THE SPA IN ME

Interview With Jalisa Styles, Nail Technician

Tell us a story about what brought you to work as a nail technician. Have you always been artsy?

Thinking back on it, I don’t know how my close friends and family didn’t see me potentially becoming a nail artist growing up. I was always doing my own funky manicures when I was younger as well as my friends’. My mom was really big on me learning things on my own and having fun with it, so that really was my thing all throughout grade school. Taking care of my own nails. When I got to college though, I had this newfound love for acrylic nails because my roommate always had the cutest nails. I didn’t have the extra money to go get my nails done so one day I went to CVS and saw the acrylic nail kit. When I used it, it honestly came pretty natural to me and through that I rediscovered my inner child: the artistry, and, most of all, the escape in making 10 small canvases come to life.

What is required to become a nail technician in Texas?

So, in order to become a licensed nail technician in Texas, you must attend a beauty college or cosmetology school. A manicurist program requires 600 hours of in class learning which can be obtained in 6+ months. Once you’ve graduated, you have to pass a written and practical exam to receive your license. This will allow you to work in any salon or have your own operating space. 

Do you remember your first nail art design on a client? Also, how did you feel?

I think the first time I did art, as far as hand painted designs go, was on my best client’s friend Jasmine. It was the first time I really pushed myself to utilize another medium besides acrylic. Jasmine supports me on trying new things on her, so it’s always a fun experience as opposed to a challenging one. After I started painting, I just knew that was going to be the next step that took me further in my nail journey.

What are your key ingredients to designing creative nail art? How do you know what will fit a client's personality?

My key ingredients to designing nail art would be good energy paired with endless imagination, as well as a few art brushes. Nail art is absolutely limitless, which more people, including myself, are now learning all of these nail trends. There are 3D elements, moving elements, and of course, some amazingly detailed hand painters out there. With there being so many options for nail art, a lot of times I find myself still hoping the client will actually love whatever vision I have for them if they’ve given me control. But most times I can sense a certain energy from clients and that will help me determine colors or styles for them. It’s nothing more than about a five-minute consultation that will give me a good read on what suits them best.

What are your thoughts on the connection between color and how it makes us feel?

I love this question so much. Since really diving into painting, I’ve been doing a lot more reflecting on the purpose of color and how they bring about different emotions. When you dive deeper into color theory as an artist, it really shifts your perspective on your developing art style. I am definitely more drawn to cool colors like blues, greens, and purples which remind me a lot of my childhood and the different places I’ve lived, being California and Alaska. Everyone has the ability to associate colors with something, whether it be feelings, places, or people, and that to me proves how important color is to the world.

How can people care for their nails at home in between appointments with a nail technician?

It is important to maintain basic nail care and there are really just a few easy things you can do at home to keep up with your nails. Clipping or filing your nails when they are longer than desired, proper cuticle care which can be obtained through removing the dead skin or keeping them moisturized with cuticle oil, and preserving the actual nail plate using different easily accessible application treatments such as nail strengtheners or even DIY hot oil manicures.

What are some of the ways that people can work with you?

I am located at Cute Nail Studio currently, so when I obtain my license in the next few weeks is when I will begin servicing at my new nail home! I also love connecting via social media so people are able to really see my portfolio.

Thanks so much for sharing your story and informing us about nail artistry. We wish you the best on your new career!

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