When I lived in NYC and commuted to work every day, my main goals were to: 1.) Avoid eye contact at all costs, 2.) Ride the train without a single person talking/touching/glaring/sneezing on me, and 3.) Walk as fast as humanly possible during the transfers. Basically, nothing could get in my way. One particular day, though, I was power-walking through the Lorimer/Metropolitan stop, and there it was—THE most beautiful zine I had ever seen on display at The Newsstand. It stopped me dead in my tracks. The word “Nails” was written in giant script across a photo of a single hand holding a switchblade with crisp, white tips. Instantly, the image was burned into my brain, and shortly after that, I moved to Los Angeles and still wondered who the genius was behind that killer cover. Turns out it was nail artist Natalie Pavloski, an Australian who worked for housing and homeless organizations throughout NYC but had “always been doing something creative, whether it was drawing, painting or taking photos.” After talking with her mentor and friend, celebrity manicurist Alicia Torello, Natalie decided to switch careers and assist for her instead. “I started to put my own work out via social media and had a really good response. It’s been non-stop ever since.” Natalie also did the super kawaii Emoji nails for our rave lookbook, so we thought it would be the perfect time to ask her to share her top 10 nail designs with us—and the secret to making them look so awesome. —Chrissy Mahlmeister
“Red nails are one of my all-time favorite looks and adding the leopard up-skirt is an exciting twist.”
The inspiration: Louboutin shoes.
How to do it: Apply a base coat, two coats of Sally Hansen “Rapid Red,” and a top coat. For the up-skirt, use one layer of gold polish and add black leopard print using a small paint brush. Finish it off with top coat.
“Every nail is different but the look as a whole is still cohesive.”
The inspiration: Natalie’s love for the half moon mani—with a twist.
How to do it: Apply a base coat and tape off the parts you want clear. Apply a coat of Sally Hansen “Blue-Away” and paint the gold nails and outlines using Zoya “Solange.” Finally, add Playboy gems and use a top coat to seal in the look.
“I love that the hearts are so small yet so noticeable—it’s an eye-catching design.”
The inspiration: The lookbook for the online boutique Young Love.
How to do it: Apply a base coat, two coats of Essie “Licorice” and add hand-painted white hearts using Essie “Blanc.” Seal with a top coat.
“I love the matte and shiny combo—it’s so bold.”
The inspiration: The matte black and shiny black tip look we all know and love.
How to do it: Apply base coat, two coats of Maybelline Color Show “Bold Gold” topped with matte top coat. While it’s still wet, add gold foil to the tips.
“It’s the perfect way to mix colors without it getting too crazy.”
The inspiration: Roller discos and the ’80s.
How to do it: Apply base coat and fade each polish using make-up applicators. While still wet, sprinkle loose glitter on the polish and brush off excess with a small paintbrush. Use two coats of a top coat to keep the loose glitter all set.
TWO SWIPES OF SILVER
“It’s easy to do and having glitter tips lasts longer!”
The inspiration: Metallics and bold colors
How to do it: Apply base coat and one coat of Formula X “Need for Speed.” Then, use Essie “Blanc” across the center leaving the silver moon and french tip exposed. Apply silver glitter while still wet and finish off with top coat.
“Fades have always been a favorite of mine and so have pastels. Combine the two together, and you cannot go wrong.”
The inspiration: The wallet featured in this picture by 202Factory.
How to do it: Apply base coat and fade Felina “S127” into Sally Hansen “Blue-Away” into Floss Gloss “Wavepool” using a make-up applicator. Top it off with a top coat and add gems to the wet polish for some extra sparkle.
“I love how simple but strong it is.”
The inspiration: Bondage gear.
How to do it: Apply base coat and create a linear design with a striper brush using Essie “Licorice.” Add a gem where each line intercepts and finish with a top coat.
“I love how bold and in-depth the nails look.”
The inspiration: The movie Blue Velvet. Natalie found a beautiful nail foil that sparked the idea and voilà!
How to do it: Apply base coat, one coat of Essie “Aruba Blue” followed by one coat of nail foil glue. Wait until the nail foil glue dries (it goes on milky white and dries clear) and place nail foil onto the nail and remove slowly. Finish off with non-fast drying topcoat otherwise it will shrink the foil.
“I love how simple and easy it is, yet it’s still so effective.”
The inspiration: Animal print clothing.
How to do it: Apply base coat, two coats of Essie “Blanc” and hand-paint the cow print using Essie “Licorice.” Seal it with top coat.