Skull and Crossbone Nail done with black chrome powder and white stamp, adorned with faux ruby eyes for that wicked, beyond the grave glare.

Let’s start at the beginning shall we?

When I started doing nails, it was the year 2008 and I was a young thing making my mark in an upmarket beauty salon in Bryanston. I had never considered studying the art of artificial nails as at the time, my number one passion was skin care. It became apparent that the business could benefit from more of their staff offering to do these treatment and the idea grew on me gradually until one day I approached my boss and requested the time off to do these studies.

I completed my course and as with any new skill, it took a while to master. Each product had a specific texture and viscosity and needed to be handled with a different pressure and with a different brush. In those days, nail art was not commonly requested and so I didn’t develop my skills in that arena just yet.

It wasn’t until a number of years later, when I had begun my own business and was admiring the nails of one of my waxing clients that I realized there may be a decent market in this for me. She told me casually over a hollywood wax that she drives all the way into the south of Johannesburg to get her nails done because no-one offers art in our area. I decided at that moment that I was going to learn how to do this.

As some of you already know, I have a keen love of art. I paint, draw, write and love creating clothing for myself. So a new type of art to learn had piqued my interest and I got stuck in with it. I started off simply and learned the basics. Over the years, I have kept an eye on what is trending out there and kept abreast of the new techniques.

Nail art has become an extremely competitive part of the industry and I find myself surrounded by nail salons offering all different products and variations. This month however, I received an email from one of my nail product suppliers – Biosculpture – announcing their expo and awards event coming up in June and giving us nail technicians the opportunity to compete in the various nail categories. I hesitated, always nervous to engage too much in the industry, but then entered the photographic nail art competition. This, I felt, was a good place to start because we could submit images of the nails that we had done without the pressure of the other nail techs watching. So our topic to work with is “Textured” art and I’m running with a Seasons theme. This has given me lots of fun hours of design and practice to create the perfect look, and once the competition is over, I will be posting my images online. This is great experience for me and even if I am not placed in this competition, it could put me on the map a bit more solidly and encourage the product house to refer more clients my way.

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