Meet The Nail Artist: Cassandre Marie
A 9-5 by day, phenomenal nail artist and photographer by night.
As both a nail artist and a photographer, Seattle-based creator Cassandre Marie is bursting with creativity — and it shows in all of the work she shares with the world. From bold colors and intricate illustrations, to her affinity for smooth, matte finishes, Cassandre’s enviable nail art designs have been featured in Vogue Australia, Refinery29, and Elle just to name a few.
We’ve also been lucky enough to collaborate with Cassandre on her own stick-on gel nail design for ManiMe’s CARE collection, where she dreamt up the retro ‘Electric Prism’ style, complete rainbow colors and geometric lines. “It is a reminder that there are brighter, happier, and sunnier days to come,” she shared at its launch.
With so much dreamy, artful work under her belt, Cassandre took the time to share with ManiMe how she got started in the nail industry, the realities of being a freelance creative, and her best at-home self-care treatment. Read on for the full interview, below.
What was your introduction to nails and nail art?
CM: Living in Tokyo from 2008-2009. I bought a lot of nail colors and small charms that were not easy to buy in America at the time.
How did you develop your nail art style?
CM: Sometimes nail art is a novelty for the photo I’m taking but I primarily want to think of nail art and how it fits with the outfit, accessories, and the wearer’s style as a whole. That’s why my nail art can be very minimal and simple — I want it to seamlessly complement the overall individual.
Where do you find inspiration for your work?
CM: I focus on colors and shapes that I love.
What's your best tip for an at-home manicure?
CM: A fun self-care treatment that can revitalize dry hands: apply lots of lotion or pure aloe gel to the back of your hand and fingertips. Place a food service glove (not a tight latex glove but the disposable loose plastic kind) or a ziploc bag over the moisturized hand. Over that, place a microfiber or very thick wool sock (worn like a mitten) and let your hand rest for 10-15 mins. Pull off both covers and massage the remaining lotion on your hand for ultra moisturized skin.
What advice would you give to an aspiring nail artist?
CM: As an artist, you are your own brand. Along with basic business practices you may learn in beauty school, it's good to develop skills in personal branding too.
What are your favorite colors or textures for nail art?
CM: It’s hard to pick favorites but I always love any shade of pink. Soft, velvety textures are lots of fun to capture on camera.
What does a day in the life of Cassandre Marie look like?
CM: I work in an office 9-5 and then shoot in my studio around 8-1. I am a night owl and really active around 7 PM!
What's one hard truth about the industry that doesn't get talked about enough?
CM: Freelancing as an artist can really be tough and require so many skill sets that no one is going to automatically teach you. In fact most of your biggest lessons will come through hard mistakes. You are your only advocate and several organizational departments fit into one person (i.e. billing, sales, design and marketing). This is impressive, and does not often get enough recognition.
What's one look or design that you're most proud of?
CM: Not a specific design but I’m proud of my progress towards creating high quality photos. It’s taken several years, and still going! Since my nail art is very simple, I aim for ‘flawless’ on several levels, to elevate the overall look of my nail work and presentation. Making sure that my manicures are super clean and trim is another big aspect of this goal.
Bold or subtle? 90% subtle, 10% bold
Bright or neutral? Neutral
Matte or glossy? Matte
What's something in your bag right now? A smaller bag filled with lip gloss.
What's your coffee order? Green tea, or matcha latte with oat milk if I feel fancy.
What's your sign? Libra
Heels or sneakers? Heels
Follow Cassandre for more on Instagram at @cassmariebeauty.