Coming directly to a viewing screen near you, these top video-making nail techs are online and bringing education to the masses with their fun and unique brands of instructional nail clips.
The Nail Art Wizard
YouTube channel: www.robinmoses.com
Robin Moses, Florence, Ore.
Years as Nail Tech: 22
Time posting videos: 7 months
# of videos posted: 250
Robin Moses’ most viewed video to date is a nail art demo inspired by popular YouTube personality Shane Dawson. At 43,870 views, this video is Moses’ tribute to his show and a thank you to Dawson for supporting her art.
One of the most popular nail techs on YouTube, Robin Moses has steadily been posting videos for the last seven months and has earned herself a reputation as a premiere nail artist online. “My motivation is simple,” says Moses. “I want to teach my craft to the next generation of nail artists and in return have them say, ‘this design was inspired by Robin Moses’ as a way of promoting my name and also my art on canvas.”
Moses is an accomplished painter in her own right, with dreams of showing her art on canvas around the world. But her videos showcase her creativity in crafting a wide variety of nail art designs, which focus primarily on polishing and acrylic painting, while incorporating touches of nail art flair like foil tape and glitter.
When asked what makes her videos special, Moses says, “I believe my experience separates me from others. I love all kinds of art and I make sure to encourage nail artists at all different levels to continue to work on their art development. It means so much to me to see that my videos have inspired others, and my favorite is when someone says ‘I never thought I could paint that and look what I did!’”
YouTube channel: www.youtube.com/FingerNailFixer
Years as Nail Tech: 12
Time posting videos: 1 year
# of videos posted: 37
Holly Schippers’ most popular video to date, with more than 44,841 views, is a tutorial on how to get the white (Cream Puff) Shellac on thin enough so it does not wrinkle or cause a bump at the end of the nail.
If you have a troubleshooter question, Holly Schippers is your girl. The CND education ambassador specializes in the gritty details of nail applications, like acrylic liquid-and-powder mix ratios, gel applications, new Shellac color combos, and even checking bulb life in UV lamps.
Her videos offer real-life scenarios for repairing common nail flaws and she prides herself in not doing “re-shoots” for her videos. “They are one take,” she says. “The model has imperfect nails and when I work, I’m not perfect either. I want people to see the entirety of my work and that they’re done by a regular nail professional working in the salon, just like the viewers.”
Schippers is ever conscious of the travails of 9-5 working nail techs and has a video showcasing the Wrist Assist to prevent carpal tunnel, as well as taking time to demonstrate oft-overlooked details like cleaning the cuticle properly and applying base coat.
As the posts rack up views, Schippers has been overjoyed with the response from other nail techs. “My motivation for posting is to help nail professionals help themselves. I love to hear when something has helped them in the salon or even at school to improve their work or technique. I am so humbled by my followers. It is so amazing to have people from all over the world essentially doing nails with me. They touch my heart and make me want to try harder at everything I do.”
The First Lady of Nails
YouTube channel: www.youtube.com/LadyNailz
Patrice “Tracie” McNeal
Los Angeles, Calif.
Years as Nail Tech: 29
Time posting videos: 2 years
# of videos posted: 25
One of LadyNailz’s most popular posts, at 7,279 views, is of a nail design Patrice McNeal calls the Mermaid’s Tail, which features blue-hued China Glaze lacquers and calypso steel drum music.
A true lover of nails, Patrice McNeal adds fun, festive music, a touch of editing, and quick captions to illustrate how she makes her decorative, long nail art. The videos have evolved in presentation and feel, but always retain the characteristic fun and bright nail art designs that define the LadyNailz page. McNeal says, “The response from my viewers has been overwhelmingly amazing. The videos have put me in contact with my peers all over the globe, and I have received hundreds of letters of gratitude from people thanking me for my help in making them become better and stronger nail technicians and helping them raise their confidence levels. I can’t imagine anything that could replace the feeling I get from that.”
McNeal prides herself in the effort she puts into answering the many questions that viewers leave in the comment sections. She says that she plans to improve her videos in the future by getting a better camera and lighting equipment, as she has often become frustrated by the lack of detail she gets when trying to display the more intricate 3-D designs.
