There’s nothing hotter than nail art these days, and one name in particular stands out among the nail-artist pack: Ami Vega.
This dominicana, who grew up in Washington Heights, NY, first discovered her love for nail art at LaGuardia High School, a place specializing in visual and performing arts (famous alumni include Nicki Minaj, Jennifer Aniston, and Al Pacino). Back then, she and her friends used to have fun with Sharpies and CoverGirl’s crackle nail polish. “My mom was very conservative so I wasn’t allowed to get the acrylics, but all my girlfriends had the square-tip nails with the airbrushing of their boyfriends’ names or initials,” says Ami. “And the trees with the sunset, that was all the rage back then.”
Things have evolved quite a bit since her high school days, with Ami becoming one of the most sought-after nail artists in the game. Currently, she splits her time between her mobile salon, El Salonsito, and the editorial and commercial work she does for publications like Scratch UK and beauty companies like Maybelline, Revlon and Essie. Peep some of her recent video tutorials, inspired by the Spring 2013 runways.
Key to Ami’s success since opening El Salonsito two years ago has been partnering with her brother Gabriel. “He’s the business mind and I’m the creative one,” she says, adding that their ultimate dream is to open up a physical location somewhere in NYC, and eventually, in other major cities in the U.S., all under the El Salonsito umbrella.
Ami and I recently talked nail art trends for spring, how the nail art game has changed, deserted-island nail art essentials, and sundry other nail art-related goodness. Did I mention we talked about nail art?
Have things really changed that much from your teen days – is there still the same level of nail artistry?
Like with fashion, things always do make their way back, but nail art has definitely gone a step up. It’s about self-expression now. Before it was like, ‘I’m going to get my nails done and do a little rainbow or a little heart and it’s an accent for my manicure.’ Now the manicure is an accent to the art itself.
OK, now on to the most important thing: What are the three hottest nail art trends for Spring?
Textured nail polish, like that leather-effect, is really big. That one is easy to do yourself.Nails Inc. has a really great leather-effect nail polish that you can apply two coats of and it dries matte. If you want to take it a step up, you can leave your half-moon empty and have that contrast there of your natural nail and the leather effect.
Also, the so-called ‘mannequin hands.’ Those are the nudes that match your skin perfectly. HIPPxRGB has a beautiful collection of nude shades that matches anybody’s skin tone.
And metallics and glitter are really big, too.
In terms of colors, what’s hot right now?
A lot of my clients are asking for pastels, especially the minty greens and peachy corals.
What’s the work you’re proudest of?
I would say the art pieces that I replicate, like the Keith Harings or Basquiats. I like to capture every little bit of the work because the artists themselves dedicate so much time to it.
What are your deserted-island nail tools?
I would need a nail file, my Rejuvacote by Duri Nail Hardener, my CND SolarOil nail and cuticle conditioner, and my Crabtree & Evelyn Gardeners Hand Therapy cream. It’s amazing on even the driest skin!
Here’s a look at some of the Spring trends Ami mentioned, courtesy of her Instagram account (@amivnails):
Check out the rest of the pics on GlamLatina.com, where this was originally posted.