We are spotlighting the winners of Nailpro’s 30 Under 30 competition for 2023, featuring 30 nail artists under 30 years of age.
Today, you will get to know Adrien Macias (@equinox_nailz). They are a 26 year-old nail tech at Equinox Nailz inside of Sector 7 Salon in Sacramento, CA.
Nailpro (NP): What is a fun fact about you?
Adrien Macias (AM): I studied abroad for one year in Seoul, South Korea! I got a tattoo there which was an amazing experience because tattooing is illegal in South Korea. Living there was life changing.
NP: How did you get your start as a nail tech?
AM: In 2019, my best friend started getting their nails done by a nail tech in a private studio. It was the first time I saw “Instagram nails” in person, and I was inspired by how perfect they looked. I was in my senior year of college at the time and couldn’t afford to get my nails done, so instead I was determined to give myself “Instagram nails” at home. I learned by using a nail kit from Amazon and watching hours of YouTube videos. I ended up going to cosmetology school during COVID, got my manicuring license and started Equinox Nailz in October 2021. That same friend who inspired me is now my most supportive client, and I am a proud business owner!
NP: What do you love about your job?
AM: I love doing art for the amazing people that I meet. Ever since I could remember, I have been an artist. I typically draw or paint, but now the art I do is on people's hands. People trust me to hold their hands and create little art pieces for them as they share secrets and stories. I create and maintain beautiful relationships with all these amazing people. They trust me and love me and my art, and I love them.
NP: Where do you find inspiration?
AM: I am inspired mostly by Queer arts and fashion icons. Drag queens, kings and performers are a huge inspiration for me. I deeply admire how drag artists constantly push against the standards or expectations of beauty and gender.
NP: What is a piece of advice you would give other nail technicians who are just getting started?
AM: What you put into your work is what you will get out of it. I call it ‘tending to your garden.’ Plant the seeds you wish to grow. Give it your all, and it will give back to you. Treat clients well, and they will be loyal. Practice your art, and you will get better. Tend to your garden!
NP: What is your favorite nail trend right now?
AM: My favorite nail trend is chrome nails – silver chrome, that glazed donut type of chrome on a perfect nude nail or mermaid chrome. All the chrome. Ugh I love it.
NP: What is your favorite service to offer?
AM: My favorite service to offer are structured gel manicures. I love doing gel extensions as well. My favorite is removing a gel extension to reveal perfectly grown out natural nails to then do structure gel on. Natural nail lover over here!
NP: What is one of your proudest achievements as a nail tech?
AM: My proudest achievement as a nail tech is opening my own business and having the financial stability as a full time artist. My dream was to be a full time artist, and I am. I’m very grateful to all my clients and proud of how far I’ve come.
NP: What do you love about the nail community/industry?
AM: I absolutely love seeing how creative people are, how talented people are. I am constantly inspired by other nail techs. I absolutely love how we all share this common special interest and can nerd out on all the things that we learn and love about nails. I look up to a lot of artists and I hope I can inspire others, too.
NP: What are your top goals as a nail tech?
AM: My dream is to open a salon full of highly creative beauty professionals who are weird art freaks like me. My dream salon would celebrate the LGBTQ+ community and would be a safe space for trans and Queer people to work or get services done. It would be community driven and also operate as a space for folks to sell art, jewelry, etc. That is my dream, and I can’t wait to see it come to life.
You can see the full list of our winners by reading our digital magazine.