After graduating from a beauty art school in South Korea, Yoonmi Kim began working as an assistant at a hair salon offering hair, makeup, waxing and nail services.
Realizing her passion for nail art, she moved to Toronto and began exploring nails as a career. “I continue to enjoy and be inspired by nail art,” she says. “Park Eunkyung [a well-known Korean nail artist with an influencer-following of 289K on Instagram] is my mentor and I want to be a creative nail artist like her.”
To help gain more recognition in the beauty industry, Kim decided to enter the Contessa Awards. Her boss, Rom Diaz at JustB Salon and BSIDE Beauty in Toronto, helped her enter and her colleague Kathleen O’Donnell—who was also Kim’s photographer for her Contessa collection— introduced her to what would later become the theme of her collection: Memphis Design, a movement that began in the early ’80s in Italy wherein uniquely shaped geometric shapes were combined with pop art.
“Colours were crucial for our Memphis theme, which used a variety of colours but had to stay harmonious,” explains Kim. “I had to incorporate so many shades, and not only did I use [nail polish] colours, but I also used Posca Markers for more intricate shapes and hues.”
Kim considers her strengths to be in character and line art, along with French nail designs, and she has big hopes and dreams for the future. “I would like to work with a variety of fashion brands for a collection, as well as create my very own brand of polish and brushes for nail art,” she says.
With being a Contessa finalist giving her the confidence to continue pushing her creativity and talent forward, she’s already looking ahead to planning her next entry. “I’m always finding inspiration online, from pieces of art to fashion collections.”