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Behind the Scenes: Our Pearl Anniversary Cover Nail Art Look

We tasked nail tech Tom Bachik with creating nails to celebrate our “pearl” anniversary without being too literal.

<p>Photography by Vu Ong</p>

Tom Bachik has done his fair share of NAILS covers. In fact, the Murrieta, Calif.-based celebrity nail tech also did the nails for our 25th anniversary cover. In the last five years, he’s been busy. In addition to tending to the nails of top celebs including Jennifer Lopez, Victoria Beckham, Leanne Rimes, and Eva Longoria (to name a few), he also was named global nail expert for L’Oreal.

<p>Celebrity nail tech Tom Bachik did our 25th anniversary cover nails, so he was a perfect choice for our 30th anniversary cover as well. He told us that he loves working with dimension and texture.</p>

When I asked him how he stays so creative and inspired after nearly 20 years in the business, he responded, “I’m blessed to work day to day with some of the most creative beauty and fashion professionals in the world. When you are around it all day you can’t help but be inspired. Because I’m on set for a lot of fashion editorials I see what’s happening months before the public. The vanities/glam teams then help create the look to go with the styles. We always try to keep it modern and fresh even if it’s inspired by a current trend. As you work the shoots you see what types of clothes are being chosen most, what types of colors and textures are hot. With a close eye you can pick up on what will become the next trends.”

<p>The team behind the 30th anniversary cover celebrates at the end of a long day of shooting (it also happened to be election day). From left, nail tech Tom Bachik, editor Hannah Lee, model Jolene Towers (in back), photographer Vu Ong, and art director Danielle Parisi.</p>

This month, for the kickoff to our 30th anniversary year, we tasked Bachik with creating nails to celebrate our “pearl” anniversary without being too literal. The look he created is cool and stylish, and we think pretty original. He combined pearl pieces with wire wrapping and nail appliques to create this lovely pattern. The beauty of it? No two nails needed to be exactly the same, so he was free to be as creative as he wanted.


Here’s how you can do these nails:

1. Add just a bit of length using tips and adhesive. We wanted the shape to feel slender, classic, and elegant.

2. Smooth the surface and add strength by applying a layer of clear soak-off gel-polish. Cure.

3. Apply two coats of white polish. While drying, use an old acrylic brush with remover to clean around the cuticles for a perfect finish.

4. Bachik worked directly with Minx to create these custom jacquard patterns exclusively for our cover shoot. Apply appliqués to the nail using heat.

5. Once applied, use a file at a 90-degree angle from underneath to remove the excess appliqué.

6. Using tweezers, apply half pearls in a uniform pattern on all the nails except for the “featured” nails.


7. On the feature nails Bachik’s pattern was more involved. He added different-sized half pearls placed strategically around the nail. Then using jewelry wire, he created a flowing pattern connecting the pearls. Finish with a thin coat of soak of top gel to seal and protect design.


Step-by-step photography by Kimberly Pham

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Cover Look: Pearl Anniversary Nails — NAILStv (video)

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Video: E! News Features Tom Bachik

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