It all started with a nail art contest. Julie Ventura was in nail school when her teacher encouraged her to enter NAILS’ annual Mini Masterpiece contest. After the experience and receiving honorable mention, Ventura was hooked. “The magazine started my career!” she says. Ventura began an impressive journey through the tough world of nail competitions, culminating in a fourth place win in the first NAILS Next Top Nail Artist. After stints as assistant creative manager at Paintbox in NYC and a spot on Oxygen Network’s “Nail’d It,” Ventura ran her own independent nail salon in Los Angeles and recently signed on as Glamsquad’s lead nail professional. For this issue highlighting the benefits of organic and naturally formulated products for the salon, Ventura was tasked with creating a design that reflected the natural world. This was a creative detour for Ventura, who is known for her more edgy, urban style. The end result is a captivating blend of stone and wild garden elements atop a natural nail.
Here’s how you can get this month’s cover look:
1. Prep the nails, then paint the accent nails with two coats of CND Vinylux Field Fox.
2. Dab CND Vinylux Thistle Thicket using a lint-free wipe where the bricks are to be.
3. Mix equal parts Art Paints in Pitch Black, Powder White, and Lilac Wildflowers and using a small liner brush paint an organic brick pattern. Add some water to the paint then create soft shadows on each brick.
4. Water down the white paint and create soft highlights.
5. Apply a matte top coat but don’t let it dry entirely.
6. Cut tiny pieces of moss-like greenery and apply them randomly on the nail (they will stick to the top coat).
7. To create the tiny flowers, cut tiny circles into regular paper and then cut 4-5 petals into each circle.
8. Paint the flowers with pink and purple paints and immediately press a dotting tool into the center of each. (This not only curls the petals but creates a faded effect in the center that looks very natural.)
9. Attach flowers to the nails with matte top coat and finish the rest of the nails.