Your favorite singers favorite nail artist is most likely the mega-talented Naomi Yasuda, just ask Madonna. By way of Japan, the New York based manicurist reigns master of à la mode mani’s in the salon and on the runway. Check her credentials! Fresh from her Fashion Week takeover, Yasuda gives us the scoop on agencies, working with Alicia Keys, and SS14 nail trends. Hashtag, if you can make it in New York, you can make it anywhere, and babes, she’s everywhere!
I am really thankful for every one of my clients and friends who have helped my career. When I moved to NY from Japan six years ago, I did not know anyone and I didn’t speak any English, so of course, I didn’t expect any of these amazing things to happen to my life. I was just a girl who did nails in the small salon.
I remember when I did Alicia Keys nails for Jay Z’s Empire State of Mind video shoot in Times Square. I cried tears of joy and gratitude!! It was the best day of my life.
Another time is when I got my pedicure done by Joan Rivers. I was on her T.V. show Fashion Police. It was just awesome!
What’s most rewarding about your career?
I did Madonna’s nail for her Superbowl performance. It was unforgettable. She has been my client since. I still cant believe that I’m doing her nails!
I didn’t have any agency before I went to Streeters, and it was really hard to manage and take care of all my clients. I was looking for a agency for long time. Last October, I met a hair stylist at photo-shoot who is represented by Streetes and he recommended me to go with them.
Do you prefer working in the salon or on shoots?
I love both! I really enjoy creating something beautiful with a team and I get to work with so many amazing artists stylists models, photographers, etc.. I get inspired by them a lot! Also it’s very important for me to work in the salon too. My clients are very diverse and I get to do so many different type of nail art! I usually have 5.6 clients a day. I have to be quick and it keeps me skilled. I know so many nail techs who can do nail art but can’t do basic manicure or vice versa. I think if you are a manicurist/nail artist you should be able to do everything, from simple mani to gel acrylic nails.
SS14 Nail Art trend(s):
Blue and Copper! [lLaughs.] Please don’t ask why, I just like them!
Do you like to get your own nails done, and if so by who?
I usually don’t do my nails. [Laughs.] Sometimes it’s embarrassing because everyone asks me to show my nails. Instead, I use my nails to show colors to client a lot.
How did you first get interested in nail art? You were one of the first to develop your own style so I would love to know!!
I started doing nail art when I was around age 13 or 14. I was introduced to nail art by Japanese pop-singers! They had long dazzled acrylics and I thought it was coolest thing ever. I begged my dad to buy me a nail magazine and I read the magazine to death! I did all my friends nails in high school, and I was so satisfied when my friends liked their nails! Then I got addicted! After 15 years, I’m still loving my job!!
I posted this photo of DJ Roxy Cottontail rocking her BLUE tribute manicure by Naomi Yasuda onto NailPorn via photographer Ian Reid awhile ago and now I strongly feel like it’s time to pull from the archives again. There have been one too many sources reporting inaccurate information. So LET’S GET TO THE POINT AGAIN! Those are not Beyonce’s hands. Why do these types of assumptions get tossed into the web? No research, no love. Revoke your nail card now!
I never got a chance to interview Naomi Yasuda like I have wanted to but M.I.S.S. did and so I just had to share it.
By Em C
Japanese nail artist Naomi Yasuda moved to New York City in 2007, bringing her detailed designs and inspired art to a new market with nails as her permanent canvas. She has quickly worked up the ladder of success; along with being featured in magazines and music videos, her resume includes working with Lady Gaga and Chanel. Check out her designs and where she looks to for inspiration in our interview!
1. What woman, besides your mom or grandmother, do you find inspirational?
My friends and clients. I get to really know them and admire all that things they accomplish.
2. When did you first fall in love with nail art?
I’ve been doing nails about for 10 years professionally. I remember I used to paint my nails with a marker when I was 8 or 9 years old.
3. How did you get your start as nail artist?
I always liked painting my own nails. Then I started doing my friends’ and sisters’ nails. Soon after I realized I was really good at it.
4. What’s your favorite manicure that you’ve created?
I got to be creative when I worked with Barney’s for Lady Gaga’s workshop and loved the wild nails that I created.
5. You’ve had clients ranging from Lady Gaga to Chanel. How is it working with prestigious brands and celebrities? How did you start working with them?
It’s really great working with big clients. Because it really showcase my work. It’s just an honor for me to get to work with them.
6. Who is your dream client?
A lot of my dreams came true when I worked with creative people such as Madonna, Chanel, Alicia Keys, David LaChapelle and many others. It is so wonderful to combine my ideas and their personal style.
7. Where do you find inspiration for your designs?
Everywhere. Fashion, Art, Music, people.
8. Nail art is going through many technological developments like shatter and magnetic polish. Do you have any new favorite techniques?
In America techniques seem old fashioned to me compared to Japan. I really like to use UV gel instead of damaging products such as acrylic and wraps. There is no reason why people can not have healthy and creative nails.
9. What part of nail art is the most challenging and do you dislike the most?
It’s challenging to do a simple manicure because I usually prefer to do elaborate work. Sometimes classic is the way to go. Dislike – removing acrylic nails. lol
10. Any advice for ladies who are just starting out in a career path similar to yours?
Follow your dreams, anything is possible. You just have to do it! As with anything, practice makes perfect!