Words

  • Nail Porn x Interviews: Hey, Nice Nails!

    Interview By: Sasha Kremenetsky

    Fresh off their one-year anniversary in the biz, sisters and nail artists Donne and Ginny Geer have the Southern California nail art scene locked down. Their salon, Hey, Nice Nails! has been serving up custom nail art to a loyal clientele since their opening last December, not to mention, they’ve published their very own DIY nail “bible” aptly titled Nail Candy. Most recently, they’ve caught the attention of famed Long Beach rapper Snoop Dogg, who has become yet another devoted supporter of their mission to deliver "nice nails to nice people."

    We caught up with the duo behind the future nail art empire and had them spill the tea on their struggles, successes, and what it was like doing nails for one of L.A.’s most beloved rappers.

    1. So what does it feel like officially saying you’ve made it past your first year as business owners knowing that things are going well?

    Donne: It’s a great accomplishment because I feel like a lot of business fail within the first, well, (laughs) it’s five years, but we made it through one! Only got four more!

    Ginny: It’s exciting! We were profiting right off the bat so we never had a month where we didn’t make our nut or anything like that.

    2. What’s your favorite memory when you look back on the last year?

    D: Part of me wishes that I appreciated the construction phase a little bit more. I hated it. I feel like that was so hard and it tested us so much, but it was a beautiful thing because we built something from the ground up. We put ourselves into this.

    G: I had multiple breakdowns during that phase. It tested every relationship we had, but it was totally worth it. Also, some six year old threw up on her way over here because she was so excited.  She was the ideal client because it was all about the nails.

    3. How did you guys end up doing nails for Snoop Dogg?

    D: So Brass (of NAILgasm)  has a friend who works for him. Somebody tagged us in one of Snoop’s Instagram shots and his thumbnail had a pot leaf on it so we left a comment saying ‘Yo Snoop if you’re ever in your hometown (Long Beach, CA) come get your nails done at Hey, Nice Nails!” Just putting it out into the world and like four hours later Ayla texts saying, “Hey do you guys wanna do Snoop Dogg’s nails?”

    G: We were like yes, obviously!

    4. Does he normally come to the salon or do you go to him?

    G: We went to his studio in Culver City where he shoots his YouTube channel and then we went to his warehouse in Inglewood that has a full recording studio and basketball court.

    D: The whole thing is super high security. I was talking to his security guard and he knew exactly what car I took to get there and everything.

    5. What does he normally lean towards for his designs?

    G: He normally likes the French look. We’ve been doing samples for him because he’s such a visual person. I think he wants some Rasta shit next time. We’re going to go green, red, and yellow, like maybe a striped French with Lion of Judah on there.

    6. In real life is Snoop as chill as his rap persona?

    G: Chiller. (laughs) I would say he’s more chill. He was watching movies and smoking blunts the entire time I was doing his nails. He calls us his “nail girls.”

     D: While I was fixing one of his nails he just starts rapping and singing in front of me and I was just sitting there getting a personal serenade from Snoop. My mind was blown.

    7. So what’s next for you guys?

     G: Growing the salon into a brand. We’re going to be teachers this year and Chica Artista Nails will be coming this May.

     D: So yeah, she’ll be an apprentice while she’s going to nail school and once she gets her license she’ll be hired and working full time. We want to cultivate good artists that can learn the technical skills. Also Lili Nguyen (This Is Venice) is coming to visit the salon this April.

    8. Any plans for Nail Candy part two?

    D: We would love that!

    G: Yeah, we totally would. It’s just a matter of getting in contact with out publisher. 

    To stay current with the designs posted every day, visit heynicenails.com

  • Nail Porn x Interviews: Britney Tokyo

      

    Britney Tokyo is not a nail artist; she’s a nailist. In Japan, where complex 3D nail art is as commonplace as a French manicure, artists learn to create nails specifically designed to work with the latest trends in fashion. Britney was forged out of that industry and is well known throughout the U.S. for her integration of 90’s nostalgia and edgy graphics to create pop-art inspired designs. I caught up with her to learn more about her favorite trends, latest projects, and the difference between Japanese and American nail art. 

    Describe your style in three words:

    Kawaii, weird, unpredictable.

    
What is your all-time favorite color to paint on your own nails?

    Classic red. Red nails go well with women of all ages, and also works with any situation. No matter what the trend, red nails will always be my favorite!

    How did you end up discovering your passion in nail art?

