Acrylic Nails

Behind the Scenes: Roller Derby Nails

Rolling Into Her Dreams: Get a behind the scenes look at our October 2014 cover, featuring nails by Young Nails' senior mentor Lauren Denney.

When we talked to Young Nails senior mentor Lauren Denney about concepts for this month’s cover, we started as we usually do with an idea for the nail design. Once she showed us her concept, the NAILS team sat down to figure out a way to prop the shoot. The edgy design seemed to fit perfectly with a roller derby theme we’d been playing around with for some time. Little did we know, Denney (aka Brooke A. Nail #10 — “for 10 fingers!”) was a former roller derby player herself.

<p>Young Nails senior mentor Lauren Denney got to see one of her dreams realized when she came in to do this month&rsquo;s cover nails. &ldquo;I can remember back in nail school I would read through the library of NAILS Magazine and would just be amazed at the work and dream about being on the cover one day,&rdquo; she tells us. &ldquo;This cover will be near and dear to me as it is definitely a dream come true.&rdquo;</p>

“My first thought was ‘Oh my gosh! Does Hannah know I play roller derby?’ I emailed her back immediately and we decided it was fate that I was doing this cover,” says Denney. “I was so thrilled because it was so perfect and felt really good about being able to bring some authenticity to the shoot.”

Denney, who owns Gimme the Shimmers salon in Glendale, Ariz., has been doing nails for 11 years, the last six of which have been as a Young Nails educator. “I travel quite frequently with Young Nails,” she says. “Some months, it could be every weekend, depending on what’s going on. This year is the first year I’ve done every single ‘big’ trade show.”

When asked what she loves most about being a nail tech, Denney responds, “What isn’t awesome about being a nail tech? I love the fact that the sky is the limit and I can take my business wherever I want. I can pick and choose my clients and I get to call the shots.”

As for this month’s cover. Denney showed us a design she had been working on, and it was the perfect fit. “I love pairing colors that are typically off the wall because it helps them to stand out,” she says. “Fishnets and mismatched bright colors are a derby girl’s way of life. This design is bold and aggressive just like a derby girl.”


Here’s how you can get this month’s cover look:

1. Prep nails using an electric file and arbor band. Place Young Nails Artistic forms on fingers. Apply binder clips. For a stiletto tip always double check from the side to make sure that the growth channel lines up level with the very tip of the stiletto. (Tip: Use the binder clips under nail forms to keep the form perfectly in line with the growth channels. They also eliminate the need to position the forms down at an angle to get that geometrical cone shape that makes a true stiletto shape. “If you apply the form dead on, then attach the clip, it pulls it into place giving it the perfect angle,” says Denney.)

2. Apply a paper-thin enhancement of Speed Clear acrylic, remembering to pinch in a C-curve and line up the sidewalls using a Young Nails Magic Wand. Apply Cover Pink in reverse.

3. For the base of your design, “paint” on colored acrylic using a very wet consistency. Denney used Rainbow Black, Pop Bright Turquoise, and Sapphire.

4. Add Lime Icy paper and gold foil. Add a little sparkle around the flakes with a dimensional glitter mix (Ice, Jet Black, Hologram, Funkadelic). In this particular design, less is more. Everything is placed like mosaic pieces and is strictly to add dimension and pick up light. Too many extras will cloud and hide the design.

5. Cap the entire free edge in speed clear.

6. Once the clear has set up to a matte finish, it’s safe to do your impression with Into You netting. (Tip: Coat netting with dry Speed Clear Powder before doing the impression to prevent the netting from sticking.)

7. Use Rainbow orange very wet to fill in the impression. Using it wet will allow the acrylic to flow into the impression with no dry spots or air bubbles.

8. Remove bulk of acrylic with X-cut carbide bit. Finish file. Apply Young Nails Finish Gel, cure, and finish with Rose Cuticle oil.  

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