A well-known presence at every Young Nails tradeshow booth, G Elizondo has come a long way in her four-year nail career. The prolific artist posts her work regularly on BeautyTech.com and NailsMag.com forums, and has a knack for staying on top of the latest crazes in nail designs and pop culture. NAILS got a chance to talk to Elizondo about how she stays inspired.


For these Ed Hardy-style tattoo nails, Elizondo cut out temporary tattoos and placed them on a natural-colored acrylic base. She then capped them with clear acrylic to finish the set in a little over an hour. “Less pigment is better for tattoo nails. Too much can distract from the designs,” says Elizondo.


Elizondo’s daughter Jade printed out mini pictures of the Twilight characters, which Elizondo placed on top a of colored acrylic base and then encased with a thin layer of builder gel. The set took her 1 hour and 40 minutes to complete.

NAILS: What do you use to make your designs: gels, acrylics, paints, or a mixture?

Elizondo: I use every kind of medium there is to create my designs, but I prefer to work predominantly with acrylics.

NAILS: Do you paint or draw on anything else besides nails?

Elizondo: Ha ha. No. But my nail instructor always says that I would be the next Van Gogh if she could just bend the paper into the shape of a nail and have me “go to town” with the paint.

NAILS: How did you get started working on nails?

Elizondo: It started when I realized I was always coming home and doing my own designs after paying someone else to do my nails. I would sit down and paint designs on them until I was happy, so I thought maybe I should go to school and learn how to do this myself. I soon found out after enrolling that it wasn’t as easy as it looked, but I knew I had the passion and dedication to learn.

NAILS: Where do you get your inspiration?

Elizondo: I have a teenage daughter, Jade, who keeps me pretty informed as to what the hottest trends of the day are. And once I get an idea I just run with it. I start with themes and then elaborate on them in a different way for each set of nails. I never do the same nail twice. It’s just my thing. I refuse to have two of my clients out there walking around with the same nails.

NAILS: How often do you come up with new designs?

Elizondo: I come up with new designs daily — per client actually. An idea starts to come to me while I’m in the prep stage. I usually ask my client if she has a color theme in mind, but most of the time she’ll tell me just to do what I feel like. And that’s when I really start flowing. A lot of times I get inspired by the client’s clothing or jewelry, and try to duplicate it on the nail.