Nail Art

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


The Story Behind 30 Nails to Commemorate 30 Years

For our June issue story in which we had nail artists offer their own takes on NAILS Magazine’s pearl anniversary, we also asked each artist to explain the inspiration behind her designs and why NAILS Magazine has a special place in her heart. The explanations are below.

Jade Sewell, Just Nails, Great Falls, Mont.

<p>January 2012 &amp; September 2012 covers</p>

“The pearl-heart design is made with gel-polish, crushed shells, and pearls. The butterfly nails were inspired by the January 2012 issue cover. These were created with acrylic, iridescent flakes, acrylic paint, and rhinestones. The animal print design was inspired by the September 2012 cover. I used gel-polish and acrylic paint for the nail art.”

I love NAILS Magazine because…it’s great for inspiration and amazing to see how talented nail techs all over the world are! I like reading the articles on nail diseases and disorders because it’s easy to forget certain ones after beauty school and you never know what you may stumble upon at work with clients.

Robin Moses,, Florence, Ore.

“I painted the ‘om’ symbol with a nail art brush, as I used nail art to learn to balance my life. It’s the outlet I need to achieve inner peace, and this nail symbolizes my journey with the magazine. I also decorated a cameo with 30 pearls, with each year gone by and each is a beautiful timeless gem. I also created a saucy nail. The nail salon is a way to get out, to come out of your shell, and have fun.”

I love NAILS Magazine because…I’ve been doing nails for more than 24 years and NAILS Magazine has been part of my career ever since I started nail school. From reading about how to decorate your salon to how to get more clients to how to know if you are in the right salon and how much to charge for a service, it has provided tips I used to go from nothing to being a great manicurist with the best clientele a person could ever ask for.


Sarah Petersen, Salon Legacy, Rolla, Mo.

<p>February 2013 cover</p>

“I love the February 2013 issue cover, so for one tip I replicated the cupcake and shrunk the magazine. And on the other, I used pearls with wire. For the lace tip, I was thinking celebration, so a wine glass bursting with confetti fit my idea perfectly.”

I love NAILS Magazine because…it’s full of information and nail art ideas from others who are as passionate about nails as I am. I have read every issue front to back every month for the last six years!

Julie Kandalec, New York City

<p>October 1997 cover</p>

“The pearl nail was created with two coats of semi-sheer white polish, matte top coat, thin fishing wire, and the pearls themselves. As the modern 30 year anniversary gift, cloisonné is an ancient technique used to decorate metalwork and enamel jewelry and artwork. I was inspired by a photo I took in Beijing. It’s hand-painted using Essie’s Mesmerize as a base color and acrylic paint. The mehndi one is inspired by a cover the first month I was in beauty school (October 1997). The nail I designed is hand-painted, incorporating mehndi patterns.”

I love NAILS Magazine because…I will never forget the moment I picked up my first NAILS Magazine at school. I was obsessed. My favorite column was Nail Art Gallery, which I tore out and made my own folder of nail art designs to practice.


Lakia Lewis, Exclusive Hair & Nails, Youngstown, Ohio

“My nail tips were inspired by Tom Bachik’s 25th anniversary cover. I incorporated pearls into my design. I used mixed media, acrylic, gel, and acrylic paint. They best commemorate a 30th anniversary because I included art that symbolizes 30th anniversary gifts such as pearls, flowers, and a damask card with a bow.”

I love NAILS Magazine because…as a self-taught artist, the magazine has helped me perfect my skills. I really enjoy the magazine every month from behind the scenes with some of the most talented nail artists in the industry showing off their techniques to the step-by-step tutorials.


Lisa-Marie Manderfield, Krush Hair + Nail Salon, Kokomo, Ind.

“The beach nail features pearls in the sand; pearls start out the same size as a grain of sand. The nail with the abundance of flowers shows what an amazing job you all do and an anniversary should always be celebrated with flowers. The ‘established 1983’ nail is pretty self-explanatory. All of the nails are created with acrylic paint, nail polish, and gel top coat.”

I love NAILS Magazine because…I learn something new each month. As a nail instructor at our local salon professional academy, we use your magazine as a teaching tool and look forward to it every month.


Hillary Fry, Scenario, Shorewood, Wis.

“Predator/prey is an update of the 1999 NAILS cover featuring feathers, which are on trend again. Snakeskin is also a tie into 2013 — the year of the snake. For the pearl design, I used pearls from the ’50s that were used in my aunt’s hat-making business. The colors move from soft pearl to oyster to beige, with obligatory texture for this year, and highlighted with multi-size glitters. ‘Seeing Red’ sandwiches gold foil between two colors, and a sprinkle of gold glitter added to create texture, dimension, and an unmistakable marker of history. It’s a sexy and unexpected way to showcase two power colors in history, plus it highlights the metal trend for year 30.”

I love NAILS Magazine because…my nail instructors introduced the class to NAILS Magazine, and I was hooked. I had no idea a publication existed to serve the nail professional, and that it had been doing so for decades. From artwork inspiration to product information to real-life scenarios about work and technique, NAILS Magazine ties the community together.

Holly Schippers, FingerNailFixer, Bussey, Iowa

“For the nail with the large pink pearl, I used CND Shellac in Azure Wish followed by Grapefruit Sparkle, then used adhesive and Shellac top coat to bond the embellishments. For the foil-covered nail, I applied Shellac in Cream Puff, then applied full-coverage foil, then adhered the pearls with adhesive and Shellac top coat. The blue nail is a tribute to the December 2011 NAILS cover done by Jennifer Mather. I used Velcro to create the texture, using CND Shellac Azure Wish and Midnight Storm for the base colors, and CND Additives in Titanium Pearl and Pink Gold Sparkle for the pearlescent look.”

I love NAILS Magazine because…it immediately felt like a place where I belonged and as if we had been friends already. My favorite thing about NAILS is it makes the everyday nail professional feel talented and powerful instead of overlooked.

Elsbeth Schuetz, Orange, Calif.

“My inspiration for these nails was the fact that the appeal of NAILS Magazine really knows no bounds! Not only do I enjoy it as a nail professional and contributor, but my celebs and high-end clients love looking through it for the fabulous artistry, tips, and even no-nonsense business advice that can apply to so many industries. NAILS have been read by many, and I would not be surprised if presidents, queens, etc. subscribe to it as well.”

I love NAILS Magazine because…a magazine doesn’t make it to such a milestone without being the real deal: honest, soulful, true to its heritage of creating great nails and supporting those who do.


Jessica Hoel, LuvNailz, Bellevue, Wash.

“The white flower is acrylic and is on a background of Akzentz Noir (black) and Aurora Pewter. The pearl strand nail features Akzentz Luxio Irresistible for the pink and Akzentz Satin Pearl for the white. The gold French is first done with Akzentz Satin Pearl, then I did a fade with Akzentz Gold Sparkles. I did the 30 with bullion.”

I love NAILS Magazine because…it allows our industry to stay connected. Inside are friends’ pictures from trade shows and pictures of work they have done. New products, marketing tricks, and new services are always good to see. And since I love photography, I always look forward to seeing the new cover!

Want to see these nails in easy-to-view photo gallery format? Here's the photo gallery link.

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