Q&A with Pinky’s Nails

Canadians have finally embraced nail art. And thanks to salons like Pinky’s Nails in Toronto, we can stay ahead of the game through their unique approach to the must-try craft.

To learn the ins and outs of the industry, we spoke to Lizzie and Nikki Renaud of Pinky’s, who recently collaborated with Essie to do nail art for Fashion Week. We asked them why it took Canada so long to embrace nail art, what to expect when you visit Pinky’s, and some myths and truths to the trend in general.

29: Why do you think it’s taken so long for nail art to reach Canada?

P: I’m not quite sure why it took so long for nail art to reach Canada. We were kind of baffled when we saw that no one else was doing this, so that’s why we went for it! We are starting to see it pop up here and there now, though, so it may explode in the near future.

29: Why do you think Pinky’s has become the go-to nail art studio in Toronto?

P: I think Pinky’s has become the go-to nail place simply because no one else is doing it quite like we are. There are some nail art salons, but it’s not the trendy art that we do. The artists at Pinky’s are all artists before nail technicians. I think people see that and value our designs and custom work. 

29: How does nail art differ from a typical manicure treatment?

P: This is a great question because there are a lot of people who don’t understand the difference yet. A lot of people come in and want a regular manicure and polish change, and we usually send them to a different place nearby because that’s not really our jam. We don’t do the parafin wax and full luxury manicure. We do the basic cuticle work and filling, but that is just to make sure the art looks good on your nails.

Nail Art Fashion Week Pinky's Nails Essie

29: What’s the biggest miconception about nail art?

P: A big misconception is that we use stamps or stickers. Almost everything we do is hand painted. These artists have a steady hand!

29: Why do the manicures last?

P: The paint lasts because we use the best top coat. If you aren’t hard on your nails, you should be able to keep a design for about a week. We are getting a lot of requests for gel and shelac. We WILL offer those soon — probably this winter.

29: How is nail art evolving?

P: Just like any art, it evolves alongside everything else. It is evolving due to fashion, pop culture, society, etc. For example, we did nails for Fashion Week, and our nails were co-ordinated with the colours and outfits of each designer. Next year, that will change — if we are lucky enough to work with Essie again on the project. Also, things like pop stars, music, and TV bring in a lot of different requests. We have clients asking for Justin Bieber, Beyonce, Die Antwoord, Star Wars, Breaking Bad, and Disney-themed nails. Some of those will change with time and some will stick.

29: What’s one thing to remember when doing it at home?

P: Well, all of our artists learned from doing it themselves at home years ago. I think you need to remember that it’s not cheap. You go through a lot of polish, remover, and supplies bcause you will do it badly and want to re-od it over and over and over again until it’s right. Our artist, Justin, is the pro at water marbling, and we went through a TON of nail polish figuring out that science.

29: Why do you think DIY nail art intimidates so many people?

P: There are a lot of little “tricks” to nail art. Without knowing these tricks, it looks impossible to do. But once you start to figure out the secrets of how things are done, you realize that it’s not impossible. It’s still hard if you are not an artist or a crafty person, but it’s definitely worth trying.

29: What do you recommend in terms of steps for DIY nail art?

P: If you want to do it yourself, I’d say watch tutorials online, look at nail blogs, and just have fun with it!

Tags: nail art, nail colours, nail polish, nail trends, Pinky's Nails, Pinky's Toronto

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