OPI Pro Spotlight: @sassynailsss
Sabrina (@sassynailsss), our September PRO Spotlight pick, has been doing nails since 2013. Not only has she polished her skills over the years, resulting in stunning, colorful designs, but she’s also gained wisdom on creating work-life balance. In our interview below, she shares her tips for working in the industry, plus her strategy for choosing color combos and her fave Fall Wonders shade.
OPI: What inspired you to become a nail artist?
Sabrina: Growing up I was always infatuated with anything beauty. Once I got to high school I knew I wanted to go to Cosmetology school but I originally only wanted to do hair. The first subject we learned about was nails and within that first week, I went out and bought supplies to practice on myself. It is a lot easier to convince people to let you practice on their nails than it is for their hair so the more practice I got, the better I got and it became second nature. Doing nails came to me so naturally, more than hair, and I thought “okay this is my thing”.
OPI: Which shade from our new Fall Wonders collection are you most excited to try?
Sabrina: I am most excited to try “Peace of Mined”. I believe 2022 is the year for all of the neutrals and has been my client's go-to this year. It’s simple and classy and I think will give your nails that clean look that everybody loves.
OPI: Your nail art designs are stunning and so colorful! How did you learn to create nail art for clients?
Sabrina: Thank you! A lot of nail art inspiration comes from my clients. When I started doing nails in 2013 we were just starting to transition from rockstar nails to gel and gel nail art. I was always willing to try any nail design that my clients would bring to me and I liked the challenge. Creating nail art is a lot of trial and error, so I would always try to figure out which steps I thought came first. I would watch some nail tutorials for some things here and there but I honestly feel that the more that I did nail art the better and better it got.
OPI: What advice would you give other nail artists who are just starting their journeys?
Sabrina: My advice would be to not be so hard on yourself and give yourself time. Practice makes perfect and it comes with time and patience. Don’t worry about how fast another nail artist is compared to you. As long as you are making sure to put out quality work, you will always be successful because your clients will appreciate it! Always try new things and keep up with the trends and make sure to challenge yourself. If you can do those things while keeping a good relationship with your clients, then you will be successful.
OPI: What nail art trends are you predicting this Fall?
Sabrina: A lot of neutral/earthy tones! I also think there will be a lot of abstract nail art. Mismatched prints are very popular right now in people's clothes and their homes and I think it will inspire a lot of nail sets.
OPI: What is your favorite technique to create the perfect Gel mani?
Sabrina: I believe the perfect mani consists of good prep work and cuticle clean-up along with perfect shaping and smooth application. Find which shape suits your client's hands and fingers best and always make sure to be diligent and clean with your polishing. Clients love their nails to look clean and well manicured and I believe clean nails will always make your work look so much more appealing.
OPI: The color combos you use in your nail art really pop! How do you choose which colors will work well together?
Sabrina: I’ve come to realize over the years that some of the best color combos are created when choosing a few colors that you wouldn’t normally put together for a set. Doing this creates a bigger impact and is automatically more attractive to the eye. It also allows a more simple client to go out of the box without having to get any nail art. I challenge any new nail artists out there to not stick to the norm and put a pastel color with a neon or neutral color and see what you can create! You might even start a new trend!
OPI: How do you create work-life balance for yourself, in an ever-growing and busy industry?
Sabrina: Over the years I have learned that the best way to do this is to set boundaries. With a very fast-growing clientele, I found it very exciting at first but later on it was very difficult to find room for new appointments and it took away from my personal life. I realized I needed to make a change or I was going to get burnt out on doing what I love. So now I have my set work hours and make sure to take some weekends off and block off time for vacations. We are not meant to run like machines and it is important and healthy to have a balance of work and fun. Every now and then I do catch myself not sticking to my boundaries but I am lucky to have clients that remind me that I need to give myself a break.
OPI: How do you practice mindfulness and take care of yourself as a nail tech, when your work day gets stressful?
Sabrina: This is definitely something I still struggle with and still don’t have the perfect answer for. I have days that I know will be busier and more stressful than others and I’ve had some days that I thought would be calm turn into a big mess. Whether it’s from running behind, to a last-minute cancellation, or your work just not coming out how you thought, it can be very stressful at times. When I get myself into these situations, I just try to relax or be completely honest with my client and no matter how behind I am I always try to make sure to give myself a small break so I can fuel my body with food, go to the restroom or even just take a few minutes to breath and stay calm. It’s still a work in progress LOL.
Don't forget to follow Sabrina aka @sassynailsss on Instagram for more inspiration.
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