How did winning the BCL CND Professional Nail scholarship help your career?
It changed my life completely—it’s actually surreal! I just wrapped up New York Fashion Week (NYFW), where I worked with celebrity nail tech Pattie Yankee and did nails backstage at the Carolina Herrera show.
What surprised you most about working at NYFW?
The intensity, speed and general chaos backstage was amazing. As I was painting nails, there were so many people working with different approaches to creativity—hair, nails, makeup, accessories, last-minute alterations—and the director running around making changes. The models were being pushed and pulled so many ways. I made it a point to look into the eyes of each model and let her know I hoped she had a wonderful show. But when the models hit the stage, the audience saw a perfectly put-together and cohesive look.What keeps you inspired?
Downtown Manhattan is full of inspiration. I might take the red from a traffic light, some Swarovski crystals in a display or the ivory from an art exhibit and work them all into a new design. Inspiration is everywhere—there are no limits! And I like to keep challenging myself. I’m working on my submission now for the CND Master Nail Scholarship. I never want to stop learning. Since I joined the industry, I’ve seen new techniques, like encapsulation and pigment technologies—I want to learn about it all!
What advice do you have for nail techs who are just starting out?
Keep practicing and don’t get discouraged. Take risks and apply for scholarships and competitions. Watch YouTube videos. And be patient; there’s no rush. Just stay focused on the journey!
[Images: Courtesy of Tiffany Williams]