While veteran nail techs are invaluable resources because of their experience, there’s a new crop of talented young artists who are turning the nail industry upside down. So, we decided to scout some of the best 20-something nail pros for our first-ever 30 Under 30 awards. Get to know one of our winners, Shirley Cheng!
Growing up as an avid nail biter, New York City-based nail artist Shirley Cheng started tending to her own nails in high school. “In college, I dabbled in nail art, and everyone asked where I got my nails done, which inspired me to attend nail school,” says Cheng. “Once I landed a salon job, I never looked back.” Naomi Yasuda remains one of her biggest mentors and inspirations. “She’s the kindest, most generous and down-to-earth human you’ll meet,” says Cheng. “She always creates unique designs and collaborates with the biggest names, but remains so humble!” As a skillful nail sculptor, Cheng enjoys creating texture with foils and chrome powders and experimenting with Orly and Akzéntz products.
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—by Angelina Lewis