Full Name: Lisa Bennett
Hometown: Bakersfield, Calif.
Salon: Unique Hair Design and DaySpa
Preferred Nail Art Medium: Acrylic paint
Favorite Nail Trend: Aquarium nails

I am a twice educated nail technician with a 28 year retail management career in between diplomas. I have been licensed just a year but have been in the nail world the majority of my life. Nails really are my passion. I am skilled in most art mediums including painting, drawing, sculpting, carving and leather tanning just to name a few. I enjoy the challenge of bringing a wild idea into reality, letting my mind run free and create something that pleases the eye and inspires others to stretch their  imagination. I am finally where I belong. I can’t wait to get to work each day. I am a wife and a mother, and have such a huge support system in my family and friends. I’m so very grateful for every minute I get to learn and teach and be.

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Week 2: Orly

Sunset Strip

This week we were asked to create a set of nails that are inspired by the famed Sunset Strip. I was fortunate to have spent some fun times in the late ’80s, during the decade of decadence, on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood. I hung out in those clubs. I saved all the homemade band fliers that upcoming rockers would make, and used them to wallpaper my bedroom. I am quite knowledgeable about Metal Music and I dressed the scene with big hair, high heels, and short skirts. During the Heavy Metal Hair Band onslaught, I partied with some famous metal faces and had the time of my life. This challenge allowed me to create a set of nails that I would have loved to wear back in the day. I put them on myself, and they are still just my style. They feature real encapsulated snakeskin (my hubby found it on a fishing trip), metal embellishments, some of which were taken from a pair of feather earrings that I most certainly would have worn, and clear gel-polish. I handpainted my skull and rose design with acrylic paint, and gave my skull nail a piercing complete with a chain linked to my ring. I absolutely love rocking these nails!

Click here to see a step-by-step tutorial of how Lisa created these nails.

Week 1: Gelish

Squadron Goals

There are many places in the world that I would love to visit but there are few places that are a “full life” requirement. Aside from one location, I would require air travel, so just for fun I made myself a shiny silver airplane out of acrylic, hand-painted and chromed, and fashioned it into a ring. Beginning with the pinky, I depicted a beautiful mountain and lake vista that belongs to New Zealand. I have, since childhood, wanted to study Egyptology, so on the ring finger you’ll find the Giza Plateau in Egypt, and possibly the world’s tiniest Sphinx (those itty bitty black dots are camels, just FYI). The middle nail reveals my love for the unknown, and is a depiction of Stonehenge and a crop circle that  was found not far from the ancient megalithic structures. The pointer finger has the party spot: the IceHotel  built each year in Jukkasjӓrvi Sweden, with the northern lights above it. It was necessary to make this nail light up,  so I used a clear tip, builder gel, and acrylic to make the ice structure and then a little finger light magic underneath to give it glow. All of the other nails were made from  tips, acrylic, and acrylic paint. Last but not least is the thumb and the one place that I’ve already visited many times, hence the red pin on the map. My favorite place on the planet so far is inside the Room Tree in Sequoia National Park. This giant redwood tree stands on the Circle Meadow trail and its entrance is facing away from the path, so unless you notice the small sign, you might miss it. Look closely at this nail and see actual soil from inside the tree. I am that big of a tree hugger.

Click here to see a video diary of Lisa’s nails.