As a 17-year nail technician, I would like to think of myself as a conceptual artist. I take inspiration from the world around me and the client in front of me. Each client challenges me whether they know it or not, to produce a better set each time I service them.
I continually look for ways to challenge myself as a nail artist and in other endeavors. I think the best way to describe myself is as a free spirit artist that requires continual growth which helps keep me energized.
I hope to provide a cool new perspective and positive outlook and, of course, glitter to this competition! I am looking forward to the challenges and the comradery with the other contestants. I think people will want to vote for me because I am fun, funny and they will see a little bit of themselves in me. In the end, I just want to have fun, make new friends, and build great relationships!
I love, love fashion week and one day my hope is to attend as either a spectator or a nail artist working in the background. For my haute couture designer, I chose Balmain. I like the details that this fashion house puts into every piece. I was particularly drawn to the quilted and beaded pattern because of the variety in textures and sheens. The balance of white against the matte leather, sparkling crystals and pearlescent pearls is eye-catching. Partner it with the cross-stitch motif in the muted colors and matte finish the dress really pops.
For my piece, I chose to duplicate the textures using acrylic and hand painting the flowers with Shellac gel polish. Each of the pillowed areas that represent the quilted areas of the dress, and the metal bullion beads were added to show depth. The bullion beads are from Martha Stewart, and I used my ultra-thin gel liner from Pregel Japan. I also added pearls from my menagerie of art supplies to give it that extra “umph.”
In order to break up the monotony of the design, I chose to do a French application on one finger on each hand and outline it with acrylic dots polished with the pearl topcoat from CND and then used the bullion beads to simulate a faceted look. The swirls that are done in white CND acrylic over the crème puff background were designed to depict the swirls done on the dress and were painstakingly lined with the bullion beads to tie it into the design and created in 3D to really show depth.
Lastly, the cross-stitch flowers were added to mimic the breast plate of the dress and another group of flowers to show the up-close details of the design. This was also purposely done to show that even without being flanked by the quilted bezel leather, the flowers on their own are a work of art.
I have been in the beauty business for seventeen years, and I would not change a thing. The challenge called for us to reflect on the letters
C N D, and find words that relate to use and build a nail mural. I have chosen, Cultured, Notable and Determined.
I chose Cultured because as an African American woman I feel my ancestry is important. In my mural you will also see a black building that is the Renaissance Center in Detroit, MI my hometown. You also see Africa and Kente cloth fabric, representing the ingenuity and creativeness of my people. Detroit is one of my favorite places because of the innovation, heritage, and culture there. It is an awesomely creative place.
My second word is Notable. I chose this word specifically because of my personal fight with impostor syndrome. Typically, I stay under the
radar, however, during the pandemic the thing that kept me afloat was getting in front of the camera.
More than a few times I have been in Nails Magazine and on the local news station and more recently in the local newspaper. Each time I do an interview I have to remind myself that I have the skills, I practice the skills and more importantly if they did not want me, they would not have contacted me!
My last word is Determined! Because I definitely am. I’ve graduated college three times and have the loans to prove it. I have obtained my nail license, my business licenses and have been self-employed for the past 9 years. I have visited China, Italy, Japan, and plenty of Caribbean Islands all on my own. I am determined to push myself; I make the choice every day and that is the number one reason I entered the competition. I am determined to be uncomfortable, think beyond my usual skills and talents and become more!