheerful "Midge." By night's end, Brosnahan had taken home her second Globe for the role. A day before her fingers grasped that statuette, Brosnahan opted for a classic, nude-pink nail color that radiated poise and would serve as the ideal companion to her statement dress. But as understated as her manicure may have been, the story behind it is kind of a wild ride.
We often overlook the individuals working behind the scenes in the cumbersome process of readying celebrities for awards shows: makeup artists, aestheticians, hair stylists, and clothing stylists often fly to Los Angeles at a moment's notice to prepare a nominee or presenter to red carpet-readiness. So, what happens when you book a client, it's your first time visiting Los Angeles and working with nominated talent, and when you touch down at the hellhole of LAX, you realize your baggage — your professional kit filled with $800 or more in essential nail products — is nowhere to be found? Also, you have 45 minutes to meet your client, who happens to be Rachel Brosnahan.
This is exactly what happened on Saturday to nail specialists Desiree Abhiram and Ryan McEnaney, who both own several Frenchies nail salons in Minnesota but also travel frequently for celebrity clientele, including Brosnahan, Kesha, and Regina King. "You’re flying in, you do everything to prep and be ready, and then you get here and not only is it that weekend, but you have a client in an HOUR. And you have NOTHING. Because you can’t take any nail supplies in a carry on — you can’t have liquids, you can’t have nippers, you can’t have pushers — none of it. It all has to get checked. So, there’s no way around it," McEnaney told InStyle. The kit — the tools needed to help establish Brosnahan's preferred look, not just before the Golden Globes the next day, but for the annual BAFTAs tea party which was that same morning — was missing. The team of two was now on quite the mission
McEnaney told me his initial plan: "We were gonna land, and the bag was gonna come down; Desiree was gonna get an Uber, and I was gonna get the rental car, and I’d meet her up at Rachel’s hotel. My bag came down the baggage claim, and the actual kit itself was nowhere to be found." Oh boy.
Considering the masses of people returning to Los Angeles after the holidays, the government shutdown giving TSA employees little incentive to continue coming to work, and, of course, awards show season ramping up, it's not the most excellent time to lose luggage.
"And so we’re standing there, and no bags are coming, and the carousel is still going around. And we were talking to an airline rep, who told us, 'If the baggage carousel is still going around, you’re still safe, it’s going to come down, it’s going to be fine,’" McEnenay relayed. "Well, sure enough, it was not fine." Allegedly, the airline didn't bother scanning the bag tags, so for all McEnenay and Abhiram knew their kit could have still been in Minneapolis or "sitting in a back room at LAX somewhere." All they knew is they had to be at Brosnahan's hotel at 10, which meant they had 45 minutes, and no products.
"It was a little crazy," McEnenay jokes. "So, we rushed, and in LAX there’s no quick way to get a rental car, so we had to ride on the shuttles, get to the rental car, the rental car wasn’t ready for us even though I had it pre-registered, so it’s just like, everything took time." (Anyone else having some extreme vicarious anxiety right now?)
McEnenay and Abhiram rushed to Cosmoprof (the ultimate in professional salon product distribution) in the Valley and — in what McEnenay described as similar to Guy Fieri's supermarket game show Guy's Grocery Games —"got a cart and just grabbed anything and everything we knew we needed. Everything! We just knew like, 'we need all of it right now.'” McEnenay’s receipt came to $113 for five polishes, pushers, nippers, acetone, and more. “We literally grabbed what was 100% needed that morning and knew we’d fill in the rest after Rachel’s appointment. We also knew, at least generally, what color she wanted so we grabbed a few pinks and nudes so that we had some options for her and just booked it to the hotel." Abhiram noted her dialogue with Cosmoprof over their dire situation was "the kindest exchange I’ve ever been a part of."
Impressively, the pair were only 30 minutes late to Brosnahan's hotel and — it having been the third time McEnenay had worked with Brosnahan for an award show — the nominee was more than sympathetic. Both McEnenay and Abhiram echoed how sweet and understanding the actress was with their plight, Abraham adding that she was more concerned that her nail artist had shown up with a shopping bag: a "huge Cosmoprof bag full of stuff."
However, McEnenay and Abhiram's conundrum wasn't solved yet, nor was their day over. Abhiram had another client to tend to that night, Patricia Clarkson, and they were admittedly wholly unprepared. So, McEnenay says he utilized his contacts in the nail biz with "emergency! Help us with whatever you can!" And, miraculously, in what McEnenay would later call "anti-LA" fashion, people came through. A friend and Essie rep responded to McEnenay's pleas almost immediately, imploring him to come straight to Santa Monica and take "any color you need, top coat, base coat, go for it." So, McEnenay "raided the closet and walked out with bags of stuff," adding his gratitude toward both friends and strangers in the beauty industry who helped him and Abhiram get a new kit together so last minute: "Things happen and you just have to pull it together and make it work, and people have been super understanding and great."
Despite the craziness, the two found themselves actually having fun. "It was just fun and crazy ... we went to the Valley, to Santa Monica, to Patty’s hotel last night, so we were just all over the place, but you make it work."
Through the aid of others and she and McEnenay's own determination and endurance ("You just have to get it done. There’s literally no other option," McEnenay professed over the phone), Abhiram was able to complete the looks of several celebrity clients on their way to the Golden Globes: Rachel Brosnahan, Patricia Clarkson, Regina King, and Caitriona Balfe — all of whom ended up taking home awards that night.
When I asked if the two had slept at all during this hilarious catastrophe, McEnenay replied, "We haven’t slept a whole lot. We’re ready for a nap. And maybe a glass of wine." McEnenay and Abhiram watched the Golden Globes from the Hilton hotel where they were staying, checked in to see if their girls had won (they had), took a quick nap, and hopped on a red-eye home. By the way, their kit was finally located. It never left Minneapolis.