Nail Art

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


Remember: It's Just Paint

Award-winning nail tech Kathleen M. M. Ringwood-Wood of Poughkeepsie, N.Y. shares her tips on creating noteworthy nail art.

Who better to give advice on releasing your inner nail artist than an award-winning tech with a passion for the subject matter? Nail technician Kathleen M. M. Ringwood-Wood of Poughkeepsie, N.Y., dazzled us with her fun, whimsical, and expertly-crafted nail art — so much so that she took the top spot in NAILS’ 2004 Nail Mural Contest. We asked her for her tips on creating noteworthy nail art.

• Rule #1: Have fun and relax. It’s only paint!

• Steady the hand you’re painting with. Either rest on your pinky or brace the heel of your hand on the table.


• When you’re painting objects, animals, or scenes, silhouette your design in white first. This will ensure your colors are “true” — the same as the color in the bottle. Don’t use the white if you want colors to appear more pastel, translucent, or faded.

• When you’re using a striping brush or doing detail work, hold your breath momentarily when setting the brush down on the surface of the nail. You’d be surprised at the difference the tiniest movement can make.

• If your client is planning to wear a special dress or outfit, ask her to bring it in, or at least part of it, so you can match the design on a couple of fingers. If you don’t feel up to that, you can at least match your design with the colors. Most customers are more than willing to show off their new outfit.

• Don’t limit your designs to stripes and dots. It’s a big world out there, paint it! Start small. Most customers are happy for you to try something new. They’re probably just too shy to ask.

• A quote I live by is from one of my favorite artists, Bob Ross: “There are never mistakes, only happy accidents.” Remember, it’s only paint, not the end of the world. Incorporate your “happy accident” into the design ... and always refer to rule #1.

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