Some people change their nail polish every two weeks. Claudia Cernean, full-time manicurist and blogger, changes hers every two days. That’s because this Romania-based nail artist is on a mission. “I do my nails often so I can post tutorials on my blog as frequently as possible,” she says. “I think that practicing is the best way to learn and to become better at my craft.”
It was only five years ago when Cernean first started trying nail art as a way to enhance her drawing skills. She decided to take things further by taking official esthetician courses that focused on nails. In December 2012, Cernean officially launched her site, and she has since gathered more than 2,500 Facebook fans. “I hope that I can inspire my visitors and help them understand how easy it is to do nails and nail art with a little bit of practice and patience. I try to post both easy and complex designs, so that everybody can find a style that they are able to complete.” In addition to tutorials for everything from spiked nails to floral patterns, Cernean—who lives in Cluj-Napoca—partners with sponsors to offer international product giveaways. She also posts about fashion and accessories to give her growing readership the complete package.
“I know that I’m at the beginning of my career, but I’m glad that I can do what I love and will do my best to learn as many new things as I can, so that I can develop my skills.” Cernean admits it’s not easy to be self-taught as a nail artist. She’s had to learn some things the hard way—like how to avoid getting polish on clients’ cuticles or waiting for the right moment to apply the top coat—but it’s all helping her achieve her goals.
“My biggest dream for the future is to have my own nail salon so that I can have the freedom of being my own boss,” says the budding entrepreneur. “I would like to open a salon with my cousin, who just enrolled in courses to become a hair stylist. I know that we’re just starting, but after a few years, when we have more experience, I hope that together we can accomplish it.”
Read on to learn more about Cernean, including her obsession with DIY projects, advice for budding nail artists, and the look she’d never be caught dead with.
“I love makeup tutorials, but I don’t think I have the technique, so at least for now, I stick to nails. Personally, I prefer a natural look. I only use mascara, eyebrow pencil, BB cream, and nude lip gloss.”
“From what I have seen on the Internet, American styles are a bit more extravagant with more glitter, rhinestones, studs, and other accessories. I think that Europeans prefer simpler looks, applied to one or two nails, and usually with just one color.”
“My mother had given me a bunch of different polishes as a gift, but I went to buy a black one from Rimmel London because it was the only one that I didn’t have.”
“I would like to try minx foils. I’ve only used the silver mirror transfer foil, which gives a similar effect. On the other hand, I would never try duck feet nails—they’re the ugliest nail shape I have ever seen!”
“I think colorful options like floral and neon manicures will dominate over simpler designs.”
“I don’t have a particular specialty, but I like to do technical nails. In my opinion, this method lets you totally change the features of nails, making them longer, thinner, and more accurate.”
“One time, a bride asked me to make two of her nails much shorter than the others so she could catch the bridegroom cockade [part of the bouquet].”
“I get my inspirations from everything around me: landscapes, clothing prints, magazines, or nail tutorials that I find on the Internet.”
“I like a lot of DIY projects, and I try to leave my mark on any item to fit my style. I recently got a sewing machine so that I can create my own pieces of clothing. I also like to design my own containers to store makeup, jewelry, and nail products.”
“My all-time favorite products are: Flormar Matifying Top-Coat, Farmec Nail Polish in #20, Rimmel London Nail Polish in #800, white glitter, and 3D metallic bows. My favorite newer products are: OPI Nail Polish in Push and Shove, China Glaze Nail Polish in Grass is Lime Greener, Golden Rose Galaxy Nail Color in #23, Rimmel London Sweetie Crush Nail Polish in #010, and Nail Art Rock Studs.”
“First, you have to learn as many new things as you can and be aware that nail art trends change from one season to another. It’s also very important to enroll in nail courses, attend specialty seminars, and practice as much as you can. Even if you have a lot of talent, it means almost nothing if you don’t use professional quality products, which are more expensive but last longer. My final piece of advice would be to manage your time well.”