Community Edit: Polish the Unexpected


(via The Style Line) Photo of Monica Hues by Christina Emilie

In matters of fine art, we’ve found that a new medium is trending…

From watercolors to sculpting, creative thinkers are now utilizing beauty products, more specifically nail polish, as a preferred material. Closer to home, many salons have caught on to the trend and offer nail art as an added service. With the constant exposure to nail art, we often times don’t recognize that the polish itself be utilized in unique ways. To dive deeper into this subject we’ve asked a few formerly featured artists in our community to weigh in on their preferred nail designs, their favorite local salons and how they use nail polish in an unexpected way. Read on to find out how these artists are using nail polish in their personal style and professional endeavors and shop their current favorites…

Shop the edit:

  • butter London, Pillbox Red, $15
  • Orly Nail Lacquer, Lemonade, $8
  • ZOYA Nail Polish, Kristen, $9
  • Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat, $9.95
  • Monica Hues Text Me Nail Decals, $8
  • Essie Nail Polish, Prima Ballerina, $8.50
  • Formula X Nail Polish, Push the Limits, $10.50
  • Essie Nail Polish, Prima Ballerina, $8.50

Monica Hues, Nail Art Designer

“I appreciate brands like Butter London, Color Club, Orly, and Zoya. They have awesome colors, and don’t test on animals (which means SO much to me!)” 

Do you ever do your own nail art and if so, what is your favorite design? 

I ONLY do my own nail art! As a licensed nail artist, I enjoy doing it! It gives me an opportunity to practice my new designs out, and get feedback from my followers. Right now I’m really into anything geometric, with clean crisp lines.

Do you have a favorite nail polish brand to use for nail art? 

Yes, I love Butter London for color, and Seche Vite for a top coat.

As the warmer months are upon us, are there any specific colors or designs that you like to use? 

For spring and summer I love to play with color and icons! I’m really into white and gold and coral and holographic combos right now!
the style line jade sheldon

Jade Sheldon, Illustrator

“My go to colors as of late both come from Sephora’s Formula X Line: Paramount (a gorgeous sage grey) and Push the Limits (a bright tomato pink).”

What role has nail polish played in your personal style?

I used to NEVER paint my nails. As an artist, it’s hard to keep your nails looking nice when your hands are constantly covered in pastels and paint. But when I have a nice event to go to or am on vacation, I like to put a pop of color on my nails.

Would you ever consider incorporating something like nail polish as a medium in your illustrations?

I would definitely incorporate polish into my illustrations! The color selection is endless!

Do you have a favorite nail polish brand to use for nail art?

Since I spend so much time creating art, I like to keep my nails fairly simple.
ally lindsay nail polish desserts the style line

Ally Lindsay, Artist behind Nail Polish Desserts 

“I love any brand that have any experimental colors like Butter London. I already mentioned this but Essie is hands down my favorite…they have the best neutrals for cake batter, donuts and pies… Also their colors are so vibrant! Just love love love it.” 

What was your original inspiration to use nail polish as a medium for your art?

I was making a birthday card to mail to my mom in Michigan and I wanted it to be like the kind of cards I used to make her as a kid, handmade and crafted beautifully from random pieces of paper or anything that was lying around that could look awesome visually. I didn’t have paint but I did have a lot of nail polish. So… I wrote: “I wish I was there to have cake and  ice cream with you.” and painted a little ice cream cone next to it. I then posted it on Instagram and it was such a hit! I kept getting requests for all sorts of desserts and I just went with it.

How could using nail polish be different from using paint and other traditional materials?

It’s essentially a liquid enamel so image being able to paint with liquid plastic! It’s just like frosting a cake.

Is there a specific nail polish brand that you find works best for painting?

I really love the thinner polishes like Essie & the thicker ones like OPI. I also use some drugstore brands like Sinful Colors for basic colors & Brucci for more exotic bright colors.