Nailing the nail art

Caroline Turnball, ‘24, Yoanna Nolasco, ‘23, and Michelle Islas, ‘23, all agree on one thing: nails are a way to express yourself.

“It’s always interesting when you see people’s nails. I feel like you can tell a lot about them depending [on] what colors they wear, if [the nails] are long or they’re short,” Turnbull said. 

Turnball started doing her own nails around fifth and sixth grade after noticing her mother wasn’t very good at doing them. 

“I think it was just like continuing to practice. Like, I’m still not amazing, but when you’re practicing a lot of times you get a lot better at it,” Turnball said.

She’s into doing lots of different designs, especially abstract designs, and she wants to start working on acrylics. 

Turnball believes that part of why she enjoys doing nails so much is because she’s very passionate about beauty. She likes doing hair, makeup and having fun with trendy clothes and outfits. 

Junior Yoanna Nolasco began her nail journey through YouTube tutorials. 

She watched many nail artists on social media, with platforms like Tiktok, Instagram and YouTube, and decided to give it a try. 

“I felt like there were many videos online, and I thought it looked fun to do. I tried it and I really liked it,” Nolasco said. 

Nolasco focuses specifically on acrylics, which are very trendy right now. She mostly only does long nails with rhinestones and different designs. 

She puts in a lot of effort practicing by doing sets on herself and others. Her friends seem to like her nails. 

“They’re like ‘Oh can you do my nails again some other time?’” Nolasco said. She has also started charging and making some money.

Nolasco thinks that the main reason she enjoys doing acrylics so much is because she likes seeing other people happy about her work. 

Islas has only recently started doing her own nails as she wasn’t allowed to paint them when she was younger. 

“I was really insecure about my hands because everyone would always tell me how long they were. It’s not a bad thing having long hands, but having to hear it every time was a little [frustrating],” Islas said. 

Once her parents gave her permission to paint her nails, her sister would do them for her, until she picked up on her sister’s techniques and learned from her. Islas then began experimenting herself with different colors and designs which led to many people complimenting her nails, and it made her feel better about her hands.

“The fun thing about this is that they don’t have to be perfect, especially with today’s fashion and aesthetics. They can be a simple line and they’ll look pretty and classy,” Islas said.

“The fun thing about this is that they don’t have to be perfect, especially with today’s fashion and aesthetics. They can be a simple line and they’ll look pretty and classy,”

Islas only does her own sets. She’s never done anyone else’s nails and doesn’t plan on working on others. 

Islas and Nolasco have very similar goals on what they want to achieve with their creativity. Both of them want to keep practicing and improving their skills. 

Turnball, on the other hand, has a slightly different goal; she has noticed that her friends seem to want her to continue doing their nails, so she’s been thinking about charging them. 

“I don’t know about [it] as a career, but you never know,” Turnball said.

Though all three girls have a different way they got inspired to begin doing nail art and have different styles and goals, they all talked about the importance of nail art and self expression. 

“I think it’s important because it can really help express your feelings, not only that but it can also add a little something to your appearance,” Islas said.