Professional Beauty chats to nail art genius and Next Top Nail Artist competition finalist Simone Gilbert about finding her passion and spreading it among her customers.
Simone is the owner of Urban Bliss Beauty in Victoria where she is known for stretching creative limits with a pair of hands as her canvas. As an award-winning nail artist and preferred Bio Sculpture Gel salon, Simone entered the Next Top Nail Artist run by Nails Magazine this year. She is now in the final 12 and as the only Australian in this international competition, we sat down with Simone to chat about her love for her craft and the competition experience so far.
Briefly describe your venture into the nails industry
Upon leaving high school I worked in various roles as a travel agent for almost 10 years – when the commute to and from the CBD no longer suited me, I began looking for something more challenging and rewarding. As a treat I had my nails done by a family friend for the very first time and I fell in love. It was then that I commenced my training and worked part time doing nails and building my client base until I had enough business to leave my job. The path ahead was long and hard, but it paid off. I now have a beautiful home-based nail salon in Melbourne where I work with two other technicians, one being my sister Hayley.
Why do you love creating art on nails? How do your customers respond to your creations?
I enjoy seeing the look of excitement on my clients’ faces during the design process as well as when they return and tell me how many compliments they received. I love bringing joy to others and what better way than to do it on someone’s nails! With new clients, I always test the waters to see what they like and don’t like and once I have an understanding of this, I have designs pre-prepared for them the next time they visit.
Where do you find inspiration for nail creations?
My inspiration comes from anywhere and everywhere! Fashion, patterns, prints, new season colours, nature, art, clients, my children, holidays, food, magazines and the most inspiring of all…social media. I enjoy following my fellow nail artists to see what amazing things they create.
Why did you decide to enter the NTNA competition?
After creating a set of Godzilla inspired nails for the May issue of Nails magazine, I was encouraged to apply by one of the senior editors. I wasn’t sure my work was good enough, but I thought I would give it a go. To my surprise I was selected as one of the 24 semi-finalists!
You are now one of the 12 finalists, how has this changed your career ?
Getting to the top 12 has made me realise if I work hard and give it everything I can achieve my goals one by one. Hopefully, by having an Australian competing this year, nail art in Australia will start to become more popular and more widely accepted.
What brand did you use to compete and why?
Urban Bliss Beauty is an exclusively Bio Sculpture Gel salon. I believe in everything the brand stands for and love the product so there is, without a doubt, no question Bio Sculpture Gel will be my preferred product wherever possible.
Some customers are still afraid of venturing into nail art when it comes to salon manicures, do you have any tips for persuading the customer?
For any technicians out there struggling to get their clients to wear nail art, its all about selecting something that suits your client’s personality. I’d suggest starting with something simple such as a single feature nail in a similar shade to the rest of the nails. A little glitter sprinkled over the top, some filigree swirls or even a feather for those daring enough. Once they warm to the single feature nail, suggest a second nail and so on. You will have those clients requesting nail art in no time!