For our second instalment of our Nail File series, we’re delighted to have Sabrina Gayle, a professional nail artist from the UK sharing some of her nail secrets and career tips with us. There’s a lot to learn from Sabrina, as she’s on top of her game – undeniable talent and her own signature style secured her quite a few high profile gigs, like Vogue editorials for instance. Ready for some words of wisdom from the pro? Read on!
NAIL FILE: Sabrina Gayle, session manicurist/nail artist also known as @NailedbySG on social media.
1. Why nails? I have always had a flair for nails and enjoy doing manicures and pedicures especially the artsy side of it.
2. How did you get into the industry? I started as a salon manager in London’s Nails inc which also involved being on counter doing manicures and pedicures. I sometimes felt a little restricted as you would normally have to copy nail designs from a menu. I have always been artistic having studied fine art and graphic design, so decided to create my own designs at home. I started a Facebook business and Instagram page, putting up at least 2-3 designs a week. I was then contacted by make up artists and photographers to do nails on shoots. I feel very blessed as my amazing agent at LMC Worldwide also saw my work on a social networking site and contacted me and I have been doing session work ever since.
3. Achievements: I recently worked on a beauty shoot for L’Oreal Paris and had the opportunity to meet and work with Eva Longoria. Jessie J was fun to work with too.
4. Nail care product you can’t live without right now is… J’adore Seche Vite! For me the best top coat in the world. It finishes off any mani/pedi to perfection.
5. The best nail care tip?
- Always use a base coat to protect your nails, two coats of colour and a top coat for longevity.
- Look after those cuticles with your favourite nourishing oil.
- Never cut your cuticles. Only push them back and remove the skin that was on the nail plate. Once you cut your actual cuticles they become hard and grow thicker. You will continuously be cutting them which becomes a vicious cycle.
- Time is of the essence! Allow yourself time to dry in case of any mishaps – invest in a quality quick drying topcoat.
6. Favourite nail polish brand: I love so many brands for different colours they may have in there range. My top three brands are Chanel for their gorgeous colour range and quality, in my opinion they are the easiest lacquer to apply as the brush is perfect. Essie, again their colour range is immense and the quality is fab too. My third top would have to be L’Oreal Paris, great colours and good consistency.
7. Favourite top coat: The fastest drying top coat, Seche Vite, for a flawless super glossy finish.
8. Favourite nail strengthener: Essie’s ‘Grow Stronger’ (yesss, it’s our favorite too! …hello, Maria is here) is amazing and you can also wear this as a polish leaving your nails looking clean, healthy and groomed.
9. The worst thing for your nails is… Continuously having enhancements. I feel it is always best to give your natural nails a break every now and then. As they can weaken the nail plate.
10. Favourite colours: All the brights! I especially love pastels too.
11. Favorite pattern/nail art trend: My style is simple, graphic, bold and garish using clashing colours I love monochrome designs too.
12. The most adventurous/most challenging nail art you have ever created: Plastic mirror mosaic nails. They took me a little while as each piece had to be the right shape to create a mosaic effect.
13. The most interesting campaign you have ever worked on and why: An Essie Advertorial for Vogue UK (images #3 and #5). I had to create designs using glitter which usually isn’t my thing. But I think the shoot looked amazing and am very proud to have been a part of it.
14. How do you get inspired for your nail art: I like taking trips to art galleries, and long walks anywhere that is inspiring. I am always taking snaps of interesting shapes, buildings, colours to get my mind working. I love travelling too, India and Mexico for the culture, colours and food! Many of my designs have been inspired by these two destinations.
15. One piece of advice would you give someone wanting to become a professional manicurist: Practise, practise, practise… Make your designs as unique as possible. It’s great to be inspired by other but copying someone’s work will never get you noticed. Social networking is the key too. Show the world what you can do.
- White or Blue? White
- Gel or shellac? Gel
- Stilettos or square nail shape? Stilettos
- Nail icon? Rihanna- for all the amazing shapes and colours she has.
- When in doubt do … Half moons and negative space – chic and edgy
Sabrina Gayle was interviewed by Maria Vlezko in January 2014. All images – provided by Sabrina.