Originally from Mexico City, I decided to take a chance and move to Canada to follow my heart and look for adventure. When the nail world came into my life it definitely helped me find my place in my new home and allowed me to embark on a new journey. Who knew this path would allow me to provide for my family, learn so many amazing things, meet so many wonderful people, and help others reach their goals as well? Nails are more than “just nails” for me, they are my happy place! One of my favourite things about nails are the infinite possibilities with art, I can’t get enough of bling, cartoonish styles, and all the abstract designs, they give me life. I love pushing my creative side and abilities, and sharing my experience. I love the joy my work brings to others, whether it is bringing to life a new creation for my clients or guiding my students in class. It’s amazing how the things that may seem little can make such a huge difference in our lives.
Final Challenge: CND
Set 1: Symbol of Strength
For the first set, I was inspired by Mexican artist Frida Kahlo, she was such a strong woman that continued to push trough positively in life and her artwork regardless of the obstacles that she faced. Rather than dwelling on the difficulties she was faced with, Frida pulled herself together and focused on creating her art. Aside from being a known advocate for equal gender rights and feminism, Frida is known to be a strong female figure in Mexican culture, especially for her stand on equality during an era where women didn’t have much of a voice. Frida used her art to cope and express her emotions and this allowed her to deal with the physical pain that she struggled with due to her various health issues. I wanted to represent a little of her struggle. She used leather corsets and boots with straps that would give her stability as her spine and joints were weak. None of this ever stopped her, and instead it became her reason to paint. I admire her courage and she’s a great example to not give up when things get tough and to remain strong when there’s adversity. I often look at her art to remind me that where there’s a will there’s a way.
Set 2: Beauty Changes Lives
For my Beauty Changes Lives set I wanted to create a conceptual design inspired by the amazing collaborative nature of bees. Beauty professionals are like honey bees, they come together to make a difference and create what truly feels like magic. It’s amazing how the work of a committed group of people can make such a difference in the lives of many others and this in return leads to positive and innovative results. I wanted to create a set that would have an avant garde influence and that would scream the honey bee theme. The bee symbolizes community, celebration, brightness and personal power, what goes very much in hand with the ideals of BCL. I was very touched by the testimonies of people that have had the opportunity to be benefited by BCL and certainly non-profits like this are very much needed in today’s world to help make a difference in people’s lives.
One of the things I love the most about the beauty industry is the possibility to meet unique individuals that very often are the inspiration of our work. In my case I’ve been fortunate to have amazing clients that have not only allowed me to express myself but also have encouraged me to grow as an artist and professional. My dream client is really any client who’s wanting to use their tiny nail canvases as a medium of self expression. And who could be better to embody the definition of self expression than the one and only RuPaul, he has always been a source of inspiration to me, I love his sense of style, his personality, and his ability to create art in many ways that get to touch all kinds of people. One of the things I admire the most about RuPaul is his stand on gender and race equality and this is a huge part of his platform, so I definitely wanted to represent that. With all the struggles that the world is facing right now, it is important to use our art and our voice to show support for one another. Through pop culture, RuPaul has been able to address issues and topics that have been at times considered taboo while giving a voice to those who needed one and all while in style. Over 1300 Swarovski crystals embellish this set, along with pop art elements to honour my dream client.
Billy porter, actor, singer, writer, activist. I truly admire his outspoken personality, Billy gives a voice to many that need it and to me he not only represents a symbol of strength, but also of courage, his fight for equality, and his passion for embracing who he is and wants to be regardless of what others want is something we can all learn from. I wanted to give Billy a strong design with high impact just like his personality. Keeping the base of the nails dark was key to make the main elements pop, I used gold, royal blue and iridescent purples for a regal look. Billy is an important voice for the black community and he uses his status as a public figure to raise awareness for black lives matter and equal gender rights so I definitely wanted to honour the cause. As a person of color myself I look up to figures like Billy that give us hope. He uses his art and means to speak up and also give a voice to others who need it and that is something I very much believe in.
Jan is my idol, I love her caring, adventurous, and innovative personality so it would only be fair to create a set of nails out of the ordinary for such an extraordinary human. I’ve always been a fan of Jan’s style, so diverse, free spirited and so outside the box, always playful and showstopping just like her personality, and to honour that free spirited style I decided to create a Harajuku punk inspired set that would definitely make for a bold look. Both Punk and Japanese Harajuku style are characterized by the way they promote individual freedom and for using bold and unusual elements for a very strong, uncommon look. I was inspired by Vivienne Westwood in the 70s and her strong look creations as well as the modern Japanese Harajuku fashion that mixes common fashion elements and turns them into new and bold looks that cause great impact, dressing to have fun, it’s all about doing what feels good to you.
