IBS Las Vegas 2013: Fine (Nail) Art

While talking with the women at the Minx booth, they eagerly asked if I had met Kelley Ramirez. Janice Jordan was quick to walk me over and make an introduction. If the Minxes were excited about someone, I knew NAILS should be too.

Kelley Ramirez’s booth definitely stood out at IBS. Unlike other booths with demo tables and shelves full of product, hers looked more like a museum. I shook the artist’s hand in front of a multicolor backdrop.  Ramirez’s background is not in the beauty industry, but in fine art. For the last three years her medium of choice has been nail lacquer. What started out as some doodles with nail polish on a piece of dark wallpaper has turned into pops of color on canvas, sunsets on stretched vinyl, and furniture  with a colorful finish.

Her larger pieces can use up to 300 bottles of polish and she doesn’t discriminate. Ramirez uses sparkles, shimmers, pearls, opaques, professional, and consumer brands when creating her art. She even seals it all with a top coat. Her brand of choice is Sinful Colors because of the vast array of shades they offer.

Her newest endeavor is furniture. She had a completed coffee table at her booth that showcased a palette of purples under glass. Some pieces catch the paint swirling so much you want to touch its texture. Other pieces are made up of tiles of color that seem to dance under the light. Some were on display long with the bottle of polish used to create the artwork. Whether functional or not, Ramirez’s masterpieces would be ideal for any salon or spa. It creates the same effect and evokes the same feeling as seeing rows of polish bottles lining the walls. When you look at all that color on display you realize the possibilities at hand. So many nail artists refer to the fingernail as a tiny canvas, so it was amazing to see what could be achieved on a larger scale.

As someone who came from a publishing company that produces art magazines, it was comforting to meet another person who was transitioning from the world of oil and acrylic to lacquer and acrylics. The Minxes were also moved by Ramirez’s artistry and hope to use her designs in a future collection — bringing new meaning to the term “nail art.”

— Beth

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