Friday, September 22, 2017

First Look Fridays Interview Series: Manicurist and Nail Artist Nikki Diamond

First Look Fridays, Nikki Diamond, nail artist, manicurist, interview
Sometimes the best people come into your life in the most unexpected ways. Two years ago, during a trip to Los Angeles (my final trip before I moved two months later), I happened upon Nikki Diamond, a manicurist and nail artist at The House of Polish. I was randomly assigned to her, and I knew that I wanted purple nails with some sort of nail polish bottle art. Other than that, I was totally open to the design. Nikki and I connected instantly, and the design she created was SO GOOD. I seriously couldn't stop staring at my nails! (You'll have to keep reading to see what she did. Trust me, you're going to love it.) She's since moved to Las Vegas, but we've kept in touch over Instagram, and I knew I needed to feature her on The Beauty of Life -- because she is not only an incredible nail artist, but a truly inspiring person. Read on to find out how she got her start as a manicurist, the nail polishes she can't live without and so much more.

Can you tell me a bit about yourself?
I was born and raised in Los Angeles. I graduated from Hamilton High School, which is a performing art school. I was very lucky on being around creative people. I used to sketch all the time and actually wanted to be a fashion designer. I even got the chance to create my own prom dress and had it made. I realized that it was more work than I wanted, so I changed my profession and went to Beauty School. I attended Marinello Beauty School on Wilshire and Fairfax, and after 10 months of being there, I was a licensed cosmetologist. I got my cosmo license at 19 years old and I have been doing nails ever since. I am 26 years old now and can finally say I am an owner of my company, NikkiD.Nails.

First Look Fridays, Nikki Diamond, nail artist, manicurist, interview, nail art, Kiara Sky
A nail look by Nikki, featuring Kiara Sky Soak-Off Gel Polish in Take Me To Paradise.

First Look Fridays, Nikki Diamond, nail artist, manicurist, interview, nail art
A nail look by Nikki, featuring her signature gems and crystals.

How did you first become interested in nails, and what led you to become a manicurist?
When I was young, my mom would take me everywhere. Being a single parent, she had me tagging along on all her errands, and one of her errands was getting her nails done. I was always fascinated by how they were able to polish her nails so perfectly. Back then, airbrushing used to be super trendy. I used to always play with the design samples, which for whatever reason used to always be glued on the back of plain CDs, and I started to practice and create on my own. I started playing with the idea of doing nails when I was 15, but even then, my mom wouldn't let me do her nails! So I practiced on nail tips and on friends, and got to practice on myself.

Nails always came natural to me. I used to draw constantly in my composition book and even used to draw a concept for tattoos. As a matter of fact, the tattoos I have on my body? I designed most of them. When I was in beauty school, I had the opportunity to work an event in Malibu that paid a good amount of money for just manicures and pedicures, and so I took the opportunity and went. Ever since then I have loved to serve people in spa treatments and nail art.

First Look Fridays, Nikki Diamond, nail artist, manicurist, interview, nail art, Color Club Gel Polish
A nail look by Nikki. I love the simple small heart design of this one!

First Look Fridays, Nikki Diamond, nail artist, manicurist, interview, nail art
An intricate nail look by Nikki.

What are your top 5 favorite nail products and brands?
First Look Fridays, Nikki Diamond, nail artist, manicurist, interview, Kiara Sky Soak-Off Gel Polish ColorBase
Kiara Sky. They have really pretty and pigmented gel polish and perfect match regular polish, which is good for my clients who want both regular and gel polish.

First Look Fridays, Nikki Diamond, nail artist, manicurist, interview, Presto Matte Top Gel Polish
Presto Matte Top Gel Polish. It helps keep my big Krystal on my clients' nails for months.

First Look Fridays, Nikki Diamond, nail artist, manicurist, interview, OPI Red Nail Polish
OPI. They always have really good colors and I like their acrylic powder.

First Look Fridays, Nikki Diamond, nail artist, manicurist, interview, Young Nails Block Party Glitter Acrylic Powder
Young Nails. They also have really good acrylic powder and monomer. I love using their forms since I don't use tips. They stay pretty sticky but are easy to remove.

First Look Fridays, Nikki Diamond, nail artist, manicurist, interview, Color Club Gel MobilePRO LED Lamp
Color Club. They have really nice colors in regular polish and gel, but most importantly, I like the LED light. It's portable and rechargeable so I don't have to tug a cord around.

What are your top 3 nail tips?
1) If you have an ingrown, don't try taking them out yourself. You could really hurt yourself and make things worse. Have your nail tech do it for you.

2) I know it's really annoying when a nail lifts or chips from the gel polish or acrylic, but do not rip or peel them off. This causes your natural nails to peel and become brittle.

3) Use nail glue, not super glue! I do a lot of acrylics and one thing I tell my clients is please, please, please don't use SUPER GLUE to glue your nails down or back on. Sally's, Kmart, Walmart, any beauty supply store sells nail glue. Super glue is for metal and wood, not nails.

What is the most rewarding part of what you do?
The most rewarding part about doing what I do is seeing my clients' reactions when their hands are done. I can't tell you how many people will hit me up days later saying how happy their nails make them feel. Some clients have even told me that it makes their day when times are rough. It gives me such joy to be able to put a smile on someone else's face with my art.

First Look Fridays, Nikki Diamond, nail artist, manicurist, interview, nail art, The House of Polish
My AMAZING nail polish art from Nikki! Can you EVEN?!? Check out the blog post about this art here.

Being a manicurist must be fun -- but what do you like to do in your spare time?
I'm a new mom now, so honestly since I work so much I just love spending time with my daughter and my fiancé. I try to go out here and there but honestly the time spent with my family is the most rewarding. I now live in Las Vegas and don't know too many people, so I'm just kind of focused on my business and my family.

How can The Beauty of Life readers find you on social media?
The best way to find me is on Instagram. I'm also on Yelp.

14 comments:

  1. I LOVE your mani! What great work she does!

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  2. What a great interview! I love hearing what professionals love as far as products.

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  3. What a great artist. Her work is unique. The mani she did for you is wonderful. I hope you can continue on this series since I always enjoyed it.

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  4. I have known Nikki since she was 16...she has a rare and natural talent, which stems from her inner beauty! Much love to you from the east coast!

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  5. So proud of her talent and work ethic. She works magic on some nails for real!

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  6. She is a highly gifted, and talented nail artist. She has the sweetest spirit and really connects with her clients.
    EB

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  7. What amazing manis! I adore the purple one you got.

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  8. The nail art is so cool and it was fun seeing all the different designs she does.

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  9. Nikki was the manicurist at my daughter's 21st Birthday Spa Party. That was 6 years ago. So proud to see her talent grow!

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  10. I loved her 3 tips! Very informative!

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  11. What a great interview! I love the nails she did on you and the green ones with the heart!

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  12. Great interview! So many beautiful designs!

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