Looking for a fun beauty trend that offers the most self-expression for the least possible commitment? Nail art is where it’s at! It started as a little thing—or little things: a flower on one of 9 nails because of an upcoming vacation, or maybe a heart or two because Valentine’s Day was coming up.
But over the last year, this trend has upped its game with more fabulous ferocity than we’ve seen in a while, and these days, our master nail technician Susie Rodriquez spends most of her time creating what can only be described as amazing works of art. A regionally-recognized leader in hard gel nail techniques, Susie was at the forefront of the development of hard-gel technique training. She traveled extensively, educating other nail technicians about how to make beautiful, long-lasting, hard-gel nails.
More recently Susie has seen an amazing change in the types of requests her clientele brings her. Her designs have gone from subdued-but-individualistic statements—like a different, complementary color on one fingernail, or a traditional French manicure in a metallic color—to an explosion of creative ideas on each and every finger. She even offers a nail varnish that changes color with ambient temperature.
Check out temperature changing nail color
To get a better understanding on this fun and exciting twist on nail art, and on the approach Susie takes to her work, I sat down with her one evening after work and plied her with questions!
Tammy: So Susie, when did you notice a real change in the number of guests you had asking for nail art?
Susie: Definitely within the last 18 months. And I think that’s because while nail art has been around for a very long time, the development of hard and soft gel nails made a manicure something that could last for a longer time. So you can get a great look that you love and enjoy it for longer.
T: What type of guest is asking for these types of individual looks?
S: It really is guests all across the board. I have large groups of guests that know each other socially, so one of the women will try something and then as her friends see what she’s done, they come in for their turn. It’s great to see people start to play around and get adventurous!
T: What is your favorite part of these creative looks?
S: I love the experimental aspect. My guests come to me with ideas and we get to work together to see what we can create!
T: Where do you and your guests find inspiration and ideas?
S: For my guests, Pinterest is huge. Oh my goodness, the cool things they find on there! It blows me away. I am inspired by things I try out — I expand on those ideas to see what comes out of them. It’s amazing to see where that takes you!
T: What is the most challenging but original look you have ever created?
S: That varies constantly. Now that my guests have begun bringing ideas from outside sources, each day is a new adventure.
T: What would you like to tell a client who might be wanting to try letting loose and trying something a bit different?
S: I would encourage her to try something simple first, like a little line of metallic color on the edge of the nail or a bit of sparkly ‘fairy dust glitter’ on the ring finger. Once a guest starts giving different looks a try, it’s usually not very long before she’s willing to really go somewhere amazing.