the hoofprint

Walnut High School | 400 Pierre Rd. Walnut, Calif. 91789

the hoofprint

Walnut High School | 400 Pierre Rd. Walnut, Calif. 91789

the hoofprint

Walnut High School | 400 Pierre Rd. Walnut, Calif. 91789

Strokes of beauty on every nail

Senior Michelle Lee holds nail artistry as a relaxing hobby and possible career.
Photo courtesy of Michelle Lee
Senior Michelle Lee paints a set of press ons at home.

A focused look can be seen on senior Michelle Lee’s face as she carefully paints her customer’s nails. Leaning in, her hands move in a practiced grace, immersed in the intricate detail of her artwork.

To ensure quality, Lee can sometimes take two to five hours per set of nails. Though nail art is currently a hobby, she hopes to become a nail technician and start her own business in the future as her main career. Currently, Lee receives orders from people through her Instagram account @michhelle.lee and designs fake nails for them. 

“Sometimes [nail art] can be very grueling because you have to keep restarting but in the end I think it’s worth it,” Lee said. “I like seeing the final product, starting from nothing and getting something that my customers gaze at.”

Designing nails is therapeutic for Lee as it requires focus for extended periods of time, taking her mind off what is stressing her out. 

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“I’ve spent hours on just trying to finish my nails, just doing a design because it’s super intricate or just something I’ve never done before,” Lee said. “The constant trial and error of nail art helps me take my mind off a lot of things that are stressing me out.” 

Spending hours designing nails can take its toll on Lee, but compliments from her friends and family drive her to continue pursuing her hobby. 

“It can definitely be hard, spending so long on nails and seeing the final product be something I’m not satisfied with,” Lee said. “Seeing and hearing from people who like my work definitely gives me confidence to do more stuff like this.”

Lee’s journey began with a nail artist on social media, Cristine Rotenberg, or @simplynailogical, who served as inspiration for Lee. She then learned designs and strategies from YouTube, which jump started her passion.

“It sounds cliche, but practice makes perfect,” Lee said. “When I first started, my hands weren’t steady and my art was not precise, but over time I really honed in on my skills of being able to apply nail polish precisely. The feeling of knowing I improved is really what makes nail art fun.”

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About the Contributor
Leon Lee
Leon Lee, Staff writer
Hi my name is Leon Lee, I'm in the ninth grade, and I'm a staff writer for The Hoofprint. Outside of The Hoofprint, I am taking Spanish. In my free time I enjoy playing tennis, games, and the piano.
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