    I’ve always loved to draw since I was a little girl. My parents even had to stop me numerous times. If there was no paper, I would even start drawing on the carpet. I think I was influenced by my grandfather who used to be an artist and my grandmother always had the best style and took great care of her nails as well.  On the weekends she used to always do my nails. When I was in elementary school, I would always secretly draw art on my nails, although it was not allowed at my school. So I am really grateful for being able to do nail art as a profession, and at the same time there is no other job for me!

    What was the nail tech certification process in Japan like? 

    I went to nail schools in both Japan and here in the States, but i was surprised at how different everything was. In the States, the study of health, such as disinfecting, was the main subject of learning, but Japan focused mainly on the skill practices of acrylic, paint nail art, and 3D nail art. If I look back now, I am happy to have graduated both schools since I learned a lot in different categories. Another difference is that in the States, you need to achieve a license in order to work. In Japan, all you receive is a certificate, but it is also divided into three levels, depending on your skills.  

    Was it ever scary for you to take that leap and move to Los Angeles, a place so far away from where you grew up?

    I never felt scared or intimidated, but I do feel that language is a huge barrier, but I have nail art, which can express my feelings without having to speak.

    What’s the biggest difference you’ve noticed working as a nail artist in the U.S. as opposed to Japan?

    In Japan, people rarely go to just get a manicure or French nails done so the word manicurist does not exist. In place of manicurists, there are only “nailists.” Nailists are kind of between a manicurist and a nail artist. In Japan, nail art is part of everyone’s fashion, so designs depend on the current trend. During a certain trend, nailists will do the same design on numerous customers, but in America most clients look for originality, so it’s entertaining for me as well since I can do a different design every time and a lot of the clients here want to be surprised and ask to do anything for them!

    How does living in L.A. inspire your designs?

    Living in L.A., I naturally want to use bright colors. A lot of the L.A. fashion uses a lot of bright colors, right? I think it comes from that. I don’t think I can get that from living in Tokyo or N.Y.  I think the great weather here brings that out.

    Which nail designs do you always enjoy painting the most?

    When clients tell me just the theme or colors they want, I get really excited. I love to do designs that I have never done before.

    Now that the whole gel nail phenomenon has migrated to the United States, how do you feel when you see so many American girls rocking Japanese style gel nails or 3D art?

    I’m so happy!

    What’s one nail trend that originated in Japan that you think every girl should try at least once? 

    I think 3D nails. Also all girls in Japan do nail art for pedicures too, so I think everyone should try that too.

    Who are some other nail artists that inspire you?

    My partner Natalie Minerva aka Nail Swag! She does a totally different style than me, but we have the same vibe. That is why she inspires me.

    Speaking of which, you’ve been working a lot with Natalie lately and have dubbed your collaborative efforts Tokyo Swag. What does Tokyo Swag mean and what will you guys have in store for the nail community? 

    Tokyo Swag is really just naming our working union that we already had. Natalie and I have been doing nail tours throughout the country this past year, and we consistently do pop-ups together. In addition to that, we tacked on education classes to show other nail techs the creative aspect of nails!

    Do you have any advice for women trying to find their way working in a creative field? 

    You should always try new things. I always try new products and try new skills. Although I mess up sometimes, I keep trying and challenge myself. I believe that is how we all learn.

    What can we expect from Britney Tokyo in the future?

    I will keep doing new and fun designs and wish to share my skills to many people who are interested in nail art so that is why the nail classes are the first step. Anyways, you’ll find out!

    Find out more about what Britney is up to at britneytokyo.com

    Check out the rest of the Nail Porn x Interview series here

  • SCRATCH x Britney Tokyo Nail Wraps!

    SCRATCH x Britney Tokyo Nail Wraps!

    Check these bbz out. They're the product of a collaboration between two game changers in the nail art world: nail wrap manufacturer Scratch and L.A. based nail artist Britney Tokyo. Scratch has revolutionized the idea of your basic monthly beauty box by adding nail wraps and 3D nail elements so that you can create instant nail art on a major budget. Not to mention, teaming up with the likes of Britney Tokyo (forged out of Japan's cutthroat nail artist certification program) is a major bonus. Britney is known for her use of 90's nostalgia and edgy graphics to create her pop art inspired designs. Application is easy peasy and after a nice shiny coat of SV, your digits are set for the next 4-5 days! 

  • FLOSS GLOSS Collabs on Nail Polish with Gansta Boo

    I was with polish company FLOSS GLOSS from the get go. The first time I saw their line it had just launched. It boasted a collection of off the wall colors with sardonic names like Brit Brit 2000 and Neon Nacho poured into luxurious little vintage inspired bottles. It was truly love at first sight.

