The fourth nail artist to be featured in my Q&A series is the one and only Liza Winter! This gem has recently become one of my all time inspirations. Let’s jump straight in!
- What is your favourite nail shape?
Pointy!!! Pointed almonds/stiletto or whatever you want to call them. My absolute favourite shape!!
- Why did you become a nail technician?
For my 24th birthday I really wanted to get my nails done. So I started to look for a good nail tech in my area. I knew that I wanted high quality, crisp lines, glitter and Swarovski crystals… something extravagant. I just couldn’t find that in my area but I made an appointment at a salon anyway. I went there about 3 times until I thought to myself ‘that’s just not really what I wanted, it’s kind of mediocre…I can do that myself and better!’ So I started out doing my nails by myself and I realised I thought correctly. I could do it too and got better very fast.
- How long does it take you to do a full set?
STILL WAY TOO LONG – lol!! Well, it depends on what design of course. If the client only wants a simple one-colour only set ( I call it a ‘plain set’ which includes acrylic extensions with one gel polish/ gel colour on top and 4 small Swarovski clusters) I take about 2 hours. If a client asks for a super extravagant set ( I call it a “Liza’s Choice Set” which includes a complete multi-coloured acrylic design with colour fades, 3D work, Glitter, french, pigment and up to 8 Swarovski clusters) it takes me 3-3,5 hours (even longer if the client wants their nails to be extra long).
- What’s your favourite go-to acrylic nail design/technique?
I can’t believe I’m saying this but….french!
I HATED french – every time a client asked me for french nails I wanted to cry or run away or both. It wasn’t because I thought they weren’t pretty, though. It was because I struggled SO HARD to do a crisp, sharp, dramatic smile-line.
Well guess what? Practice makes perfect – or in my case acceptable, lol. If my clients ask me today for a french accent nail I’m excited. I love doing them and I hope one day they’re going to be as good as my nail idols.
- Who are your nail idols?
Wow..where to begin? I’d have to start with @vanessa_nailz, of course – I guess this doesn’t need an explanation, I don’t think there’s a nail tech out there who wasn’t inspired by her at one point or another. Her work is just revolutionary and she is a trendsetter. Of course @Nails_By_annabel_m Her creativity is from out of this world. Her colour choices, her style, obviously inspires my own so very much.
@sarahsnailssecrets bigger, better, bolder! Freaky Colour combos, amazing shaping skills and sooo much inspo for stunning designs you can do even if your nails aren’t extra long. @nailsonpoint_zn without her – I wouldn’t be where I am now. She taught me soooo much. Not only about nails (well, she definitely did and still does) but also about how to respect myself and my skills and to stop people from walking all over me. If I’ve got a problem, or amazing and exciting news or a question – anything – she’s the first person I text/call. I’m so incredibly grateful to have found such a person through the industry – I’m proud to call her one of my best friends. Amazing nail techs who also inspire me are @emilyyafai_Nailartist, @_stephsnails_, @_nails.by.katie.l_, @b_stockell, @glamour_chic_beauty and many more!
- What is your favourite set that you’ve ever done?
I once did a “unicorn good vs. evil” set. Inspired by the movie “The Last Unicorn” and the Thestrals from “Harry Potter”. Even though my skills improved a bit since than it’s still one of my absolute favourites.
- Where do you get your inspiration from?
From Literally everywhere. I get inspired by movies, nature – like landscapes or gemstones or colours of the sunset, make-up looks from amazing artists on social media, book covers and of course from my nail idols all over the world.
- If you could do anyone’s nails dead or alive who would it be and why?
Kerli!! I’d love to do some amazing “moonchild” bubble-goth nails!!! Love her, and love her music – I imagine she would be amazing to have as a client.
- What is your thought process behind creating a custom set?
My highest priority is that all colours I include in a custom set are found throughout the entire set. I love picking up colours in different shapes – for example if I do a black and white set I put black Swarovski and/or Glitter on the white based nail and the other way around so everything matches and is balanced out well.
I also sometimes use up to 15 different products on one set so I mostly do a quick sketch on a napkin and write down what I plan to do on each individual nail. Sometimes it’s just too much to keep it all in my head – lol.
- What is your strength and weakness regarding skill?
For strength I’m going with self-criticism. This might sound like a bad thing but it’s actually what keeps me going and helps me to improve my skills every day. For weakness…there are so many things. I’d say time management while working.
- One thing you would change about how you work?
3 months ago I would have said french nails – but I somehow finally got the hang of it. Right now my biggest “enemy” doing nails is time. A custom set with many extras like 3D netting, colour fades, french, Swarovski, pigments and glitter still takes me too long. 2,5 – 3 hours to be exact. Most of my clients doesn’t bother it and enjoy the time chatting and joking but it bothers me a bit and I definitely need to improve on that in the future!
- What are your holy grail products?
Swarovski crystals, all colours, shapes and finishes. Putting on the right kind and amount of Swarovski’s pushes a set of nails from “niiice” to “OMGGGG”.
Kiara Sky non wipe top coat – it’s super shiny, super easy to work with and amazing for working with pigments.
- What are your top tips on taking photos?
You can do the most amazing set of nails – but if the lighting is bad on your pictures, it won’t show their beauty on-screen. I use a working light with 3 different types, warm lighting, cool and neutral – some colours are more difficult to shoot than others and for some you need a more cool toned light. I also love a clean and simple background which doesn’t distract from the actual nails – less is more, in my personal opinion. I use a simple white fake-fur from IKEA. To take my pictures I use my iPhone – (be sure to clean your lens before you start!) if the lighting is good, you can get pretty impressive results with a phone camera!
- How would you encourage someone to keep improving their nail game?
I can only talk about myself and the nail techs I know in person but most of them are way too hard on themselves. I doubt myself all. The. Time. If I, for whatever reason, had a bad day doing nails I immediately think “am I really good enough?” I’m my own hardest critic. When I look at my work I only see the flaws so I would encourage someone by trying to take the self-doubt away – even just a tiny bit of it. Go out, get perspective and start fresh and with new energy!
- If you could change one thing in the industry what would it be?
The way people sometimes look at you or react when you tell them your profession. That you’re a nail tech. There’s still a strong stigma all over the world I guess that nail techs and even everyone in the beauty industry is somehow small-minded or not as intelligent. Or that’s it’s simply “not a real job”- It’s almost 2018 guys – let’s get rid of that nonsense!
- If you had one wish, what would it be?
To maybe one day open up and own a salon with lovely girls all trained by me, and to help get Germany on course with blinged up nails.
- Top tip for getting your name out in the industry?
Social media – up to this day I never did any kind of advertising for my salon. Sharing my work on Instagram, my Facebook page and in several nail groups is everything that I do and it worked just fine for me. Getting reposted by a ‘bigger’ artist can help too, so tag all your nail idols and favourite brands in your pictures and they might recognise you, repost your picture and your set of nails will reach a larger audience of people.
- What are your 3 do’s and don’ts about being in this industry? (What would you advise people to do and what not to do to guide someone new)
– Social media
– Always being on trend
– Being respectful and friendly with colleagues Dont’s:
– Don’t let people walk all over you
– Never argue with clients on prices – charge what you’re worth
– Never post a design inspired by another artist without giving credit!
…And that concludes Liza’s Q&A. We really hope you enjoyed it! Please let us know what you think in the comment section below. (Click on the black title at the top of this blog post).
I only recently discovered Liza’s work and I genuinley felt like I’d been missing out! She is one of the few that WOW’s me when I see her work. Her shaping, her colour palettes, her coordination, her photos… just divine!
If you would like to follow her on Instagram, here is her link
Love to you all xox