We are spotlighting the winners of Nailpro’s 30 Under 30 competition for 2023, featuring 30 nail artists under 30 years of age.
Get to know Maggie Curlew (@alt.maggiecurlew). She is a 29-year-old nail tech at Alternative Beauty NB in Fredericton, NB, Canada.
Nailpro (NP): What is a fun fact about you?
Maggie Curlew (MC): I’ve loved nails since I was a kid. I had an aunt who would get long, hand-painted acrylics, and I was obsessed. When I was in middle school, I had my own “nail salon” setup in my bedroom. My clientele were my siblings, parents and extended uncles and cousins. I had two nail polish shades, one mini tube of OPI avojuice hand cream and a dream, obviously!
NP: How did you get started as a nail tech?
MC: I always knew that I wanted to become a nail tech and started my career right out of high school. I went to school at Atlantic Aesthetics Academy in 2012 to become licensed as an esthetician. I tried offering other services but ultimately settled on nail artistry full-time.
NP: What do you love about your job?
MC: I get to basically do arts and crafts all day with paints, glitters, chromes and diamonds and the clients – I get to hang out with my friends all day!
NP: Where do you find inspiration?
MC: I love to see what techs from other countries are doing. It's so fun to try new techniques that I’ve never seen before. There are so many incredibly talented artists around the world.
NP: What is a piece of advice you would give other nail technicians who are just getting started?
MC: Always pursue learning! There is always something new to learn and try. Practice is the biggest key to improving your work, and it’s so important to keep pushing to learn. Also, be yourself (and be proud of yourself). It’s so easy to get stuck in the comparison of yourself and your work with those around you, but getting to be an individual with different strengths and talents is one of the best parts of this industry! There is a space and clientele for everyone, and everyone deserves an equal opportunity in this industry.
NP: What is your favorite nail trend right now?
MC: I love mix and match sets, preferably with 3D nail art, chrome line work, airbrush, charms… I want it all.
NP: What is your favorite service to offer?
MC: Long-XL full sets of polygel extensions with art
NP: What is one of your proudest achievements as a nail tech?
MC: Being able to open my own salon with my sister! She is a lash tech, and we opened our shop a year ago. I’m so proud of how the space has come together and the clientele we have formed. As a LGBTQIA+ woman, I’m proud of being able to contribute to a space where everyone is accepted and feels safe and comfortable.
NP: What do you love about the nail community/industry?
MC: I think it’s such an empowering community to be a part of. We all want to help each other out and teach new skills to grow our individual careers.
NP: What are your top goals as a nail tech?
MC: To continue my personal education with nail artistry and to expand to provide education to others. It’s also a dream to have my own small nail brand someday!