    Since then, my love for FLOSS GLOSS has only grown. I was ecstastic after they launched their Princess of the Night collection which included a black aptly named Black Holy, pastels Moonbaby and Dinge, and a dark grey called Faded that promised to match the color of my faded tattoos.

    I remembered I had read once that creators, Janine Lee and Aretha Sack, mentioned Gangsta Boo (of Three 6 Mafia fame) as one of their major inspirations, so when I saw they were able to collaborate with her on a new shade, I had to get the scoop on the process. Here's what I found out:

     How did Floss Gloss come up with the idea to collaborate on a shade with Gangsta Boo?

    A: It wasn't planned, I was at her show in SF. Our friends were putting on and I'm a huge fan so I wanted to just get her a bottle.  I knew the photographer and I grabbed her and said, "Hey, you look official, you have a camera, go give this to Gangsta Boo" and she did and we tweeted her later about it and she messaged us saying she wanted to collab!

    J: It was just something we wanted to do. She is legendary. Aretha had def listed her in collabs we'd like to do in the future in our first year in FG. She is a huge fan of her music. Def put me on and we listen to her a bunch in the FG/HQ. We're always bumping while we work.  

    How did you finally make that dream happen?

    A: When we were messaging we jumped on a phone call and decided to do a collab together.

    J: It was spontaneous and we connected thru Twitter. Aretha went to her last show in SF and handed off a bottle of Bikini Coral and a Skripper sticker to give to Boo via a photographer friend of ours standing near her on stage. We tweeted her the next day and she responded within 10 mins. We set up a call and started the process almost immediately.  

    What was the method for deciding on a shade and how was Gangsta Boo involved in that process?

    A: Boo chose; she said red so we let her decide between a couple shades and this one won.

    J: It was tricky and to be honest red was not the first or second color thrown out.  We went back and forth for a while, mixing shades, sending pics, before she mentioned red and we shot back with the cherry and boom.  All of the colors we discussed were fire, but the red was perfect. Boo is also known as the Devil's Daughter, so we were down.  

    How does Gansta Boo embody the Floss Gloss attitude?

    A: Well she and the color are both bold and empowering with plenty of style!

     J: Gangsta Boo embodies the Floss Gloss attitude by being a strong independent woman. She is a legendary female rap star that didn't put up with any one's shit. She paved her own way after she separated from Three6Mafia (before the academy award). She did not just give up. 

    Lucky for me, I got to try Gansta Boo (shown bellow with FG color Selena Corpus Crystalina) first hand. It's a sexy red that perfectly embodies the attitude of the rap goddess. You can see in the picture below that it looks a little transluscent, but only because I just had clear extensions put on. On a natural nail it will go almost opaque on the second coat. It goes on smooth and is so shiny it almost doesn't need a topcoat. Not to mention, excellent for the holidays right? 

    You can buy Gangsta Boo and Selena Corpus Crystalina at FLOSSGLOSS.com

  • Review: Dior's Creme Abricot

    I've always had a fascination with beauty products of the 60's. When I do get a chance to hit up the local flea market, I'm always on the hunt for salon relics. I've collected old manicure kits, pressed powder compacts, lucite jewerly containers, and porcelain hands, but despite my hoarder like tendencies, I have this very real dream of owning a complete vintage vanity in pastel pink with four light bulbs and triptich mirror. If today my wish came true, Dior's Creme Abricot would be the the first item placed in my knock-off Baccarat crystal display tray along with my Mason Pearson brush.

    Born in 1963, this famous nail treatment must have graced some very important vanities. Imagine Elizabeth Taylor applying this as part of her nightime beauty ritual. Dior calls it a "cult muli-tasker" that "encourages nail growth, improves nail strength, and conditions cuticles." That being said, I didn't want to succumb to the historical hype of this product. I simply had to try it myself. 

    I was convinced there was no way that something with an ingredient list as old as my grandmother's tub of cold cream could stand up to the hi-tech world of today's beauty products and as far as nature's concerned, this little pot is about as eco-unfriendly as it gets. These days, a single drop of mineral oil in your medicine cabinet can result in some serious fingerwagging, but for a product with such unremarkable ingredients, I couldn't believe how well this worked. It's essentially lanolin, water, paraffin, glycerin, and beeswax with added fragrance. My cuticles were pretty wrecked when I began using this and after about a week, I've seen a significant improvement in dryness. I file this product under the "salve" category. It's got a very sticky gooey texture, not that that's necessarily a bad thing. My tip is to massage it into your cuticles at night due to the stickiness of the product and, like most cuticle treatments, if you wear nail polish, use it afterward. Any kind of oily treatment is going to mess with the adhesion of nail polish or gel to your nail bed, which just means chipping and lifting. Not good for anyone.

