Holly, Mich.-based nail tech Kelly VanDahl (@kelly_vandahl) has done nail art on three covers of NAILS’ sister magazine, Modern Salon. VanDahl’s friendship with cover hairstylist Vicki Casciola has been key to scoring these editorial opportunities. VanDahl used to work with Casciola and recommends networking: “Reach out to well-known hairstylists, photographers, and makeup artists, and send them your resume and maybe even a few sets of nails you’ve made so they can see the quality of your work. Persistence and motivation is key!” For the set that graced the November cover of Modern Salon, VanDahl equipped Casciola with blush tips in varying textures ranging from Minx chrome appliques to Swarovski Crystal Pixies.

To get the look:

1. Select the size of the full coverage Apres Nail for each finger. Remember I did not have the model in front of me so I used a full coverage tip that was slightly smaller than my own natural nail to be safe.

2. Buff the nail to remove all shine and cleanse to remove dust with alcohol.

3. Adhere your nail to a stand you can work from. 

4. Apply a thin layer of Nail Best Nude Gel Base #1 very thinly and cure for 60 seconds in an LED Light.

5. Apply a thicker layer of Nail Best Nude Gel Base #1 to get the coverage you need, hold the nail upside down to level the product, return to normal position, check your line of light to make sure it has settled properly and go into the LED light for 60 seconds.

6. Cleanse the nail with alcohol and buff to remove the shine.

7. Pick out the Minx appliqué that fits your nail the best, put it on the nail and press firmly to remove any bubbles.

8. Once you have the appliqué where you’d like it, take Nail Best Clear Base Gel and apply a medium layer to cover the whole nail and appliqué then cure in the LED light for 60 seconds.

9. Apply Nail Best Top Coat and cure in an LED lamp for 60 seconds. After removing the nail from the light, make sure you give it about 20 seconds to cool off before cleansing the sticky layer, this will help in achieving brilliant shine.

10. To keep these nails and be able to reuse them, put them on the model with a double-sided tape instead of glue. Nailene Ultra Adhesive Tabs were used here.

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