OPI Pro Spotlight: @nailsby_flo
It’s Pro Spotlight time aaaannnd Hispanic Heritage Month!
For September, we’re introducing you to Nancy (@nailsby_flo), a Mexican pro nail artist who has done nails for runways, award shows, and more. Get to know her in this interview, where she talks about finding her style, her top fall trends, and her advice to aspiring nail artists.
OPI: Where do you draw inspiration from when it comes to your gorgeous nail art?
NANCY: All over! I love cartoons from the 90’s, and that’s what got me started during the pandemic. I love to draw and this took me back to childhood memories. With my clients it’s fun because they are all over, some bring me screenshots, Pinterest posts, Korean inspired nails, and it’s often a mix that’s customized for them. Honestly I save many shots but it’s them at the end of the day that determine the looks, I’m just there to give them ideas and looks that would elevate the design they like.
OPI: We see that you've done nails for the runway, photo shoots, award shows, and more! How did your nail journey take you there, and what was your favorite thing about being a part of those events?
NANCY: It's been a long road, never really thought about being part of this side of the business but I’m glad I’m here. I love it! The energy, rush, and sitting on my ZUka while someone holds the flashlight from their phone so I can finish a mani before show time is awesome lol it’s not always like that but I love both the very calm set times and rush teamwork looks we have to do to get the models ready and out the door. It’s one of my all-time favorite things to do for work, I also love working with a team that appreciates the craft and loves how everything from hair, makeup, and nails all come together. The respect, and awesome feedback I get from my teammates as well as the models is extremely satisfying and makes you love what you do even more. It all started with an opportunity and my work style of not saying No to new opportunities. Always do your best, people are always looking, and not in a bad way! They are looking for people who have a great attitude towards work, challenging situations, and how you handle yourself in your surroundings. Great opportunities will come when you least expect it!
OPI: Your nail art designs range from simple and stunning to elaborate and intricately amazing! How did you learn to have such a wide variety of skills for clients?
NANCY: For a while I struggled with finding my own, it sounds silly but I had such a hard time when it came to nail art. Something that looked so simple would take me soooo long to recreate. What I discovered was it wasn’t me or my style. And I had such a hard time “copying” someone else’s work, especially if I personally didn’t like the style. I wanted to make sure that everything I created you could tell that it took time, attention to detail, and love for the craft. Even if at times it didn’t appear that way due to lack of experience. I wanted to create things that had my signature so to speak. One thing I love doing is incorporating as many mediums as possible, this could be layering or custom color blends, adding matte and shine in a nail set or within a nail. I often encourage my clients to switch things up or experiment with me when it comes to doing nail art. They are very supportive! Adding press on nails allowed me to get more into cartoons and characters because I was able to take more time in the development of my art and overall look for the set. Which is not a luxury we get with regular clients, do to time.
OPI: What advice would you give other nail artists who are just starting out?
NANCY: Don’t go crazy buying everything nail related, really try to focus on what you enjoy the most and go full force on that area. Invest wisely when it comes to products. Take as many classes as possible regardless of who is teaching it. Be open to feedback and try to network as much as possible with fellow techs. Help each other grow!
OPI: What nail art trends are you most excited for this Fall?
NANCY: Anything fall lol I love the season. I love short nails and dark colors in the fall. It's always so elegant to me, it sounds pretty plain but it’s such a timeless look you can never go wrong. It holds beauty in a plain simple mani. I'm also Mexican so Día de Los Muertos is my favorite as well as Halloween nail art. My inspo board is pretty saturated with roses,skulls, wallpaper designs and different elements I Can later combine. Texture too, I’m excited to start on some of the looks.
OPI: Is there a specific technique or style you like to use most often?
NANCY: I’ve worked with many techniques and what I have found is that helping my clients go from extension to growing their own nails is very rewarding for them. So I will work with clients that have very short nails, and nail biters, and seeing the journey is crazy. They love pointing out that their nail length is not a nail tip. I still love both. At this point structure gel manicures have been a big part of my craft as well as more simple looks. It’s hard for me to describe my style or what I like because there are so many options it’s hard to just stick with one. When it comes to me I really enjoy giving you a great structure for your nails that no matter what you decide to place over it your hands will always look stunning.
OPI: How does being a Hispanic nail artist influence your designs and styles when doing nails?
NANCY: I love being me, it’s hard to fit in so I decided I was just going to be authentic to myself and what I like. I love tradition, story’s, color, hard work and laughter. Our family gatherings were loud, big and very busy with many activities going on at once. I think that’s why I love the simplicity of a well executed simple single color. It’s a break from all the busy nail art. Sometimes you just need a break! On the other hand the chaos is also beautiful, so creative busy nails and cartoons are great. See it’s hard to be boxed in, I was raised to enjoy being all over the place! Same can be said about my work, and style. Embrace it, it’s okay!! We are who we are and our personal family background plays a big part of you and our style. It's true for me and I’m okay with that!!!
OPI: What's your favorite nail art look you've ever done, and why?
NANCY: I have a press-on nail design of Invader Zim on my IG I LOVE IT! I was trying to be very elaborate with the design, from shading to back background, detail and line work. It was then I realized you can really elevate and set your style.
OPI: What are some of your favorite ways to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month through both your nail career and in your daily life?
NANCY: We have many family and friends born in September, myself included. We love to party and spend time with the family. We have lotería themed parties, and decor from fiestas patrias. We celebrate family, each other and our accomplishments while being loud, colorful and happy. It’s great, so why not be like that year round. We love to transfer that to what we do, work, education, and family. We are always looking to keep things going with work, fun and life. That energy will show up on everything you do, including nails!
Be sure to follow Nancy, AKA @nailsby_flo on Instagram.