    Recommended use: at night time bust out a pink satin robe, put some Edith Piaf on the record player, apply minty green mask of choice (preferably Queen Helene), massage Creme Abricot into the cuticles, and commence pretending that you are Sophia Loren. Who knows, maybe you'll have turned into her by morning. 

  • Are You IN the Know? Isis Nicole is Here to Help.

    Meet Isis Nicole: arbiter of nail culture, former journalism major turned tumblr tastemaker, and all around badass. As a co-editor of Tipsy Zine, Isis is all about sharing the latest news on the nail scene. She currently keeps nail artist Sophy Robson's NailPorn on point (nail pun intended) and was a major part of the production of Brass' NAILgasm documentary. THAT'S TOTALLY IN! is Isis’ latest creative endeavor. This coloring book + nail decal + sticker experience combines the best aspects of zine-making, craft, and childhood nostalgia. You can keep up with her interviews, projects and more isisnicole.com!

    What attracted you to nail art?

    Nail art is a fashion statement, so the endless amount of creativity definitely attracts me! And even more recently, I love all the stories of nail art to uncover, from the wearer to the designer. I'm a writer, so naturally coming across a cutting-edge artist, especially one who's down to be interviewed by me, sends me to heaven!

     What’s your earliest nail art memory?

    My legit earliest memory...like the moment I was like 'this is nail art' was seeing a silhouette of sex positions airbrushed onto this older lady. That really intrigued me as a kid. I was like, 'now this is some fly shit!' But no, really growing up, I would see my grandmother and her friends keep their nails done, and my mom would do nails around her campus as a side hustle. I've always noticed nails growing up in the black community, but the beauty industry as a whole has taken it to higher heights. I'm truly amazed at the progression of nails. It's like seeing a young girl blossom except in the form of french tips to leopard prints to manicure masterpieces all up at MoMa PS1. They grow up so fast!

     Who or what are your biggest influences (people, places, music, ect.)?

    I would have to say my mother first and foremost. She did an awesome job raising me, and I thank her for her support even when it ain't paying off Sallie Mae. She always reminds me that anything is possible, so I'm crazy enough to believe and receive it.

     Were you drawn to coloring books as a kid?

    I was! It started from those playful menus at restaurants, to realizing, 'oh man, you can get pages and pages of these!' I still can't draw a damn, but I do like to colour. 

    What drew you to the alternative medium of coloring books? What position do you think nail art takes as an alternative medium?

    Hmmm, that's a good question. I needed to create something that represented myself immediately, and the colouring book and nail art decals was the most efficient and interactive way to do it on a tight deadline. Granted, I had already made a list of things to do, In! is an acronym for Isis Nicole, and the prelude to many more projects to come.

     What was your experience like working with illustrator Sara M. Lyons on achieving your vision for THAT'S TOTALLY IN?

    Sara straight up nailed it. She's a brilliant artist and I'm so honored to have worked together. She never said no, and did a fantastic job illustrating all of my fantasies. I am very proud of That's Totally In! and I plan to keep the series going and get it into shops that need that extra cute kick. So if anyone's interested and reading this please feel free to contact me!

    I know you’ve been self-publishing interviews on tumblr for a while. What do you like about tumblr that makes it complimentary to the kind of writing you’re doing? Is there something about its structure that you feel different from other blogging tools?

    I use Tumblr simply because it's easy and I can connect with other bloggers. Wordpress was way too formal for me, and I never had the patience for Blogspot. Lol! I wish I had a deeper answer, but that's the cut-and-dry truth.

    THAT'S TOTALLY IN! was an extremely interactive experience where I felt I could participate in an activity with you and share my experience with readers online. Is that the intention you had when put the book together?

    That's awesome! Yes! That's exactly what I intended, especially with the help of the hashtag tool. #THATSTOTALLYIN I get so excited when I see my book getting props, and people engaging with the book. 

     Your coloring book depicts images of you hanging out with some awesome folks.You include images with Madeline Poole and Disco Nail. What role does that sense community play when you write and create?