There was even a contest held for viewers of the LadyNailz channel, with instructions for viewers to send in nail designs with pink shades as a theme. The videos were judged for creativity, and McNeal put together three different nail art accessory kits as prizes for first-, second-, and third-place winners.
The Hawaiian Trailblazer
YouTube channel: www.youtube.com/christiegibson
Ocean View, Hawaii
Years as Nail Tech: 12
Time posting videos: 10 years
# of videos posted: 9
Christie Gibson’s most popular video, with 96,371 views, is a very simple video on how to get a proper liquid-and-powder mix ratio.
Coming to you from the Big Island in Hawaii, Christie Gibson was an early pioneer in online nail tech education. She started her website 10 years ago, after she searched online for nail-related education and couldn’t find much. “When I finished nail school I decided to check the Internet for more information because I felt unprepared,” says Gibson. “Three months after I graduated from my school I asked if I could come back and show the new group of students what I had learned online. I then realized I wanted to share what I had learned any way possible.”
And share she did. Christie’s videos offer straightforward advice and demonstrations on a range of nail techniques like liquid-and-powder ratios and acrylic 3-D nail art. Her specialty is in colored and glitter acrylics, and her skills have made her a valuable leader in the talented Young Nails education group.
She has made videos for the company as well, which have been featured on the Young Nails homepage and Facebook page. Gibson says of the experience, “I realized you need to amp up your personality by about 20% on video because the camera seems to take away about 20%. I understand why news anchors always have a huge smile plastered on their faces — they have to blast personality just to look normal on TV.”
The Queen of Competition
YouTube channel: www.youtube.com/lynnberry1972
Lynn Lammers, Redlands, Calif.
Years as Nail Tech: 20
Time posting videos: 3 years
# of videos posted: 2
Lynn Lammers’ top ranking video (889,156 views) is of her completing her trademark competition-style sculpted acrylic pink-and-whites. This video is the result of a challenge from someone who did not think a nail of this length could be achieved with a #8 brush using only one bead for the white and one bead for the pink.
Though she doesn’t have many videos posted, former top nail competitor Lynn Lammers holds the record among the video vixens for most views on a single video with a whopping 889,156 views. This staggering amount likely stems from the fame Lynn received during her years on the competition circuit, winning titles across the U.S. and in countries around the world.
Lammers’ videos have a more ambient feel, with interesting music played over high-speed, minimally edited clips of Lynn expertly plying her acrylic virtuosity. Lammers says, “My videos show how simple it is to control the acrylic from the mixing stage all the way through sculpting of the enhancements. A lot of the videos on YouTube are focused on nail art and don’t really emphasize overall product control, so I think that is one thing that sets my videos apart from the rest.”
The original intent for Lynn in making her first video was just to challenge herself and see if she could accomplish posting a clean video. But what started out simply as a whim has turned into quite a phenomenon with Lynn pondering, “If only I had a nickel for every view!”
The Gel Diva
Video channel: www.gelessentialz.com/tutorials.html
Years as Nail Tech: 22
Time posting videos: 6 years
# of videos posted: 3
Gina Silvestro embeds her videos into her salon and distribution website, www.gelessentialz.com, and has a straightforward presentation. She has an excellent demonstration of the popular French gel toe pedicure.
Though known for her extravagant gel art designs, the videos posted on Gina Silvestro’s website, gelessentialz.com, are of a more subdued tone. Stripped of music, the nail tech is allowed an unobstructed view into the very fine details of Silvestro’s work, from the prep right down to the final cure.
Silvestro is a gel expert, and a devout educator and user of Akzéntz products. Silvestro says of her videos, “They are not professionally made, but they’re informative and a reflection of my own style of teaching and techniques.” She says she receives e-mails and comments on Facebook from people who have been hesitant to get into gels, but after watching her videos they had more confidence to give them a try, and they are now thankful for it as it has enhanced their careers.
Silvestro has begun to showcase her artistic prowess in her videos, with a new stiletto gel nail design available for viewing after purchase on the website. But it’s the education that remains the most important motivator for her video-making.
“Finding the time to do these videos is getting harder and harder, especially since I do them all myself, but it has been so fulfilling to know that my videos have helped people by expanding their skills as a tech [if they had not been doing gels] and sharpening their gel control.”