NYC-based nail artist Fleury Rose is one of the chosen souls making a name for herself as a pro. "Fresh, original, bad ass nails for the people!" is how the manicure maven describes her art form—hyper-stylized designs that rival any gallery canvas. Clearly we're into this new generation of nail artists (you read our interview with The Illustrated Nail, right?), but Fleury's bubbling personality, impeccable eye for detail, and addictive Tumblr have crowned her local legend—both in the high fashion world, and at the Brooklyn-based Tomahawk Salon where she plays resident nail guru. Among a flurry of editorials, her work has appeared in Vogue, Teen Vogue, Paper Mag, and Seventeen—Fleury's hand print is all over the scene. To top it off, she was serendipitously tapped by British brand Illamasqua as their official U.S. nail ambassador, a brand known for their heavy innovation and unabashed creativity. We chatted with Fleury about the new collaboration, which environment she prefers to work in most, and how she really perfects all those near-impossible fine lines.
B: How did you decide nail art was the career path for you?
I didn't decide on it, it decided on me! I never could have dreamed that I would be able to have such a fun and creatively fulfilling career. Nail art allows me to work in fashion, art, and beauty, which is simply amazing. There is a style of design that suits every person, it's not just crystals, glitter,and 3D bows—although those can be pretty awesome too!
B: Do you think a fine art background is necessary to succeed in this industry?
For me, having a fine art background has enabled me to understand and see color very well. It has also given me a very creative drive to do new designs and try new techniques. I've been drawing since before I can remember. My brother and I used to draw comics about our guinea pigs when I was five!
B: Who are you obsessing over the moment?
Right now I am obsessed with Juria [Nakagawa], a teenage japanese street style icon.
B: Do you like to work with any particular patterns or motifs?
I really love doing anything illustrative and cute. The day of the dead nails I did recently are definitely a good example!
B: Do you get requests for certain designs more than others?
My clients bring me amazing requests so I don't do a ton of repeat designs. I see that ombré nails are still going strong, and are popular in the salon and for DIYers. There are so many color combos—it's hard to choose one!
B: What’s the design process when a client comes in for nail art?
I always do a consultation with a client who comes in for nail art. I encourage people to bring in as much inspiration as they like, be it fabric swatches, photos, or drawings. Once we establish the overall look of the nails they want, I take my artistic license and create something one of a kind.
B: Let’s not forget the amazing news—you were recently appointed by Illamasqua's as their U.S. nail ambassador! What went into making this happen?
I have been a fan of the brand since seeing them at Sephora for the first time. I always noticed that they had amazing colors, beautiful nail varnishes, and rad nail art on their displays. I actually always dreamed that someday I would be creating nail art for Illamasqua, so when I got the call to come in and speak with the brand I was ecstatic! We had a pretty long interview process, but when all was decided it really did feel like a dream come true.
B: How will you work with Illamasqua specifically?
As the brand ambassador I will be working closely with the Illamasqua team here and in the UK to create tutorials, do events, and get the word out about this amazing British brand! I'm really happy to be working with such a high quality product. A lot of love has gone into developing it.
B: In case we want our digits done, you’ll still be at Tomahawk salon in Brooklyn too, right?
I will still be at Tomahawk as well—I love my clients and our awesome salon! The atmosphere is really chill, which is great because i am a pretty laid back person at heart.
B: That said, do you prefer the more relaxed environment of the salon, or the high pace of an editorial shoot?
They are very different. I am really glad to have the opportunity to do both, because it keeps things interesting. I love the excitement of a photo shoot—working with other artists, and getting to see the beautiful pictures when the magazine gets published. On the other hand, I love working at Tomahawk because I get to see my private clients who let me do my thing, and get really intricate, which I often don't get the luxury of doing on set. I also love the salon because all the girls who work there are amazing and talented, and the owner Chantal Savaresse is a dear friend. It's so inspiring to be around other creative women!
B: Now spill, which tools do you use to master the details?
Illamasqua makes these amazing Precision Inks. It has a very tiny brush, and dries very quick. I also use a lot of acrylic paints. Tiny brushes are essential too. I buy mine from the art store.