OPI Pro Spotlight: @nailsbytaylorjustine
Looking to feel inspired in the New Year? For our first Pro Spotlight of 2022, we’ve caught up with OPI nail boss and natural nail specialist Taylor Justine aka @nailsbytaylorjustine. Discover why her grandma started her nail obsession, her advice for newbies, and the reason she loves natural nails.
OPI: What made you get involved in the nail industry?
TJ: Growing up my grandma would take my sister and I to visit her friend Heather who was a sales rep for a local beauty supply store. In her home Heather had a room filled with all the beauty products you could imagine. She would let us pick out OPI nail polishes, Avojuice lotions and other nail goodies. We would then go back to my grandmas and do manis & pedis. This is where my nail obsession began. After graduating high school I had a hard time figuring out what I wanted to do as a career. In the meantime I worked a retail job in a small clothing store. A couple years went by and I knew I needed to switch it up so I decided to take an esthetics course and I’ve been doing nails ever since.
OPI: Any tips for other nail techs who are starting out?
TJ: Take. Your. Time. When I first started out I would take 2+ hours to do a set of nails. I wouldn’t settle for anything less than perfection and my clients appreciated this. Also, find something that makes your work stand out from other nail techs in your area and hone in on it!
OPI: How and why did you start focusing on natural nails, and becoming a specialist in that style?
TJ: The esthetics course I took had a very brief and basic nail portion so, to be honest, I was never really confident in the artificial aspect of nails. I offered artificial gel nails for a couple of years but when I realized that I was able to help my clients grow out their own nails just as long and strong as artificial ones I decided to solely focus on that.
OPI: What do you love most about being a nail tech?
TJ: I love seeing how proud all of my clients are able to grow out strong and healthy nails.
OPI: You're building an impressive social following. How do you continue to help your social media following grow?
TJ: Thank you! I try to stay consistent with posting on social media, that is 100% the key to good engagement. I also hopped on the Instagram reel train and that has made a huge difference for me.
OPI: What's your favorite nail art/look for clients in the New Year season?
TJ: I love a good sheer, neutral, nail polish - OPI Put It In Neutral being my all-time fave. It’s the perfect base for any nail art. For the New Year, I would suggest going for a light coat of champagne shimmer or mixed metallic starbursts
OPI: With natural nails, what's your favorite nail tool to use on clients?
TJ: An absolute game-changer when it comes to natural nails is structured soft gel. This medium viscosity, self-leveling, gel is fairly new to the nail industry and I’m so happy I discovered it early on. It allows clients to grow out healthy natural nails by adding strength & structure.
Don't forget to follow Taylor aka @nailsbytaylorjustine on Instagram for more inspiration.
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