Gigglers, this is a special piece we’ve been dying to bring you. Not only does it involve nails done by XOJane vlogger Glennis McCarthy (who drew George Bluth in the banana stand. ON. A. NAIL) but also key advice as to how you can own yourself as a woman. Sage wisdom through nail art is happening here and now. Walk with me.
1. Embrace your deepest fear.
Glennis grew-up in Colorado and decided not to go to college. Everyone she knew attended various universities studying what she deemed ‘proper things’ like business and early childhood education, but she wanted to do nails. Glennis attended nail school but kept it a dirty little secret. The irony is she became well-known in the New York City comedy scene, performing at UCB in the musical improv group ‘Baby Wants Candy’ and created G.L.O.C., a site dedicated to women in comedy.
I can hardly add, so take this as a ‘Stokes statistic’, but about 99% of people in the NYC comedy community still building their careers wait tables and temp to pay the rent in ‘East Williamsburg’ (Bushwick). Why be ashamed of nails? “I had this complex about my intelligence,” said Glennis. “To put nails on top of that, I was afraid people would make fun of me.” I asked her what changed. “I’d just moved out to LA from New York City and it was a rough transition. I was more scared than I had been in a long time, which was a good thing. It pushed me. It forced me to get more comfortable with who I was and I started to embrace my talents.”
2. Don’t listen to your mother, listen to the universe. Read the signs sent your way. (JK, moms!).
When Glennis was in nail school in New Mexico (ignore the obvious connection to UFOs and messages being sent to Glennis at this time – I kid!), she told me that people would come in with pictures of their kids, pets and city skylines, and she would paint them on their nails. Like, no big deal. “I never once thought, this is something I should be proud of. If I had done that, imagine what I could have been doing this whole time,” said Glennis. She continued, “I’m so glad I acted and did comedy. It’s what led me to meet all my best friends and my husband. Now, starting to do nails, I look back and think, ‘Wow, embrace what you’re the most passionate about.'”
3. Take full advantage of your time.
Your time is when you’ve faced the fear, you’ve embraced you and now there’s something on offer. It’s basically when you no longer care what other people think of you. In layman’s terms, this is when you finally get ‘a bucket of f**k it’. Glennis took notice of how nails and nail art were permeating the zeitgeist. I myself remember when HelloGiggles co-founder Zooey Deschanel attended a black tie event with designs on her nails. Her hands sent magazines buzzing: “Zooey Deschanel had tuxedos on her nails!” That was only about a year and a half ago. “Zooey kind of made nail art a trend,” said Glennis. That’s when Glennis took the cue and maximized her opportunity. She uploaded her designs across social platforms., quickly getting noticed by the Managing Editor of XoVain.com, who asked her to vlog for the site. Word of mouth caught on and she started painting designs on the hands of her friends, many prominent comedians who then shared her work with their fans. The most important tip, when something is working for you, is don’t stop there – take it next-level. “I’m writing pitches for a nail-focused show. I want to host something. I think it would be fun,” said Glennis.
4. Become an expert at what you love.
Use a trial and error process to learn what is the best you can do. Know that failing is the biggest gift most of the time. If you’re truly vibing off something you’ll figure out how to be A-list, anything less is something you were never invested in to begin with. Glennis gave me an entire education on how the nail industry isn’t doing their best and how she hopes to change the game, “People are ruining their nails with gels and acrylics. I feel that natural, healthy nails are the way to go. I’m hoping that people will be willing to pay a little more to have a polish job that lasts a long time and doesn’t damage their nails. The reason regular polish jobs don’t last is because a lot of salons use cheap base coats and they don’t push your cuticles back the right way. The minute you walk out the door it chips because it wasn’t the proper prep. My polish jobs have lasted up to twelve days.”
Here are some of my favorite designs Glennis has hand painted:
And hold for it… LAST BUT SO NOT LEAST, Glennis gave me HelloGiggles nails!
Update: It’s been a week since my manicure and my nails look like she just just did them. Here’s a peek into the products Glennis uses:
First: Nail Tek One-Step. It primes your nails by taking off any excess oils and cleans them.
Second: OPI’s Nail Envy conditions your nails.
Third: Seche Vite top coat. Glennis told me this has way more chemicals than the other products, but she’ll let one coat slide to make the mani last, last, last.