11 Questions For Genius Nail Artist/Blogger Ally Picard

A while back we did a post about crazy Internet nail art, an example of our endless fascination with our fingertips. The photo that sparked the original article was of a masterfully detailed set of Twin Peaks-themed nails by artist Ally Picard of Portland Oregon. The down-to-Earth artist recently took a trip east and brought the tools of her trade to meet me at Bryant Park for a manicure and a little discussion on self-nail art, including how to get started and the best affordable products for the best recession-friendly activity. How did you get into nail art?

A while back we did a post about

What about for the detailing and thinner-brush bottles? Art Club is great. To me, what makes a good detail polish is the consistency. If it’s too watery, it will spill everywhere. You need one that’s going to stay there. This brand Hurricane, too, which I used to be able to get everywhere in Brooklyn beauty shops (not so much in Portland), is amazing. Good consistency and texture. I am a little mad at Sally Hansen at their nail art pens though. I thought they were going to be polish pens, and then I bought it and realized I was drawing on myself with a glorified Sharpie.

I found these double-sided pens which are sold everywhere online and are essentially a metal-tipped polish pen (think White Out). This one is called

**For my manicure, I asked Ally to do something Navajo themed, and she delivered spectacularly! It's totally true--I do inevitably check out my finger while texting (or typing this post). For the manicure, she used Sinful Colors basecoat (most drugstores, $2), Brucci robin's egg blue (Duane Reade, $3), L.A. Colors Art Deco detail brushes in white and red (online, $2), Hurricane detail brushes in white and cobalt, and a Sally Hansen Quick -Dry Topcoat (most drugstores, $6). You can definitely do it yourself, even less elaborately, for under $20.