When there’s a wedding on the NAILS staff, you can bet that the bridal nails get a huge amount of attention. My nails were custom designed by Minx in Southern California and applied by Tashina “Poochie” Green of Poochiez Pawz Nail Studio in Atlanta.
Traditionally, a Bengali-Hindu bride’s face must be covered for the first portion of the ceremony, until the “shubha dristi” or “first glance.” Some brides might be bummed, but I was happy guests could admire my glistening red-and-gold nails as I clutched the deep green paan leaves that covered my face. Wedding photography by Slava Slavik Photography
Creative Inspiration After five years of seeking out the best nail art designs and chronicling the most avant-garde nail trends for NAILS, I longed for something more than a traditional French manicure on my wedding day. My husband-to-be and I were having a traditional Hindu wedding, which, lucky for me, meant the entire two-day affair would be saturated in color. Red, gold, green, and white would dominate, with my sari itself being a deep red and metallic gold. I wanted nails that would make an equally bold statement. Because my wedding was across the country (where my family lives), I was wary of getting a handpainted design because I wouldn’t get a chance to try out the look ahead of time. I racked my brain and started thinking about all of the Minx Nails nail coating designs I see every season, especially the amazing custom ones showcased in our annual New York Fashion Week article. Trying not to get my hopes up, I contacted the co-founders of Minx, Janice Jordan and Dawn Lynch-Goodwin, to see if there was any chance they could make a custom Minx pattern for my wedding. They agreed to meet with me at a West Hollywood, Calif., hotel and asked me to bring my bridal sari blouse.
Picking the Pattern I was so happy when Janice and Dawn agreed to design the custom Minx. And even more thrilled that they had a lot of design ideas. We agreed that gold-toned nails would complement the wedding’s look and feel, and Janice amazed me by saying they could literally duplicate the pattern of the sari onto the nails, if I’d provide her with a scan. (NAILS graphic artist Kimberly Pham literally stuck the sleeve of my blouse in the office scanner when I got back.) Janice explains, “We normally start by interviewing the person that the designs are for in order to get an understanding of what look they want. We do part of the work on a computer but to get the exact look we often brew up special colors and will spend hours to get the look that is Minx.” I found out later that my Minx took about 10 hours to design. Once the metallic silver envelope with the designs landed on my desk, of course I tore it open immediately. They’d given me several patterns to choose from, and all of the NAILS team “ohh”ed and “ahh”ed. I then turned to our readers — the best nail experts — to help me pick which specific patterns to wear. I posted the choices on our From the Editors blog and went with the ones that got the most votes, #2 for my fingernails and #4 for my toes.
Atlanta Application Now I just had to find a nail tech to apply the Minx, so Janice and Dawn introduced me to Tashina “Poochie” Green of Poochiez Pawz Nail Studio in Atlanta. Actually, when Poochie called me, I realized that I knew her via e-mail already, as she hosts the Annual Nail Techs Talk Workshop in Atlanta. Her willingness to provide continuing
education to other techs gave me a lot of confidence in her. Poochie was amazing — she actually got my fingernail Minx to last not only for the two crazy days before my wedding, but through my entire honeymoon! Plus she didn’t even bat an eye when I asked if we could do the application in the hotel’s laundry room (I was sharing a hotel room with some family members who were still asleep). At the end of the service, she also gave me a nail file, so that in case anything frayed (nothing did), I could simply file it off. My nails looked so amazing on my big day. They were seriously the talk of the wedding. Wedding guests and even random hotel guests would stop me to ask, “Can I see your nails?” I wore gold shoes for the ceremony and reception and the toenails looked like they’d literally been gilded in gold. My mother-in-law was impressed that I’d thought far enough in advance to precisely match the nails to the bridal sari (which she’d personally purchased for me as a gift) — that should give me enough brownie points to last through our first anniversary at least!
> The bulk of the custom designs Minx creates are for celebrities and clothing designers’ runway shows. The company recently launched a Customizer for Minx nail stylists on its website, but it comes with a steep price tag (over $1,000). But if it’s Minx your client wants for her wedding, I bet she’ll find one she loves in an existing pattern. Some of my favorites are Burgundy with Golden Lightning Moons (for other Indian brides), Minx Professional Bridal (a lovely lace design for a traditional bride), and anything from the Tease Me line, which features two solid colors on each nail (pick the colors that best match the color scheme!).
> I probably shouldn’t have been so concerned that my Minx wouldn’t last through my wedding if I had it applied up to a week ahead of time. (My original plan was to have it applied in Los Angeles before I left for Atlanta.) Janice Jordan told me Beyonce got Minxed a full five days before she performed at the Inaugural Ball in front of the president.
> Minx’s PR woman visited a Bliss Spa in New York about a month after my wedding with more than 40 of the company’s patterns on hand. She let the manager pick one as a gift…and he picked the sample she had of my bridal Minx! Of all the patterns, he said it was the most striking.
> Poochie gets several of her key mobile manicuring supplies from The Home Depot. She strapped a home supply store cushion to her knee to make it more comfortable for me to balance my hands or feet on, and all of her nail supplies are organized within a Stanley Mobile Work Center, normally meant for pliers and other household tools.
> Poochie learned graphic design, so she could design her own business cards and other marketing materials.
On the Road: DC-MD-VA
On the Road: Shine, Chicago