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Women Making History: Sophy Robson


Women Makign History: Sophy Robson

As connoisseurs of nail art, we are proud and honored to feature today’s Women Making History, London’s leading manicurist/pedicurist, Sophy Robson!

Sophy has redefined nail art. She has created signature manicures that have appeared in editorials, campaigns, videos, and she’s been copied many times over, something Sophy can’t help but find flattering.

More on today’s honoree:

Sophy Robson is the leading manicurist and pedicurist in London, with a salon The Sophy Robson Nailcare Clinic at Fortnum & Mason, London, where she is available for appointments.

Sophy is known for her signature treatment, the Medi-Pedi as well as the luxury 2 hour treatment for hands and feet the Turn Back Time, and her bespoke nail extensions. Her treatments have been recommended by everyone from to the Telegraph magazine.

So what exactly is a medi pedi?

It is a very thorough overhaul of the feet, using a variety of skin scuffing instruments after which follows a rejuvenating exfoliation scrub and soak with petals. The lower leg and feet are then massaged and expertly polished to last several weeks. If there are any broken nails, a repair can be done which will allow a new nail to grow back healthily underneath.

Women Makign History: Sophy Robson

Sophy Robson's site:

Women Makign History: Sophy Robson

Sophy handles our M.I.S.S. survey...

Women Makign History: Sophy Robson

Illustration by Richard Gray for Sophy Robson.

Sophy talks about the illustration above by Richard Gray:

This was my first sort of branding image, which I commissioned the supremely talented Richard Gray to design for me when I started my “by appointment service” at The Berkeley Hotel in 2005. I needed something that represented luxury and chicness,but which slightly captured my (at the time) bling personality, as I wanted to appeal to a very wealthy, fashion conscious clientele.

It made it into Vogue so I guess we didnt do too bad! When I met Richard he asked me about what my service was about, and I had recently done the triple colour V french tip nails in a Sunday Times Style editorial so we decided to use that. He then loved the fact that I used Diamancel files which are made of diamond chips so he came up with that diamond to stars image..and finally the SR ring was a way to identify my name and a nod to my love of hip hop culture.

…some people think its a little old fashioned looking but I still love it.

Women Makign History: Sophy Robson

Editorial featuring YSL

Our Q&A with Sophy:

M.I.S.S.: What woman, besides your mom or grandmother, do you find inspirational?

When I was growing up, my idols were Madonna and later Lil Kim as I admired their strength, independence and the way they were not afraid to express themselves. I have been inspired by all the smart, strong, sexy women I have met, who stand up for what they believe in.

M.I.S.S.: How did you get your start?

As soon as I started learning to do nail extensions I had offers of work. Ok they were’nt all that great (my mum’s local hairdressers for example) but the point is demand for someone good was high. My first paying employer was NYNC, a now defunct nail bar chain. I was quickly promoted to managerial status, despite having no previous manager or business experience. They just thought I was a natural leader. My first campaign was for Jimmy Choo and that was down to me being one of the first good manicurists available to work on shoots. I had already done some editorial shoots with the stylist and the photographer on that, and they picked me to do the ad!

M.I.S.S.: What’s your favorite manicure that you’ve created?

I love the rainbow tips as quite a few people love it and have tried to do their own version which I find very flattering. I actually love it when people try to copy my ideas because it just inspires me to do even better. I have just done 25 exclusive nail designs for a spread in UK Elle magazine where I referenced everything from machine guns to cherry blossom as logos. It took a long time but it is definitely the most original and expressive work I have done yet.

Women Makign History: Sophy Robson

Sophy's signature rainbow tips and soft cloud inspired nails.

M.I.S.S.: Who do you want to work with?

Rihanna, Kid Sister are 2 current icons who make a statement with their nails. I like working with anyone who is into nail style and appreciates where I am coming from.

Women Makign History: Sophy Robson

Sophy's work with Kylie...

M.I.S.S.: What part of being a nail artist is the most challenging and do you dislike the most?

There are so many little gripes associated with the fashion business. It is a harsh industry but you just have to shake it off and move on to the next day. I still love doing what I do and that is what I focus on.

Women Makign History: Sophy RobsonLeft: UK Vogue editorial, Right: Sophy Nails for Jeremy Scott SS ’10 Show

Women Makign History: Sophy Robson

Left: Tom Ford Campaign by Mert & Marcus, Right: UK Vogue editorial

M.I.S.S.: How did you make the leap from salon work to editorial work?

It was more of a gradual ascension than a leap….The first step was to go and see hair and make up agencies and show them examples of my work. This was around 8 years ago so there were only a few photographers and stylists that were interested in nails. Also the bugdets were tiny or non existent compared to now, so it was essential to have a constant source of income. I saw that in the U.S. manicurists were on shoots more often so I had a feeling it would change here and it did.

Women Makign History: Sophy Robson

Left: YSL checkered nails in Russian Vogue, Right: Vogue hand shot

M.I.S.S.: When working on editorials, how much freedom do you have?

It has got way better! I find now that most people I am working with know me and trust me to come with whatever is appropriate for the image we are creating. Beige or mannequin nails has been a very popular choice for a while, so I am now a beige specialist with around 15 or more types of beige. Sometimes I get sent references before the shoot day so I can be inspired. It really depends on the job and what kind of shoot it is but I love being able to offer my input into the finished look. Sometimes we do something fun or weird or graphic, but other times a classic beautiful nail is all that is needed.

Women Makign History: Sophy Robson

Left: YSL Campaign, Right: stunning editorial from Style Magazine

M.I.S.S.: Any new techniques that are your current favorites? Do you like Minx nails?

I have used Minx on editorials and a few clients that have requested it. Of course, I have done it on myself. I have to try every new product or technique that comes on the market.

I like the customisation idea – infact I would love to collaborate with them on some designs! I love the idea that you can create any design you want on a sticker. They had these machines which did it before but the image was so blurred.
I tried poppits but I prefer to sculpt freehand – they don’t really save me any time.
I give everything a go and love discovering new products, but you cant beat a brilliant traditional manicure!

M.I.S.S.: Any advice for ladies who are just starting out in a career path similar to yours?

Do not be over pushy. I can tell you that many people in fashion will be put off by that. You need to get it and work as part of the team. Always listen to what they want. Always focus on the speed and quality of your work.

Women Makign History: Sophy Robson

Still from the Sugarbabes Hole In The Head video & some wicked talons for a make-up campaign

You can view Sophy’s art in action in the Sugarbabes “Hole In The Head” video on YouTube.

For more on Sophy and her work, please visit:

To see what’s inspiring London’s leading manicurist/pedicurist on the daily, visit Sophy’s Nail Blog—it won’t disappoint!

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One Response to “Women Making History: Sophy Robson”

  1. Isis Nicole Isis Nicole says:

    this is very inspiring read :)


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