Behind the Scenes: Pretty Pinwheel Nails From April 2013 Cover

Light Elegance educator Darcy Olin shows you how to get this month's cover look.

When Darcy Olin graduated from nail school, she worked as a booth renter for about a year. Then she added a salon onto her home in rural New York called Tips to Toes Nail Design Studio where she’s been working for the last 11 years. Just recently with a growing demand for quality nail services, she’s moved into a larger location in Pulaski, N.Y., and is expanding her business by bringing on two new nail techs. “Five years ago I took Dr. Spalding’s Advanced Nail Tech and Medical Nail Tech courses and began working with a local doctor a couple days a week. My business just grew like crazy,” says Olin. 

About two years ago, Olin was invited to join the Light Elegance team of educators. “I am so lucky to be a part of such an intelligent, supportive, and incredibly talented team,” notes Olin. “They all continue to help me grow in so many ways, and I am so thankful to be a part of such a phenomenal group!”

Part of her responsibilities as an educator for Light Elegance include traveling to tradeshows and networking events. “My clients are fantastic and they love that I travel to share my love for nails and Light Elegance, so they’re very accommodating with my crazy schedule,” says Olin, who says she’ll work 12+ hour days before and after her trips to try to keep everyone as close to their regular schedule as possible.

“If my flight arrives early enough in the day, I have been known to go straight from the airport to work for a few hours. I enjoy taking care of my clients and appreciate their understanding, so I try to be very accommodating to them as well. They are always excited to hear about the trips, and I always come back with a renewed excitement for my work and loads of great ideas, and often new products to share.”

<p>New York-based Light Elegance educator Darcy Olin created custom-blended gel colors to give her edge nails a bold, spring look.</p>

Here’s how you can do these nails:

1. Prep and cleanse the nails. Fold forms to create the edge shape. (Olin folds down each side, along the numbers on the forms and then folds it again down the center line.) Place the forms with the center peak just slightly above the nail plate. Apply Light Elegance Airbond to all 10 nails. Using Light Elegance 1-Step, create the extension, keeping your end shape in mind as you create the nails. Before curing, pick up a small amount of gel. Flash cure each nail for 15 seconds to hold the shape. When one hand is complete, cure for two minutes. Repeat on the other hand.

2. Cleanse the inhibition layer and file the nails into shape. Reapply a thin layer of 1-Step gel and cure it for two minutes. (The colors blend together more smoothly when they are applied over an inhibition layer.)

3. Apply your blue gel mixture to the smile line and fade halfway down the nail. Do not cure. (Olin mixed Light Elegance Neon Blue Gumball with the new Neon Blue Gel Paint to make the color more opaque.)

4. Apply your pink gel mixture to the free edge and fade halfway up the nail. Do not cure. (Olin mixed Light Elegance Jitterbug Gel Polish with the new Neon Pink Gel Paint to make the color more opaque.)

5. Using a Light Elegance small striper art brush, blend the pink into the blue, creating a purple blend. Do not cure.

6. Pick up a small amount of Guilty Pleasure Gel Polish on one side of the brush and lightly drag the tip of  the brush, at an angle, through the pink, purple, and blue, cleaning off the brush and picking up more Guilty Pleasure between each color. Use a Light Elegance Smile Line brush to swipe a nice, crisp smile line. Flash cure each nail for 15 seconds. When all five are complete, cure for two minutes.

7. Apply a coat of 1-step gel, running a string of gel from the free edge up onto the nail plate. Cure for two minutes. Cleanse the nails.

8. With a Light Elegance Perfect File, refine the shape by filing the free edge at a 45-degree angle, left corner to tip, then right corner to tip. File shape into top of nail, holding the file at a 45-degree angle from left side up to the spine being careful not to drag the file across the spine, then right side up to the spine to create a defined edge shape. Dust and cleanse nails. Apply a final layer of 1-Step gel. Cure for two minutes. Cleanse the inhibition layer and apply cuticle oil. 

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