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Taking Nail Art To The Next Level

By on January 27, 2008
in News

I was browsing through the submissions for the Nails 2008 Cover Tech Contest and came across this unique and exotic entry. I love the intermixing of old world body decoration with modern nail art technique.

Much to my surprise, when I looked at the name of the artist that created the look, I discovered that it was done by local nail technician and mehendi artist, Julie Heinrich. I met Julie a couple months ago through MySpace so I was very excited to see that her design came in 3rd place out of all the entries (even though I would have voted it #1).

I asked Julie to share her inspiration and technique with us and here is what she had to say:

For my NAILS cover submission, I wanted to do something to combine nails with mehendi (my other love). Mehendi is done on the skin in the Middle East for special occasions, like weddings or pregnancy. The paste can also be applied to the natural nail which stains them a vibrant orange that lasts many weeks. For this shoot, I wanted to incorporate traditional and modern decoration so I came up with this idea…

For the cover look, I specifically chose an ethnic model. Lindsay is Egyptian and Native American, although the cover shot doesn’t show her face. (pictured below)

First I sculpted clear enhancements with Entity acrylic. The polish had to be just right, and to match her dress so I did 2 coats of OPI’s “Peace Baby! followed by one coat of OPI’s “I Only Drink Champagne” to get the exact shimmery shade of off white. I then used Seche Vite as a topcoat.

Next was the 3-D Mehendi. I did her hands, then nails. I always mix my paste fresh the night before and put it in a squeeze bottle with a very fine tip. After the design is completed, you can add another layer of Seche Vite. (I didn’t for the shoot so the flash wouldn’t reflect on the design).
Even though I’m not a fan of Peace Baby’s application, I love the combo of a white creme base with a semi-sheer gold over top to create an off white shimmer that isn’t too nude or dirty looking.

Image credit: Julie Heinrich

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There Are 14 Brilliant Comments

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  1. Stephanie says:

    I LOVE it.

  2. The Apprentice says:


  3. cary's girl says:


  4. Anonymous says:

    That is such an interesting post!

  5. Jamie says:

    That is just beautiful.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Absolutely beautiful!

  7. says:

    OT Cincy: I saw that your blog is one of only 5 mentioned in’s blogroll!! Congratulations, I am SO HAPPY for you!!

    *happy dance*
    Duffimac on MUA

  8. princesss says:

    That is just gorgeous! I love it!!

  9. elena singh says:

    Middle East…he he. Mendhi application is native to India, not Middle East.

  10. Breda says:

    oh my gosh! A local mehndi artist! I’ve always wanted to have that done

  11. Mia says:

    Sorry to break it to ya, elena singh, but you're wrong. It's native to Persia(Iran), which technically isn't the "Middle East", but Asia. Many things "native to India" actually originate from Persia, including paisley designs and henna. "Menhdi" started as a means for strengthening nails and hands in Iranian winters. Definitely nothing to do Egypt, or other "Middle Eastern" countries, though.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Mia, I thought that paisley originated in Scotland. I think many cultures have their own version, even though lots of wonderful things do come from Iran. I think I was Persian in a past life!

  13. Mc Huggs :) says:

    Hi Michelle: Interesting usage of body paint, Henna) that your boyfriend and you did recently; and nail polish to create the illusion of the earth. I also saw your name in the current issue of Allure magazine. Good for you. Have a good weekend and upcoming Thanksgiving holiday. I keep getting knocked off your subscription list (not you but feed blitz does :(