I love creating art on nails, but what I love most is when customers are happy with the art and appreciative of my work. Whether it is from the smiles on their faces when they look at their nails, the sweet thank-you messages that they send me afterwards, or recommending me to their friends, these little signs always make my day.
In fact, some of my customers don’t live near me, and have to travel from across the island (up to 1.5 hours in some cases, or 3 hours for a return trip) to get their nails done, and I am always touched that they are willing to make the trip.
Serena is one such customer! When she contacted me for an appointment, I found out that she lives in Seng Kang (my salon is in Bukit Batok), but she said she wanted to experience my work so she didn’t mind traveling to my place. When she came for her appointment, I found out why she told me that. This is the picture that she showed me:
She told me that she had shown the same picture to other manicurists who then told her that they couldn’t do it, and so she always had to opt for simpler designs. Actually, I believe that anyone who graduated from my nail school would be able to replicate this design, because we learn techniques that allow us to create fine detail, and those techniques, together with patience, would definitely allow anyone to do this design. I guess in normal salons, such designs are avoided because they might take up too much time and therefore not be profitable from the salon’s perspective.
The version that I did for her is a little simplified due to the colours that she chose as well as the size of the “canvas” that I had to work with. The original design was done on fake tips, which are much larger than the average natural nail, and Serena’s nails were also short. I also extended one of her nails as it had broken off completely and had no free edge. The rest were of different lengths, but instead of filing them down to the same length, we decided to keep them as they were to maximise the space for the art.
Also, the original design is done in a messy style (which has its own beauty), but as a perfectionist, my style veers towards neat lines, and try as I might, I couldn’t do it in the original messy style. So, the end result is more neat than messy.
For this design, I used Gelish Sheek White, Artistic Colour Gloss Tease and Artistic Colour Gloss With It for the base colours and acrylic paint for the art.
The art alone took me about 1.5 hours (approx 9 minutes per nail) as I had to refer to the picture for the lace design, and I had to keep mixing the paint with water to get the best consistency for the fine details. Serena was absolutely perfect and kept very still, making my job so much easier! She was also very sweet and asked me if I needed a break – I’m actually very used to spending long hours on art and my record has been 3 hours just for art on a mani! And at the end, I was glad that she didn’t bat an eyelid at the price of the art. I know some customers may think my charges for art are high, but really, have you seen the prices charged in normal salons, as well as the effort put into these works of art?
So all in all, I had a really wonderful time serving Serena, and I look forward to our next appointment!