OPI Pro Spotlight: Nyah Green x OPI Healing Hands
OPI: How did you get started in the nail industry? What inspired you to become a nail artist?
NG: Many of my family work in the beauty industry. Being an artist, I wanted a job that would allow me some sort of creative expression, so my parents suggested I try out nails. I immediately loved it!
OPI: What is it like being a nail artist during COVID-19? How has the experience been for you?
NG: Being a nail artist during Covid-19 has been challenging. In spite of the challenges, I've been so blessed to have opportunities to work with nail companies, artists, and designers! I have kept a positive outlook and have had more creative time.
OPI: Do you feel the beauty industry is changing for Black women? How so?
NG: I think black women in this industry are starting to be more recognized no matter what field of beauty. Black culture has always had a heavy influence in different parts of the industry, but not always getting recognition. It makes me so happy when I see celebrities or big influencers tag and recognize the beauty team behind their finished looks and shoots.
OPI: Do you feel like the nail industry is being more inclusive with nail artists?
NG: I do! It's amazing to see so many different cultures of women being recognized on huge platforms, especially women that look like me. That representation matters, so other artists are encouraged that no matter what they look like it's an equal recognition industry.
OPI: What’s your favorite nail system to work with?
NG: I love to work with and play around with the colors of OPI gel. Sometimes, it's like playing with oils when mixing and matching.
OPI: You have such a unique aesthetic on your Instagram! What is the inspiration behind that?
NG: Thank you! I love art photography, old things, and incorporating my personal artwork. I guess I just want my work to feel like an art gallery.
OPI: We believe color and expression are powerful tools on the path to wellness. Are there specific colors or designs which resonate most with you?
NG: My favorite neutral from OPI has always been "Funny Bunny" and recently "Bare My Soul". They work with so many odd and interesting designs I love to paint. One design that tends to resonate with me is (as of recent) all the renditions of the Alligator print. Also, "Black Onyx", because you can use it to add finishing detail to any design. And black rocks!
OPI: How do you feel as though your craft can be a means of self-expression? Do you think this form of art can promote self-expression for your clients?
NG: I think that through nail art I can create other styles and techniques. I always want to try new things. It’s exciting for me to see client’s different styles through the colors and designs they choose, so I think they definitely have a great means of self-expression through nails.
OPI: Do self-expression and mental health and wellness correlate for you? If so, how?
NG: Yes. I think that if you're mentally doing well it will shine on the outside.
OPI: What impact do your hands play into the process of creating and showing nail art and designs?
NG: I put a lot of thought into the placement of my hands in photos so that the nail designs are best displayed. That includes whether jewelry is worn and whether the background is plain or there are props. Sometimes I don’t want any distractions taking away from the nail designs.
OPI: Any advice you’d like to share with other aspiring nail artists?
NG: I would say, be authentic. It's a very competitive industry, and if your ideas and art don't line up with what's "in", that's even better, because it will set you apart.
Nyah Greene nail artist at Hello Birdie, a nail and lash lab in San Diego, California. You can follow her at @nyahnailartist.
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