A nail tech for 21 years, Bonnie Rios still gets excited about the nail industry. “I am constantly intrigued at the advances that occur over 10 little digits,” she says. But what really gets her excited is the art. “The ability to make each nail into a tiny self-expression that you can change at a whim is a great outlet for my creative side. And the bonus is I get paid to do it!”
As an educator for CND, Bonnie Rios has spent a lot of time figuring out how to balance different aspects of her life. “It’s more than just balancing my salon life with my life as a CND education ambassador,” she says. “My priority is actually as a wife and mother. Then, I fit the other two in as I have time. CND is very supportive of what each of us puts as our priority.” Three years ago when she started working with CND, the Riverside, Calif.-based nail technician had already reduced her time in the salon to accommodate her family’s schedule, so this also opened up time for her to fulfill education requests. She adds, “If you look at my schedule, you’d get tired. I’m good at cramming in as much as possible.”
A nail tech for 21 years, Rios still gets excited about the nail industry. “I am constantly intrigued at the advances that occur over 10 little digits,” she says. Adding, “I love that nail professionals are being taken more seriously, and that there are companies that have chemists and research and development teams.” But what really gets her excited is the art. “The ability to make each nail into a tiny self-expression that you can change at a whim is a great outlet for my creative side. And the bonus is I get paid to do it!”
Most of Rios’ clients wear custom-blended enhancements — she does custom blending in acrylics and gels. She takes cues from fashion trends and enjoys incorporating shimmers and “bling” into her services. For this month’s cover, we asked her to put a modern spin on the classic French look (complete with a 1940s-style sculpted moon) using black and white powders, instead of the traditional pink and white.
Here’s how you can do these nails:
1. Begin by completing thorough prep steps on all 10 nails. Size and apply the appropriate type of clear tip.
2. After deciding on your length, shorten and shape the nails, making sure to blend in completely until paper-thin.
3. To sculpt the moon, use your product just a bit drier and tapered toward the cuticle mirroring the shape of the smile line. Be sure to leave a free margin around the cuticle. (Bonnie used two parts Perfect Color White to ½ part Silver Shimmer.)
4. Apply your white mix to the tips of each nail. Focus on creating a deep V-shaped smile line instead of a usual U-shape. Make sure to use the correct mix ratio on the free edge.
5. Apply Perfect Color Black to Zone 2, making sure to sculpt with your brush as much as possible. The black will cover part of the white until you file; this is why you must sculpt in each area with the brush.
6. Using a 180-grit file, start refining your shape. Continue by going up through grits — 240, then 1200 (buffing in Solar Oil). Then use a Girlfriend Buffer and finally a Glossing Buffer. When you’re in the final buffing stages, it helps to wipe off the dust after using each grit.
Nail technician and CND education ambassador Bonnie Rios used black and white acrylic powders to sculpt a modern twist on the classic 1940s moon manicure.
Rios brought this handy tip chart to show us several possible combinations of custom-blended black and white powders. We opted for the straight Perfect Color Black and a custom mix of Perfect Color White and Silver Shimmer.