Week 8: Swarovski
Week 7: Gel II
Week 6: ORLY
I knew right away I would do this set inspired by Jennifer Lopez. Her style flawlessly goes from classy to glam and even a little wild. And that’s definitely a huge part of what I wanted to convey with my design. Originally, the French manicure was created to allow movies stars to be able to have amazing looking nails that would go with any outfit required for all the scenes they’d be filming. French manicure was life changing for its versatility as changing color and style for each scene seemed too chaotic, so of course everyone became a fan of French nails, including myself. This got me thinking, why should we settle for one look when we could have two? What if there’s was a way to transform a more wearable design to an over the top one without a hassle? Well, I figured out a way!
I wanted my design to be versatile just like French nails are and these nails definitely do that. This set pulls off two looks with a mosaic design with neutral subtle colours that would complement any outfit. A fierce coffin shape for daytime everyday wear and big reveal stiletto extensions that can easily be added and immediately make up for a glam showstopper red carpet look, and of course bling added for a very JLo style.
Being a Latina myself and having very little representation in the media I feel that Jennifer Lopez is definitely an amazing icon and role model for Latino women and just like a good French manicure, JLo is timeless, versatile, and forever evolving and so are these nails.
Week 5: Ugly Duckling
For this challenge we were asked to bring to life our favourite nursery rhyme on five nails, so I knew I had to pick the five little monkeys jumping on the bed. A little back story on this, when my daughter was little she was definitely a little monkey herself and my husband and I used to sing the song to her hoping she’d stop bouncing around, needless to say that didn’t quite work, but it sure had us entertained for a while. This nursery rhyme holds a special place in my heart because I had never heard it before coming to Canada and it is actually the first nursery rhyme my daughter and I learned together. To emphasize the nursery rhyme theme, I wanted to recreate a quilt pattern, quilts remind me so much of my childhood as my grandma used to collect old pieces of fabric to make new blankets for us and so I thought a quilt inspired design would go great for this set. Ugly Duckling gel-polishes and colours are so pigmented that they make great quilt patterns. I also wanted to incorporate elements that you would find in my daughter’s room, or any kid’s room by all means, from stuffed toys and pillows to bedazzled decor. And of course I had to make those monkeys jump and fall, so springs and dangles come in handy to create the illusion. Ugly Duckling’s rhinestones embellish the scene, because who needs exclamation points when you have rhinestones on hand?
Week 4: Glitz Accessories & Such
Week 3: LeChat
Week 2: En Vogue
I represented Taurus since I was born in May and I have chosen Pisces as my compatible sign. Fun fact, not only is Pisces compatible to Taurus in theory, but it is actually my husband’s sign! Coincidence much? I decided to give my Taurus representation a luxurious and earthy feel, because well, Taurus is an earth sign but also a fierce one and I can attest to that. You’ll see lots of emerald green, because dark green is Taurus’s colours, as well as a more dark palette since from what I’ve read, Taurus people are more fond of nights than mornings. I chose light green, teal, light blue and gold tones to represent the fact that Pisces is a water sign, and also because light green is Pisces’s color. Pisces planet is Neptune who in return is also the god of the sea. I couldn’t leave out the fish, two of them swimming in opposite directions make for the illustration of the symbol that represents the sign. As for Taurus, Venus is its ruling planet and that makes Venus the goddess of love, an ideal concept to evoke some of Taurus’s traits, love and passion. The bull represents the stubbornness that Taurus can have and the colour palette to symbolize the earth element.
Week 1: CND
After some extensive research and reminiscing of my art classes in university years I decided to create a garden that would capture my idealized view of nature and that would highlight the essence of 18th century Romanticism where the beauty of nature and sublimity were emphasized while the individual imagination was promoted to allow freedom to the artist. I wanted to create the illusion of a world where nature has dramatically taken over, a free formed garden that’s relaxed and where someone would go to clear their mind, pink skies and a flowing river would provide a sense of calmness. The Romantics believed having a close connection to nature was mentally and morally healthy and with great reason.
Greek and Roman mythology was an obsession of romanticism, as at times seen on the works of the English Romantic Poet John Keats, the beauty of new ideas is illustrated relying on the concepts of mythology. Naturally, I decided to represent Goddess Gaia (also known as Goddess Terra in Roman mythology), the primal personification of earth herself, aka Mother Nature.
Using CND acrylic sculpting powder I sculpted my goddess, after buffing and smoothing the surface I used CND English Garden Collection to paint and give detail to the piece. I was fascinated by the idea of representing women as creators of life as well as the sublimity of all the elements, water, fire, air and earth with symbolic depictions. I really wanted to give priority to the use of the CND English Garden collection when detailing all the 3-D and background elements of my design, from the acrylic sculpted butterflies that travel through the air, gel constructed gemstones, to the 3-D gel constructed roots and mixed-media made greenery that emerges from the earth. I also used the collection to illustrate the sun shining through the horizon resulting in pink skies to exemplify the fire and to add detail to the body of water made out of gel that flows to complete the design where Mother Nature leads the way.