I recently sat down with nail artist @JaneanJohnsonNails during a trip to Saint Augustine, FL and learned tons of tips and tricks to take care of your nails. Janean owns a boutique nail salon in Saint Augustine. Her space is adorned with clean lines, pops of color and gold all inspired by a Kate Spade advertisement. Her welcoming space provides a unique service and privacy so clients can relax, laugh, and leave feeling pampered.
Janean specializes in intricate nail art designs that you won't find at any nail salon. She can paint a watercolor design or the face of your favorite NFL athlete all while making you laugh. During my recent visit, I decided to finally go for the evil eye design I'd been coveting for months. As we chatted throughout the manicure, I asked her how she started her business as a creative nail artist and how I could take better care of my own nails.
SFLL: How did you get started as a nail artist?
JJN: I've always loved painting and drawing. I didn't really know I'd be into doing nail art until I branched out and started working for myself. People started asking me to try new things and then I started posting on Instagram and found there was an interest.
SFLL: Favorite polish brand or brands?
JJN: CND Shellac, hands down. It has a polish base rather than a gel base. So, its ingredients are less harsh but it lasts just as long as gel. CND is also easier to remove than many gel brands which means less time soaking your nail beds in acetone and no harmful scraping. CND polish uses an LED light to cure the nails rather than UV. I also use OPI, but CND is my favorite.
SFLL: Favorite trend?
SFLL: Dead nail trend?
SFLL: Favorite CND color?
JJN: Tropix and a gold middle finger because it's fancy.
SFLL: And, because fuck you?
JJN: Haha, yes!
SFLL: Hardest color to paint?
JJN: If a client's cuticles are in bad shape, it's difficult to paint anything that is super pigmented like deep reds and deep blues. When painting with gel, white is always difficult. Cream puff in particular always wants to act like an asshole.
SFLL: How often should I get my nails done?
JJN: Every 2-3 weeks as long as whoever is taking the product off is doing it in a healthy manner. For no reason should anyone EVER use a dremel to take off a gel or shellac product. It's completely unnecessary and damages your nail. Gel/Shellac is a natural nail service and there's no reason to use a machine meant for acrylics. It can easily go through your nail bed. It's not a safe practice.
SFLL: I did something terrible. I peeled my gel off and now my nails are thin and brittle. How do I repair them?
JJN: First of all, do not for any reason peel off your gel. If you need to take it off, get some pure acetone, tin foil and cotton. Soak the cotton in acetone and wrap your nails. Wait for the polish to easily push off then put some oil on it. I prefer coconut oil to re hydrate and repair your nail (on the daily). I use a travel case to carry it with me. Solar oil is also great.
SFLL: I've always wondered why they use rubbing alcohol on the polish when the manicure is complete.
JJN: Is just takes off the inhibition layer that is pretty much the leftover residue. Like a tacky layer. Removing that tacky layer leaves you with a smooth, shiny nail.
SFLL: What is the coolest thing you've ever painted?
JJN: Cheif Osceola and Cam Newton. I painted an armadillo once.