Pro Spotlight: Celebrity Nail Artist Steph Stone
To gear up for our OPI California Dreaming collection, we traveled the West Coast with Hollywood nail artist, Steph Stone. She works with with superstars like Miley Cyrus, Shay Mitchell and Alessandra Ambrosio, creating gorgeous nail art looks for red carpets, magazine covers and catwalks. As our Pro Ambassador for OPI's California Dreaming collection, we sat down with her to chat about how she got started, where she draws inspiration from, and some of her go-to OPI products.
OPI: So, tell us who you are.
SS: I'm Stephanie Stone and I'm a nail stylist!
OPI: How did you get into nails?
SS: One of my childhood friends (who happens to be celebrity manicurist Jenna Hipp) saw potential in me and asked me to assist her on set! She took me under her wing and once I realized on set nail styling was something I could take a serious interest in. I enrolled in nail school to become a licensed nail tech. Everything sort of fell into place from there!
OPI: When did you decide to become a licensed nail tech?
SS: I think that was back in 2011.
OPI: Where do you usually get your nail art inspiration from?
SS: There has been so much done with nail art that it can often be difficult to come up with something completely original! Because of this I often look for inspiration in things that are not typically fashion or beauty related. Nature, textures, patterns I see in wallpaper or stained glass. But, I do love fashion inspiration too! Pulling inspiration from runway looks is a great way to trend forecast as well. I love collaborating with brands also. For example Doc Martens sent me a pair of shoes that inspired one of my favorite black and white nail looks.
OPI: How did you become so successful in the nail space? Any tips for newcomers?
SS: I am very lucky in that I think a lot of my success is attributed to people giving me a chance and investing in me combined with hard work. The biggest piece of advice that I could give someone would be in addition to perfecting your craft - being a people person and team player is extremely important. The better outlook and attitude you have the more likely it is people will want to work with and be around you.
"BEING A PEOPLE PERSON AND A TEAM PLAYER IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT."
OPI: How do you think social media has contributed to your success?
SS: I am so thankful for social media but I don't think it is everything! Social media is a great free tool that you should absolutely use for self promotion. I've used social media essentially as a free and public portfolio/resume and it has definitely proven beneficial.
OPI: How did you become connected with OPI?
SS: I connected with OPI in 2015 and am so happy I did! I taught a nail seminar in New York and we used OPI Products exclusively.
OPI: Tell us about your latest shoot with OPI.
SS: My latest shoot with OPI was one of the most fun shoots I have ever done! We got to take a road trip up the coast of California from SoCal to San Fran for the new California Dreaming collection. We stopped at tons of landmarks along the way photographing nails at each site.
OPI: Tell us about your relationship with OPI.
SS: Aside from loving the OPI team I am so thankful when I get to work with OPI because I genuinely believe in the product! The products are top quality so it really makes my job easy.
OPI: Why do you love using/working with OPI?
SS: There are a few specifics that really make me crazy about OPI -
The formula of the polish. It applies smooth and evenly, never streaky or clumpy.
The brushes. When using other brands you’ll often come across brushes with stray hairs or the brushes are too fat to achieve the precision you want when painting a nail. The OPI brushes are really the perfect size for consumer who wants something easy to use and for the pros that want to make sure all corner of the nail are covered.
OPI's color selection! No matter what you have all bases covered. OPI is a one stop shop whether you’re looking for nudes or neons - they've got it all.
OPI: What are some of your go to products?
OPI: Are you a lacquer, Infinite Shine, or GelColor girl?
SS: I’m a fan of both Infinite Shine and GelColor! I love Infinite Shine because it applies like polish yet has lasting wear like gel! The colors are vibrant and nearly opaque with just one coat.If I’m going to be doing lots of nail changes but want to keep my nails looking perfect I opt to do mine with GelColor.
OPI: What do you see being the future of nails? What is the next big trend?
SS: More simplistic and wearable nail art has been having its moment. I think it’s going to stay like that for a while and trends are really going to be based more around color curation! OPI has a great way of creating polish in new innovative colors that also somehow get locked in as classic staples to a lot of women.
"MORE SIMPLISTIC AND WEARABLE NAIL ART HAS BEEN HAVING ITS MOMENT."
OPI: What do you love about your job?
SS: There are so many things I love about my job, but probably my ultimate favorite is working on a shoot and then seeing the final product in print on a magazine or in a store display. Yesterday I went to Sephora and saw a beauty campaign I worked on on the wall and it was the best feeling!
To see more nail art from Steph, follow her on Instagram @stephstonenails.