    After some years on Tumblr, I think people have a good sense of who I am and what I'm into. The book is made up of captions rather than stories, that capture what I consider to be my coolest URL turned IRL moments. I basically connected with Madeline in her earlier days on Tumblr/Twitter, and I also connected with DISCO through Tumblr/Twitter as well. Everything in my book is based off a true story from the computer to across the world. I guess like a 101 on how-to-do-the-Internet-right in the form of pictures lol!

     

    A lot of your readers know you from your work with Brass on NAILgasm. What’s something you took with you after that experience that informs what you’re doing today?

    I truly admire how Ayla "Brass" Montgomery takes on her ideas at full force. I'm actually gonna be doing a giveaway with her soon. She's taught me a lot about marketing and how to make a project progress. Her curiosity and bravery inspires many people, including me. Since our trip to London something clicked and I haven't look back. 

     What can we expect from Isis Nicole in the next year?

    Maybe apply to join Kati Elliott's girl band! Seriously though, there will definitely be more writing in the magazine world that's for sure. I can't speak too much on it just yet, but just know that it's coming. I'd also like to do more directing, and traveling. I'm ambitious, I work hard, I want independence, I want love, I go through dark days, I get confused, but I'm always pushing forward and doing what I can with what I have to get to the next level. LOL, who gon' check me boo?! 

     

     

    No one could ever check you, boo.

  • Recap: Live Sketching in Eagle Rock with Sara M. Lyons

    When I found out my friend, artist, and nail decal creator Sara M. Lyons was going be doing a live sketching event with artist Esther Kim, it was settled: I would be driving out to Eagle Rock on a Saturday in the hopes of scoring some super cute decals while watching Sara sketch away for the night. 

    Lyons is an illustrator that's infiltrated the nail community in an unexpected way. With the launch of her "sleazy cute" nail decals she's been able to use her art to tap into a growing market of girls who want to take their creative expression to the next level by sporting their favorite artists on their nails. I became familiar with Lyons' work after she contributed to nail art publication I'm involved with, Tipsy Zine. Recently, she's teamed up with writer and editor Isis Nicole to illustrate That's Totally In!, a coloring book created by Nicole that comes with its own exclusive decals. 

    I was really excited to chat with Lyons in person while getting a front row seat to her sketching process. It was amazing to watch her work so quickly and efficiently. I could really tell she was tapping into a well of creative inspiration. Here are some pictures from the evening in case you missed out!

    Here I am checking Instagram, of course.

    Close up of the decals Sara and Esther collaborated on!

    Had to get a nail shot in! This is Sara rocking her own decals with neon french tips.

    For my sketch I asked Sara to draw a sketch of me! It was a spot on rendering down to the Black Flag button.

    The whole gang.

    Pictured (left to right): Jun-Marie Baudet, Esther Kim, Leanna Lin Fong, Sara M. Lyons, and Josh Grelock

  • PageImage-522651-4904158-il_570xN244676894.jpg

    Lately I've been really into collecting nail related vintage finds. Check out the latest addition to my collection. Hopefully I can scour L.A. antique marts and flea markets for more amazing pieces like this one.

  • Bewitched by Hex Nail Jewelry: An Exclusive Interview with the Girls Behind the Magic


    I'll be the first to say that nail charms been around since the 80's. There's nothing devastatingly new about them, but lately they've come back with a vengeance thanks to artists like Nail Swag and Lila Robles of Nail Jerks using them to adorn their clients' nails. Now you're all like, "Great, but where can I get my paws on these babies?" First, I hope you already know that no one should ever talk like that, but I will help you.

    If you want get yourself some cute nail charms, you have to get ready to hunt. I'll occasionally make pretty brutal drive to a nail supply in Little Saigon where I rummage around until I find what I'm looking for. I have to set aside at least half a day to do this. There's nothing wrong with it. It's just time-consuming and a bit of a hassle. That's where Hex Nail Jewelry steps in. Hex is an Etsy shop dedicated to serving up fiercly curated nail charms that are just one click away! For me, this means no more driving and no more rummaging. Added bonus: being able purchase "fuck you" nail charms at a moment's notice. (Check out how Jessica Washick uses them here.)

    I was lucky enough to get to know the Hex sisters, Melissa and Brenda Ahamad, and ask them about the magic behind the brand. 

    Name, age, location:

    Brenda Ahamad, L.A., 27 and Melissa Ahamad, L.A., 23

    Describe Hex in three words:

    Old. Now. New

    Favorite color(s) to wear on your nails right now: 



    Brenda: Nude.

    Melissa: Red is always a favorite of mine, but lately I've been liking the naked kinds.

    What are some of your earliest nail art memories?


