Breaking away from a lucrative career in communications, San Francisco native Mia Rubie tackled business school and nail school head on. In 2012 she founded her own nail studio called Sparkle SF. Since then, Rubie has managed to boast a strong presence on Instagram, which has turned into real life loyal clients.

Offering clean, modern, and flashy nail art designs to mani mavens who prefer gel manicures, Rubie continues to push the boundaries while staying hip in an area surrounded with artists. “The salon is quite small, but it’s cozy and fun,” she says. “We’ve got a creative, colorful vibe going and are always playing music to groove to.”

Follow these steps to learn how Rubie executes a neon tribal nail art design.

1. Paint the nail with white gel and cure.

2. With a thin brush, apply random vertical strokes of light pink, hot pink, and purple gel. Cure.  

3. With a thin brush, continue the pattern of paint strokes with yellow and blue gel, dragging the gel downward and through the other colors in some areas to create the blended watercolor effect. Cure.

4. With a liner brush, paint four thin white horizontal lines. Paint one line underneath the cuticle area, two lines in the center, and one above the free edge. Connect the two lines in the middle of the nail by painting two V shapes in between the middle lines. Cure.  

5. Create a tribal effect by painting smaller V shapes inside the larger ones painted in step 4. With a small dotting tool, place a series of dots below the lines closest to the cuticle area and free edge. Cure. Seal your nail art with a clear top gel and cure. 

Follow Mia on Instagram: @superflynails

For reprint and licensing requests for this article, Click here.