Who: Tom Holcomb, creative director of EZ Flow Nail Systems

What: NAILS photo shoot, photographed by Caesar Lima

Where: Caesar Photo Studio, Calabasas, Calif.

When: Tuesday, June 4, 2002

Why: To shoot the October cover of NAILS.

Something different: Tom Holcomb is no stranger to photo shoots. In addition to the many cover shoots he has done with NAILS, Tom also does the nails for EZ Flow’s ads. We’ve all seen his work. Nail techs clamor to take his classes just for the chance to see him work. He does stunning pink-and-whites as well as amazing artistic work in colored acrylic. (Remember the New York City nails we ran in the May 2002 issue?) His smile lines and sculpted moons are legendary. For this month’s cover, we asked him to "Reality Nails," a more natural-looking acrylic enhancement.

Get this look: The secret to the Back to Reality nail is the use of EZ Flow’s yellow Rainbow Drops in the monomer. By adding yellow color drops to the liquid, you can match the color of the natural free edge (which is actually more beige than white). Do the nails the same as you would regular pink-and-whites, but with the tinted monomer.

“Make sure to pull the pink over the free edge to create the beige, natural-looking nail,” stresses Tom, who goes along the natural smile line to keep with the more natural look. “I don’t do any correcting or deepening of the smile line when I do this style.” You might have to play around with the ratio at first to get the ideal color. Tom suggests that if your clients like this look, keep a recipe card of how many drops of color you use amount of monomer so that you can keep a consistent look.

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