    M: As kids, Brenda and I would walk to the dollar store and purchase fake nails. We'd glue them on and pretend we were classy ass gals! As I grew older I remember buying a KLUTZ nail art book in 7th grade. It wasn't until my college days that my nail art got more intricate.

    How did Hex Nail Jewelry come about?

    B: The line really came to thought when a friend of mine who used to produce them 25 yrs ago showed them to me. Melissa, being a nail freak, really pushed for us to start Hex, and so we did.

    Do you have any tips for getting the most out of your Hex Nail Jewelry?


    B&M: Definitely stay away from acetone as much as possible as it will really wear down the plating. When we remove our charms we usually try to pick off the excess before placing into warm/hot water.

    Your charms have really caught on in the nail art community with bloggers like Chalkboard Nails and artists like Madeline Poole (set pictured above) showing their support. How do you think Hex became so popular?

    B&M: We think nail art in itself is very popular and these charms are just an additional outlet for girls to accessorize their nails.

    I know that you guys have had experience working in jewelry design. How do you think your background with jewelry has helped inform what you are doing with Hex?

    B: Being in this industry has introduced us to these charms. Without a jewelry background we wouldn't be able to design or produce the new charms that are currently in the works.

    What are some of the people, objects, and places you look to for inspiration? How do those things influence the style you represent with Hex Nail Jewelry?

    B&M: All the nail charms that we have released are made from vintage molds. As for our new designs, they range from the music we like, to the classic phrases in Clueless. Inspiration is limitless.

    Some of the designs you use push boundaries with pot leaf and "bitch" charms, but you also have super cute heart and teddy bear charms available in your store. Is there a message there?

    B&M: There is no message. It's just about having fun!

    What are some of your plans for the future of Hex Nail Jewelry?



    B&M: As of now, we are just super excited for the charms that we are currently developing.

    What does nail art mean to you?

    B&M: To us nail art is a platform where you can get as crazy as you'd like in everyday life. It's art that anyone can create and we love that there are no limits.

    Where can people go to latest updates on Hex Nail Jewelry?

    We're most active on Instagram and Facebook, but we recently joined the Twitter community!

    Hexoxo
    M&B

  • Cali Pride with Nail Jerks

    Yesterday I got my first package from Nail Jerks, a company headed by HBIC Lila Robles specializing in delivering truly excellent nail art to NorCal and beyond. I had been meaning to pick up some stuff from the Nail Jerks store for quite a while and I couldn't resist sharing the spoils with you guys. Lila is bringing back 90's Cali vibes back to fashion in a big way. With her nail piercings, 40oz tees and weed themed nails, aptly named "Medecinails," Lila's work makes me want to light up a spliff on the Venice boardwalk and listen to some Tupac. 

    My new nail file necklace (complete with bling, of course):

    I have been a mega collector of badge pins ever since I was in high school. I actually switched this one out for my Pixies one, which is a big fucking deal!

    I also picked up this shirt which I haven't been able to stop wearing since it arrived. You can't see it in the picture, but it's printed with glitter. I'm determined to bling it out with even more rhinestones so it looks like the shirts you buy on Crenshaw. This one is going to be a part of Lila's upcoming Chipped+Broke line of nail art inspired apparel.

    Having a special moment with my new treats.

    So now I can finally be more like this...

  • The Library is Open!

    Last Sunday, I had the opporunity to attend L.A. Zine Fest at the Ukrainian Cultural Center. Anyone who knows me knows that I will always shell out for an awesome zine. I have a little corner in my room that I'm always adding to. This year, amongst the chaos, I found a little oasis of pink awesomenes known as the Library Sciences booth run by Sara Lyons and Jennie Cotterill. They are a dynamic duo specializing in delivering cuteness and punk to the masses. When my friend Mike asked me about my favorite booth at Zine Fest I just said, "Don't worry about it. It's for rad girls only."

    Apologies in advance for the picture quality! It was dark, noisy and very crowded.

    Sara and Jennie pictured below. Too much beauty to handle, I think.

    I also got a shot of me and Sara. Check out my new hoops!

    Here are some of the great things that were available at the booth! Hint: you can also find them for sale at her Etsy page! Two words: NAIL DECALS!

    Witchy stickers:

    Penises and shanks are super essential.

    Sara and Jennie's audio zine called Library Sciences and we all know that Reading is Fundamental.

    Kicking myself for not getting these "You're Disgusting" calling cards. Sara says they are perfect for that dude making kissy noises at you on the street and people that park like assholes.

