For Las Vegas-based Melissa Osburn, every day brings with it the promise of a new and exciting challenge — the challenge of creating a new nail design to showcase on her blog The Daily Nail. Osburn’s first design debuted on October 14, 2009, and since then she’s been posting one new design a day with the promise that soon she’ll have posted 365 different nail designs in 365 days. She’s not a nail tech, but she’s been obsessed with nail polish and nail art since she was a teenager. Osburn recently took the time to do a Q&A with NAILS.
NAILS: What was your “aha!” moment — when you knew you wanted to challenge yourself to doing 365 different nail designs and share them with the world?
Osburn: It all started because I overindulged and purchased about 70 bottles of nail polish in a month and a half. I knew I had to justify the purchase somehow, and since I've been doing funky nail designs since I was in my teens, it seemed like a natural fit. I honestly never expected people other than a few friends and family to read it — it was more of a personal challenge. When the blog started getting popular it was a huge surprise!
NAILS: How long have you been infatuated with nail polish?
Osburn: I've been a tad nail obsessed since my parents got me a huge set of nail polishes for my 13th birthday. Sure, they were mostly pinks and reds back then, but I progressed to drawing black-and-white checkerboards and the like with a toothpick not too long after, and I've been hooked on polish ever since.
NAILS: We ran into you at Cosmoprof in Las Vegas. Was this your first professional beauty show? What were your impressions of it?
Osburn: I managed to get to the International Beauty Show this year as well, but it was so much different than Cosmoprof. Cosmoprof was overwhelming. I'd equate it to a kid in a candy shop. There were so many booths to look at and people to talk to and so many fun new products to learn about! It was also pretty surreal to meet people who I'd never have a chance to meet otherwise! I can't wait to go back next year!
NAILS: What sort of response have you gotten from professional polish manufacturers?
Osburn: Honestly, I get a few reposts and e-mails here and there, and they're always positive, but I don't really get much response from them otherwise.
NAILS: What has been the funniest comment about your nail art?
Osburn: I have very funny readers, so I get a lot of great comments that make me laugh. My favorites usually poke fun at something I didn't notice when I did the design though (i.e. a somewhat 'gleeful' finger from my recent GLEE themed manicure). Those are the ones that really make me giggle.
NAILS: Many of our readers are nail artists and inspiring nail artists: Do you have any tips and tricks for them about getting better at the craft?
Osburn: As clichéd as it sounds, PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE. I've been doing it for over 15 years and I'm still learning. Another tip that most people don't think about: no caffeine or sugar before you do your nail art. And make sure to eat; otherwise you'll be shaking too badly to do anything recognizable!
NAILS: You must have taken off a LOT of polish — what’s your favorite nail polish removal product and/or technique?
Osburn: I've tried quite a few, and some of my favorite removers are Zoya's Remove+ and Incoco's remover. Both of them remove polish in seconds without drying the cuticle. When cleaning excess polish from the cuticle edge of my nails after a design, I tend to use a simple 100% acetone remover though, or the brush gets all gummed up.
NAILS: We heard that you’re a professional graphic designer. Did you design the cool logo for your blog?
Osburn: Yes, I did. It was honestly a quick and dirty design, but I really liked how it turned out, so I kept it!
NAILS: What will happen to your blog after the 365 days are up?
Osburn: I've gotten a HUGE response to keep the blog going after 365 days, and while it may not be every single day, I hope to post on most days.
NAILS: What are your favorite designs from the challenge, and why?
Osburn: I have a ton of favorites. They're like my babies at this point.
The bacon nails, which started streaming readers in.
The Andy Warhol's Marilyn, 1967 (On Blue) nails, which were extremely time consuming and a nod to my love of art history.
Crimi-nails, which were a simple and fun technique that I came up with as an homage to my crime show addiction.
Viral nails, which I did when I was sick (inspiration comes from everywhere!).
These four are among my top favorites.
NAILS: Thanks, Melissa — we can’t wait to see what you come up with next!