Nail expert Tracylee is Sally Hansen's Nail Ambassador. She brings with her more than 15 years of experience as an educator and trendsetter in the industry. Known for her innovative techniques, editorial approach and flair for nail art, Tracylee is a sought-after manicurist backstage at fashion shows, on set at magazine shoots, and on hand—literally—for her celebrity clients. Tracylee maintains a clientele of New York Socialites, designer and celebrities like Natalie Portman, Emma Watson, Nicki Minaj, Ashley Greene and Emma Stone. Now, she also joins Sally Hansen as a judge for the I Heart Nail Art Grand Finale Contest!
When did you start creating nail art?
I started doing nail art before I even went to school for nails. It was the late 80's and long nails were 'in' and nail art was just starting to become popular. I started doing my own nails, with tips and wraps, then progressed onto nail art from there. I was obsessed! I get bored fairly easily, so I started doing each nail a different design, which was unheard of at that time.
I went to school for nails, worked in a salon for 8 months, and then opened my own salon. I knew I could build my business and my craft better on my own, than with the restrictions of someone else's dreams. It was there that I dove into education, I knew it would help my business and service to stand out from the other salons. I wanted to know as much as I could about ALL phases of nail care, and took every course that was offered in my area. At that time, acrylic nails were the most popular form of enhancements, and is something that I wanted to perfect, so, I started competing in nail competitions, that were sponsored by local trade organizations and trade magazines. That is where my love for educating others began and still is still an important part of my career today.
What inspires you most in your designs?
I find any form of 'art' in other mediums, what inspires me the most. Whether it be an abstract painting, the shape of a contemporary building, the color and design of a Jeremy Scott shoe, or street art on the side of a building. When I see something cool, I immediately try to envision it in a nail design.
What's a hint you can share on getting great nail art?
Practice, practice, practice!!! Great nail art takes a lot of practice, I've been doing nail art for 25 years and I still practice and fine tune my craft. Using quality products and tools are imperative, and take your time. Do your less dominant hand first as it is harder to do this if your dominant hand is wet.
What advice do you have for the contestants?
The best advice I would like to give the contestants is......Create what moves you, what makes you feel happy, and what you feel passionate about. Nail art isn't meant to be perfect, but it's meant to be perfect for you!