Nail Art

Dedicated to the infinite joys of nail art and design: handpaint, airbrush, colored acrylics and gels.


Carved Wood, Ice... and Nails?

Nail artist Liz Fojon decided to carve the tip into a diamond shape to match her dress, then add some rhinestones  ... and carved nail tips were born. 

One day, about 11 years ago, Liz Fojon was on her way to a wedding when one of her artificial nails broke in an awkward place. Not having the supplies to fix it, she was in a bind. Her resourcefulness kicked in, and she decided to carve the tip into a diamond shape to match her dress, then add some rhinestones. Minutes later, carved nail tips were born, but they wouldn’t be introduced into the nail industry until March 1995. Says Fojon, owner of PhenomaNails in Fair Lawn, N.J., “I wanted to make sure that when I did manufacture my carved nail tips, they would be legally protected in every way. I didn’t want anyone copying the tips and turning them into a gimmick.” Fojon offers two styles of carved nail tips — diamond and heart-shaped. The sides of the tip can be trimmed to fit any size nail bed. Fojon believes clients are more prone to get nail art on a carved tip because she says it’s done as an accent, not as a shape for all 10 nails. “It’s kind of like a signature,” she says. Carved nail tips do cost a bit more than nail art on regular tips, though. Fojon charges $15 and upper nail, depending on the design, which includes the tip application.

Another believer in carved nail tips is Patricia Alotta, owner of Patty’s Creative Nails in Brooklyn, N.Y., who met Fojon at a tradeshow and was im­pressed with what she saw. “I make the carved tip look like a piece of jewelry — very glitzy with lots of glitter, rhinestones, beads, or gold leaves,” says Alotta. Clients usually wear only one carved tip because it’s very delicate, she says. If the client is right-handed or left-handed, Alotta will apply the tip on the opposite hand. To market carved tips, Alotta wears one herself and also has pictures of them in her portfolio. “Basically, though, it depends on the client’s mood when she walks through the door,” she says. Is nail art on carved tips hard to do? “Nail art is nail art,” says Alotta. “I could do it on an eraser if I had to.”

Instead of using pre- carved tips, nail technician Cindy Grazioli of Salon Escada in Marlton, N. J., prefers to sculpt the nail tip into the shape she wants because so many of her clients wear sculptured acrylic nails. Grazioli uses a brush to do the shaping, then finishes the design using different file grits. After two weeks, you can simply fill in the tip if the client no longer wants it, says Grazioli, who got the idea last Christmas when she started sculpting nails into Christmas tree and wreath shapes. The majority of carved nail shapes Grazioli does are flowers, such as a tulip on the pinkie finger. “I think it’s easier to do nail art on carved nail tips because you have an outline to follow,” she says.

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