Nails

How-To: Graphic Neon Nail Art

Rising Canadian mani star Justin Cappelletti creates custom neon triangle nail art just for us!

Photo by Norman Wong

Lomography camera, $110; Photo by Norman Wong

The Inspiration

“Mugler’s fall menswear show, with neons, blacks, triangles—it’s all very graphic and bold.”

Mugler Fall 2013; Photo by Imax Tree

Mugler Fall 2013; Photo by Imax Tree

Step By Step

1. Start with a white base so the neon pops. Next, dab bright yellow polish onto the lower half of your nail using a triangular makeup sponge.

Neon-Nail-Art-2

Photo by Norman Wong

2. Repeat the sponge step with pink on the top half of your nail, creating a subtle orange-ish fade in the middle. If needed, add more yellow to help everything blend.

Photo by Norman Wong

Photo by Norman Wong

3. Draw a black X across your upper nail. Add a horizontal line near the bottom to complete the triangle. Colour outskirts in black. Apply gold striping tape.

Photo by Norman Wong

Photo by Norman Wong

The Boy Wonder

Justin Cappelletti, Artist at Pinky’s Nails in Toronto

Neon-Nail-Art-Justin-Cappelletti

Most guys get tattoos to symbolize their passion, but for Cappelletti, getting a tattoo led him to his. When his inker Lizzie Renaud, owner of Toronto’s Speakeasy Tattoo shop, started talking about the nail art she saw while in England, they both got hooked. “I used to [wear] black with a sheer colour overtop and I thought it was the coolest thing,” says Cappelletti, who studied sociology and art in university. “We started getting together for nail parties, teaching ourselves and practising.” When Renaud opened a custom nail bar in Toronto, the 22-year-old was her first hire.

Pinky’s launched during Toronto Pride last July, offering free manis to performers. Recently, they sent nail sets to the stars of the reality show RuPaul’s Drag Race. “I’ve always wanted to do drag queen nails, and it’s part of what we’re about in terms of clientele,” says Cappelletti. “It allows you to go over the top,” he adds—perfect for his style. “What’s cool about Pinky’s is that [each artist] has a different aesthetic. For me, it’s bright colours, lots of neon—really loud and fun.” And what about non-cross-dressing customers? “We have guys come in every once in a while, but I would love to have more. You don’t realize how often your hands are in your view, so it’s cool to rock something you’re proud of.”

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