Holt paints her own nail designs instead of visiting a salon

Fun nail designs can be fashioned at home

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Well-manicured nails are an important finishing touch for Tiffany Holt.

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Tiffany Holt (at left) started painting designs on her own nails after it became too expensive to go to the salon. Her friends like her designs and often ask for her to do theirs. Ashley McGriff, one of Holt's friends, likes neon colors on her nails.   CHARMAIN Z. BRACKETT/SPECIAL
CHARMAIN Z. BRACKETT/SPECIAL
Tiffany Holt (at left) started painting designs on her own nails after it became too expensive to go to the salon. Her friends like her designs and often ask for her to do theirs. Ashley McGriff, one of Holt's friends, likes neon colors on her nails.

“I used to get my nails done at the salon. I’d do acrylic or gel. I’d spent too much money and only do them in pink or white,” said Holt, an assistant manager with Circle K.

She started noticing friends venturing out of the traditional single color or French manicure look.

“Nine times out of 10, they’d have a flower” painted on their nails, Holt said. She decided to try out some designs of her own. She’d always been interested in cosmetology but didn’t go into it because of carpel tunnel syndrome. She bought some different shades of polish, started looking up “how-to” videos on YouTube and began experimenting on her own nails.

She found the flower was easy to do and expanded from there. Now, her friends and some family members ask her to help them whenever they want to do something fun and different on their fingernails and toenails. She has an assortment of brushes to paint fine lines in an array of colors to come up with abstract designs. Recently, she tried something a little more difficult by incorporating newsprint into her fashion nails.

What once was reserved for nail salons has now found its way into homes. The makers of nail-care products have taken notice by offering more than the traditional reds and pinks once reserved for nails. They offer a rainbow of colors including blues, greens and purples and neon hues. In addition, they provide products such as decals, jewels and pens for finishing touches, and they are all available at the local drugstore.

Revlon has a few “how-to” videos at its Web site, and Sally Hansen has a large assortment of stickers, gel nail and colors. There’s even a home-based business opportunity, Jamberry Nails, related to nail design.

Teresa May also shuns the salon to do it herself.

She said she mainly sticks to nail polish when creating her look. She also experiments on her mother’s toenails.

“I have done holiday designs, flowers design, abstract or whatever I’m in the mood for. I think a lot of the products that are out there now are the ones for people who can’t actually paint it themselves. I have seen the stickers, and to me that’s exactly what they look like, stickers. I like the more artistic look to actually painting the designs on them. It looks more realistic. I have used just about everything out there at least once. I still go back to just using only painting techniques,” she said.

But you don’t have to be an artist to create the look you want. There are simple designs and plenty of tutorials out there to get someone started.

“I don’t normally do any nail art because I am not very artistic or creative that way, but this looked easy and fun,” said Alger, who created some summertime-themed toenails for herself and her 5 year-old daughter, Amelia.

“I saw the idea for the watermelon polish on Facebook. I thought my 5-year-old daughter would love it. So, the next time we were at the store, I picked up some inexpensive bottles of the colors we needed,” she said.

She painted the toenails red, added a stripe of green-glitter polish on the edge of the nail and finished them off with a few black dots.


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