The New Era of Nails

@nailedbylizzz nail art

I recently got a text from my friend — it was just a picture of her nails. A burgundy-red, coffin-shaped set with gold hearts and rhinestones.

“When was the last time you went to the salon to get your nails done?” I asked. Just like most of the girls I see on my Instagram timeline, she seems to only get her nails done by an at-home nail tech. “I think for my quinciañera,” she said. That was six years ago.

The COVID pandemic led to an increase in the popularity of home-based nail artists. More people started buying nail kits to make their own sets, and technicians began taking clients at their homes instead of in a packed salon.

It was around that time that both Elizabeth Duran and Yadiris Largaespada (who goes by Yadi) started their nail businesses. Elizabeth’s Instagram (@nailedbylizzz) has almost 4,500 followers, and Yadi’s (@yadinailedit) isn’t far behind.

“I’ve always loved nails, but I never had the idea of doing nails,” Yadi tells me over a cup of matcha at Red Bicycle. “I only did one practice nail, not a set or anything — I was like, ‘Wow, I actually like this.’”

@yadinailedit nail art

Elizabeth has built a reputation for ornately detailed 3D nail designs.

“I started in 2020,” the 22-year-old says over a Zoom call. She’s in her nail room, behind her a shelf stocked with dip powders and glitter. “It was something that was just like a hobby, and it turned into a job.”

At 20 years old, Yadi is a full-time chemistry major and a part-time nail artist. She says she sees more than 100 clients regularly. She says she’s invested as much as $15,000 dollars in her business.

“I’ve learned a lot,” she says. “I’ve had a lot of errors; I mean, I’m human. Anyone who owns a business has lost and gained money.”

Elizabeth feels similarly. During the eighth grade, she fell in love with nails, but it was not until 2020 that she started to do nail art herself. Her first client was her sister — back then, they were impressed with the results, but it doesn’t compare to what Elizabeth’s capable of today.

“Social media taught me so much,” she says. “I ended up learning little tricks, and it just became easier.” Elizabeth offers a variety of application types, from acrylic to newer stuff like structure gel, which is a type of manicure that overlays your natural nail, or GelX, which is the most popular nail extension for longer nails.

Customers are looking for more personal experiences with their technicians, a thing at-home nail artists are nailing. Spoiling their customers with a cup of coffee, snacks or even a movie are some strategies Yadi and Elizabeth use to ensure that their clients stay happy. 

They’ve both become experts on the multiple crises that can come along with fresh manicures — everything from charms and seasonal colors to the newest nail trends.

@nailedbylizzz nail art

“Girls that are still in high school or middle school, they either get long tapered square coffin or more exotic nails,” Elizabeth says.

“The 20-plus are more of a medium-size classic,” Yadi adds. “That clean, slick aesthetic girl. Top ones are the shape almond, French tips, the very aesthetic clear 3D gel. They’re very aesthetic Pinterest vibes.”

During consultations, they advise their clients on the type of length they should get based on their work environment and the different kinds of shapes, art, polish and manicures for the best achievement of their client’s satisfaction.

“They just feel at home,” says Elizabeth with a confident smile. “I get a lot of clients that are automatically like, ‘I could stay here and just be relaxed.’ I got you for the next two hours. You’re good.”

People still go to salons, of course. Elizabeth thinks the practicality, the efficiency and the ease of making appointments are what still bring people in — especially for pedicures. The from-home nail artist gets to build a strong bond with their clients. They have more time to be creative, giving their customers an open space for them to partake in the experience for which they are paying.

“All my clients adore me,” says Yadi. “I’m just welcoming. I provide everything, so as long as you’re there, you will be treated very well.”

Rounding up our favorite vintage and boutique vendors, checking out Nashville’s best street style and lots more

This post was originally published on this site