"when your nails are on point, your life is on point."
I don't know about you but I'm a brand new woman when I have a fresh mani. I totally get that nails aren't everyone's priority, but I just really like how my hands look with a fresh paint job. That being said, they are necessary for me and I indulge in them happily. My poor nails, however, don't like regular nail polish. They chip the second I step out of the nail salon and take a breath. It's annoying and I'm totally not exaggerating. I've heard that some people have the chemistry for it and others don't. Hopefully you're one of the lucky ones.
While I'm sure there are tons of factors, I've done my research (and spent a few pennies) and haven't had much success so I've kind of just given up. Thankfully, some very smart people developed gel nail polish. As I'm sure many of you know, they're durable, maintain that beautiful lacquer shine, for most, will remain chip-free for up to two weeks, and (my favorite part) you don't have to wait for them to dry (solid evidence that God is real!!).
- You're stuck with the same color nail polish for two weeks
- When they grow out you get that little gap
- The UV light
- Damage and weakening of nails
None of these things particularly bother me - within fairness that is. I totally understand the implications of unnecessary UV light, but we're all going to die some way or another people, and for me, it's likely to be from eating too much ice cream, so I'm fine with the UV. Contrary to popular belief, gel nail polish doesn't ruin your nails. YOU or the person taking them off do. If you peel them off, you will ruin your nails. Trust me, I get the urge, but it's just not worth it.
The World of Nail Art
If you follow me on Instagram (which I highly recommend), you've definitely seen me donning an array of nail designs (pics below). I'm obsessed. They're so fun and my way of living on the wild side (I'm a lot more fun than I sound, promise!). They're also an easy conversation piece. Seriously, men and women alike love to talk to me about my nails. To be honest, I'm pretty boring when it comes to certain fashion trends. I like black, white, nude, and blush. I do wear other colors of course and I wouldn't qualify myself as a minimalist, but overall my style is feminine and classic, so I do need some excitement from time to time. Nail art does that for me.
While I'm aware that I can live my life whichever way I please, currently I have a job that is cool enough for me to be myself and have whatever kind of nails I want. Chances are I'll never work at a stuffy bank, but never say never, right?
0 to a 100
The kind of nail art I'm talking about is completely upgraded from what was around back in the day. So long are the days of airbrush designs. If you want Drake on your nails, you can have Drake on your nails...or really anything else that you could imagine. It's actually mind blowing. These are nail ARTISTS. Without too much concern, I can make these manicures last 3 weeks, which is great when things get hectic (which is frequently the case).
Here are some of the designs I've had over the last year... You'll notice that none of these are even that insane (and that I really really like a blush pink color). On the nail art scale I'm relatively conservative. These designs don't do any justice to the amazing artists that have come near my hands. I'll share more about them below!
**These are my natural nails, no extensions, just gel!
Where to Go
My go-to spot is Vanity Projects. They have two locations, one in New York City and one in Miami. Vanity Projects started out as a pop-up shop in 2009. Before you know it they were invited to showcase their work at fashion events, museums, and cultural institutions. (They've been in the Moma PS1, you guys! So cool.) From there, they created an artist in residence programs and by 2013 had their first brick and mortar location on the Lower East Side. To date, they've been featured in Allure, New York Mag, Elle, Vogue, Forbes, Mercedes Benz Fashion Week, Miami Swim, the Brooklyn Museum, and the list goes on.
What to Expect
The space is super cool! It's super fly-girl-fashion-NYC vibes. I'm not sure if that resonates with you, but when you get there you'll understand what I'm saying. When you walk into the studio there is video art projected on the walls. The art changes every so often and without a doubt it's a nail experience unlike any you've ever had. They never disappoint. You'll be asked if you'd like still water, Perrier, tea, or champagne upon checking in. Say YES to the champagne.
Who to Trust
Vanity Projects is by appointment only which means you'll need to book relatively in advance. You can snag a last minute appointment, but things do fill up fast.
I'm genuinely mesmerized by everyone's nails when I walk in. From what I've seen, the entire staff is great, but my personal faves are Gracie J (to the left) and Gina O (to the right). Aren't they prettttyy?! They're even more talented and always great to talk to.
When they're not doing the nails of celebrities, my nails get blessed too (and so can yours)! I would have to say that I'm most happy with how they care for my nails. Like I mentioned earlier, people often think that gel ruins your nails. This isn't true with proper care. Both of these ladies allow your nails to soak properly so that just the gel is removed and not layers of your nail. My cuticles are perfect, my nail shape is precise, and my hands are soft and supple. What more can a gal ask for? Not into gel? They can use regular nail polish as well.
Looking for a way to spice up your life? Get some nail art, you deserve it. You can reach Vanity Projects here to make an appointment online.
Oh, and don't forget to share your nail art with me! I'm always looking for some inspiration for my next appointment.
99 Chyrstie St, #2
NY, NY 10002
New Yorker | Lover | Believer