    I tested out some of Sara's decals today and they work amazingly. It's as simple as rubbing them on with a hard edge and brushing on some top coat. I found one to perfectly match my current nail art situation from Hey, Nice Nails!

    I can honestly say that I now have major girl crushes on these two ladies and I'm so excited to be a part of their magic.

  • How to Fix a Broken Nail

    This is a conversation I had with my friend Michael when he broke his nail a few weeks ago. It so embodies the way I feel when a nail has split or broken. It's seriously the worst feeling in the whole world. Nails are a big part of my feminine power. If one of them breaks it feels like a Star Trek episode where you're stuck in a time warp of badness. Recently, I was advised on how to fix a broken nail and it's kind of saved my life, so I needed to pass on the wisdom.

    This is my thumb a week ago:

    This is my thumb now:

    What you'll need:

    - Super Nail Swiss Silk wraps

    - a nail buffer

    - a nail file with a rough grit

    - brush on nail glue

    The step-by-step:

    1. Go to your local beauty supply and purchase the wraps, glue, buffer, and file. This will cost you 15 dollars at most.

    2. Go home, or if you're me, complete the rest of the steps parked in your car outside the beauty supply.

    3. Paint a coat of nail glue on your nail as if you're using nail polish. Wait for it to dry.

    4. Place the silk on your nail. They're pre-cut so you dont have to snip them. It doesn't matter if it covers your whole nail as long as it covers the break. I usually place the wrap above my cuticle because it makes for easier cuticle care. Make sure its smooth and taut before the next step.

    5. Apply another coat of nail glue on top of the silk. It will immediately soak in and turn clear. Wait to dry.

    6. Take a nail file and gently file the free edge of the nail so that the excess silk naturally tears off. Then shape your nail so that you can't feel the edge of the silk. At this point, your nail should look completely fixed and shaped up properly.

    7. Apply another coat of brush on nail glue to the entire nail. 

    8. Give the nail a good buff so that the surface is smooth. The nail and silk wrap should be flush with one another.

    9. Apply nail polish, gel, or acrylic on top and pretend like it never happened.

    10. Buy yourself an ice cream sundae to celebrate your victory! Crisis averted!

  • More Nail Art by Hey, Nice Nails! and This Is Venice

    Today was the start of a three day event at Hey, Nice Nails! Lili Nguyen of This Is Venice will be at Hey, Nice Nails! delivering nail art to Long Beach residents from 11am-7pm up until Saturday. I had to take advantage of the opportunity to have the Parisian artist adorn my nails for me. Ginny is responsible for the studs, stones, and lettering. It was her idea to add the green opal accent! How did she know it was my favorite stone?

    More info here:

  • The Holy Nail Gets Interviewed by Isis Nicole

    Sasha Kremenetsky is nail art’s defender. You might recognize her from her Tumblr The Holy Nail, a nail lover’s wet dream recently evolving into a creative writing project. According to Kremenetsky, new boo on the block, The Holy Nail Blog, is meant to serve as deeply confessional and experiential as possible. In other words, The Holy Nail has matured, putting on its big girl panties to link fragments of Kremenetsky as a writer, nail fanatic, and comic book nerd while also allowing nail enthusiasts a space to express and build their talents too. Find out more about Kremenetsky’s constant quest, nail art wishes, and love for puns.

    Name

    Sasha Kremenetsky

    Age
    25  


    Hometown
    The suburbia hell otherwise known as Manhattan Beach, CA



    Website(s)

    theholynail.tumblr.comtheholynailblog.com


    Most Known For

    theholynail.tumblr.com


    Unknown For
    As a kid I dressed up as the red power ranger for Halloween two years in a row. Also, working at a little comic book store/art gallery while in college.

    Guilty Pleasure(s)
    As of right now it’s Star Trek: The Next Generation, listening to public radio, and Sharffen Berger Milk Chocolate Nibby bars.


    Did you watch GIRLS on HBO? 
    I did. I have mixed feelings about it. On the one hand I’m disappointed that the show didn’t include more Women of Color, but on the other hand I think Lena Dunham, as a writer, is very strong. I know she’s discussed the topic in various interviews since and has said she intends to remedy the situation. I look forward to seeing more of the show and how she plans to follow through on that.


    3 things you must do (or have done) before bed?
    Make sure my face is clean, put on a nice smelling plant based cuticle oil, and turn on a movie or show.


