Robert Nguyen has 10+ years in the nail industry as a salon owner, nail technician, celebrity manicurist and reality television finalist. He currently owns the 2,300 sq. ft super salon, House of Polish, located in Beverly Hills, California. His celebrity clients include Teri Hatcher, Mel B, and Missy Elliot. Robert specializes in detailed nail art and nail portraits and his work has been featured in countless magazines including Nails, Viet Salon, and NailPro as well as the nail-focused reality series Nail’d It. We are excited to share Robert’s trade-secrets in a continuous Q&A series. Have a question for Robert? Leave it in the comments below!
What nail art trends do you see gaining popularity in the coming months?
I think we will be seeing a lot more variations of the nails from last year. There are some really interesting things like negative space, ombre, shards, stamping, and a ton of charms. I don’t think these are quite ready to go out of style and we will continue to see these type of designs. However, I think we will begin to see different twists on them and maybe even combining different styles together. I’m excited to see edgier styles as people get more comfortable with wearing nail art.
What nail art would you recommend for beginners?
Things like water marbling are not only fun to do but also pretty easy as well. You can achieve this look by getting a small disposable cup and filling it with room temperature water. Take a few of your favorite polishes and add drops of them to the water. Give it a nice little mix with a toothpick and dip your finger to transfer the design. If you are feeling adventurous I recommend trying masking tape designs. You can mask off part of the nail using tape and polishing a different color creating crisp straight lines.
Gel vs. Lacquer, which do you prefer to work with?
I will always choose gels over lacquers when doing designs. Gels are more forgiving than lacquers. Since gels don’t dry until they are cured, I am able to make sure the artwork is perfect versus lacquer which dries or thickens after a short period of time. Also for the customer, wear time of gels are so much greater than lacquer- for me its a win win situation.
If you could only add one Color Club treatment to your assortment, what would it be?
I absolutely love the Color Club 0-60 Quick Dry Top Coat. It dries at record speed with a high shine. It is perfect for the salon client or the DIY nail artist at home. It is definitely in my bag for set work and at my nail station in the salon.
How can you prolong the life of your manicure?
Aside from using a quality base coat I recommend every few days applying another layer of top coat. Not only will it refresh the shine of the manicure but also help the longevity of your manicure. Another tip would be to use cuticle oil as often as you can to prevent dryness in the fingers which can cause the skin to split and cause hang nails.