Question 1: How long have you been a nail technician and how did you start out?
I have been doing nails more than half my life! I am proud to say that I am "old school"- self taught since the age of 15, and then took every kind of nail and beauty class I could get possibly my hands on (no pun intended!). I am licensed in both New York and Ohio.
I've always been drawn to art. I'd sit in my basement as a kid, painting with watercolors and oil paint every day. I'm obsessed with miniatures, and one day I just decided to create my art on the smallest canvases I could find: my nails! That was 20 years ago, and I haven't stopped since. After beauty school, I worked in a salon in my hometown for 10 years before moving to NYC in 2010 when I signed with my first agent.
Question 2: What’s your favorite experience being a nail technician so far? What’s your least favorite?
My favorite experience is when I was able to work with the Make-A-Wish Foundation to grant a young lady's wish for a makeover. I gave her a set of sculpted gel nails with hand painted nail art - something different on every nail. It took 5 hours to complete! It was an unbelievably touching afternoon with her.
My least favorite is trying to explain my crazy and unpredictable schedule to people not in the industry!
Question 3: What is your favorite Tweezerman beauty tool and why?
It's impossible to choose just one! The Sapphire Crystal foot file is what I bring to celebrity appointments as I love how it feels really solid in my hand. And the lilac Premium Emery Boards! I love the grit and how firm it is against the nail - it allows me to give a perfect shape really quickly.
Question 4: What clients have you worked on in the past? Who would you love to work with?
My clients include Ariana Grande, Emma Roberts, Emilia Clarke, Viola Davis, Taylor Schilling, Rose Byrne and Sally Field.
I am obsessed with Garth Brooks, but I doubt he gets manicures - so I would say his wife, Trisha Yearwood. They're always together and if I met him I would undoubtably cry like mad! Ha!
Question 5: What is your dream tool?
Nippers that never need sharpened! Bonus if they're crystal-encrusted :)
Question 6: What advice do you have for nail technicians just starting out? What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
My advice is to take photos of every set of nails you do. Its easy to lose track of your growth and progress as a professional if you forget where you started out. Also perfect your cuticle and manicuring skills. As brilliant as someone may be with nail art, if it won't last, it does't count. Basic manicuring is the bread and butter that keeps clients coming back.
The best advice I ever received was to learn as much as you can, but keep your specialty in one realm. I have taken hair and makeup classes, but I still will always specialize in nails. That way, if my client asks me about hair or a beauty product, I can answer as a well-rounded professional. Also - study the beauty and fashion magazines every single month to stay current!
Question 7: Who and/or what inspires you?
Trends and the locals from around the world. I travel a lot for fun, and inevitably I see something that inspires me- whether it's textiles at a market in Ecuador or a keychain in Tokyo. Also I always spend as much time as possible in salons and spas while overseas, picking up new trends and techniques
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