    How many zines do you own? 
    I definitely have a pretty fair amount. Whenever I can, I try to hit up bookstores in L.A. like Ooga Booga and FAMILY. Those are my favorite spots. The most recent zine I purchased was one by Will Sweeney called Captain Mindseye. He had a really great solo show at Synchronicity Space where I got my zine signed by him and everything.


    Favorite nail artist(s)?

    Two words: DISCO NAIL. When I saw her Ghost World nails I nearly fell over. I’m a sucker for those kinds of esoteric references. I also have to give it up to my L.A. girls. I really dig Madeline Poole’s work. She’s got the steadiest hands I’ve seen thus far and her work requires it. I also really admire the fact that she consistently takes nail art to an unexpected place. I adore the fine young ladies behind Hey, Nice Nails! I had such a fun time getting my nails done by them! They really know their stuff and are so down to earth. Recently I’ve been checking out a lot of work by Nail Swag. I think she will be my next stop on the L.A. nail art tour. Also, Sophy Robson. My first post on Tumblr was about her work. Seeing her stuff made me want to get into the nail game to begin with.


    What is your background?
     
    On my dad’s side I’m Russian and (a tiny bit) Iranian. I just found out about the Iranian thing a few months ago from my grandparents. On my mom’s side I’m Ukrainian and Jewish. My brother and I were born and raised in Manhattan Beach.


    How did you come up with The Holy Nail? 
    The title idea came from wanting to marry my English literature background with my extreme love for nail art. I don’t know what it is with nail art blogs and puns, but wordplay is a recurring theme with so many of them! I love a good pun so I kind of wanted to keep that tradition going. I began the site in college when I had to take a pretty gruesome prerequisite course on medieval literature. We read a lot of Arthurian legends. I initially started the site around that time for the purpose of introducing my friends to something I was genuinely interested in. I never thought it would turn into what it is today.


    How do you think The Holy Nail became so popular? 
    To be honest, I think a lot of it was good timing. I’m definitely riding the nail art wave, so to speak. I also think part of it may be that one of my main focuses for the page was to make sure it was curated. I only post what knocks my socks off and I don’t apologize for it. Of course, I’m always open to submissions. I’m just really picky about what I choose to post. That ended up working toward my advantage, I think. I also think that nail art and feminism (yep, I dropped the f bomb) go hand in hand. Right now we live in a really politically charged time that doesn’t make it super easy to be a woman. I think nail art not only provides women with an opportunity to become a part of a community, but also is something that can be used as a tool for empowerment and expressing oneself. I think that’s a big part of why the nail art scene has exploded the way it has in the last few years. That isn’t to say men don’t have a place in the nail art world. I love a guy that can rock a manicure, but let’s be realistic, the nail art world is predominantly run by women, which is okay! Men have enough industries where they are the ones that run things.

    Do you have any new nail adventures in the works, or major plans brewing for your blog? 
    Right now I’m working on some collaborations for the blog (The Holy Nail Blog ) that I’m super excited about. I’m going be publishing reviews about some of my favorite products and I’m currently taking submissions for art, poetry, and journalistic style pieces (feel free to contact me at theholynail@gmail.com if interested). I want to see whatever my followers have to throw at me! I’m still debating on whether I want to include tutorials. I use them constantly, but I think they’ve sort of oversaturated the market. Although, I’m sure if someone presented one to me in a new and refreshing way I could be convinced.


    What has been the biggest reward/challenge since creating The Holy Nail? 
    So far my biggest reward has actually been my biggest challenge. That is, to take The Holy Nail into a blog. My intent with The Holy Nail Blog is to foster a space where nail art enthusiasts of all backgrounds can come together and form a grass roots community. A lot of what it’s going to be is taking the concept of a “beauty blog” and turning it on it’s head. The personal is political, so why can’t a beauty blog also be about important issues? The project is more than just the blog or the tumblr at this point. This project has become about joining together fragments of myself (as a writer, artist, nail fanatic, comic book nerd, what have you) and creating a multidimensional project that represents me in a holistic way. All my past experiences are now informing what I want to do with this blog. I’ve never worked on a project like that before and it’s really exciting!


    If you could let anyone do your nails, who would it be? 
    So hard to choose! In Los Angeles: Madeline Poole. I haven’t gotten a full set by her yet, but I know she works primarily on shoots and things like that. Elsewhere: Disco Nail and Sophy Robson, of course! I’ve had many a daydream about packing up and going to England or Japan to get my nails done.


    What have you learned throughout your quest? 
    That nail art is a sisterhood and I’m so lucky to be a small part of it.

    Nail art by Nancy Som, Madeline Poole, and Hey, Nice Nails!